Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Shill Product Reviews on the Website?

Suspect review for the Fast As Light Bra

(Text for those with old eyes, like me:

Life Changer!
Hey Guys! This bra is an absolute life changer. I am a 5 foot nothing, C-cup with a super broad back and this bra is perrrrfffectttt. Not only is it comfy-as-f, the finer details are so nice. The built in bra portion is perfect and the extra fabric that turns it into a crop-top is amazing for those crazy high-energy spin classes! Honestly, the price was a little scary a first, but after I put it on and fell in-love, I knew why. Worth every dollar - my new go to!)

Suspect review for the CRB II

(Text: Thank you for changing the fit!!!
I was feeling the need to spruce up my wardrobe with some fun and cute tanks and this year, I found myself close to a lulu store with an hour to kill. Although, I've tried this style tank on before, I'm sure glad I couldn't resist the mini hounds camo emperor blue black pattern and grabbed it to try on again! They fit me now!!! Previous versions were WAY too slim and long on me. Not just the bottom hem, but too long in the straps, which in turn made the neckline way too low. It was so slim, it would not only enhance my mom belly, but display every single detail of my body. I couldn't understand how many absolutely flawless 6'2" women that the previous version would actually work for. But, I am only 5'0"... So I can only speak for petite women. I'm usually a 4 in lulu tanks, and got a 4. Love the print and the fabric is breathable as always! I can see wearing this with black speed shorts to run in, with jean shorts to the beach, or even under a black cardi, leggings and boots to work. Love it! Thank you lulu!!!!)



Authentic rave review for the Strap It Like It's Hot Bra

Text: BEST BRA for bigger busts!
PLEASEEEE BRING THIS BRA BACK with different colors! I have tried many of lululemon's bras ( Ta Ta Tamer, and Energy to name a few) for support, but Strap It Like Its Hot tops them all! I am a natural 32 E, and bought a size 6, I like it tight. This has been my go to bra for running. It really works for my smaller frame (5'3'') and bigger bust. Definitely keeps me locked in with no movement, even with a heart rate monitor on. I have bought one in every color and would highly recommend it. I like it so much more than Ta Ta Tamer- it has the same amount of support but tends to hold my breasts together rather than separating and it just looks cuter!)



There is an ugly new trend on the lululemon website these days - shill reviews. I don't know if lululemon told the educators to hype some of the new releases or is just having staff write reviews but a number of reviews on some of the newest items strike me as incredibly inauthentic. I've developed a pretty good ear for authentic reviews (and blog comments), whether it comes to clothing or Yelp restaurant reviews (pro tip - if a review talks extensively about the friendly staff and cute decor it's compromised) and it's obvious there is inauthentic hype about some of the newest items. Lululemon built its reputation through organic grassroots support and now it's trying to astroturf enthusiasm. Pathetic.

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

I saw that CRB II review a few days ago and thought the same thing... It just struck me as odd. Another dead giveaway is the overuse of exclamation points, lol.

Anonymous said...

So the CRB II "reviewer" is 5' and complains about the CRB being too long...why did she then suddenly assume only 6'2" women would look good in the I. Pretty sure the I didn't have 14 extra inches of fabric. So not only is it inauthentic but it doesn't make any sense

Anonymous said...

hmm you are right, the reviews sound so off!

Anonymous said...

I've wondered this. Shameful:-(

Anonymous said...

agree. I noticed some of these reviews too. and although you want to give people the benefit of doubt, it is very hard to believe some of them.

I recently bought the salute the sun singlet. yes, the one with a gap in the middle of your back. the same one people kept complaining about that it has a gap. one of the reviewers was writing that yes, the stupid tank has a gap. deal with it (or stitch it). it is right there. so yes, a review like this is legit. I believe that the person loves it (I love it too!).
but then you have the crazy reviews. a tank is not going to change your life. for real. lol

Anonymous said...

