In a world where online reviews can be the difference between making a purchase or not, it's crucial that consumers can trust the reviews they read. Unfortunately, there are instances where this trust is compromised. The recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settlement with online retailer Fashion Nova is one such case.
Fashion Nova found itself in hot water with the FTC over allegations that it intentionally blocked hundreds of thousands of negative product reviews. The FTC announced that consumers who purchased products from the retailer before November 21, 2019, might be entitled to a portion of a $4.2 million settlement.
Here is all the necessary information about the FTC's Fashion Nova settlement, including who can file a claim, how to file a claim, and more.
Who's Eligible for the Fashion Nova Refund?
The first question on many consumers' minds will likely be whether or not they're eligible for a refund. According to the FTC’s website, you can apply for a refund if:
- You purchased products from FashionNova.com before November 21, 2019
- Your purchasing decisions were influenced by customer reviews and ratings
- You were dissatisfied with what you bought
- You have not received a refund for the products purchased
Interestingly, even if you received money from a different Fashion Nova settlement, such as the April 2020 deal where Fashion Nova agreed to pay $9.3 million to settle FTC claims related to shipment delays and illegal use of gift cards, you may still be eligible for this settlement.
How to File a Claim?
Eligible consumers can file for a Fashion Nova refund online by visiting the website https://secure.fashionnovaclaims.com/. The FTC has set a deadline for filing claims: August 15, 2023.
How Much Will the Refund Be?
The FTC has stated that the refund amount will depend on several factors, including the number of people filing claims. It has not specified an exact amount.
When Will You Get Your Refund?
Currently, the FTC does not have a mailing date for when the settlement payments will be sent out. The agency will update the relevant page when it has more information.
Why Was the FTC's Lawsuit Filed?
The FTC’s lawsuit against Fashion Nova was triggered by allegations that the company misrepresented that the product reviews on its website accurately reflected the views of all purchasers who submitted reviews. The FTC alleged that Fashion Nova suppressed reviews with ratings below four out of five stars.
The company is accused of using a third-party online product review management interface to hold back lower-starred reviews for the company’s approval while allowing four- and five-star reviews to be posted automatically. From late 2015 until November 2019, the FTC claims Fashion Nova did not approve or post hundreds of thousands of low-star, negative reviews. This action deprived consumers of potentially useful information while artificially inflating items’ average star ratings.
As part of the settlement, Fashion Nova must pay the FTC $4.2 million for consumer refunds and is prohibited from misrepresenting any customer reviews or other endorsements. The company must also post all customer reviews of products currently being sold on its website, barring those that contain obscene, sexually explicit, racist, or unlawful content or those unrelated to products, shipping, or returns.
The FTC has also sent letters to 10 companies offering review management services, reminding them that avoiding the collection or publication of negative reviews violates the Federal Trade Commission Act.
In the world of online shopping, customer reviews are a cornerstone of trust and credibility. Violating this trust can have serious repercussions, as Fashion Nova has discovered. As consumers, we must be aware of our rights and the resources available to us.
As of May 2023, the FTC's Fashion Nova settlement is ongoing, with Fashion Nova having paid $4.2 million to settle FTC charges that the company misled customers by blocking negative reviews on its website. The FTC is now using that money to provide refunds to eligible consumers.
For additional assistance or more information, you can contact the claims administrator by calling 855-678-0018 or email info@FashionNovaClaims.com.
If you already received a refund from a different Fashion Nova settlement, you can still apply for a refund from the current settlement if you meet the four eligibility requirements.
This case is a stark reminder of the importance of transparency in the online marketplace, with the FTC stepping in to protect consumers and ensure fair practices are upheld. It's a reminder, too, that we have rights as consumers, and there are regulatory bodies like the FTC to protect us.
Stay informed, be aware of your rights, and remember, your voice matters, even in the world of online reviews.