Fab.com Spends Weeks Trying To Find The Right Color Of Gray Shirt

Consumerist reader M.L. has more than a few bones to pick with Fab.com over a botched order, the least of which is that it can’t differentiate between its color variations on its own site. She ordered a long-sleeved shirt in Dim Gray on April 24, a shirt that appears almost white, and was disappointed to receive a very dark gray shirt instead. Dim Gray turned out to be an elusive prey.

As seen on Fab.com, there is a Dim Gray and a Gray shirt, both in the Half Longsleeve Crew style but noticeably different in color. But when M.L. contacted Fab, a customer service representative at first tried to tell her that maybe the site’s photo of the shirt was off, making it appear lighter in color than it really should be. Because of course, there’s no way they could have actually sent the Gray version.

In reply to M.L.’s initial email, the CSR said she was mistaken in claiming she’d received the wrong item:

“It sounds like you got the right shirt and that the picture on the site might just be a victim of bad lighting. I’d be more than happy to help you with an exchange, but might end up getting that same shirt in that same shade of grey.”

M.L. says she retorted that she most definitely did not get the right item, as it was clearly the Gray version advertised on the site. The CSR then gave her a $10 credit and told her they’d check the warehouse for the correct item. That “checking the warehouse” line was then repeated over multiple emails and three weeks.

On May 19, the CSR said the exchange request would be processed and that it might take a few days to check inventory. Fine! On May 22, the shirt was received.

Then a week later, May 29: “I just wanted to let you know we’re still in the process of checking that item for you. We will be in touch once we are done checking the stock of it!”

June 5: Exact same line as above.

June 12: “We’re still in the process of checking for that exchange size for you. We’re trying to be as thorough as possible and hope to have an answer for you soon.”

Finally on June 13, she says she was informed that the size and color she desired were never found, after such exhaustive checking, and that she’ll be issued a credit for the amount of the shirt. She says she’d prefer a full refund, but she’ll take what she can get at this point just to have the issue resolved at long last.


Edit Your Comment

  1. AtlantaCPA says:

    Sounds like an automated customer service bot or something. I wonder if they coded the return with “wrong color/size” and that prompts this specific email to come every week or so.

  2. RavenWarrior says:

    Well at least the OP doesn’t have to go through 50 shades…

  3. CrazyEyed says:

    Sounds to me like they tried to pull a fast one on the customer after realizing they ran out of Dim Gray and had only Gray left. OP called BS and was proven to be correct.

    Next time, just admit you were out of stock or an error was made and then make it right or offer a refund. A customer has much more respect for a truthful business rather than one who choses to tip toe around the real issue.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      I don’t know that that’s the case. It looks to be more of a manufacturer’s error. Look at the label on the package in the picture. It clearly says “Dim Grey”, and the Style code on the tag on the inside of the package appears to be the same Style code as on the outside (although it’s difficult to tell from that picture and I would like to see a larger version).

      • CrazyEyed says:

        That lable is just a sticker. Someone from the warehouse could have found an alternative, threw it in the bag that was labeled Dim Gray and shipped it. Or, the shirts may already be prepackaged without the lables. Or this one was simply labeled incorrectly.

        You probably are correct though. Both shirts look very similar. The picture on the left might be doctored up or enhanced for web visibility. If so, then someone had a little too much fun with photoshops color saturation or brightness.

  4. RvLeshrac says:

    I can certainly see how having a barely-noticeably-different-shade-of-a-colour-people-don’t-notice-in-the-first-place might cause an ENORMOUS amount of trouble in your wardrobe, especially when a few washes will change the colour slightly anyway. Whew. Crisis averted.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      Yes, they should only sell White and Black to avoid such confusions & FWPs.

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      Right? People who expect to get the specific item for which they paid are SO out of line and entitled! They should just take whatever a company sends them and be grateful that they were allowed to spend their money in the first place.

    • MMD says:

      You may want to get your eyes checked if you can’t see the difference above.

  5. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    “On May 22, the shirt was received.”

    I’m confused. ML received a shirt or not?

    • ILoveBacon says:

      I think that means on May 22, Fab received the shirt that was sent back.

    • Elizabeth B says:

      That confused me for a bot, too. I think it should have been “The company received the returned shirt.”

