I’m sure you’ve also been targeted by Kate Hudson’s notorious Fabletics scam somewhere on your Facebook feed. I’m usually pretty cautious of falling into traps of 30 day trials and VIP packages of B-List celebrity workout clothing. So I never thought International Sensation Rihanna would be the one to bring me down. To bring us all down. Her lingerie brand, Savage Fenty, is branded as a body positive, sex positive, RIHANNA ENDORSED alternative to the devil company Victoria’s Secret.
So out of my complete trust in Rihanna, I fell for their ploy and signed up for the VIP membership to access their exclusive monthly collection of lingerie I’d never buy. After the first free month as a Fenty VIP member, you end up paying $50 a month for the VIP deals. When you don’t buy anything that month the money goes into credit you can use later.
Like all good scams, they automatically charge you without notice, until you end up seeing a $200 charge for underwear you never bought. Carolyn Pine and Maddie Fry, Class of 2020, faced the same fate.
About the scam, Maddie Fry explains how she was “angry” and “betrayed.”
“We need to ask the important questions. Who is behind Rihanna? How far up does this go? Elon? Bezos? Grimes? Where does it end?”
Three months after signing up, Maddie and Carolyn tried to find the answer with Fenty Costumer Service, where a woman in the Philippines named Grace tried to hardball them. I faced a similarly emotional experience with the Fenty online chat (I am scared of calling.) In the end, I held my ground against my new enemy Geri and finally canceled the account:
Maddie and Pine acknowledged that they would never have known about Rihanna’s scam had it not been for May Chen, Class of 2020, who posted a warning about Fenty on her Instagram Story. Quoting a Quartz article that sited Princeton and UChicago’s research on this kind of business model, she accused Fenty of “sneaking,” “a dark pattern” and tried to get a refund.
“I expressed how disappointed I was as a Rihanna fan. I lied that I was trained as a journalist. So I knew what they were up to, and they were about to receive a scathing review. Nyca disappeared for a few minutes and offered 3 member credits. At this point of the capitalistic game, my mother would remind me, ‘Time is money.’ So I took it.”
After writing the as-promised scathing review, May was offered a full refund.
But after all this, we must ask ourselves: how did we end up here? Was it worth it just to get a glimpse of the Rihanna lifestyle? About a future purchase, Maddie says “the shame of ordering another bra would be unbearable.”
In May’s words, “Oh, Riri, you’re still killin’ it, but Bitch Better Have My Money.”
And for me? I could probably be convinced again.