Sounds like they have fallen out of integrity.

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for your 2016 seawheeze post, is it coming? I love seeing all the pictures of the showcase store merchansise. Last year was so much fun. I didn't make it this year, but it's nice to live vicariously through you!

Anonymous said...

I have been wondering about this myself for quite a while. Lately there will be tons of horrible reviews mixed with one raving "this changed my life" review. Real low in my opinion. I often wonder if there are similar troll comments on your posts as well LA. Makes me even more determined to take the time to leave real and factual comments.

Anonymous said...

Good eye, LLA. These all sound like prototypes of inauthentic comments. They are all written the same way, like there were points to cover given to the writer(s). Why am I not surprised? I think if we go back in LLL 's history, we would find these types of dishonest feedback - we just never bothered to pick them out. But you finally pointed a finger at them, although I don't expect the company to change their way. Everybody does it now - you just have to trust your own sense of BS detection.

Anonymous said...

About a week and a half ago, I left an unfavorable review for the swiftly long sleeve, heathered bali breeze, and they have NOT posted it yet. That swiftly in particular looks like it has runs in it similar to nylons (hosiery). Yes, they are picking and choosing what to put. They are a changed company, no doubt about that.

Anita Leisser said...

I noticed the CRB review this morning!
I also thought it was a little fishy to see these super positive reviews amidst so many negatives.
I always read the reviews for new items or items I've never bought, and it's unfortunate to see how many are negative.

Anonymous said...

I've always noticed the fake comments on your blog as well, LLA. They are so outrageously fake, I can immediately tell when they gush obsessively and have "no problem" with the price increases. I guess Lulu thinks we are too dumb to notice, and yes, they think we are suckers too...

Anonymous said...

I've been suspecting this has been going on. I've been getting the feeling some of the comments in this blog and Lulumum's blogs haven't been genuine. I'm glad to see I'm not alone in this.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you as someone who works as an educator, we have not gotten any requests from my store or its region about asking us to write inauthentic reviews. I agree with you they seem very fabricated and if it is someone working for the company, they set a bad example for the rest of us that pride ourselves on being honest with guests.

Anonymous said...

I honestly feel that they should do something like Amazon, where you can view 'verified purchases.' These shilly comments would be easier to purge, in that case.

Anonymous said...

Lululemon used the term "as f" in their advertising about 6 months ago which upset some customers. This term is in the first review you show above in the second line, interesting. Good Post LLA

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way about the reviews. A lot of it sounds fake. I know there are real reviews in there but when someone raves about something vaguely and has no other reviews, I'm not sure I believe them.

Anonymous said...

Just to let everyone know LLL Website now shows product with models instead of floating pics. I don't see any other changes but maybe more are coming?

Anonymous said...

i have a family member on the board of directors for LLM...they confirmed that yes, this is indeed a "thing" :(

Anonymous said...

Ha! So pathetic .. When I see the writting styles side to side I absolutely see the difference.
Also the overuse of exclamation marks makes the review to good to be true.

Anonymous said...

"Not only is it comfy-as-f"... who talks like that?

Anonymous said...

I am impressed that you even read reviews. I don't even bother since the website changed. I'm not at all farsighted, but it really strains my eyes trying to read that light gray font, and highlighting the text doesn't help. I've wondered if perhaps it's an intentional effort to discourage people from reading reviews since they haven't been terribly stellar lately (the real ones, anyway!).

janine57 said...

Yeah those top 2 sound fake! Who talks like that? You are so right!

Karlee Bateman said...

That is definitely a sign that they are losing steam in the marketplace. Maybe soon they will start selling at Target, TJMaxx or Kohl's (like a lot of other brands that lose steam; Rock & Republic, Mossimo Affliction, etc...) I was going to take a picture, and I am mad that I didn't, but I was at my local Marshall's store (like a TJMaxx or Ross) and I saw a pair of boogie shorts with the lululemon logo in the right place, but on the inside of the waistband, it had the Fila stamp in the correct place it is in other garments. That was a year ago or so. It sounds like to me they are just using mass produced items and stamping their logo on it like a lot of other cheaper brands do.

