A Instagram fitness influencer is being criticized by thousands of clients who claim that the Texas woman scammed them out of hundreds of dollars through her online fitness program, failing to deliver the promised product.
In recent days, mounting outcry against fitness star “Brittany Dawn” Davis’ alleged scam has prompted the wellness star to issue an apology and call for an end to the death threats she says she is receiving over the controversy, Dallas News reports.
The Dallas-area woman has run Brittany Dawn Fitness since 2014, with lucrative results, Yahoo Lifestyle reports. Boasting a combined 840,000 followers across all of her social media platforms and profiting off of digital workout plans and diet guides for women, customers now claim that Dawn never provided what they had paid for.
"I had the ability to text her with any problems or questions, but that didn’t really come through," disgruntled client Melina Brunson told KHOU. According to the outlet, Brunson purchased a 60-day package of workouts, bundled with personalized nutrition plans and "access to Dawn as a trainer by phone" in the fall of 2017 for $250, soon after having a new baby.
Despite her initial hopes, Brunson today describes Dawn’s program as fraudulent.
"We’d go weeks at a time without communication. There would be something I’d need to know that morning, and I wouldn’t hear back from her until that night, maybe until a week later. I mean, what kind of access is that?" she said.
Likewise, private Facebook group called Brittany Dawn Fitness Complaints has swelled to nearly 4,000 members, who are rallying to dispute charges and gather information on Dawn’s bad business practices. Meanwhile, a Change.org petition called “Stop Brittany Dawn Fitness Scams” has collected over 8,800 signatures to date, calling for increased awareness of Dawn’s so-called scam in hopes of spurring Texas officials into “dissolving” her brand.
Nevertheless, Dawn claimed her innocence in a Feb. 6 YouTube video responding to the uproar. In the footage, she tells followers that she is simply “human” and should not be chastised so severely for her actions, further demanding that critics leave her family and friends alone.
“I apologize to anyone who feels like they got scammed from me and I genuinely promise that my intentions from the start were pure. I wanted to help and impact as many women as I could, because I feel like this is why I was given this incredible platform. When you're given an opportunity like this, you’d be stupid not to take it and run with it. Unfortunately, I ran too fast for one person,” she said online.
“These claims are coming from years ago after I got launched into a business that took off so fast, I didn’t know to mentally handle it. I did what I needed to do to the best of my ability, I didn’t know what I was signing up for simply because being an influencer and running a fitness influencer business was not really a "thing" back then,” Dawn continued. “Therefore, I didn’t have much guidance.”
“At times at times it got extreme overwhelming and I took on more than I should have and for that I take full responsibility and I’m sorry,” she said.
Dawn also issued a statement to Fox News on Feb. 13, elaborating on her apology and revealing that she will be issuing refunds to clients on a case-by-case basis.
“I again, sincerely apologize and take full responsibility for the lack of communication and follow-through on business dealings driven by my online presence and influencer status. It was never my intention to take advantage of any one and I am sorting through complaints and refund requests in real-time,” she said via email. “I appreciate any grace afforded me while I get this business in order for whatever future it may hold. But, for today, I will continue to address each of my customers offering make-goods, plan extensions and refunds on a case-by-case basis.”
“Reputation is precious and can be invalidated in a heartbeat. I know that I have destroyed my reputation through inaction and lack of communication. I own it and am attempting to make things right the best I can,” Dawn concluded.
YouTube commenters, meanwhile, aren't buying her wide-eyed plea.
“I want my money back!” one cried.
“I feel like you own me a refund for this horrible apology,” another agreed.
“I honestly find the constant explanation “I’m human” to be insulting. We’re all human. Our humanity and imperfections are entirely different from knowingly, actively swindling people for years,” another chimed in.
“My 13 year old daughter has always been taught that nothing comes easy and I've always made her work for ANYTHING she wants because I believe it makes her a stronger girl and will make her a better woman,” one wrote. “She cleaned countless homes to pay you for a custom program and like many others had her hard earned money STOLEN from her by you.”
“I would like to thank you for teaching my daughter a very good life lesson: Bad hearted people sometimes come in pretty packages.”