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Fabletics, the activewear company that features Kate Hudson as its co-founder and face of its advertising, is the subject of a new BuzzFeed investigative report into customer complaints over unauthorized credit card charges and deceptive advertising. The brand offers affordable workout clothes delivered to customers via subscription. The catch, as Buzzfeed discovered, is that once customers sign up for Fabletics, it's not easy to get out of the monthly credit card charges. Same goes for JustFab, the startup that owns Fabletics and is valued at $1 billion.
BuzzFeed reports that between August 2012 and last month, more than 1,400 Better Business Bureau complaints were filed against JustFab. There are thousands more issues lodged with JustFab on social media in the US, UK, and Australia, and BuzzFeed pulls out tweets from shoppers who call Fabletics a scam. Consumer complaints over unwanted subscriptions have followed JustFab’s co-CEOs and co-founders' business ventures since 2004, according to BuzzFeed.
Customers can't cancel via email, and they've complained that getting ahold of a customer service representative on the phone is an ordeal. Another confusing aspect of Fabletic's marketing is the use of the term "VIP member" which might make it less than clear that people are signing up for a subscription.
JustFab’s spokeswoman told Buzzfeed that the complaints represent a "a very, very small minority" of customers. "As a fashion company, our flexible-subscription business model makes it possible to pass along the substantial savings we realize to our customers," she said.