MADISON, CONN. May 10, 2016 Sexy designer lingerie at a discount is the premise behind Adore Me, one of the rising players in the fast growing subscription-goods industry. But an investigation by ad watchdog truthinadvertising.org (TINA.org) has revealed what’s underneath the company’s marketing claims – a deceptive negative option offer that can trap consumers into unwanted and unauthorized monthly charges.
Adore Me, which launched just over five years ago and promotes itself as an alternative to Victoria’s Secret, earned $43 million in revenues in 2015. Its television and social media ads, targeting millennials in particular, are compelling – a fashionable bra and panty set for an amazing promotional price. But according to TINA.org’s complaint, the conditions for getting that great price are never adequately disclosed.
By default, consumers are enrolled in a negative option offer known as the VIP Membership without ever giving their express consent. The company doesn’t clearly and conspicuously disclose important terms and conditions, such as requiring consumers to take action every single month in order to avoid recurring monthly charges. To add insult to injury, consumers face an uphill battle when trying to cancel their VIP memberships, and the company keeps any unused store credit they have accumulated if they do cancel their subscription. The company’s business practices have resulted in over 600 complaints filed with the FTC, NY AG’s office, and BBB, collectively. According to Bloomberg, more than 90 percent of Adore Me’s sales can be attributed to the VIP membership program.
TINA.org has alerted the Federal Trade Commission, the New York Attorney General’s Office, and the District Attorney’s Office in Santa Clara County, California to the company’s deceptive marketing and illegal business practices and is urging each of these agencies to take action.
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