Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty must pay for defrauding customers in California.
The Barbadian pop star’s lingerie company was sued back in August in three California district attorney’s offices, CBS News reported.
Lavender Lingerie LLC, dba Savage X Fenty, reached an agreement after the company took partial responsibility for misleading its clients with automatic renewal fees and allegedly falsely advertising its prices, WWD reported. The lawsuit also stated that the company failed to disclose how store credit can be used.
“At Savage x Fenty, we believe in transparency, which is why we are sharing that we settled with the California District Attorneys in their investigation of our website and advertising practices,” representative of the company said in a statement. “As part of the settlement, we agreed to make clarifying changes to our website and set aside $140,000 to provide refunds to eligible California consumers, among other things.”
The company was found to be enrolling customer into a “VIP” program with recurring charges in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Monica, The East Bay Times reported. Whenever someone purchased Rihanna’s lingerie line online, customers would be automatically enrolled in an VIP membership with the same banking information. The only way to cancel their membership is if they were aware they were enrolled in the first place.
“Consumers have a right to know up front what they are paying for and how often,” said Jennifer Deng, Santa Clara County deputy district attorney, according to The Times. “Businesses have a duty to be transparent about their automatic renewal charges.”
This practice by Savage was in violation of a new law in California, as well as at least 20 other states. Under the new law, companies must inform customers about automatic program renewal services.
As part of the $1.2 million settlement, Savage will pay $1 million in civil penalties, as well as $50,000 in investigative costs. Restitution of $150,000 will also be issued to Savage VIP customers in California who were victims of the VIP enrollment program.
Who owns Savage X Fenty?
Savage X Fenty, was co-founded in 2018 by billionaire singer Rihanna and TechStyle Fashion Group in a joint venture. The brand is estimated to be worth at $3 billion, Bloomberg reports. The company recently branched out into activewear, debuting Savage X Fenty Sport in October.