UPDATE: This story has been up to date with Trend Nova’s response to the settlement
Trend Nova is required to pay a $4.2 million settlement after being accused of hiding unfavorable opinions posted on-line.
In a press launch, the Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) acknowledged that the California-based retailer, recognized for its “quick trend” merchandise, may even be prohibited from concealing opinions from customers going ahead.
The FTC alleged in a grievance that Trend Nova misrepresented the opinions on its web site by suppressing buyer opinions with scores decrease than 4 stars out of 5. The case marks the FTC’s first involving these particular allegations.
In keeping with the FTC, Trend Nova used a third-party on-line product evaluation administration interface to publish opinions with 4 or 5 stars to its web site, whereas holding lower-starred opinions for the corporate’s approval.
It is alleged that between late 2015 and November 2019, Trend Nova by no means authorised or posted tons of of hundreds of lower-starred, primarily unfavorable, opinions.
“Misleading evaluation practices cheat customers, undercut trustworthy companies, and pollute on-line commerce,” stated Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Shopper Safety. “Trend Nova is being held accountable for these practices, and different companies ought to take notice.”
The FTC additionally introduced that it’s issuing notices to 10 firms that present evaluation administration companies, informing them that the failure to gather or publish unfavorable opinions infringes on the FTC Act. On-line retailers may even obtain up to date pointers from the FTC to make sure customers will not be misinformed.
In a press release shared with PEOPLE, Trend Nova stated “The Federal Commerce Fee’s allegations in opposition to Trend Nova are inaccurate and misleading.”
“Trend Nova by no means suppressed any web site opinions, and it instantly and voluntarily addressed the web site evaluation points when it grew to become conscious of them in 2019,” it continued. “Trend Nova is extremely assured that it could have received in court docket and solely agreed to settle the case to keep away from the distraction and authorized charges that it could incur in litigation.”
It shared that the accusations stem from “Trend Nova’s reliance on a good third-party enterprise software program vendor, which supplied an choice to “autopublish” varied star scores in a drop-down menu.” The corporate “inadvertently failed to finish this course of given sure useful resource constraints throughout a interval of fast progress,” the assertion continued, sharing that the problem was mounted “a number of years in the past” and the “unpublished” opinions are actually posted “to the extent they’re truly concerning the product they had been submitted for … “
“Trend Nova continues to be an entrepreneurial led firm solely targeted on offering a fantastic assortment of modern garments at very reasonably priced costs,” per the assertion. “It prides itself on understanding that 80% of its enterprise comes from repeat clients and does its finest to hear fastidiously to buyer suggestions on daily basis and preserve getting higher in every little thing that it does.”
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That is the second case the FTC has filed in opposition to the favored retailer lately.
In April 2020, Trend Nova agreed to pay $9.3 million to settle allegations that the corporate did not notify customers and provides them ample alternative to cancel orders that weren’t shipped in a well timed method.
The FTC additionally alleged the corporate illegally despatched out reward playing cards for unshipped merchandise as an alternative of offering refunds.