  6. mrvw says:

    That is almost the exact same thing I went through with another company. I ordered a ‘Heather Gray’ shirt and they sent a ‘Dark Gray’.
    I returned it and listed wrong color as the reason.
    They sent me back the same color again.
    I went through that exchange process 4 times before they actually got me the correct color.
    It didn’t cost me anything as they paid the shipping each time and it went out through usps so I didn’t have to go anywhere to get it shipped.
    in the end, I’ve never bought anything from them again even though they have some awesome shirt.

  7. Cat says:

    “I ordered gray, but the shirt they sent was gray!”

    • pk says:

      I know designers who can talk for hours about slightly different shades of gray. This is very important to some people.

      • Cat says:

        Men see the world in 16 colors, just like the original Windows.

        “Peach” is a fruit, not a color.

        • The Cupcake Nazi says:

          This is kinda true. I tend towards darker colors and muter colors, and shy away from very bright, punchy colors for the most part. Pants are black, dark grey, or navy for me. Shorts are browns and greys. T-shirts tend to be black or other dark colors, and work shirts are muted, dark tones of red, green, blue, etc.

        • D007H says:

          I don’t think all men sees the world that way. Internet porn would suck in 16 colors…

    • Bort says:

      Flanders: Who are we?
      Team: The Wildcats!
      Flanders: Who are we gonna beat?
      Team: The Wildcats!

  8. brinks says:

    How big is this warehouse?

    • FatLynn says:

      When there is an inventory accuracy error, i.e. the system said they had it, but it is not physically on the shelf, it can be a nightmare to sort it out. They have to write off the missing stuff, and that can require several approval levels and/or be a quarterly thing.

      • brinks says:

        It also looks like it’s packaged wrong (it’s a dark grey shirt with a dim grey sticker). Sounds like they have an even bigger nightmare.

  9. cybrczch says:

    Niles: What color is the new carpet?

    Frasier: I’m going up a shade… to “Harvest Wheat.”

    Niles: I thought the next shade up was “Buff.”

    Frasier: It used to be, but they’ve discovered a whole new color in


    Niles: So now it’s “Tofu, Putty, Oatmeal”…

    Both: “Almond, Harvest Wheat”…

    Frasier: “and Buff.”

    Niles: That’s going to be hard to get used to. [Frasier nods]

    • Such an Interesting Monster says:

      To this day it amazes me the writers were able to actually convince people these two characters were straight.

  10. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    I think M.L. should press for a full refund, and if one is not forthcoming, then *this* would be a case where a chargeback is warranted. But given the amount of time that’s elapsed already, the chargeback window might be closing soon.

  11. I wumbo. You wumbo. He- she- me... wumbo. Wumbo; Wumboing; We'll have thee wumbo; Wumborama; Wumbology; the study of Wumbo. says:

    Haven’t you seen the pictures of the models? Everything is lightened.

  12. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    There are no ‘Buy Now’ buttons or any other ways to order on the Dim Gray and Gray links above.

  13. MMD says:

    Fab.com is a joke. Each item advertises an estimated range of delivery dates. Those estimates have no basis in reality. A friend ordered an item that was at least a month late; a quick survey of their Facebook page ( at least, last time I checked it) shows that this is a common occurrence. I ordered once, but once we got to two weeks past the estimated delivery date I cancelled the order.

  14. Kristoffer says:

    I have ordered several different items from Fab.com and never had a problem but in this case there is a clear difference in color. I always figured the items were shipped from the 3rd party seller and not from Fab considering how often items are changed out.

  15. Dragon Tiger says:

    I ordered a shirt from fab.com as part of the Devo promotion. The shirt looked great on the web site. What I didn’t know is that it was not a picture of someone wearing the actual shirt, but a picture of someone wearing a plain black shirt with a picture of the artwork superimposed. The shirt I received was simply poorly printed. Whoever did the actual printing apparently didn’t know that if you want bright colors to show on a black shirt, you need to backprint the design in white first and then print over that. Oh, and the shirt cost more than $20. Not going to use fab.com again any time in the immediate future.

    URL to website image: http://s3.amazonaws.com/static.fab.com/inspiration/96396-612×612-1.png