Do you believe you've been conned into a subscription scheme or that Fabletics have stolen £44 each month ? You're not alone, read on for our take on it and how to get your cash back!
Download or view our guide to cancellation and refunds and review of fabletics T&Cs and discover how you can use them in your favour. Despite what they may tell you Fabletics' own terms allow you to cancel by eMail, and you have statutory rights that should guarantee you a refund.
Obviously, considering it exists to criticise and provide free discussion of issues consumers have with them, this site is in no way associated with Fabletics UK or JustFab UK Ltd. If, however, someone from some legal firm working on their behalf is viewing this then please see here.
This site is still under development, consider this a placeholder and please tell us your story!, the more complaints we gather the more chance there is of encouraging someone to launch a Super Complaint (the closest thing we have to a class action lawsuit in the UK), and getting you your money back!
This site was created because a number of people, including close friends of mine, feel they have been 'conned' or 'scammed' by Fabletics into joining something that might be considered an 'intertia selling' scheme when they thought they were just buying a product.
If that wasn't bad enough, it seems that trying to cancel such subscription is very difficult. And some of their staff are downright incompetent (thanks, but I know what it costs to call your premium rate numbers, nice canned reply though pointing to gov.uk and avoiding all the pages on the same site that prove they can't use them!)
Fabletics have finally decided to obey the law on this point and replace the premium rate number, see below for more info.
Our view is that Fabletics are acting unlawfully, Trading Standards seemed to support this and suggested we could make a civil claim against them. The following are summaries of our heads of complaint from early this year, it's worth noting there have been some changes to their website since then, these are discussed below.
The practice of automatically charging every month for something you don't want is known as Inertia Selling and is unlawful under UK Law (Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 as amended)
Their website has the "VIP Membership" as a default, not an opt-in. I believe this is unlawful per The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 which provide that "no payment is payable in addition to the remuneration agreed for the trader's main obligation unless, before the consumer became bound by the contract, the trader obtained the consumer's express consent", and also confirm "express consent cannot be granted if inferred from not changing a default option"
Fabletics has changed this, and go to great lengths to beat people with it on social media if they dare claim they were 'conned', citing the 'three times they opted in' ... although the terms are still not made clear before the opt-in
Indeed, I largely expect the only reason this has changed is as a result of Trading Standards' intervention.
The website has a 'countdown' of a 1 hour special offer reduction, which is also unlawful per Schedule 1 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations - "Falsely stating that a product will only be available for a very limited time, or that it will only be available on particular terms for a very limited time, in order to elicit an immediate decision and deprive consumers of sufficient opportunity or time to make an informed choice"
Don't worry, you won't miss out, the offer doesn't expire - this is another scam - and is against the law.
The whole point of this banner is to achieve exactly what the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations is designed to protect you from, to elicit an immediate decision and deprive consumers of sufficient opportunity or time to make an informed choice - i.e. force you into signing up for the VIP Membership (presumably before Googling to see all the one-star reviews of Fabletics)
In December 2015, JustFab (UK) Ltd t/a Fabletics admitted to the ASA that they engaged in this practice, and assured the ASA that they would not continue to mislead customers in this way. Therefore, without question, if you signed up as a result of this banner you did so as a result of an unlawful and misleading advertisment and are entitled to cancellation and refund without penalty.
Your own experiences may vary but from experience Fabletics are unlikely to give you a refund. Luckily if you paid with a credit card then the banks are most likely on your side - simply call them and explain you believe you were tricked into an intertia selling scam, and you did not agree to recurring payments and ask them to issue a chargeback and block any future transactions from the same merchant.
Different banks and card issuers will handle this request differently but from experience (and that of others) Amex refunded all the charges except the initial order with no questions asked, as did HSBC for a customer with a Visa card. We've also since heard positive feedback from customers of Barclays, RBS, First Direct and Nationwide - so the banks should help.
Let us know if this route works for you
PayPal has been a bit of a mixed bag, some complainants have reported success asking for a refund, but they will certainly block any future payments without question. Be persistant and I expect they will refund you too, you've not actually received anything in exchange for the money Fabletics have unlawfully taken from you, the 'member credit' is effectively considered electronic goods and you are entitled to a refund on these if unused anyway.
Perhaps they decided to comply with the law, perhaps it was our little thorn in their side on Twitter, or perhaps it was our complaint to Invosys who provided the 0843 number they used to extort money from people calling to complain or cancel, but as of 19th October 2015 Fabletics finally publish a basic rate number - 020 3824 1002.
Previously, Fabletics only provided an 0843 number for customer service, and claimed that this is charged at "5p/min from landlines and mobiles". Firstly, use of an 0843 number is unlawful per The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 which provides that traders must provide a 'basic rate' number for customer services. The BIS Guidance issued by Government then goes on to show that 01,02 and 03 numbers, along with 0800, would all be included in this but specifically states that 084, 087, 09 numbers are not.
The '5p/min' claim is demonstrably false also. From July of this year, non-geographic numbers are charged differently - there is a 'service' and 'access' charge component. This number carries a 7p/min "service charge". The access charge from a prominent mobile network such as Three UK is 25p/min, therefore the total cost of calling this premium rate number is 31p/min to cancel a service you most likely didn't want to start with!
Apparantly they also have a free number, 0800 161 5500, which isn't given out as often - calling them on this will cost them money rather than lining their pockets further.
Don't expect courtesy, or professionalism...
@Fabletics_UK a girl with a terrible attitude has just called me a liar and said she was going to report me for cancelling my account....— Molly Boydon (@mollyEB) October 20, 2015
Great so @Fabletics_UK call centre staff are not only yawning down the phone but blatantly lying to me... Amazing customer service.— Nicole New (@NicoleVNew) October 2, 2015
Also, keep checking your statements, we've seen loads of reports of people who continue to be charged after cancellation - which is just theft really.
Almost certainly, for more detail see here.