Here’s the catch: Social media fashion retailer Fashion Nova was ordered to pay back customers $9.3 million for unshipped merchandise and illegal refunds. The settlement comes after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accused Fashion Nova of violating federal rules that are in place to protect consumers.
Fashion Nova showered social media and online ads with claims of speedy delivery of celebrity inspired fashion, but many customers failed to receive what the company promised. Despite Fashion Nova’s quick/fast delivery claims, they regularly failed to deliver on time. Many customers who paid for 2-day shipping received nothing and didn’t even get the chance to cancel orders for a full refund because the company didn’t properly notify customers of delays. In addition, the company illegally used gift cards as compensation for unshipped merchandise instead of properly issuing prompt refunds.
Under the settlement, Fashion Nova is also required to ship orders in the promised timeframe or within one day of receiving the order if no shipping date is specified.
Fashion Nova is F-rated with a pattern of complaints alleging non-delivery of orders, misrepresentation and product quality issues, poor customer service, and difficulty obtaining refunds. Many of their complaints remain unanswered.
Kim’s Advice: Retailers are required by law to notify customers about shipping delays and consumers have the right to cancel an order with a full refund if the seller cannot ship as promised. If the seller can’t ship, they must provide a refund. It is unacceptable for a company to issue the customer a gift card or store credit as compensation for not shipping an order.
Before you shop, research the retailer. Start with getting a BCA report where you will find authenticated reviews and complaint experience. Search online using the company’s name and words like “complaint”, “review”, or “scam” to check the company’s reputation. Pay attention to the company’s shipping and refund policies before placing an order and check to ensure you have a way to reach the business if you have a customer service concern. Whenever possible, pay by credit card as this will protect your transaction and allow you to dispute charges under certain circumstances.
What should you do if you have not received your order? First, check for any updates from the seller. Don’t forget to look in your spam or junk email folders for messages related to your order. Next, contact the seller right away. Most businesses want to satisfy their customers and will make efforts to resolve issues. If you are unable to reach the business or you are unable to resolve things directly with the business, contact the credit card company or financial institution to initiate a dispute and be sure to follow-up. You should also file a complaint with BCA and report the business to your local and state consumer protection agencies.
If you are a retailer, make sure you are familiar with the FTC’s rules relating to mail, telephone, fax, or online orders, commonly referred to the Mail Order Rule. As evident by the case with Fashion Nova, merchants who violate the FTC Mail Order Rule can be sued for injunctive relief, monetary civil penalties, and consumer redress.