Anonymous said...

It's really, really odd that you posted this today because I was poking around the site last night and thinking how strange and really fake a lot of the reviews sounded, especially for new products intended to replace much-loved classics. The second review that you posted in particular was so revoltingly over the top that I closed out of the website.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking this. I was reading the CRB II reviews the other day and noticed that the reviews seemed different than usually.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, LLA. Thanks as well for the tips on other shill reviews for other sites.

Completely agree with you on the LLL shill reviews and also that it is an extremely pathetic move. Speaks of desperation, imo. They can write all the shill reviews they want, they will not regain my business. In addition, I spend less time on the LLL website since they changed it, as I do not find the changes user friendly. The new site is cumbersome and annoying.

Sure, OK, the CRB1 has only been appropriate for someone over 6', so says the reviewer. I'm 5'5" and the CRB1 has been perfect for all my activities (run, yoga, cycle, walk, and worn casually under t-shits and sweaters). I have a number of them and it is easily my most worn garment. Acknowledged, the CRB1 does not suit everyone but no one will ever sell me on the CRB2 (not customers who like it or LLL). I will not pay more money for an inferior product and I cannot stand the back of the CRB2.

As for the "customer" being 5 feet. If LLL is focused on a petite customer 5' or less, wonderful. Then where is the petite version of the clothing? From my petite friends I know that it is not about clothing being just shorter or smaller, there are different petite fit needs. Same goes for tall. But I digress.

lol I am OK with breaking up with LLL. It's been happening for a few years now as they earn less and less of my money. I don't expect much from them anymore, not in quality, design, innovation, or customer happiness. There has been no improvement, only deterioration with higher prices.

Anonymous said...

As much as people hated Chip, and all he yapped about, it was his vision that made lulu, Lulu! As soon as he left clothes quality started going down the drain. No more bright colors, no more special details like the ones we've seen in jackets or pants and tanks, no more ruffles which have been replaced by "innovative" holes in clothes and mountains of mesh, not many unique prints like the good old days that distinguished themselves as being lulu in a heartbeat. What do we get now? Generic clothing at a higher price point that doesn't even resemble lululemon anymore. Not surprised at the fake reviews popping up to try to encourage the customer to accept bad quality as "life changing!" Only Chip coming back could save this sinking ship! *Drinks tea*

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what's worse: Ol' Chip's body shamming comments or these BS reviews! Augh! :P

Anonymous said...

I bet they even believe their own fake reviews. Lululemon has lost the plot.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. These reviews are so suspect. I'm through with this company!

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 1:43 pm - I read them every now and then to see whether other people feel the same was as I do about certain products. I was especially curious about the new CRBII since I've decided I really don't care for it and there were more than a couple of these strangely detailed reviews: "I was told by a store manager that the CRB is the most commonly hemmed item" - really? Thanks for including a detail most people would not write about in their review. Moreover, I'm in the stores on a weekly basis and most people getting alterations are getting their pants hemmed. Additionally, getting a CRB hemmed greatly impacts the resale value and most people are very loathe to hem their tanks. If they're that petite, they usually wander down to the Ivivva line for their version of the CRB. I also read another review of the CRBII saying how they're glad they raised the neckline on the new version so that their Energy Bra doesn't show anymore - said no lululemon fan ever.

Anonymous said...

Who cares? What's the point of getting angry over something so trivial?

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 11:40 am - I don't really think it's the educators writing them. I feel it's more the designers and/or people invested in making the new designs a success. Moreover, educators are much more familiar with the products, often get feedback all day from people on it, and could write, I'm sure, more authentic-sounding reviews

LuluAddict said...

