Women’s activewear brand Fabletics, co-founded by actress Kate Hudson has been popping up everywhere you turn since they launched. They offer big discounts on sportswear, yoga wear, gym wear and that sort of thing. You can shop leggings from £49 down to £22 – if you sign up for the VIP membership at checkout. Irresistible savings right?
Fabletics have been pushing their line on TV ads, billboards, social media ads and now collaborating with a lot of popular lifestyle influencers on Instagram to try to get you to buy. Maybe it’s just me who’s bombarded but I guess I am an ideal target seeing as all my money seems to be spent on workout clothes and fitness stuff.
Earlier this summer, I was pleased when I came across one of their retail stores on a visit to Boston, Massachusetts. Here was my chance to explore their collection- touching and stretching at their leggings to see if the quality compared to others I own and also if they were squat proof.
Their leggings are quite thick and compressive with some stretch to them. I love their bright colours and wide variety of unique designs you won’t usually find in stores or other popular name brands. Overall, I was impressed by the quality of their apparel (albeit pricey) but I didn’t buy in store as I planned to subscribe to their VIP membership to take advantage of their member discounts.
I own workout gear mostly from Adidas and Nike and have tried Puma and a couple of others. Generally, I am happy to spend a little more for my workout wear because I practically sleep in them and therefore need them to deliver in terms of quality, performance and be durable enough for frequent laundry.
So anyway…. recently, I finally sat down to make my Fabletics order which I’d left in my store basket for days as I had to really think whether I needed more workout clothes. Also, I typically try and stay away from anything with a monthly subscriptions except it’s absolutely necessary and useful (software licencing, on-demand entertainment, gym) or would help me generate an additional income. Anyway, I proceeded to register for their VIP membership to claim my 2 for £24 on leggings for new members.
I planned to register and cancel after a month to take advantage of the VIP savings, but once I saw their membership terms, I halted and scoured the net to see what was being said. While it’s a legitimate business, their business model and terms didn’t sit right with me. It didn’t take me long to discover that many others felt the same.
Across social media, Fabletics ‘members’ are complaining that they didn’t realise they had signed up to a monthly subscription.
Fabletics reviews on Site Jabber
One reviewer said “First of all, the leggings are awesome. I genuinely love them BUT the entire process is ridiculous!! The prices quoted on the website are not what you pay. I screwed up and had three months’ worth of “outfit” credits. I just spent $167 (my $149 credit plus some shipping) for 3 pair of leggings and 3 tank tops. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS!! BEWARE”
Another added “They keep charging me monthly and whenever I try to cancel they’re always on hold or the online chat is never available I need a refund, I don’t even buy anything”
A third “They hook you with the “two pairs of pants for $20!” special, but it becomes a hassle. You’ve got to be diligent about skipping months if you don’t want or need a new outfit each month”
A fourth “I tried to return an item and it was very inconvenient so I wanted to cancel. If I cancelled, I would lose the small credit I had. It was difficult to skip a month or cancel all together. The “member pricing” credit did not apply to sale or clearance items. I felt the entire thing was not transparent”
If you’re thinking of signing up for Fabletic’s VIP membership, there are some things you need to know about their terms so you don’t end up signing for what you can’t afford. This information is to help you make an informed decision. As a VIP member you get up to 40% off their clothing, free shipping and reward points. Note that, your other option is to make a one-time purchase as a non-member but you’ll pay twice as much as VIP members. It’s sort of like, are you going to spend all that money for a couple of leggings or will you commit to a monthly subscription you don’t really want to, so you can save on a one-time purchase?
How Transparent is Fabletics about their terms?
Although the television advertisements are somewhat misleading, the website itself is clear about their monthly charges. Their monthly subscription fee and cancellation terms are stated in small print on their home page and repeated through the checkout process and on the dedicated ‘how it works’ page.
How does their membership work?
Shop monthly, or you can skip months without being charged anything as long as you log into your account and choose the ‘skip the month’ option by the 5th because you are charged on the 6th of every month whether or not you buy something.
You can skip as many months as you want with no charge; but here’s the catch- If you forget to skip the month, your card will be charged the £44 /$49.95 a month but you’ll have that credit in your membership account to put towards any purchases going forward. Unless you have super human memory and are generally able to stay on top of your bills, you might want to set a reminder on your phone to ‘skip the month’ to avoid getting caught out!
Fabletics Terms and Conditions- Taken from their site: It’s your responsibility to sign into your account and either shop or “skip the month” by the 5th of the month. If you shop or skip you won’t be charged for a member credit that month. If you don’t take action between the 1st and 5th of the month, you’ll be charged £44 for a member credit on the 6th.
How straightforward is it to cancel your subscription?
You can only cancel by either calling or speaking to their operatives via online chat to cancel your membership. Can you remember the last time you had to make an important phone call on time and actually did? Me neither!
Fabletics cancellation procedure- taken from their site: Membership cancellations cannot be processed via email. Please call Member Services or contact us through live chat for further assistance.
Apparently, they’re known to have pushy sales people. If you do decide to cancel at any point be prepared for their sales reps to try and sell you new stuff and get you to stay. Keep it polite but short. “I’m sorry, but I’m just not interested”
What’s their exchange and refund policy?
Fabletics 30-Day Guarantee: “We’ve got you covered! If the style you ordered doesn’t fit perfectly, or you don’t love how it looks, we’ll happily exchange or refund. You can exchange or refund for credit 30 days from receiving your package, or get a full refund within 14 days”
The monthly subscription is great for people who are really into fitness and want a great deal on their fitness wear and can afford the £44/$49.95 a month or are able to keep up with the ‘skip the month’ and membership credits. Subscribing as a VIP might not be a great deal if you’re not really into fitness or aren’t the type to wear athletic wear for casual or daily wear.
Is Fabletics worth the hype or are you better off saving your money and spending it elsewhere? Drop your comments below
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Having been a VIP member twice now, I am appalled the way this marketing is used to entice the public. I recently purchased a pair of leggings and top, I received the leggings with a big hole on the side. I returned both items ( it came as a set) but have not received my money back. After a week I decided to skip the month and finally stopped the VIP membership. I like the fitness wear but this is too much hassle for me and ultimately Hudson keeps making money off her members. Simply unfair.
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