Yesterday at approximately 5 p.m. Pacific time, LuLaRoe made an extremely controversial and unexpected announcement in Build. For those of you that don't know, Build is the back office program LuLaRoe uses to aide their retailers in managing their "business". In this announcement, LuLaRoe states that the consultant return policy that just went into effect this past April would once again change with zero advance notice to the retailers. The original policy gave retailers the opportunity to send back their merchandise for refund under the following terms: -Items must be unworn and in original packaging -Items would be shipped back to LuLaRoe at the retailer's expense -LuLaRoe would accept the merchandise and issue a payment to the retailer, less a 10% restocking fee. That policy was unpopular, and one of the items I have personally discussed with several agencies investigating this company for their business practices. The policy was also a main complaint for the consultants that were going out of business- as they felt that they should not have to bear the burden of the loss of more money after investing in a company they felt made false income promises and grandiose representations of improvement in the personal lives of the people that elected to join the company. LuLaRoe famously touted "Full time pay for part time work", when the case was more in line with some retailers claiming to work the equivalent of two full time jobs for part time pay. LuLaRoe retaliated against the disgruntled and vocal consultants by issuing the "LuLaRoe Happiness Policy" in April. Under this policy, LuLaRoe vowed to take back all GOOB (going out of business) refunds with free shipping and issue a 100% refund to those individuals. Having already called themselves "a risk free investment", they famously boasted once again, that this was their way to ensure faith in the brand, and I believe it was done to hush the naysayers, and kick start the company's enrollment again. But as time went on, retailers were more and more complaining about the length of the return process, some waiting upwards of 45 days for just a confirmation, and others waiting the same amount or longer to get their money, just to have their banks refuse the funds. Several consultants reported to MommyGyver that deposited and cleared funds were called back by the company. One retailer explained that she was first issued a check that was deposited and cleared, then recalled by LuLaRoe with no notice or explanation. When she inquired, she was not given any reason, but was told she would have a wire transfer in her account that week. The wire transfer happened at 5 pm on a Friday, and then was almost immediately called back. When she contacted them- now absolutely livid, she was told that another check was cut and would be mailed. In fairness and "assuming innocence" as the company pleads with retailers to do, she tried to understand what reason in a business operating with the best intentions
would have to play monkey in the middle with her refund money. She couldn't think of any- and neither can I.
The Happiness Policy announcement was originally made to the media by way of press release before even the consultants were told, and went hand in hand with the now also controversial "Make Good Policy" which was LuLaRoe's answer to the uproar over the sudden influx in defective merchandise claims, and the defective merchandise class action suit that was started by two disgruntled customers of the brand. Retailers were given no heads up on the policy, and were forced to take refunds they may not have been financially prepared to do. Controversy started with the retailers objecting over the lack of notice, and the inability to opt out of the program prior to the announcement. LuLaroe then insulted the consultants even further by providing the names of local consultants for customers to contact for refunds- even if those consultants were not the ones that sold the merchandise to begin with. Several consultants claimed that LuLaRoe gave out their personal addresses, and others claimed that they were getting knocks on their doors at all hours of the day and night from people that wished to have refunds. Once again, even if they were not the ones that sold the merchandise to these people to begin with. LuLaRoe's unexpected policy change made yesterday was sent out at the same time that the offices closed for the day, causing nothing short of panic from retailers that were reaching out to their uplines and mentors for answers and were also unable to call home office for clarification. In this new policy, LuLaRoe reverts back to the old policy outlined above, but then adds in that the merchandise must have been purchased directly from LuLaRoe. Inventory swaps and wholesale orders from other consultants would not be allowed. It also outlines that merchandise that was older than one year or seasonal/holiday merchandise would not be accepted. When a retailer requests their refund in Build now, there is now a check box that contains a waiver stipulating that any merchandise sent to LuLaRoe that is not accepted will not be returned to the retailer. This, after many retailers have gone to battle with the company for wrongfully keeping merchandise they claim does not meet their criteria for a refund. Up until now, there had been no stipulation that the unacceptable merchandise would not be returned to the retailer, causing hundreds to cry theft. The surprise change has caused an uproar of almost apocalyptic proportion. Social media backlash is at an epic level with thousands taking to Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram to vent in groups dedicated to the issues within the company ranging from defective merchandise to GOOB consultants and "Life after LuLaRoe". The sheer fact that support groups have popped up by the hundreds trying to guide these people who have gone all in financially- some to the tune of over $50,000 should speak volumes. These women simply do not know what to do now. For many, this was supplemental income, for others it was their only income. Reports of LuLaRoe "ruining my life" and "destroying me financially" are popping up everywhere on social media now. Once the announcement was made, many mentors asked people to remain calm while they waited for more answers and more clarification- while more brazen leaders like Kim Roylance claimed that this was vicious gossip and not to listen. Their Happiness Policy was going nowhere. After it was published on the MommyGyver Facebook page, Kim Roylance removed the post. Many other mentors are using the phrase "Not going anywhere" and reminding people that LuLaRoe cares for them. Evidence of that claim remains to be seen. Since the announcement, MommyGyver has been flooded with emails, comments, phone calls from the terrified consultants. Why? The policy change should just keep them from sending their stuff back, and not really effect them, right? Wrong. The policy change also states that it takes effect immediately, and anyone who was issued return labels would be grandfathered in to the 100% refund, however, those who have been waiting and noticing an obvious stall in receiving their shipping labels are furious. They took to the new policy, requested a refund as the policy stipulated, and expected what they were promised. Others are even more furious, stating that mentors and leaders have been using the bulletproof Happiness Policy as a recruiting tool. With no end date on the announcement, they were lead to believe this policy would not change. Here to stay. Later last night, Sam Schultz, the charismatic and well liked former employee of LuLaRoe who also happens to be owner Deanne Stidham's nephew, announced that he was ready to give his whole story to the media. Sam did a friendly and limited interview with MommyGyver several months ago about a previous public statement made, and to date, he has only spoken to us but is now ready to "end it all". Claiming that his aunt and the others in the company lied and sold these poor people a dream. Sam himself was excommunicated from the LuLaRoe circle and terminated earlier this year after rumors of inappropriate conduct began to circulate. Sam staunchly claims the rumors are false and has stated publicly many times that he has a recorded conversation with his aunt admitting it was a lie and pleading with him not to speak to the media. Sam claims he's done waiting for them to come clean. Now he wants to see them burn. I have often said that it was a matter of time before LuLaRoe's extremely reactive business model comes back to bite them in their bedazzled behinds. The Layered One, as the LuLaFollowing refers sourly to Deanne, has shut her social media down to private in response to the flood of negative backlash she was getting from both former and remaining retailers. No doub