@ Anita - I have sometimes felt that more than a few negative reviews might be planted by rival companies, too, so I often ignore them unless I've read people complaining about the same aspects on the facebook groups, here in my blog comments, or experienced the same problem myself. However, I should acknowledge that because I've been buying the brand so long I have become savvy in which fabrics are especially vulnerable and avoid them.

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 10:27 am - I have been meaning to put up a SW post. My kids just started school today so I've been busy registering them and running around getting things ready. Now that they're back in school I have some solid blocks of time to sit down and put it together.

Anonymous said...

I so agree with you. Bring Chip back!

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:45 PM - "As-f" was a dead giveaway to me that it was a, shall we say, "internal" review, because LLL appears to be extremely anal about anything even approaching profanity. People were losing it on their FB wall after the price increase because they were deleting innocuous posts under the pretext of "profanity." If you or I had included this language in our review, it wouldn't be posted.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 2:44 PM, haha best oxymoron ever with "'innovative' holes"

It's true, C. Wilson was guilty of some blunders that he ought to have kept to himself, and let's not go there with his actual believing them *cringe* or not. I think most people agree that he had (has?) solid principles when it came to design, vision, and quality. He certainly did build a successful company and brand.

Potdevin has compromised the brand in more ways than one and it will eventually show up in the numbers. I don't think his plan is going to succeed.

Anonymous said...

I find this surprising given the FTC has some stringent rules on fake reviews and testimonials, which can get companies into a lot of trouble where they are deceiving consumers.

Anonymous said...

I agree anon 2:44. While I used to visably cringe every time Chip prepared to open his mouth and speak, I will not deny his gift for women's clothes and design.. I would rather have him at the helm of the LLL ship and just ignore what comes out of his mouth rather than tolerate this replacement jokers, Day and them Potdevin thinking they can run LLL...

Anonymous said...

That's what I thought anon 1:41. The reviewer says they are from Toronto, On. I am from Toronto and the language does not seem consistent with how people talk there... ( can't speak for all of the 3 million plus but it doesn't ring true)

That Mouse said...

After this post I am going to continue buying older Lulu on secondhand sites. Absolutely nothing on the website has raised my interest except the mauve Y tank; I'll just pass to pick up a lightly used Y tank from a private seller for $30 less.

Anonymous said...

You've basically turned into a paranoid, grouchy blogger over lululemon. What's your deal? It's so unpleasant to read you now-a-days. These reviews sound like something I could have written and I'm not working or getting paid by the company. Stop with the speculating and chill out.

Anonymous said...

I'm super short and have had multiple pairs of crops hemmed. Times I've even thought about hemming a CRB: zero. Still can't bring myself to even try on the CRB II. the only thing I like about it is the higher neckline, but the rest of it looks like crap.

aaa said...

Has anyone else noticed that they don't ship the lululemon bags with orders anymore? I orderered 3 seperate orders online last week and not one came with a bag. Not that I need more of them but I feel like it's another penny pinching measure :( Maybe it's just because I ordered more than one order?

Anonymous said...

I 100% agree with you about these faux reviews. Great spotting. You are awesome, LLA, and I LOVE your blog.

However, to be fair and in response to your 4:48 comment, I am a shortie (just under 5'3") with a short torso and I get all of my CRBs hemmed by LLL. I am DEFINITELY in the minority, especially since, as you wisely mentioned, hemming ruins the tank's resale value. That being said, before I "discovered" LLL just over 6 years ago, I had to get my tops hemmed by a professional. You can imagine how happy I was when I found out LLL would hem my tanks for free. And my local store did a great job on alterations.

I use the word "did" above because I will NOT be buying the CRB2. To LLL's credit, they published my exhaustive and critical 2 star review (Like the front/Hate the back) of the CRB2. Now I will buy the Ivivva KUC exclusively. That being said I like the Keep Your Cool, but don't love it since it does not nip in at the waist as much as the original CRB.

