In the state of Washington, a second class action lawsuit has been brought against Tori Belle Cosmetics.
Much of the same material was the focus of the first state-level class action lawsuit, which was filed on August 2.
Leslie Shon Weathers, a class representative, alleges that she was wrongfully charged $9 per month for 25 months.
Affiliates pay a $9 monthly membership fee to Tori Belle. Weathers asserts that she began working for Tori Belle in January 2020.
In January 2020, the plaintiff signed up to be an affiliate with Tori Belle and placed an order for goods worth about $18. Plaintiff agreed to the terms of the contract but never worked for Tori Belle; she did not solicit other salespeople to join her downline or sell any products.
Only the initial $9 transaction, which allowed her access to the Tori Belle website, was known to her. She was not aware that each month, Tori Belle continued to stealthily charge her credit card.
After she signed up to be an affiliate, Tori Belle continued to bill her at $9 per month for the next 25 months. The complainant emailed Tori Belle on August 11, 2022, requesting the closure of her account.
Tori Belle once more charged the plaintiff $9 on August 15, 2022. $9 a month might seem simple to overlook, but what if you didn’t see it on your credit card account for 25 months in a row? It’s a little hard to trust that.
Weathers specifies two grounds for termination in the 2019 revisions to Tori Belle’s Affiliate Terms, which were in effect when she signed up.
1. If an affiliate doesn’t pay their monthly access fee, their business will be suspended and they won’t be able to receive commissions or bonuses for that month until all past-due access fees have been paid. The Affiliate Agreement will expire if the Affiliate doesn’t pay their access price for three (3) consecutive months.
2. The former Affiliate shall have no right, title, claim, or interest in the marketing organization they operated, or any commission or bonus from the individual retail sales generated by the marketing organization, following a non-renewal of their Affiliate Agreement, termination for inactivity (less than $300 of retail sales within a six-month period), or voluntary or involuntary termination of their Affiliate Agreement (all of these methods are collectively referred to as “termination”).
All rights as an affiliate are forfeited by an affiliate whose business is terminated. The first clause does not apply because Weathers kept paying her monthly fee exactly when it was due. Because Weathers never made any retail transactions, he claims that the second clause is applicable.
After their contracts were cancelled due to inactivity or periods of nonpayment, Tori Belle continued to charge their affiliates monthly fees. Instead, even after their contracts were cancelled, Tori Belle kept billing former affiliates on a monthly basis, often for years.
Since Tori Belle was so aggressive in overcharging customers, some affiliates had no choice but to cancel their credit cards in order to prevent being charged.
Furthermore, Tori Belle decided to keep the money rather than reverse incorrect charges even after affiliates objected.
Weathers wants to create and represent a class that may possibly number in the thousands across the country. The records of the defendant may be obtained through discovery to determine the precise number of class members and their addresses.
If given clearance to move further, Weathers hopes to create a:
(a) the legitimacy of the defendant’s assessment of fees to people who had left the company;
(b) whether the plaintiff and class members were harmed as a result of the defendant’s activities; and
(c) if the defendant breached its own contract. I did observe that Weather was overcharged by $216 over a 24-month period.
According to the class action lawsuit, Excluding interest and fees, the amount at issue surpasses the total or worth of $5,000,000. The amount would only total $2.1 million even if 10,000 Tori Belle associates were billed $216 apiece.
Although I have no idea how many affiliates Tori Belle has had throughout the years, I believe we may be going a little overboard. In any case, on August 3rd, Tori Belle declared bankruptcy under Chapter 11.
On August 16, a class action lawsuit against Weathers was filed. According to what I understand, this automatically stays Weathers’ planned class action while Tori Belle’s Chapter 11 proceedings are being resolved.
I’ll monitor the case docket for any developments.