Negative option billing is an especially insidious way to make people keep buying things from you, and it’s an especially big problem online. Most products promising a “free trial” use it, and the method sells products like credit monitoring, college financial aid help, skin care products, weight loss supplements and shoes. Canceling these subscriptions can be a huge hassle, and wouldn’t it be easier if opt-out subscriptions just weren’t a thing? [More]
Subscriptions and recurring payments are the hot thing these days. From political donations to arts patronage, from subscription boxes to student loans, everyone wants a scheduled monthly slice of your money. And that’s all well and good, as long as you actually want what they’re selling. But what happens if you change your mind? [More]
Negative-option subscriptions aren’t anything new: just ask any former member of Columbia House. Subscribers sign up for a service, and then receive something every month unless they specifically opt out. It’s become a popular model in fashion recently, and that includes the cosmetics subscription box from Julep, a company probably best known for its nail polishes. Today, the state of Washington announced that the company settled charges that its negative-option marketing for cosmetics boxes was deceptive. [More]
Fabletics is an athleticwear company for women that sells nice workout wear outfits for about $50. They operate on a subscription model: every month, you’ll get billed for a subscription unless you log in and decide not to buy anything that month. It’s like Columbia House for yoga pants. Yet the company is doing something sort of unexpected for a retailer that uses this business model: they’re opening a seventh real-life store, with the new one at the Mall of America in Minnesota. [More]
Any company with millions of customers will have some customer service problems and complaints: where a company succeeds or fails is in how they respond to and resolve those problems. JustFab is a controversial company with roots in sketchy diet supplement and wrinkle-cream businesses, and JustFab representatives claim that they’re working really hard to resolve consumer complaints that they blame on rapid growth. Can their way of making sales ever become consumer-friendly? [More]
Have you ever heard of JustFab? They’re a startup worth about $1 billion, and they sell clothes and shoes on a subscription model. They also own similar sites like Fabletics, FabKids, FL2, and Shoedazzle. Its founders, however, have an interesting history: they began as marketers of diet “supplements” and wrinkle creams, and brought the most anti-consumer business practices (mostly, subscriptions that can’t be canceled) from that industry to the selling of shoes and yoga pants. [More]
You’re currently using the Internet, so you’ve probably seen them: the banner ads that brag that a [local] mom has discovered “1 weird trick” to flatten her abdomen, earn unlimited cash at home, whiten her teeth, and other miracles. Who was responsible for this scourge that pays the bills for many sites on the Internet? [More]
That “local mom” trying to sell you her secret formulas for weight loss and tooth whitening in Internet ads may need to find a new job. Visa cut off payments to 100 merchants. The culled companies were the fine folks behind the “free sample” negative-option scams that Consumerist has written about extensively in the past.