My 16-year-old daughter bought a pair of leggings from the Fabletics website. She was totally unaware that, in clicking to receive a first-time discount, she had signed up to become a VIP member, costing £44 a month if you do not buy anything. She rarely has £44 in her bank account but, following some babysitting, she did, which Fabletics has taken from her account.
I immediately phoned the company, which claims to have cancelled her membership, but it will not refund her without me emailing her birth certificate as proof she is a minor. She says she had no warnings that this money was due to be taken.
This manner of trading is disgraceful. EW, Crawley
Who in their right mind would want to agree to a membership that automatically deducts £44 from your bank account unless you log in and opt out of that month’s payment? All you get for your money is a promised discount on further purchases.
And yet, that is how the Fabletics website operates: big discounts on sports clothing are promised – leggings from £77 (yes £77) down to £26 – if you sign up for the VIP membership at checkout.
The firm, which claims it has more than 1.4 million active VIP members globally, says customers have to be 18 to make a purchase or to join the programme, but admits that a date of birth is only optional at sign-up.
It also states that it is clear about how it operates. “The key features of the VIP membership programme are explained on the Fabletics home page and are repeated through the checkout process and on the dedicated ‘how it works’ page of the site,” it says.
The company has now apologised and your daughter has had her £44 returned.
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