Can Lululemon Get Out of the Downward Doghouse?

When you make a mistake (we all do) don’t pass the blame. Accept responsibility or customer engagement will quickly turn into customer enragement.
Contributing Writer,
March 27, 2013

If you think you’ve heard everything there is to hear about the Lululemon yoga pants scandal, there’s a new twist (pardon the pun) to the saga. In case you need some catching up: the upscale yoga clothing manufacturer suffered a customer service snafu when yoginis discovered that a particular shipment of its flagship product, black yoga pants, turned sheer when you put them on.

Instead of making it easy to return the defective pants, the New York Post reported that some Lululemon employees were making customers put on the pants, and then bend over to “pass inspection” to make sure the pants were sheer enough to warrant a return. After the article ran in the Post, Lululemon said all pants bought after March 1—when the defective shipment was received—can be returned, no questions asked.

Meanwhile, Lululemon blamed a supplier for making pants that didn’t meet its standards—but the supplier is fighting back, telling The Wall Street Journal that the pants did indeed meet Lululemon’s quality control standards.

What’s the lesson here? When you’re charging $98 for a product that sells for $9 elsewhere, quality is everything. If your product quality isn’t up to snuff—for whatever reason—your customer service quality has to make up for it. In other words, don’t blame the supplier, or the customer. Accept the responsibility—and the returns. 

[UpStart Business Journal]

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