Thanks again for all that you do. :)

LuluAddict said...

@ aaa - I think a lot of people have been asking for a bag opt-out option and welcome not having to recycle a ton of bags. I think you can still request one, though, or am I wrong?

@ anon 8:17 pm - you are right, my post about last week's upload was pretty grouchy. What can I say? I don't care for the direction my favorite brand seem to be headed in. I really don't understand the lack of color, especially when its most loyal and core customers take great delight in building rainbow and color spectrum collections of its various tops and bottoms. As for being paranoid, I'd bet money the reviews I highlighted are not authentic. Lululemon would be better served by censoring the negative reviews rather than generating false positive ones.

@ anon 5:49 pm - you see false reviews all over the web, whether it's Yelp or Amazon, etc.. I'm sure it's very hard to prove.

Anonymous said...

1. I agree with a lot of you, some reviews scream fake.
2. Bring Chip Wilson back!!! I like to think of him as Steve Jobs of the clothing industry (at least when it comes to athletic wear). Both very controversial people that made some comments/decisions that did not sit well with a lot of people. And both created beautiful quality products.
3. LLA, I love that you are honest and say it like it is. I appreciate that you don't sugar coat your opinions just because you have a LLL blog. Please continue to do what you are doing :)

Eric Lewis said...

They don't post my "negative" reviews on some Mens products. I guess because I stated "the $14 price increase in the span of 8 months is outrageous". LOL

Anonymous said...

LLA I would say it's a stretch to be called paranoid for calling out shill reviews on LLL website. Maybe Anon 8:17pm should SHILL OUT and stop reading this blog if it's upsetting. Thanks to such horrible changes and direction at LLL over the last year or more, many lulu lovers must feel tired of complaining, I know I am. However, as a consumer I feel it's my job to speak up and let the company know what makes me happy and what ticks me off and what better way than through social media. So thank you very much LLA for this great blog and giving us a platform to discuss and voice our opinions.

P.S. I would love nothing better than to have positive glowing comments and opinions about LLL but they have to earn it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the heads up! I never would have suspected something like this but I think I just spotted one while reading reviews of the bliss break tank. I'll be more critical when I read the reviews in the future. Since I don't live next to a store I do rely on them before purchasing. Even if it's not a WMTM item the return processing time takes ages (usually 3 weeks for me).

Anonymous said...

I'm on the short side (with shorter upper body) at 5'2" and have never had any of my CRBs hemmed, I liked the length. I have the purple and the red CRB II and don't really notice the difference in length, although when I lay them on top of each other to measure, it is about 1" difference, not much. The main reason I like the new version is because it gives me better coverage at the front neckline and fits better in the neckline/armholes area for me. I love my CRBs, but was always pulling it up in front to make sure I had enough coverage over my bust area. I know a lot of people like their bra to show in front, but I guess I am in the minority because I prefer my bra and cleavage area completely covered up. I would have been really happy if they only made this one alteration to the CRB.

I have been wondering about some of the blog comments and reviews not being genuine. It is pathetic. I probably make just as many negative comments as positive. I have been falling out of love with this company over the past couple of years. I still like *some* stuff, but definitely not the company. If they keep going the route they are going then there will be nothing left that I want to purchase anyway and I will be completely done with Lulu. I am pretty sad that the few things that I do still like have gone up in price while going down in quality, and it is really hard for me to break up these items, but at same time I hate supporting this company.

Anonymous said...

anon@12:55pm OMG you're right! I like that much better now. Model photo 1st then floating photo.

Anonymous said...

