Fashion retailer pays $4.2M in settlement with FTC

Jan 25, 2022, 3:58 PM | Updated: Jan 26, 2022, 5:16 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Online fashion retailer Fashion Nova will be required to pay $4.2 million to settle allegations that it blocked negative reviews of its products from being posted to its website, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The agency said in a complaint Tuesday that the California-based retailer misrepresented product reviews on its website as reflecting the views of all purchasers who submitted reviews, when in fact it suppressed reviews with ratings lower than four stars out of five.

It said that from late 2015 until November 2019, Fashion Nova never approved or posted the hundreds of thousands of lower-starred, more negative reviews.

FTC says it’s the agency’s first case involving a company’s efforts to hide negative customer reviews.

“Deceptive review practices cheat consumers, undercut honest businesses, and pollute online commerce,” said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection in a statement. “Fashion Nova is being held accountable for these practices, and other firms should take note.”

The FTC also said that it’s sending letters to 10 companies offering “review management services.” It says the action serves as a warning that avoiding the collection or publication of negative reviews violates the FTC Act.

Fashion Nova called the agency’s allegations against the company “inaccurate and deceptive.” It said it never suppressed any website reviews, and immediately and voluntarily addressed the website review issues when it became aware of them in 2019.

“Fashion Nova is highly confident that it would have won in court and only agreed to settle the case to avoid the distraction and legal fees that it would incur in litigation,” the company said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press.

___

This story was first published on January 25, 2022. It was updated on January 26, 2022 to correct the headline, story summary and first two paragraphs of the story to say that Fashion Nova is paying $4.2 million as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, not a fine.

___

Follow Anne D’Innocenzio: http://twitter.com/ADInnocenzio

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Amazon suspends at least 50 workers after fire protest

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon has suspended at least 50 warehouse employees who refused to work their shifts following a trash compactor fire at one of its New York facilities, according to union organizers. The company suspended the workers, with pay, on Tuesday, a day after the fire disrupted operations at the Staten Island warehouse […]
9 hours ago
Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and Republican Paul LePage shake hands following a debate, Tuesday, Oct...
Associated Press

Republican LePage says he would veto 15-week abortion ban

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who’s seeking his old job back, said he’d veto a bill banning abortions at 15 weeks, delivering disappointing news to abortion opponents. LePage provided the answer in a labored exchange Tuesday evening during the first debate of the governor’s race with current Democratic Gov. Janet Mills […]
9 hours ago
Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades speaks during the 9th Environment for Europe Ministerial Confe...
Associated Press

UN officials: Energy crisis shouldn’t delay emissions slash

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A switch back to coal and other fossil fuels by several countries to weather an energy crisis triggered by Russia’s war in Ukraine shouldn’t compromise efforts to curb greenhouse emissions, United Nations officials said Wednesday. Sonja Leighton-Kone, a senior official with the United Nations Environment Program said lending a sympathetic ear […]
9 hours ago
FILE - This aerial photo shows part of the Bonanza Creek Ranch film set in Santa Fe, N.M., on Satur...
Associated Press

‘Rust’ cinematographer lawsuit settled, filming to resume

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The family of a cinematographer shot and killed by Alec Baldwin on the set of the film “Rust” has agreed to settle a lawsuit against the actor and the movie’s producers, and production will resume on the project in January. “We have reached a settlement, subject to court approval, for our […]
9 hours ago
FILE - A 10-point white-tailed deer walks through the woods in Freeport, Maine, on Nov. 10, 2015. W...
Associated Press

‘Forever chemicals’ in deer, fish challenge hunters, tourism

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Wildlife agencies in the U.S. are finding elevated levels of a class of toxic chemicals in game animals such as deer — and that’s prompting health advisories in some places where hunting and fishing are ways of life and key pieces of the economy. Authorities have detected the high levels of […]
9 hours ago
Geneva, Fla., resident Joe Shaw, top, navigates his flooded street, Whitcomb Drive, Tuesday, Oct. 4...
Associated Press

Florida’s island dwellers digging out from Ian’s destruction

ST. JAMES CITY, Fla. (AP) — Following Hurricane Ian’s destruction, many residents on one Florida island have stayed put for days without electricity and other resources while hoping the lone bridge to the mainland is repaired. Pine Island, the largest barrier island off Florida’s Gulf Coast, has been largely cut off from the outside world […]
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Fashion retailer pays $4.2M in settlement with FTC