I wrote this honest Fabletics review because I couldn’t continue to pretend like I loved the company when its customers service and messaging was going against what I value. I’m committed to being transparent with my readers, and once I had severed my relationship with the company, I was free to write this. Here’s my Fabletics Brand Ambassador story.
In July 2014, I excitedly became a Fabletics Brand Ambassador, joining the program known as the Fabletics Fit Squad. I officially left the Fabletics Fit Squad in October 2015. During that time, I experienced both the good and the bad of the company. This post is about my experience as both a customer and a brand ambassador.
Fabletics Positive Review, Pre-2015
Initially, I was attracted to Fabletics because of the price point. I was impressed with the general quality and comfort of the items, especially the Lima capris, Ayni bra, and Sintra bra. There were a few missteps, but I loved almost everything I purchased from the company. Even some items I felt skeptical about, like the Suva Run Shorts and Suva II Run Shorts, and the Salar capris, outperformed my expectations. The fit was true to size as well. In short, the Fabletics line could hold up to my workouts very well.
The price point was also a selling point for me. When I first joined Fabletics as a VIP member, and partway into my time as a brand ambassador (or “Fabletics Fit Squad” member), you could buy an entire outfit for $49.95. That included a top and a bottom, and sometimes, even a sports bra.
Needless to say, when I was asked to be a member of the Fabletics Fit Squad, I was thrilled. When I joined, it was incredibly well-run. The Fabletics ambassadors seemed hand-picked and ranged from fitness enthusiasts and instructors to a couple of ladies just beginning on their fitness journey. Most of them actively posted on social media and embodied what Fabletics was about at the time: healthy living, fitness, self-improvement, and looking great while doing it.
I was having a lot of fun, hosting events, trying new styles, and promoting what seemed like a great brand. But all good things must come to an end, and here’s the honest truth about everything that went wrong with Fabletics and the Fit Squad program, starting at the beginning of 2015, and the rest of my honest Fabletics review.
Fabletics Review 2015: It’s All Downhill
As I mentioned, Fabletics started going downhill. All of those good things disappeared. I’m not going to rehash every single problem I’ve had. That’s counterproductive. Instead, I’m just going to note a few things to keep in mind if you’re considering joining Fabletics as a VIP Member in this Fabletics review.
Declining Product Quality
Starting in 2015, I noticed a marked difference in quality from the first pieces I’ve ordered to pieces from more recent collections, so I’m writing that Fabletics review here. For example, the tropical print Salar Capris from an early summer 2015 collection were stitched in such a way that the white from the reverse side of the fabric shows through the seams. I also several unresolved issues with Fabletics quality:
- The Weston Pullover started unraveling at the thumbholes after maybe two trips to the washer.
- The stitching on my Joni Jacket (a sleek winter jacket that could pack into itself) started unraveling after normal (e.g., wearing it daily as a winter jacket) wear.
There are more, but to its credit, Fabletics did replace a couple of the items that ripped (Sintra Bra and Caicos Capris, pictured above), bled (Juneau Bra), or otherwise couldn’t handle everyday wear and tear (Loveland Hoodie). However, there is a part of me that wonders if those items would have been replaced had I not been in the Fabletics Fit Squad. I’ve seen customers posting on Facebook begging for resolutions, and Fabletics customer service routinely ignores them.
When I used to order an XS tank, whether it was an Oula or an Aventura, it fit properly. It wasn’t too baggy or too long (I mean, it was longish, but I’m 5’1″). It was the Baby Bear of tanks. Then Fabletics hopped on the vanity sizing bandwagon. All of a sudden, the Aventura tanks fit like mediums and the Oulas were dresses. The Aruba wrap was gigantic. All of a sudden, I couldn’t order tops because the returns process was always so slow that the item I’d be exchanging my too-large top for was sold out.
And then it spread to the pants. I made the mistake of picking up a pair of the Polaris pants (a soft athleisure-style legging) on sale, and the XS gaps at the waist. Can I return them? Of course not; Fabletics knew the pants were poorly sized, which is why they were on sale. I can’t bring myself to order an XXS. I am not that small.
