In the state of Washington, a second class-action lawsuit has been launched against Tori Belle Cosmetics.
The subject matter is similar to that of the first state-level class-action lawsuit, which was filed on August 2nd.
Leslie Shon Weathers, a class member, alleges she was wrongfully charged $9 per month for 25 months.
Tori Belle charges affiliates a monthly membership fee of $9.
Weathers, who lives in Texas, claimed to have joined Tori Belle in January 2020.
Plaintiff joined Tori Belle as an Affiliate in January 2020 and placed a purchase for roughly $18 in merchandise.
Plaintiff signed the Agreement but never participated in Tori Belle: she never sold a product or invited any other salespeople to join her downline.
She was only aware of the initial $9 transaction, which provided her with access to the Tori Belle website. She had no idea Tori Belle was silently charging her credit card every month.
Tori Belle continued to charge her $9 a month for the next 25 months after she signed up to be an Affiliate.
Plaintiff contacted Tori Belle on August 11, 2022, requesting that her account be cancelled.
Tori Belle charged Plaintiff $9 again on August 15, 2022.
$9 a month is simple to overlook, but not seeing it on your credit card account for 25 months in a row? That’s a little hard to believe.
Tori Belle’s Affiliate Terms, amended in 2019 and current when she joined up, include two causes for termination, according to Weathers.
1. If an Affiliate fails to pay their monthly access fee, their company will be suspended, and they will be ineligible for commissions or bonuses for that month until all past-due access costs are paid. The Affiliate Agreement will be terminated if the Affiliate fails to pay their access fee for three (3) consecutive months.
2. Upon non-renewal of an Affiliate’s Affiliate Agreement, termination for inactivity (less than $300 in retail sales in a six-month period), voluntary or involuntary termination of their Affiliate Agreement (all of these methods are collectively referred to as “termination”), the former Affiliate shall have no right, title, claim, or interest in the marketing organization that they operated, or any commission or bonus from the personal retail sales generated.
An Affiliate whose firm is terminated will forfeit all Affiliate privileges.
Weathers continued to pay her monthly fee as charged, hence the first provision does not apply.
Weathers claims that the second clause applies since he has never made a retail transaction.
Tori Belle continued to charge monthly fees to Affiliates after their Agreements were terminated due to inactivity or periods of nonpayment.
Tori Belle, on the other hand, continues to charge former Affiliates monthly payments, often for years after their Agreements were cancelled.
Tori Belle was so aggressive in its overcharging that some Affiliates had to deactivate their credit cards to avoid being charged since Tori Belle ignored their objections.
Tori Belle also made a commercial decision not to remove erroneous charges even when Affiliates protested, preferring to retain the money instead.
Weathers aspires to develop and represent a national Class that might number in the thousands.
The Defendant’s data can be used to determine the exact number of Class members and their addresses.
Weathers aims to build a business if he is granted permission to proceed.
(a) Whether Defendant breached the terms of its own agreement;
(a) The legality of Defendant’s collection of fees to employees who had left the firm; and
(c) Whether the Defendant’s practices harmed Plaintiff and Class members.
I did see that Weather’s own overcharging totals $216 over the course of 24 months. According to the Class Action Complaint,
The total or value in dispute exceeds $5,000,000, exclusive of interest and fees.
Even if 10,000 Tori Belle affiliates were overcharged $216 apiece, the total would still be $2.1 million.
I’m not sure how many affiliates Tori Belle has had throughout the years, but I believe we’re going a little far here.
Tori Belle, in any case, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on August 3rd. On August 16th, Weathers’ class-action lawsuit was filed.
As I understand it, this automatically suspends Weathers’ proposed class action pending the outcome of Tori Belle’s Chapter 11 proceedings.
I’ll keep a watch on the case docket for any further developments.