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Monday, September 28, 2015

Before you try Fabletics, be warned

My rationale went something like this...  Kate Hudson is cute and I like her, and there is a really good deal on Swagbucks for a discount...I'm going to try it.  I think the idea of Fabletics works really well if you hate shopping or are in an area without much decent shopping.  A desire to live in workout-ready streetwear is another must.  The bad new is that if you don't have an instantly fabulous Hollywood body, you might not be very happy with the offerings.  And they will just about bury you in a pile of emails to your inbox - blech.
I'm one of those women who doesn't have that instantly fabulous body.  I'm 5'1" and I have to work at it to find clothing that fits - and I rejoice when I find that stuff and snap it up.  As I discovered when I made my order, the petite pants are too long,something which which I hoped wouldn't happen.  And there were no loose-fitting crops.  Anyone with a perfect body can probably fit into any of the outfits offered online and look great.  But I need to try things on and then keep looking to see if there isn't something else.

The down side is that, while they do accept returns, you have to pay shipping and handling charges of $5.95 to make the return.  It's not much for one order, but over time, it adds up.  Of course, you can waive that fee if you come into a store to return the items.  I wish you the best of luck finding one.  I thought there was a store near me, but then realized it was Lorna Jane, a different athletic store.  Gahhhh!

I'm sure you're all wondering about the returns process.  It sucks!  According to California State Law, I have 30 days to return something for a full refund - unless it's otherwise posted in an obvious way.  But when I got to apply for the return, it says I have to call customer service if I want a credit card refund.  How is this "easy"?  It's easy for THEM.  They don't actually want to give you a return, they actually want you to be stuck with the item and use this to discourage busy people from dealing with this.  If I didn't already have problems with things not fitting my imperfect body, then I would want to stop the subscription on principle that you ought not treat them that way.

The return call experience basically stinks.  I called and got the robo phone tree that says it's name is "Anna" and that it understands complete sentences, but then admits can't she can't handle returns.  I already feel annoyed that there was no announcement about when the best time to call back will be.  I have to find that it's somewhere sneaky - in the FAQs.

  1. How do I cancel my Fabletics or FL2 VIP Membership?
    You may cancel your Fabletics or FL2 VIP Membership at any time. There is no cancellation fee. If you’re in the US, please contact Fabletics/FL2 US Member Services at +1-844-322-5384 9AM – 9PM EST everyday to cancel your VIP Membership. If you’re in Canada, please contact Fabletics Canada Member Services at +1-844-833-6220 9AM-9PM EST to cancel your VIP Membership. If you’re in Australia, please contact Fabletics/FL2 Australia Member Services at +61-1800-668-512 9AM – 9PM AEDT to cancel your membership.

    If you would like to continue receiving selections, simply skip the month by clicking "Skip the Month" in your "My Outfits" page for Fabletics or your "My Sets" page for FL2 between the 1st and the 5th to avoid being charged.

Here's where it gets even fishier:
If you don't tell them via the website that you don't want the outfit they selected for you, you'll be charged anyway.  And you can't get your money back. You can only use the credits they stole via your credit card as merchandise credit.  No money back for nothing recieved.  This should be illegal.  in fact, I think it is.

How Does VIP Membership Work?
If you're familiar with JustFab or FabKids, the setup is pretty similar:
  • Receive Personalized Outfits on the 1st
    On the first day of each month, our stylists will send you new handpicked Outfits for your shopping pleasure.

  • Review Your Outfits by the 5th
    Log in to your account and browse your Outfits by the 5th then buy your favorite style(s).

  • Skip Any Month, No Obligation to Buy
    If you're not ready to make a purchase, simply skip the month by the 5th and you will not be charged. Skip as many months as you'd like. However, if you do not take action by the 5th, you will be charged $49.95 USD on the 6th. This accumulating balance can be used to shop whenever you like. If your purchase is more than $49.95 USD, simply pay the difference with your credit or debit card. If your purchase is less than $49.95 USD, the balance will be applied to your account as store credit.
In fact, they've been sued for the exact same thing before.

My actual call that got through to Fabletics reached an outsourced customer service center either in India or the Phillippines.  Th girl actually waived the restocking fee when I said that the items weren't as described because I could not tell from the photos that the arm holes were so long that my bra would be showing and that the pants weren't short enough for petites.  She emailed me the return label right away.  And she cancelled my membership upon request.  Apparently lawsuits do actually teach a company a lesson.  I'm still uncomfortable with outsourcing, though.

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