Customer Service Is Abysmal
It’s hard to know where to start with this, because customer service went extremely south in 2015 – even worse than before. Part of the problem is that Fabletics set up its call center in the Philippines. Right away, that creates a language and culture barrier. I’ll just provide three examples:
- Customer service is pretty poorly trained. For example, in one instance, the representatives completely wiped out my store credit. I had $56.62 worth of credit in my account before I returned the South Point outfit (which was $59.95 – hello, price creep!). I contacted Live Chat after my return had been received by the warehouse. The rep, Leane, assured me that I would receive my credit in 24 hours. I refreshed my order history, and instead of the return being reflected as received, Leane had wiped out my RMA. I jumped back on Live Chat and got Marco. He wiped out the $56.62 and replaced it with a $59.95 credit. He insisted that I should only have $59.95 on my account. Marco insisted that I did not have a store credit before the RMA was canceled. Eventually, I got this resolved, after spending two hours of my life on Live Chat, on the phone, and contacting the Influencer Relations Coordinator for help.
- Customer service representatives use condescending scripts – I actually have a chat transcript I copied and pasted where the representative admitted to copying and pasting the wrong response. I could write another opus on this one, but phrases like “rest assured” and “not to worry” smack of script-reading and pasting. There were plenty of copy-and-paste responses in Live Chat that made no sense. Remember the language barrier? It came out in full force here in every single interaction.
- Returns and exchanges are a nightmare, not “hassle-free.” For a while, Fabletics used FedEx SmartPost for returns, but that took 10 business days just to reach the warehouse. The company switched to Newgistics, which was almost as bad. It was 7-10 business days just for the return items to reach the warehouse, and then another 2-3 business days for the warehouse to process the return. The best-case scenario for an exchange is that you’d get your item two weeks later. For me, it usually took three weeks.
The Fabletics Deal-Breaker
Customer service was the deal-breaker for me, seriously. The Caicos capris had been won as a prize in an Instagram contest, and Fabletics first sent me the wrong size capris, even though I had specified my size in my entry form (and as a long-time customer of Fabletics, the company also had all of my sizing information at its fingertips). At first, customer service wouldn’t replace the capris:
Great, I now had a pair of capris that I couldn’t wear, even though I provided Fabletics with my correct size. It was only at the behest of the Influencer Relations Coordinator that the pants got replaced. Of course, they ripped, because Fabletics quality isn’t what it used to be. And when I complained, this is the response I got:
It was the straw that broke the camel’s back, because they refused to stand behind their product. I canceled my membership.
Eventually, I did get a call from headquarters, and the company is offering me a replacement pair of capris.
I Was Just Plain Embarrassed
My friends who knew I had an “in” at Fabletics were telling me all the problems they had: delayed shipping, orders canceled without being notified, the vanity sizing, the customer service – all things that I had experienced. I didn’t have a good answer for them as to why this kept happening. I provided feedback on my quarterly surveys, but nothing was addressed. The Fit Squad program was going downhill, too, and I wasn’t being provided with what I needed to properly promote the company. The new Influencer Relations Coordinator seemed to not care at all.
Fabletics also made its foray into “athleisure” at the expense of activewear. Instead of being able to find awesome Lima Capris and Ayni Bras, I was looking at jogging pants meant for lounging at Starbucks, sports bras with too many straps and not enough support, and fussy shirts that would get caught on barbells. The new clothes that Fabletics was trying to sell wouldn’t work for running or CrossFit.
However, I will say that the cotton long-sleeved tees were awesome, and there was a dress I loved in the August collection. But joggers and things like the Darco tank (faded easily, bled on itself, completely an athleisure piece) are pretty worthless to me. It’s all very overpriced, especially for what you’re getting. I’d rather wait to see what shows up in Lululemon’s We Made Too Much section or for an Athleta sale for athletic wear if this is what’s happening to Fabletics. Also, I live 20 minutes away from a Reebok outlet and an Under Armour outlet.
I honestly can’t endorse the brand any longer. To anyone. I’m so, so sorry if I’ve persuaded you to become a VIP member from one of my Fabletics reviews and you’ve had issues like this.
Ultimately, I wanted to be fully transparent with my readers and let them know what was going on at Fabletics. I don’t want anyone else to sign up for Fabletics and be disappointed. Know what it’s really like when you go into it. That’s all I ask.