LuLaRoe, the company known for their buttery-soft leggings and shady business practices has yet again screwed over their consultants by suddenly, and without warning, reverting back to their original Going Out-of-Business Policy and Procedures.
After last week’s abrupt policy change, LuLaRoe has effectively screwed consultants out of thousands (sometimes tens of thousands) of dollars.
And LuLaRoe consultants are practically rioting in Facebook groups over the confusion created by the company’s clearly shortsighted and poorly planned announcement.
Consultants who applied to go out of business through the channels LuLaRoe outlined in April (in their “Happiness” announcement aimed at increasing customer satisfaction) are now in limbo because they don’t know what this new policy means for the inventory they’ve already shipped back to the company — per the company’s previous policy.
And thousands of consultants are waiting for the UPS labels they applied for as directed by LuLaRoe just a few months ago.
Whether they are waiting for labels or trying to get in touch with a LuLaRoe representative for answers about the inventory they’ve already sent back, all of the consultants agree: They are panicking because they stand to lose thousands.
LuLaRoe owes consultants not just answers, which don’t seem to be forthcoming, but also thousands of dollars, and they are literally holding the financial futures of the employees who made them rich in the palms of their hands.
And yet, while they can’t seem to cut checks to the people they owe money to, they have the funds to sue Christina Hinks, owner of the popular MLM whistleblower blog, MommyGyver.
LuLaRoe is seemingly dragging their feet on payments to consultants and has been lax in responding to allegedly thousands of requests regarding inventory, but they will invest the time and money to sue mom bloggers.
What a time to be alive.
According to Hinks, she started her blog, MommyGyver, in December 2016 in hopes of writing product reviews and addressing topics that impact women. At the time, she was also a LuLaRoe consultant. She quickly grew disillusioned by the company’s practices, and in March 2017, she shared her story on her blog.
And suddenly, women came out of the woodwork to tell her about their LuLaRoe horror stories. Hinks said that the volume of information was heartbreaking and overwhelming. She started sharing stories on her blog, and in March 2017, she was added to a Facebook group dedicated to angry LuLaRoe consultants and customers who were frustrated by the infamous leggings’ ability to “rip like wet toilet paper.” While she was a member of the group, she gathered information and was also contacted both privately and anonymously by women and men who had felt the crushing financial blow of their LuLaRoe businesses crashing and burning.
In a 100-page court document filed in Illinois this week, LuLaRoe filed suit against Hinks declaring that she must give up the sources who have gave her information about LuLaRoe’s shady practices. LuLaRoe is suing her not only for the names of her sources, but is also claiming that Hinks and her blog posts do not fall under journalistic protection.
In the last few months, Hinks says she has made it her mission to blow the lid off of LuLaRoe’s allegedly shady business practices and to tell the stories of the consultants who approach her everyday with their valid concerns and financial worries.
And now, as feelings of unease and disappointment continue to rise, LuLaRoe management has their leggings in a bunch. And they’ve set their sights on people like Hinks, apparently.
According to court documents obtained by Scary Mommy, LuLaRoe is suing Hinks “to disclose the identity and contact information of potential LLR defendants who have damaged LuLaRoe.” They have also slapped her with charges of Breach of Contract, Tortious Interference, Computer Use Violations and Fraud, among other charges.
The company is claiming that she does not fall under journalistic protection laws because she “reposts material that she does not gather on her own.”
So, let me get this straight: LuLaRoe claims that their consultants are independent and are the owners of their own businesses. And now they are not allowed to share information about their independent businesses as they see fit?
In a phone interview with Scary Mommy, Hinks stated, “I think LuLaRoe’s attempt to scare me or silence me speaks to a larger issue with corporations that think they are bigger than one single person.”
She also states, “For the people who have shared their stories, it’s my duty to protect them. I have been a voice for them for months and months because they’ve been afraid to speak out.” I think we can all understand why.
What’s particularly distressing for Hinks is the number of consultants who applied to leave the company months ago and still have not received their shipping labels, meaning these consultants are stuck in limbo wondering what policy their returns will fall under now.
According to a consultant named Kelli,* she filled out the required exit paperwork online and applied for shipping labels in late August. To date, she’s still waiting on shipping labels to return her $8,000 worth of inventory. She has seven boxes of merchandise to ship back, and she states that it will cost almost $800 to return via UPS.
If LuLaRoe doesn’t come through with her labels, Kelli is not only left to pay the hefty shipping fees out of pocket, but it also remains unclear if she will still receive a full refund.
“I’m now trying to sell it off for the wholesale cost, so I don’t lose any money. This will hurt business for other LLR consultants, but they have put us in an ‘every man for himself’ position. They get to pick and choose what they feel is “resalable,” and I don’t trust them to give me a fair refund at this point. I don’t trust this company at all anymore.” At the time of publication, Kelli has yet to receive word from LuLaRoe.
Kara,* a consultant since June 2016, sent four boxes and $3,300 worth of inventory to LuLaRoe in late August. To date, she still has not received her refund, and she is worried that with the new announcement, her inventory might not pass muster, even though she followed all the proper instructions. “I feel powerless. I was specifically told my items didn’t need to be bagged, and marked tags were fine,” she laments. While she wants to remain cautiously optimistic that she’ll receive a refund, many of her items are holiday-related and now fall under the “non-resalable” category.
In any case, she stands to lose big bucks simply because of LuLaRoe’s whim.
And Kara and Kelli are just two of thousands that Hinks promises to stand up for when it comes to the lawsuit levied against her.
Hinks states, “I won’t back down, and I won’t be scared off by them. I’m not going anywhere.”
*Last names of consultants withheld.