Luluaddict,
Thank you for posting both negative and positive comments on here. That speaks a lot about your honesty and dignity. Versus the same of lululemon. I also pride myself on having Dottie tribe pants in my shopping basket twice and not pulling the trigger. I have not bought a single pair of tights for full price (besides pure practice two pairs, but they had detailing to justify the extra) ever since the price went up a year ago. I also watch the price of every single item I am buying these days and making sure I still get the best level of WMTM. Lululemon made me memorize prices and refresh my math skills, haha.....having said all that, I can only hope to see something so awesome in terms of quality, details, and COLORS that would make me forget about the math and follow my heart....the quiet stripe high times anyone?:)

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 2:13 pm - I love the Dottie Tribe pants. There were a ton of people wearing Dottie Tribe Pace Rivals for SeaWheeze. I think it's a pattern with a lot of energy and movement - great for races. I actually bought three pieces in it, same for the Hounds Camo. It's been a long, long time since I've bought multiple pieces in the same print, think a couple of years, at least. Based on what I'm seeing in the sneak peek video it might be awhile if I do that again. Nothing really wowed me in there.

Anonymous said...

Touched a nerve with Anon 8:17 PM. Funny that disclaimer about not working for the company. Right ;) Affiliated at least.

If you don't care for the content any longer Anon 8:17, no one is forcing you to view, read, or comment.

LLA's candor, intel/research, long time experience, and postings are definitely appreciated by most who read here, as well as the space provided to converse.

Anonymous said...

I don't think they are shill reviews. "Perrrfffecct" and "comfy-as-f" (or really, anything "AF") is very much instagram/buzzfeed lingo. And I also happen to agree with the CRB II review, which is why I only own 2 (heavily MD'd) CRBs

anon said...

Troll or lulu employee? ;)

Anonymous said...

I am 5'4, and I get all of my CRBs hemmed and a lot of other Lulu tops. I had no idea Lulu hemmed for free until an educator mentioned it to me after I had been shopping at Lulu. I really liked the length of the CRB shortcut offered a few years ago. Resale value is not something I've ever considered in determining what to buy or hem.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2.13 PM...
Get me right, I love Dottie tribe as well....though I just can't erase from my memory how not so long ago I bought full length BEACHSCAPE WUP for CA$82 plus 5% GST)))).....

Anonymous said...

Thank god I'm not familiar with what Anon 4:47 PM speaks of. Sounds completely idiotic.

Just like the LLL shill reviews.

Anonymous said...

I happened to see this post right before I went to read the reviews on the align crop, where one closed with "great price, too." Sorry, even the greatest of lulu apologetics are hesitant to call $88 on crops a "great price." That was over the top shill for me.

Susie said...

Personally, I'm interested in trying it out for the higher neckline. I'm not at all super busty but I don't like how the neckline shimmys down when I'm working out. Anyhow like I mentioned, I haven't tried it on but I'd be curious to see how it fits.

GratefulMama said...

I feel like if the company asked their employees to write favorable reviews, someone would end up telling someone else and it would turn into a big scandal. This stuff has a way of getting out. If anyone is doing it, they are part of the inner circle or loyal and/or ambitious employees acting on their own accord.

And also, my two cents about the reviews in general, people tend to complain more than complement. Most of us would have to be pretty thrilled by a purchase to motivate us to sit down and write a review (especially since I can't even figure out how to do it on my iPhone) so it makes sense that they would really gush about it.

LuluAddict said...

@Grateful Mama - I only leave reviews on the website when I absolutely love an item because I want to encourage lululemon to make more of the it.

There are gushing reviews that give true to life details about fit and performance from when you wore the item and there is fan-fic tier BS about how you were in the mood to go shopping and had an hour to kill yada yada and all the ways you are going to style the item you bought and oh-yeah, here are some handy reasons why the design on the item was changed, like the CRB was the most-hemmed item in the store and they only took an inch a half off. That is why I pointed people to the Strap It Like It's Hot bra reviews. That was a legitimate hit for bustier women and I detected no BS reviews there. The items that have BS reviews have been not well-received and/or had a crazy price point, like $68 for a half tank with a built in bra.

Anonymous said...

Agree so trivial. If this were true they wouldn't be the only ones out there that encourage employees or others to post reviews.