I’ll be brief.
Actually, I’ll be a pair of (recalled) Lululemon Luon yoga pants.
A see-through pair to be exact.
This morning I heard a story so outrageous, so thoroughly implausible, I knew it was a prank.
I wasn’t watching a major news network.
It must have been The Onion.
And the story was a gag.
But as I listened and watched the familiar newscasters report on the story, I realized the story was real.
And Lululemon was making perhaps the worst customer service gaffe in history.
Apparently the Luon, a pair of high-priced yoga pants made by Lululemon, were defective.
If you bent over while wearing them (as you inevitably will in yoga) the pants become sheer and see through.
I assume your exposed pantaloons are not one of the chakras you’re trying to open.
When customers tried to return these defective pants, store clerks made customer put the pants on…
And BEND OVER!
Purportedly, this requirement for a return was sanctioned by Lululemon’s CEO, Christine Day, who said:
“[T] truth of the matter is that the only way that you can actually test for the issue is to put the pants on and bend over.”
As one reporter wrote “asking customers to publicly debase themselves is the surest way of ensuring repeat business.”
The backlash has been instantaneous and unanimous: Lululemon is bugging.
Maybe asking customers to try on a defective article of clothing in-store before you can return it is kosher in Canada.
So they didn’t fully appreciate how folks in America would be offended or taken aback.
Clearly their heads were up their arses.
Perhaps they never heard the expression, “the customer is always right.”
But whatever the case may be, Lululemon made a massive faux pas.
It’s likely going to cost them more than the reported $60 million in lost sales and revenue.
The impact to their reputation can’t be fully quantified.
If the chatter on social media is any indication, it’s serious.
Now I’m not a yoga person.
But I’ll be damned if I drop 100 bones for some friggin pants.
And if I was, and I had, you best believe that I’d have gotten my money back without trying them on.
If I bent over, it would have only been to pass gas as an expression of my malcontent – NOT to prove the pants were see through.
However, the way I would have handled the situation isn’t at issue here.
It’s the way Lululemon mis-handled it.
I’m curious to see how Lululemon makes this right with their customers and fans.
Might I suggest a massive give-back campaign?
If you own any Lululemon product you’re not happy with, even if its not the Luon pants, bring it back to any Lululemon store and we’ll replace it.
No questions asked.
No try-on required.
Lululemon, Christine Day, get at me.
I’m here all week.
I’ll be the dude in downward facing dog with my man package exposed in your see-though pants.