- Fabletics on Facebook
People are retaliating against Kate Hudson’s athletic-wear company, Fabletics, and its parent company, JustFab, BuzzFeed reports.
JustFab, which is home to Fabletics and several other fashion retailers, including the Kardashian-affiliated ShoeDazzle, operates on a membership basis. Members receive discounted apparel (athleisure clothes, in Fabletics’ case) through subscriptions. Fabletics boasts that it is cheaper than the athletic-wear stalwarts Lululemon and Nike – and it has the added bonus of its celebrity endorsement.
But it seems to be all downhill from there. BuzzFeed says that JustFab avoids actually telling members they are opting into subscriptions; the company calls subscribers “VIP Members.”
These VIPs are then billed on a monthly basis, and it’s tough to get out of the billing cycle. JustFab told Business Insider that it provides at least 15 separate notifications to customers, many before their first checkout, and noted that members can opt out of being billed each month if they don’t want to shop.
That monthly opt-out, though, requires members to sign in and click a “skip the month” button every month. Cancelling the subscription entirely takes a phone call. Complaints about the business’ automatic billing policy have led district-attorney offices in California to investigate the company.
“We were concerned that consumers had signed up for essentially a shoe or an outfit of the month club without enough disclosures where the consumer could determine that,” Kelly Walker, Santa Cruz County assistant district attorney, told BuzzFeed. “This is becoming a business practice that we’re becoming very concerned about. We are setting up a task force here in California just to deal with these companies with automatic renewal or automatic negative option sales programs.”
Customers have taken to Twitter to express their frustration.
Word to the wise: Don’t sign up for @Fabletics “VIP” Total scam. Charged me without my knowledge & continued to charge me after I cancelled
— Danielle (@d_grannn) September 26, 2015
@Fabletics this is a scam. I want my money back. I will be filing complaints.
— Ali Rae (@alirhoffman) September 25, 2015
“From day one, we have been upfront about our flexible subscription model, the value it creates for our customers, and its terms of service,” a JustFab representative told BuzzFeed. Cofounder and co-CEO Adam Goldenberg told BuzzFeed that these complaints made up “a very, very small minority” of customers.
Fabletics and JustFab have responded on Twitter to several complaints as well.