I’ve been a fan of Lululemon since 2005. I’ve stuck by the brand through all its scandals, including not-really-“seaweed-infused” fabric (Who buys clothes for their seaweed-related properties anyway?), see-through pants (you learn to check carefully in the changeroom’s 3-way mirrors), and the founder’s size-ist comments (he’s since stepped down as CEO).
I can forgive all that. But today – in subjugating me to their atrocious gift-return policy – Lululemon finally went too far.
For Christmas, my wonderful parents gave my sister and me Lululemon raincoats. They’re beautiful jackets, but unfortunately cut too narrow in the hip area. (Lululemon’s opposite-of-vanity sizing – anxiety sizing? – in tops and dresses especially is yet another thing I have long put up with.)
Not to worry. We had the original packaging and gift receipts, which say:
Holiday alert: if you made your purchase between November 4 and December 24, we have good news – you have until January 24 to make a return. Don’t you just love the holidays?
Alas, when I got to the counter, I was told my only option was to exchange the item for something else I found in the store that day; no gift card or store credit would be provided. Even though the item is new with tags and (gift) receipt!!!!!
This no-store-credit policy is incredibly inconvenient. I dutifully looked around for something I could exchange it for, but there’s nothing else in the store I want right now. (The raincoats are sold out in every color except hideous beige. The Swiftly t-shirts are in color-fabric combos that will fade and lose their shape in two washes. And I’m still waiting for the perfect pair of leggings, because currently it’s “Comfy, opaque, and has decently sized pockets? Pick two.”)
Do they expect me to buy something I don’t want and then drive to the store to exchange it for something else I don’t want, every 30 days in perpetuity, until they come out with something I do want?
I’ve come up with a solution, but it’s an inconvenience to my poor mother: asking her to return the raincoats with her original receipt. Will she get a full refund? Doubtful. But at least she’ll get store credit, which we can use online or next season.
This is the type of petty, miserly return policy I would expect from an off-price store like Marshall’s. At Lululemon, I know I’m paying a premium; I expect the return policy to be commensurately generous.
(I also realize this is a first-world problem, but what is a blog if not a place to air one’s grievances?)
Lululemon, I want you to know that rather than checking out my butt in a new pair of leggings, as I would like to be doing right now, I am instead filled with righteous indignation.
And to you, dear reader, let this be a warning: don’t buy presents from Lululemon!