And here we go again.
Last month LuLaRoe made yet another controversial call with an unexpected announcement in BUILD. For those of you who are unaware, BUILD is the back-office program that allows consultants to manage their business. LuLaRoe had just changed their return policy this past April and with this new announcement they were switching things up once again. This time with no warning.
The original policy gave retailers the opportunity to send back their merchandise for refund under the following terms: Items must be unworn and in original packaging,
Items would be shipped back to LuLaRoe at the retailer’s expense and finally, LuLaRoe would accept the merchandise and issue a payment to the retailer, less a 10% restocking fee.
The old policy was already unpopular among consultants around the company as its one of the reasons several agencies have been investigating the company for ‘unfair business practices.’ The policy was also a top complaint for the consultants that were going out of business. They felt that they shouldn’t have to bear the burden of losing more money after investing in a company they felt made false income promises and grandiose representations of improvement in the lives of those who elected to join the company.
An overflow of complaints ensued and LuLaRoe was forced to respond with a new guideline that would allow for all ‘going out of business’ apparel to be returned with 100% free shipping. Having already called themselves “a risk-free investment”, they famously boasted once again that this was their way to ensure faith in the brand. This could have been all in an effort to quiet the haters, and kick-start the company’s struggling enrollment again.
As time went on, consultants grew more and more restless over the length of the return process, some waiting upwards of 45 days for just a confirmation, and others waiting the same amount or longer to get their money. This went hand in hand with yet another twist LuLaRoe had made in response to the class action lawsuit over defective merchandise. Retailers were given no heads up once again, being forced to award refunds many of them were unprepared to do.
Now for the latest controversy
In this new modification, LuLaRoe reverts back to the original policy outlined above but then adds in that the merchandise must have been purchased directly from LuLaRoe. Inventory swaps and wholesale orders from other consultants would not be allowed. Furthermore, anything older than a year or seasonal/holiday may not be accepted. Ok, strict but it makes sense.
But here’s the catch. When a retailer requests their refund in BUILD, there is now a checkbox that contains a waiver stipulating that any merchandise sent to LuLaRoe that is not accepted will not be returned to the retailer. This, after many retailers have gone to battle with the company for wrongfully keeping merchandise they claim does not meet their criteria for a refund. Up until now, there had been no stipulation that the unacceptable merchandise would not be returned to the retailer, causing hundreds to cry theft.
This new change has caused absolute panic among consultants, thousands of which have already turned to social media outlets to voice their unfair claims. Reports of LuLaRoe “ruining my life” and “destroying me financially” have been popping up everywhere on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Here’s one disgruntled consultant’s response to the new policy:
“This is SHOCKING. I’ve never had an issue with returns but definitely heard the stories. And now they want to keep items they choose not to give a refund on, that’s just not right. It’s like they have put a rule in place where they can steal from you if they ‘want’ to. Who does that?”
“They didn’t give us a heads up with this either. I was fine with the old policy. We even used it as a recruiting tool for our team so prospects felt comfortable with the ‘no risk’ investment. Guess it’s time to come up with a new strategy.”
The policy change also states that it takes effect immediately, and anyone who was issued return labels would be grandfathered into the 100% refund. However, those who have been waiting and noticing an obvious stall in receiving their shipping labels are furious.
LuLaroe continues to add fuel to their own fire. It’s got to make you wonder when all these controversial mishaps will catch up to them, if ever. For now, consultants will have to live by the rules set in place, but don’t forget to watch your back. Feel free to make your voice heard, I know I would.