Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty settles $1.2 million lawsuit for defrauding customers

By Deanna Pearce

Published Dec 5, 2022 at 02:52 PM

Reading time: 1 minute

Only a month ago, Rihanna’s lingerie brand Savage X Fenty made waves online after it controversially revealed that Johnny Depp—fresh out of the six-week-long defamation trial he ended up winning against his ex-wife, Amber Heard—would be a featured surprise guest in its highly anticipated November 2022 fashion show.

It didn’t take long for the brand to draw more attention, as it was announced at the very end of the same month that Savage X Fenty would be paying over $1 million in penalties as part of a consumer protection lawsuit settlement which spanned across four counties. 

The lawsuit was filed in August 2022 by Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office along with Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles County District Offices, and accused the popular label of failing to “properly disclose automatic chargers to members of the company’s VIP membership.”

In other words, it was recently found out that the brand had been using deceptive marketing tactics to automatically enrol customers into a monthly $50 VIP subscription without their knowledge. Under California law, online businesses that market consumers need to disclose all automatic and renewal charges “clearly and conspicuously” whether it is part of a subscription, membership, or other recurring fees.

Consumers have a right to know upfront what they are paying for and how often,” Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Deng said in a statement issued upon news of the settlement. “Businesses have a duty to be transparent about their automatic renewal charges,” Deng went on to add.

Although Rihanna decided to put her impressive music career on the back burner for the last couple of years, Savage X Fenty, along with her flagship cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty, have both seen incredible success among consumers. However, it looks as though the billionaire will be the one paying out this time.

According to the terms of the recent settlement, the singer’s brand will pay $1 million in civil penalties as well as $50,000 in investigative costs, and $150,000 in restitution. All compensatory money will be paid to past or present California VIP members who were improperly enrolled in a Savage X Fenty subscription (or those who cancelled their membership and did not receive a refund).

As reported by the district attorney’s office, Savage X Fenty has cooperated with the investigation and has taken steps to better monitor its advertising and online practices.

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