Kate Hudson's website for her athletic wear clothing company Fabletics has been called a scam by many customers who say they were duped into signing up for subscriptions that were made difficult to cancel. The company is now being investigated by the California DA's office for the practice.
Kate Hudson is the face of athletic wear company Fabletics, which is part of the JustFab consortium of online subscription fashion retailers that includes the Kardashian's ShoeDazzle online fashion subscription service site. Hudson's face is red today, however, with the revelation that the company may be tricking consumers into subscriptions that charge their credit cards on a monthly basis for clothing that is shipped out automatically unless they cancel.
The athletic wear line advertises that it is less expensive than its competitors like Lululemon and Nike, but buried in the small print is the catch that first-time purchasers are really signing up for subscriptions, dubbed "VIP memberships" by the site. So far, more than 1,500 complaints have been registered by the Better Business Bureau about the practice, with many others taking to Twitter and other social media sites to register complaints. One customer tweeted:
— Ryan Atcheson (@whamrma) September 27, 2015
"... automatic charges without our consent ... customer service is too busy to handle my account," Atcheson concluded.
Now, the California DA's office is investigating, BuzzFeed reported. "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," said Kelly Walker, Santa Cruz County assistant district attorney. "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."
According to co-founder and co-CEO of the company Adam Goldenberg, the number of complaints are from a small minority of the total Fabletics customers. "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 rep claims.