Lululemon fined for misleading refund rule

Athleisure brand Lululemon Athletica Australia has forked out more than $32,000 after it was caught falsely telling customers they were not entitled to a refund or replacement products, the consumer watchdog says.

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission issued Lululemon three infringement notices, totalling $32,400, saying the retailer, which sells yoga-inspired athletic apparel, made false or misleading representations about consumer guarantee rights.

The ACCC alleges Lululemon’s website, in ads for sale products, falsely stated that consumers were not entitled to a return, remedy, refund or exchange of a product under any circumstance.

The activewear giant claimed all sale items were “yours for keeps, so no returns and no exchanges”.

The popular Canadian yoga and running brand, which opened its doors in Australia in 2004, also refused to give a customer a refund for products she considered faulty.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said Lululemon made these representations to customers when Australian consumer law did provide for a remedy for faulty products.

“If a product or service fails to meet a consumer guarantee, people are automatically entitled to a remedy,” Ms Rickard said.

“If products develop a fault which constitutes a major failure, customers are entitled to a refund, even if the product was purchased on sale.”

Under Australian consumer law, purchased products and services come with automatic guarantees that they will work and do what consumers expect.

A retailer can’t refuse to help a customer seeking a remedy and can’t direct a customer to the manufacturer or importer, the ACCC said.

Lululemon on Tuesday said it had resolved the issue and made sure its commitment to consumer rights is clear and in accordance with the law.

“Our language in-store and online has been updated to ensure consistency and clarity for our guests across all of our channels,” the company said.

Lululemon said if a product did not perform for a customer “we’ll take it back”.

“We always endeavour to deliver the best possible experience for our guests in-store and online and if we ever fall short, we make it right,” the company said.