Multilevel marketer LuLaRoe (LLR, Inc. and LulaRoe, LLC) filed a discovery petition this week against blogger Christina Hinks, better known as Mommygyver. They hope to force Hinks to:
"disclose the identity and contact information of potential defendants who have damaged LLR and its goodwill by providing Respondent with LLR's confidential and proprietary business information, information about LLR and its merchandise, and false, derogatory information regarding LLR, much of which respondent has posted on her blog, www.mommygyver.com."
The court filing goes on for 100 pages, but that's the gist of their demand. It's not a direct lawsuit, but a demand for Hinks to provide information under force of law. The company wants Hinks to shut up and reveal who told her things about LuLaRoe.
"The things I've written about have been shared all over the internet -- not just here with me. Many of these documents have been publicly shared in various groups for disgruntled consultants and customers.
Knowing that you're IN those groups, and still choose to harass me legally says a lot about what this document really says.
LuLaRoe's counsel makes statements in this 50-page front-and-back printed (that's 100 pages, you guys) temper tantrum about what makes a journalist.
Their PR diva- Holly Baird claims LuLaRoe's intention isn't to sue me. In fact, LuLaRoe states in the document that they may seek to sue someone -- potentially the now thousands of retailers past and present that have reached out to share their stories with me.
Instead of processing refunds, they'd much rather spend your dime on what looks like a SLAPP-suit-in-the-making in an attempt to harass and intimidate me and the other hundreds of people that are now speaking up -- and LOUDLY."
As I am not a lawyer, I can't say whether LuLaRoe can legally force Hinks to reveal her sources for her confidential information, but I can back up Hinks' statement that this information is all over the internet.
Take a second to look at the LuLaRoe official Facebook page and you'll see comments regarding LuLaRoe processes, procedures, and how former consultants are waiting endlessly for their refunds. Searching LuLaRoe on Twitter brings up gems like this from Heather Heiser, where she points out that LuLaRoe owes thousands of people refunds.
Or this from Nebula which included copies of documents detailing that LuLaRoe has to give 30 days notice before changing their return policy. (Which, they did not do.)
Frankly, LuLaRoe's attempt to silence Mommygyver and other critics is resulting in more attention to the problems of this MLM, which has been plagued by bad press over the past few weeks, beginning with claims that they stole artists' work, and followed up by their much-maligned change in return policy.
While there are still many LuLaRoe consultants who love the clothes and the work, they are building a following of disgruntled customers and consultants. I always warn people that every employee is a potential public relations rep, thanks to the internet. Former employees -- and in LuLaRoe's case former consultants -- are even more so. They would be wise to stop trying to silence critics and fix their own problems.
I reached out to LuLaRoe again. They have been good in responding to me in the past, so I expect they will respond within the next day or so. I will update with their response.
UPDATE: LuLaRoe sent me the following statement:
"We brought the action to protect the interests of LuLaRoe and the more than 80,000 Independent Fashion Retailers who sell LuLaRoe pieces to consumers, and to secure their confidential and trade secret information."