Fashion Nova first to be fined by FTC for blocking bad reviews

The FTC fined a fashion website for allegedly blocking negative customer product reviews | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has fined Fashion Nova, a California fast-fashion retailer, $4.2 million to settle allegations that it blocked negative product reviews from being posted on its website. The agency says this is its first case to challenge the practice of suppressing negative customer reviews.

The FTC said in a complaint (pdf) that between 2015 and 2019, Fashion Nova used a third-party tool that allowed it to automatically post four- and five-star customer reviews but withheld “hundreds of thousands [of] lower starred, more negative reviews,” which was misleading to customers. “Suppressing a product’s negative reviews deprives consumers of potentially useful information and artificially inflates the product’s average…

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Author: Kim Lyons