During an era in which many states are considering or have enacted consumer protection laws regarding subscriptions, some companies are earning a reputation for being especially problematic for customers.
Due to subscription services that are nearly impossible to cancel or subscription terms that are inherently unclear, some businesses are becoming well-known for bad reasons. Jessica Alba’s company has recently garnered a reputation for its Honest Company subscriptions being very difficult to cancel after a consumer signs up.
Honest Company Subscriptions Allegedly Confusing and Hard to Cancel
So many complaints have been filed with the Federal Trade Commission about Honest Company products that news articles have been written to illustrate consumer frustrations with the online business. According to those complaints, it’s extremely difficult to cancel a subscription after you’ve signed up. Some of the allegations also allege that the company even signed people up for services the customer never even wanted.
Jessica Alba’s company has been dogged by consumer complaints over a variety of issues outside of difficult cancellation terms. As shared by the FTC, more than 120 consumer complaints were lodged regarding problems with the Honest Company.
The company is known for making housecleaning products, baby care products, and beauty products. Many of these items are available through a subscription service.
According to the complaints, consumers are concerned about the company’s use of the word “honest” in the marketing of its products because allegedly many of the products are made from natural ingredients. Furthermore, allegations exist that the sunscreen product does not work at all, and the company’s dishwashing detergent leaves behind major stains. But a vast majority of complaints are focused on the Honest Company subscriptions for diaper services.
According to the FTC complaints about Honest Company subscriptions, opting into a diaper program with misleading conditions disadvantages the consumers who end up paying more than they necessarily bargained for. The complaints about Honest Company subscriptions detail that many consumers find once they are signed up for the subscription, it is practically impossible to cancel and get out of the program. Some of those complaints state that the marketing of a “free trial” made it unclear they’d be charged for the diaper service when the trial was up.
The complaints allege that there is no way to cancel the service online and that it is hard to get a real person on the phone to help. Others report that when they finally did get ahold of someone, strange excuses were given by Honest Company employees explaining why the consumer couldn’t get out of the trial yet.
Refunds were also not offered to any of the consumers who asked. Other customers asserted that they wanted to cancel their subscription because the diapers left their children with rashes or the products leaked far too often to make the service worthwhile.
Laws Prevent Unclear Automatic Renewal Terms
Under the California automatic renewal laws, businesses are required to adhere to the following:
- The business is required to present the terms of the automatic renewal clause in “clear and conspicuous” language which should be set apart from the surrounding text by using a larger type, contrasting font or color, and set aside by symbols or other marks in such a way that “clearly calls attention to the language” of the automatic renewal terms.
- The business is required to obtain affirmative consent from consumers before charging their credit card or debit card account for the automatic renewal of the subscription-based service.
- The business must provide an acknowledgment that describes the automatic renewal clause was offered. It must include terms of the continuous renewal as well as the related cancellation policy. Information on how to cancel the subscription must be “capable of being retained by the consumer.” Notice of material changes to the terms of service must be clear and conspicuous as well.
- Under section 17603 of the California Business and Professions Code, the regulation states that if a business sends goods or products to a consumer without having first obtained affirmative consent from the consumer, “the goods, wares, merchandise, or products shall for all purposes be deemed an unconditional gift to the consumer” and the consumer shall not bear the responsibility of any related costs for the items or their shipping.
If you have been subjected to confusing or misleading treatment because of Honest Company subscriptions or other similar experiences at another company, you may have grounds to initiate a legal claim. Fill out the form on this page now for a FREE case evaluation.