Here are a few significant lessons that new-age and emerging entrepreneurs can learn from Monat lawsuit verdict.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither a prominent brand could be. Branding is not just about promotions and having a fancy website. It is more than that. From efforts to planning, marketing, and strategy, it involves a plethora of processes for businesses to earn the tag of the brand, but a minute to ruin the reputation. Nothing could be worse for a company than falling under the grip of lawsuits. It does not matter if it has been filed by clients, vendors, rival companies, or the employees, a lawsuit against a company can cost it a lot more than money; sometimes a heavy cause of action. It spoils the brand image from grace. Many companies who have been in the businesses of selling products and services are alleged to misleading advertisements or causing personal injuries to their customers.
We often come across the news stating how buyers got cheated after using a particular cosmetic product that claims to be organic but is actually full of synthetics. In the wake of having flawless skin and thick and voluminous hair, these potential customers spend their hard-earned money on expensive beauty products but eventually realize that the product is not something that it purports to be. One such company that has secured the most lawsuits filing for deceptive advertising of their hair care products is Monat Global Corporation.
While Monat claims that all its hair care and skin products are organic and result in improved and strengthened hair, the customers, on the other hand, have another story to tell. All those who have filed a complaint against the company alleging that their products do not provide such benefits and cause significant hair loss as most of them contain harmful chemicals.
Monat Lawsuit – Why Consumers Complaint?
Before beginning with anything about Monat and the multiple lawsuits filed against it, it is better to know what Monat actually is. So you’ve most likely heard of the American-based hair product company which ideally deals in earth-friendly and natural cosmetic products including shampoos, conditioners, serums, oils, masques, hair spray, and more recently, pet products. Monat, who markets itself as a multilevel-marketing company, promises to bring the best out of nature and give it out to customers to cherish their nature-based vegan products.
However, hundreds of consumers, to date, have registered complaints against their range of expensive hair care products causing scalp irritations, hair loss, and baldness. Most of these legal cases against the company claim that their products should supposedly be organic, but in reality, they are not, which is leading end-users into severe allergic reactions.
The company boasts an impressive roster of products with treatments for all sorts of hair concerns so why there are so many lawsuits against Monat? While the consumer whining about hair loss and scalp sores, the cases regarding such responses are piling up beyond an extent across the globe. Monat is one of those companies who are on the verge to accrue the most lawsuits filed against them. Even after so many legal filings of cases, the company still claims that whatever the components they use in their products are dermatologically tested and safe for all skin types.
MONAT CAUSES HAIR LOSS!!! MONAT SKIN MOISTURISERS GOT ME LESIONS!!!
These are just some of the words of consumers reported during complaints. While many websites claim that most of the lawsuits against the company are nothing but rumors, some still believe Monat is a scam. Monat lawsuit doing rounds on the internet proves that there’s more to look in the story. Now we have explored much about this multilevel marketing company, let’s get to know how it got hounded due to multiple lawsuits.
How lawsuits against Monat have tarnished its brand image?
The reality experienced by many users of Monat reported to the FDA and to everyone’s surprise Better Business Bureau (BBB) has got more than a thousand complaints against Monat. Amongst many, some of the dreadful problems experienced by the Monat consumers include scalp irritation and hair loss. Compared to other legal cases, the majority of cases are about Monat hair lawsuits. There’s been not only one but multiple scenarios where Monat has been noticed by customer complaints which in extreme cases led to the filing of litigations. So let’s discuss and understand all the timeline of the Monat lawsuit which the company has faced during the span of these three years.
It all began when the market partner cum distributor of the Monat filed a lawsuit against the company. So in the year 2017, Vickie Harrington became the product distributor of Monat and came across many aggrieved customers who were so raged with the product’s result and were asking for a refund. There were not just one, two, or three but thousands of people who found the company’s product faulty and inept at delivering what it preaches.
While most of the customers, at that point, were denied reimbursement because they have passed over the 30 days return policy window, some managed to get their money back. This whole episode didn’t go well with Vickie. She then took to her social media and went on publicizing a series of posts bringing the reality of the brand’s product out in the open.
