After a Lululemon customer tried to return pants she bought that she said were too sheer and a store employee reportedly examined her buttocks to make sure she wasn't lying, the high-end yoga retailer said that such bending over is no longer part of the recall policy.
The customer said she felt degraded and embarrassed after attempting to return her pants that were part of a company-wide recall that was issued last week for its black "Luon" yoga pants
because their material was too sheer.
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“I was asked to BEND OVER in order to determine sheerness," Christina Phillips, of Toronto, wrote on Facebook.
"The sales associate then perused my butt in the dim lighting of the change room and deemed them 'not sheer,'"
Phillips told The New York Post Tuesday of her humiliating experience.
Lululemon CEO Christine Day at first defended the employee's decision.
“The truth of the matter is, the only way you can actually test for the issue is to put the pants on and bend over,” Day told The Post. “The pants passed all of the basic metric tests. It wasn’t until we got in the store and started putting it on people that we could actually see the issue."
A customer-service rep with Lululemon’s “guest education center” had a wishy-washy response when the Post asked about whether a customer “demonstration’’ was necessary for a refund.
“I know some stores are asking guests to try them on We want our guests to be comfortable," the rep said. "It’s up to you and the store, and they’ll be able to let you know a little bit more about what they require."
Lululemon disciples were outraged by the responses.
As a result, Lululemon Athletica Inc. Spokesperson Sari Martin changed the company's tune
, telling The Associated Press there is no policy that says employees must examine pants.
"We do not require guests to demonstrate the sheerness of their bottoms," Martin said, without commenting specifically on Phillips' case.
To the contrary, she said that people who bought the black "Luon" yoga pants since March 1, online or in store, can return them for a full refund, "no questions asked."
The Vancouver-based company is investigating what caused the pants, made of nylon and Lycra fibers, to have their sheerness. Officials have declined to say when the items would be back in its stores, adding that the yoga pants that are still in factories, in addition to those on shelves since March 1, have not met quality standards.
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The pants are $82 to $128 a pop. Overall, the withdrawal will cost the company $17 million in the first quarter and $50 million for the rest of the year
, particularly in the second quarter, $8 million more than was originally predicted.
The company said it has added more stringent controls and is diversifying its suppliers to make sure it doesn't happen again.
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