LuLaRoe Offering Refunds To Everyone Who Bought ‘Defective’ Leggings Since Jan. 2016

In the wake of a lawsuit claiming that its products are defective and it won’t give refunds, multi-level clothing retailer LuLaRoe has announced a massive refund program for customers who are dissatisfied with their new clothes.

The refund program covers anyone who bought LuLaRoe leggings between Jan. 1, 2016 and April 24, 2017 (i.e., yesterday), Business Insider reports.

If you haven’t heard of LuLaRoe (or been invited to a dozen Facebook groups so far just this year for people selling it), the direct sales, multi-level-marketing style retailer has become massively popular in recent years. Business Insider says roughly 80,000 individuals — largely women — now sling LuLaRoe leggings and other casual apparel to their friends and family largely via social media and “pop-up store” parties.

As with any multi-level-marketing (MLM) venture, sellers make money not only by generating a profit on buying and reselling goods, but also by recruiting their friends and contacts into a web of sellers as well.

Sellers have their share of problems with the company, but its popularity has continued to rise. The company, and its legion of “independent retailers,” sold more than 17.5 million garments last month alone, and racked up $1.8 billion in sales in the last 12 months.

But as the company has grown, buyers and sellers alike say that the quality of its goods has suffered. Two customers filed a lawsuit against the retailer in March, claiming that LuLaRoe was misrepresenting the quality of its products and ignoring consumer complaints.

The suit alleged that leggings purchased from LuLaRoe fell apart during ordinary wear and use, with holes appearing “before wearing, during the first use or shortly thereafter,” and, “the leggings have also been described as tearing as easily as ‘wet toilet paper.'”

The lawsuit seeks class-action status, representing everyone who bought LuLaRoe leggings since March 31, 2016. The new refund offer, however, goes further back than that, covering the entirety of 2016.

“We listened and we heard the feedback from social media and our consumers and even from our retailers,” LuLaRoe CEO Mark Stidham told Business Insider. “If someone has spent money on one of our products, we want them to feel that they got value for that money they spent.”

That’s where the new “make good program” comes in.

Customers who purchased a product they deem defective since Jan. 1, 2016 can file a claim for a product replacement, LuLaRoe gift card, or refund on the original purchase price. The policy does not cover damage due to “accident, improper care, negligence, abuse, normal wear and tear, and the natural breakdown” that occurs from “extended use.”

If, however, your apparel developed holes without any of those conditions applying, you can either return it to an “independent fashion retailer” (sales consultant) or use the company’s web form to get the process started. Claims have to be filed before July 31 of this year.

For all purchases made on or after April 25, 2017, LuLaRoe how has a written limited warranty and “happiness policy.”

The happiness policy states that if you are not satisfied within 30 days of your purchase, you can take your receipt back to the person who sold you the LuLaRoe goods for a full refund, credit, or exchange.

After 30 days, the refund window closes but you can still take your original purchase and receipt to any seller for a credit or exchange. If you think your purchase has a defect, then the limited warranty will cover you for six months from the date of purchase.

CEO Stidham, however, has remained explicitly unapologetic.

“I don’t feel we have much to apologize for,” he told Business Insider. “I’m empathetic and I’m sorry that [some customers] had a bad experience. But I don’t feel that the company is in a place where a blanket apology is necessary.”

The company will not be changing its manufacturing process, he told BI, but it will be adding new kinds of “stretch tests and visual inspections” to look for small holes in leggings before they’re sold.

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