A tragic LulaRoe tale

Update from Ariel with fantastic news:

I am sending the following message to corporate and anyone that has reached out to help me…..
I received a check for the correct amount today. Long awaited and VERY thankful it is FINALLY here.

Thank you so much for your help and to all who expedited this matter. Any social media posts I have made will be updated to include this resolution.

A sincere thank you from a single mom crying tears of joy right now. I can finally have my life back and start rebuilding it with my son.

Have you read about LulaRoe recently? Perhaps in Quartz magazine, Business Insider, CBS news,  Forbes, Mommygyver?

If not, you have probably seen friends and family selling it or trying to sell it on Facebook. It is a MLM (multilevel marketing) system similar to Mary Kay, Avon, Herbalife, Beachbody, Scentsy etc. LulaRoe sells brightly patterned clothing and is famous for its leggings.  It exploded in popularity fairly recently but has seen growing problems with quality and oversaturation of the market. There are several lawsuits and class action cases pending.

Some of the stories are heartbreaking. People told by their upline (the people above them in the pyramid) to go into debt and neglect their children in order to sell as much as possible. People already in debt and not breaking even because of the saturated market being told to buy more inventory in order to make more money. It’s horribly ironic that people who get in on these things early make money by adding new sellers below them and thus flood the market with more competition. And the bubble is bound to burst.

The most heartrending one I have heard is that of Auriel Reeves, who describes her LulaRoe story thus:

When you first join LuLaRoe, it’s all about positive vibes and serving others. Sounds great, right?

Especially for stay-at-home moms or women who just want to supplement their income while doing something fun. I was one of the stay-at-home mom’s who instantly fell in love. With the clothing, the culture, and the compassion.

I admired LuLaRoe because of their compassion for others. They took care of their customers and they took care of their consultants. The Inspire Tour in NYC was the most motivational experience I’d ever had and it started my journey with the Pumped Up Chicks.

My business started growing before I even got my inventory. Friends, family, neighbors, I talked to EVERYONE about these buttery soft leggings that had recently replaced my entire wardrobe. By the time I launched my business I had a Facebook group of over 2,000 members, LuLa-addicts everywhere sending me their special requests, and even a friend in the queue under me who was just as stoked as I was to start.

My launch was AMAZING and I was especially proud because I had also been toggling a one year old and packing our whole lives up to move across country.

Unfortunately after the big move, I went through some very personal troubles including a split with my son’s dad. My business suffered due to my inability to emotionally function some days. And I knew after a while that my heart wasn’t in it and it was time to give it up.

I started the process of terminating my consultant contract in March of 2017 and as I expected, it took a while to get through to corporate. My contract was officially terminated in April and I began my returns process immediately after.

It took from April until the second week in June to have an RA # generated and return labels emailed to me. This came after MANY phone calls and even more emails because the returns department does not have a direct line.

June 13th, 2017 is the day that all 9 boxes totaling 765 items (roughly $10,000 wholesale cost) was delivered to the LuLaRoe warehouse in Corona, CA. At this point, I’d also like to mention that I reside just 20 miles from the warehouse and could have saved a LOT of time in MANY different steps of this process.

At any rate, I detailed every item meticulously in spreadsheets, Formstacks, photos, and videos. I have sent countless emails and made many verbal attempts requesting an ETA for my returns check.

Never once was I given an answer past “Just wait to hear from so and so department”, or “You should be getting an email soon, but we can’t say for sure how long it will be.”

Even after sending a personal message on Facebook messenger to Deanne, the OWNER and FOUNDER of LuLaRoe, and being assured it would be taken care of, I STILL have not received my money nor any indication of when it would be given.

I have waited on hold for an hour or more at times only to be hung up on, shifted to another hold line, or flat out told to just wait and there’s nothing they can do.

I was informed that paperwork was lost and I received an initial email from LuLaRoe accounting for less than a QUARTER of what I had sent them.

After struggling to reach someone yet again, I RE-SENT copies of ALL 9 Formstacks that were included in the boxes, as well as photo/video proof of the contents of each and every box.

From there I was informed I was on yet another “expedited list” and would just need to wait for an email from Accounting to which I needed to respond, approving the total amount to be returned.

Three weeks later I am still waiting for such an email. After sitting on hold for an hour and a half to speak to a live human, I was told again to just wait for an email from Accounting.