In her posts, she made it clear that Monat products cause severe effects on hair and skin. She also claimed that her friends also had had a bad experience with Monat’s product. In reply to that, Monat held themselves good and stood to protect their brand image. One of the spokesmen of the company alleged that Vickie’s posts were misleading and more than that a mere stunt to stack up publicity.
They further leveled allegations on the woman that all her claims are unsubstantiated and do not stand with a grain of evidence. Cut to the short, all this going knuckle cost Monat around $75,000, and on top of that, the company also got sued by Vickie for $225,000 for causing damages with their products.
After that first Monat hair products lawsuit, the legal case filing against the company and its products besieged the company as attackers hover like vultures. It was a new year, and the company was definitely not ready to face one more lawsuit on its name. In the year 2018, another lawsuit against Monat was filed by Trisha Whitmire and Emily Yanes de Flores, the regular users of Monat’s products.
In their lawsuit, they claimed that the website of Monat contends that their products are advantageous in hair regrowth and loss suspension while many customers have significantly experienced inverse effects. This lawsuit filed against Monat summed up a total of $5,000,000 which is still the largest among all. Another summon added by the same plaintiffs in their suit which questions the composition company use in their products.
While Monat affirms that their products are 100% natural and sulfate-free, the harsh reality is that their products are all harmful chemicals and contain sulfate and other refined chemicals that could be the major reason for the rashes on the scalp and other hair problems which is constantly being reported by the regular consumers of Monat products over the past few years. Whitmire and Yanes, both the suers also alleged that Monat has vigorously been involved in launching shallow suits against former distributors.
They also accused the Monat of making their in-house team delete the comments of consumer’s experience from all over social media as the company believed that most of them were responsible for sabotaging their products and brand image. Now it was time for Monat to fire back and they did. Monat filed its own lawsuits against both the complainants for defaming the company without any evidence.
Monat Promised Not To Misguide The Customers
Monat has promised to rectify few things in the agreement it has signed with the attorney general. The points it decided to follow are:
- They will not claim that their products will offer the users some kind of health benefit or health solution without producing any scientific research result in support of the same.
- They will never represent the hair loss by the customers as the result of scalp detoxifying or enlargement of hair follicles.
- They will never lie about the safety and benefits one can get from their products by mentioning those are scientifically proven in lab tests.
- They will never claim that their products are clinically proven to promote hair growth and stop hair fall.
- They will never lie about the certification of the company by claiming that it is done by the government or any other reputed entity.
- They will never claim that the customers are getting guaranteed satisfaction or 100% money back and the total cost will be accepted as suffering resulted from availing a discount.
- They will never present their products as free from polyethene glycol, sulphates, petrochemical products, harmful colors and fragrances. They also will not claim that their products are 100% vegan in nature and cent per cent gluten-free.
- They will stop using stock photos stating them under the headline ‘Before and After’ in their advertisements making those gullible.
5 Practical Lessons Startups Can Learn From Monat Lawsuit
Only 2 in 5 startups are profitable. A recent study shows that about 90% of startups fail. Though failure is one of the most common things for startups during the initial years, have you ever tried to understand why the success ratio is so less while the number of people who get into the startup business every year is comparatively high? Despite the fact that even after having a novel idea for many, the entrepreneurs could not stand up with their notion in the market and thus collapse.
The market pundits reason the downfall of these small businesses with so many things like the inability to leverage technology in the businesses or lack of innovation and uniqueness in the idea. The reasons for failure could be varied but instead of focusing on seeing your business in a position where profits are slackening and sales dwindling, why not pay heed to how one, who is pondering over the thought of starting a new business with an all-new idea, can avoid failure.
Looking at the case study of Monat who exponentially grew its business to newer heights and achieved more than a 668% increase in sales from 2016 found itself steeped into the constraints of lawsuits. Multiple customers who share a similar experience of having damaged hair and scalp itchiness have affected the brand image tremendously. Now if you are going to begin your startup journey, these five practical lessons can help you a lot to establish yourself as a brand and how can you restrain committing mistakes that can smear your image. Here are a few significant lessons that new-age and emerging entrepreneurs can learn from numerous Monat lawsuit.
