PrettyLittleThing prospects upset after account ban over returns | EUROtoday

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By Lora Jones, Business reporter, BBC News

Getty Images Selling Sunset star and influencer Bre Tiesi Getty Images

Selling Sunset star and influencer Bre Tiesi has beforehand partnered with PrettyLittleThing

Fast-fashion model PrettyLittleThing (PLT) is going through criticism from prospects who’ve had their accounts with the corporate deactivated due to the variety of occasions they’ve returned their purchases.

In an electronic mail seen by the BBC, buyers have been informed on Friday that their accounts had been reviewed and shut down so they might not be capable to place any additional orders.

Some of these affected have used social media to criticise the brand new coverage, claiming that they had solely made one return thus far this yr, or suggesting they might return fewer objects if the agency was extra constant in its sizing of clothes objects.

PLT didn’t instantly reply to the BBC’s request for remark.

The on-line retailer, which is a part of the Boohoo Group, had come below fireplace earlier this month after scrapping its free returns coverage.

One PLT buyer branded the newest transfer a “joke” and mentioned returns wouldn’t be essential if the sizing and the standard of the clothes was not “awful”.

Posting on X, they mentioned: “You don’t have a physical store, [of course] people will return things.”

Another wrote that that they had obtained the e-mail telling them their account was being deactivated regardless of the very fact their final return to the corporate was three months in the past.

Email PLT shoppers have received telling them their accounts are being deactivated due to unusual returns activity

The electronic mail PLT buyers obtained made it clear they might nonetheless return objects that they had already bought however can be locked out from shopping for any extra.

On TikTok, movies of buyers questioning why their accounts have been suspended have additionally obtained a whole bunch of likes.

It was not instantly clear what standards the corporate used for its selections.

Becca Unsworth, a 24-year-old pensions administrator from Preston, informed the BBC that she was “appalled” after her account was suspended.

Initially, she was undecided whether or not the e-mail had been despatched to her in error.

However, on Saturday morning she says she was knowledgeable by a PLT customer support adviser that it was real.

She describes herself as a loyal buyer for the final seven years: “I go to PLT for everything really – something for work, a new top for a night out, hair stuff, beauty products. I spent so much money there.

“I do return however it’s because of the reality one thing could arrive defective or I have to order an merchandise in three totally different sizes to ensure it suits in any respect,” she said, describing the brand’s sizing as “horrible”.

Becca had also paid the £9.99 fee to access PLT’s “Royalty” scheme for unlimited deliveries in the UK for a year.

But she has been told with her account being deactivated, the company will not provide her with a refund or partial refund.

She adds that the experience has “put [her] off buying there ever once more” and now she will opt for the likes of Asos or Shein.

Becca Unsworth Faulty PLT jumpsuitBecca Unsworth

Becca says she recently had to return a PLT jumpsuit because part of a clasp was missing when it arrived

Sophie Smith, a 26-year-old PLT shopper from Norwich, said that she thought the message received was a “joke” initially.

She has been a member of its “Royalty” delivery scheme since it was first offered and opts for PLT for outfits for bottomless brunches, weddings or nights out.

She told the BBC she has only made one return to PLT this year, and added that she felt the latest development showed the company “does not worth their prospects”.

In the email, PLT apologised for any inconvenience caused and pointed out that shoppers would still be able to make returns via its online portal.

PLT is part of the Boohoo Group, which was founded by Mahmud Kamani and retail executive Carol Kane in 2006.

The brand started out as an accessories-only outfit, with a focus on on-trend, low-cost pieces.

It was co-founded and headed up by Umar Kamani, one of Mahmud Kamani’s sons, who drove the brand’s collaborations with the likes of supermodel Naomi Campbell and influencer Molly-May Hague, as well as its expansion in the US.

While it has come under the spotlight for its working practices, the Boohoo Group was one of the big winners of the pandemic, as online retailers thrived.

However, it has since faced several challenges with the rate of returns normalising, rising competition from ultra-fast fashion brands like Shein, and customer budgets being squeezed during the cost-of-living crisis.

Customers vented their frustration recently when PLT decided to introduce a £1.99 fee for returns, including for those members of its “Royalty” service.

High Street giants such as Zara, Uniqlo and Next already charge for online returns, while PLT rival OhPolly recently introduced a policy where the greater the amount of an order returned, the higher the return fee.

Instead of a flat fee, shoppers now face an £8.99 return fee for returning every item they order, versus £2.99 for less than half of the items, for example.

Analysts have mentioned, nevertheless, that retailers are going through value pressures themselves, which imply they should introduce these prices or put costs up.