But I’m sorry. I’m tired of waiting. I’ve waited long enough.

In almost 5 months of terminating my relationship with LuLaRoe, I have been homeless at times, hungry and wondering how to feed my two year old son, I have been without a vehicle and means to get to work. I have accrued credit card and medical debt, I have had my phone shut off countless times because of non-payment.

And most devastatingly and recently I have lost partial custody of my son due to my financial inability to move closer to his dad.

Money that I invested totaling $10,000 (aka a new start for a single mom) is literally sitting in a box on a warehouse floor awaiting someone’s “approval” while my life has been falling apart.

Meanwhile, LuLaRoe cranks out new consultants, ships out new inventory, and writes new bonus checks: EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
And I can almost guarantee you that when the Stidhams swipe their credit card, they’re not waiting on anyone’s “approval” before they swipe.

Please, tell me where the compassion is in this. How are you “strengthening families”? What “purpose” is this serving and who’s life are you “blessing”?

And why on EARTH can I count/record all these items in a matter of hours and no one at corporate has made ANY progress in TWO MONTHS?!?!

The only “growth” I see here is the one lining your wallet. I will always support the individual consultants and the products because they truly are quality-made. LuLaRoe as a business, though, has become greedy, impersonal, and has grown more than what their back office and “Mothership” employees can handle.

And it is for this reason I am writing this. In hopes of not only receiving what I’m owed, but also that those at the core of LuLaRoe can remember what it’s like to be the “little people.” Success is not earned by one, but by many.

A former CEO of IBM said “To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.”

I think LuLaRoe will always have their business in their heart because it’s a family-owned start-up. But it needs to remember to keep a little of their heart in the business too, because taking care of your employees, whether they are on the way in or on the way out, will ALWAYS lead to taking better care of your business.

I hope someone at LuLaRoe finds it in THEIR heart to read this and help make it RIGHT. Because no one deserves to go through what I’ve gone through just to exit a job and get back money that is rightfully mine.

Auriel updated yesterday to say:

I received a UPS shipping notification last week that a package would be delivered from Lularoe on Friday.

I received another notification from them Friday morning that the shipment had been delayed until Monday.

I also received an email from LuLaRoe on Friday confirming the right amount for 764 items ($10,722).

I responded to the LuLaRoe email and confirmed the total that day.

Monday I received another email from them stating my check would be issued within 3 business days.

But I received the UPS envelope that was sent last week and it was a check for the originally miscalculated $2,328. (Estimated)

I have not cashed the check and I sent an email to corporate Monday afternoon about this matter on the same email thread and haven’t heard from anyone.

I even messaged the appropriate mentor/coach/uplines and still haven’t heard anything. I appreciate the effort made by those few individuals, but the real problem is CLEARLY at corporate.

The lack of communication and professionalism is absolutely appalling. I didn’t want to write any of this. I didn’t want to have to go public with a story like this. I’m not that kind of girl. But I will also not allow a corporation plagued by incompetency to keep putting my life on hold.

If anyone has any advice or can help Auriel, please comment below.

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12 replies

  1. Contact the California State Atty General and file a complaint via their website. They will send notice to LLR and LLR will have to respond with resolution. I resigned around the same time and had to do the same thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d tell her to reach out to the biggest names and departments that she can think of, and KEEP DOING IT until everything is settled. Like once a day or every other day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Unfortunately a lot of these selling schemes end up like this. My aunt lost a lot of money selling Amway products.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They say that 99% of people joining MLM schemes lose money. That is so sad, particularly as many of them are women wanting to be able to combine a career and family and work from home.

      Like

      • I think the old saying “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” covers these types of businesses. I’ve never trusted anything that involves shelling out a lot of money beforehand. It’s a shame because the idea is great, but they always seem to be run by unscrupulous people.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I wonder if the people running them start out with good intentions but then get greedy? Or if the competition between consultants in the end makes everyone cutthroat? Quality always seems to go downhill when a brand becomes popular too. It is so sad. Very few companies start small and grow slowly and carefully because they don’t want to compromise quality and integrity. LulaRoe exploded so fast it was a disaster waiting to happen.

        Like

  4. Since she lives in CA. she should contact Mommygyver. She has been in contact with folks who are looking for ppl with issues like hers. In my opinion LLR should lose every dime they have made. I never bought into their sisterhood, we love you crap. You don’t screw your sisters or someone you love.

    Liked by 1 person

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