SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) — Julep Beauty Inc. and its owner Jane Park will pay $3 million after allegations of deceptive “negative option” marketing tactics, said Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
According to Ferguson’s office, Julep Beauty lured consumers into signing up for a free box of its products. When consumers would give payment information for shipping purposes, the company would purportedly sign them up for recurring monthly boxes. Ferguson argued that the notice Julep Beauty provided to its consumers was buried in web checkout pages where they were unlikely to see them.
“It is maddening for consumers to receive products they don’t want but are charged for,” Ferguson said. “That’s a deceptive way to run a business, and I won’t allow a company to get away with it.”
Julep will pay $1.5 million in restitution to affected subscribers and $250,000 in costs and fees. Additionally, it will need to provide hygiene products with a retail value of $1 million at no cost to various charities and government institutions that help victims of domestic violence or homeless and prison populations. An additional $250,000 in civil penalties will be suspended as long as Julep steers clear of similar violations in the future.
“I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and take responsibility for Julep’s previous practices that formed the basis of the attorney general's lawsuit that was settled and announced today,” Park said in a statement.