Practice what you preach
This common phrase is getting much more prevalent in businesses. If your actions do not match what you believe, you are doing nothing but fooling around the customers. It is important to remember that it is not what you say they believe but what you do makes an impact. Nothing kills loyalty faster than not practicing what is preached. Disconnects with customers always get exposed and result in heavy penalties in terms of internal and external credibility.
Hence, it is very important to follow the market advice when it comes to making your target group believe that whatever you’re selling is upright. In order to establish oneself as a people-centric company, it’s significant to practice what you preach. But that’s one hell of a piece of advice Monat completely ignored while marketing its business. But you do not be that business, never fall victim to not practicing what you preach.
Be loyal to customers
The act of choosing one company’s products and services consistently over its competitors is what customer loyalty is about. Well, loyalty is something that is strenuous to earn because if customers are loyal to a particular company, they won’t be wooed by the cheaper price or larger than life branding. They would rather prefer to pay more and ensure the same quality service and product they have always received all these years.
Consumer loyalty is one of the reasons why most companies constantly meet and go beyond customer expectations. Making customers return to buy your products or avail your service clearly shows how strong your relationship with your customers is. Loyalty is about implementing winsome strategies for customers to make them trust the product and brand. Keeping customers around could be difficult but that’s where loyalty lies in. Monat, being the world-class marketer and distributor of premium hair products, failed to keep up with its users which eventually resulted in declining customer loyalty.
Work on the stumbling block
Why are the lists of lawsuits against Monat piled up like crazy in a mere span of three years that is too regarding the same concern; hair loss and skin itchiness complaints? While consumers trusted the brand and were expecting a more personalized experience, the company reacted to their allegations which felt much like sweeping sins under the carpet. Customer connection for any business is important and if you are aspiring to emerge as a brand in upcoming years then it is something crucial to take notice on. When the Monat hair products lawsuit began stacking up and gained pace, Monat stepped in and backed their company and denied all the accusations and claimed that their products are all organic and natural and in no way could cause any kind of hair problems to anyone.
However, if we look at the articles on the internet and many complaints posted by the users, we realize that there is not one but hundreds of such people who have faced issues with Monat products. There have been more than 1000 complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau, a non-profit membership organization in South Florida, where the company is based. Finding a stumbling block for your business might be troublesome but it is necessitous to work on eluding those blocks if you really want your products to thrive among the customers and engender trust.
Reluctance to get feedback and criticism
During the days when we were at school and abided by learning many of such things which seem quite unreasonable in today’s era, we were told that constructive criticism and feedback both are equally important when it comes to achieving success. If we go by the same law for favorable outcomes of businesses, harsh criticism and positive feedback is a valuable tool and this is one of the lessons new businesses should learn before beginning with their startup career.
While positive feedback can help your business gain confidence and communicate the strength, achievement, and be impactful for your business, constructive criticism, on the other hand, can tell you more about areas of improvement. Now, most businesses welcome positive feedback whole-heartedly but when it comes to taking true and practical feedback, they hang back. A successful business focuses on understanding the pain-points of the customers and continues to improve upon them.
Get ready for legal challenges
This is one of the interesting lessons that startups must be ready for before getting introduced to the world of entrepreneurship. After skills like time management, strategic thinking, and better communication, one of the most important entrepreneurship skills you need to learn is tackling legal cases against your company. Neither an individual nor a business wants to get itself involved in legal cases.
In fact, one of the most obvious suggestions to all business owners from established ones would be to avoid a lawsuit at all costs. Although not all situations can be prevented. The most incredible way to avoid being sued is having exceptional customer service. While Monat failed to do that, it is your lesson to learn from the company.
Besides being afflicted due to the hair products and other cosmetics the company offers, Monat got stuck fast in class action scrutiny regarding its business ethos and the contaminated facilities where their products are manufactured. While the product’s safety should be the top priority for cosmetic brands like Monat, instead it fell flat and earned defamation for the company. All the startup businesses are suggested to learn the mistakes from Monat and make your efforts in earning customer loyalty count.