It’s not just sales consultants who are unhappy with multi-level marketing clothing business LuLaRoe: A pair of customers have filed a class-action lawsuit claiming LuLaRoe knowingly sold defective leggings that can tear after their first use.
The lawsuit [PDF], which was filed last week in the Northern District of California, accuses the company of misrepresenting the quality of their products and ignoring customer complaints when the clothing inevitably rips or tears.
LuLaRoe claims on its website that, “Our leggings are ultra stretchy and super soft. They’re as close to your own skin as you can get with all the perks of, ahem, not being naked. You can sport them at your favorite Pilates class or throw on some cute booties and wear them out for a girls night!”
According to lawsuit, however, the products are unfit for normal and athletic use. The complaint — which seeks to represent LuLaRoe customers who purchased leggings after March 31, 2016 — claims that thousands of people across the U.S. have complained about the defective products on social media.
“Specifically, customers have complained that the leggings are of such poor quality that holes, tears, and rips appear before wearing, during the first use or shortly thereafter,” the complaint states. “The leggings have also been described as tearing as easily as ‘wet toilet paper.’”
One of the plaintiffs claims that while wearing a pair of black leggings for only a couple of hours, they developed tiny holes throughout. Another pair she purchased developed a hole big enough to put her finger through.
Other complaints about the clothing include leggings that have one leg that is substantially larger (or smaller) than the other, and leggings that are supposed to be for adults but instead would only fit a child.
The second plaintiff claims that she purchased leggings in Dec. 2016 after seeing them online and believed they were suitable for ordinary use.
“One pair of leggings she could not even get past her knees because they were too small as if they were manufactured for a child,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit notes that the company does not adequately respond to these complaints, as is evidenced by LuLaRoe’s “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Despite this, the lawsuit claims that LuLaRoe and its executives are well aware of the issues and subsequent complaints.
The lawsuit cites a company-wide email from head of production for LuLaRoe, Patrick Winget, the head of production for Defendants, that reportedly admitted that “the leggings may get holes, because we weaken the fibers to make them buttery soft. We have done all we can to fix them.”
“It is clear that defendants have chosen to sacrifice the quality of their products in order to meet the growing demand at the expense of customers,” the suit states. “The extent to which they have done this, however, is unacceptable.”
As a result, the lawsuit alleges, thousands of customers are left with defective clothing, because the company won’t issue refunds or allow exchanges.
Instead, that process is left up to individual consultants, but the lawsuit alleges that obtaining assistance from consultants is difficult as LuLaRoe won’t provide sellers refunds from the company.
To make matters worse, the suit alleges that CEO Mark Stidham told consultants during a weekly conference call not to “spend time and energy sending defective products back to the company, but that they should try to re-sell them to customers, including by learning to sew and repairing any defective products.”
Additionally, while the company is in possession of information about the content and quality of the products, it does not provide customers with disclosures about possible defects.
Instead, the suit claims that LuLaRoe “misrepresented and suppressed material facts about the quality of their defective products and negligently designed, manufactured, marketed, advertised, promoted, sold and/or distributed such products.”
In all, the suit accuses LuLaRoe of unfair, illegal, and fraudulent business practices. The plaintiffs seek monetary damages, restitution, and reimbursement of legal fees.