So I just got an email and immediately started writing this post. When I first learned about PV Body at FitBloggin, I thought the idea was genius! I, of course, wanted to be a part of it. I did a little post and got you guys a pretty good deal. A few readers sent me emails to share that they had less than stellar experiences. I just got an email from pv.Body saying that they are no longer going to be sending out name brands like they promoted, but their own brand, a new brand named Ellie that has yet to be seen.
To be honest, I feel like this was a bait and switch strategy. There were over 70 of my readers who signed up through my promotion and now you are scheduled to receive two items from a line you have never heard of or seen. Maybe Ellie is going to be amazing and I hope it is but I personally find it in distaste to get people to commit to a reoccuring payment and then totally change the program. On the plus side, you do get to choose what you get. Here is what my email said:
Ellie is the newest brand in high-end, fashionable women’s athletic wear. We will have more of what you love – fun, bold, and trendy fitness fashions with a variety of designs. With a new collection every month, Ellie will consistently deliver the latest styles that are exclusively for our members! You can expect to see top quality materials, durable stitching, and of course, the perfect fit! The best part is that you will get to choose which two pieces you want each month!
Starting February 1st, the pv.body site will redirect viewers to Ellie.com and current pv.body subscriptions will begin receiving theEllie clothing line in their packages.
To be honest, it was kind of a genius idea. “Let’s get everyone to sign up, thinking they are going to receive Lululemon for $40 and then once they sign up, let’s send them our brand instead! A month later, let’s raise the price to $50.” If you signed up through me, I apologize. I never would have run the promo if I knew this would happen. I’m sorry guys! I hope you understand this was a HUGE mistake on my behalf.
UPDATE: Hope from PV Body has left a few comments below so make sure you check them out for an explanation and the companies side of the story. She has been really helpful as well in trying to resolve some of your issues! Thank you Hope for stopping by to answer questions. I still support the idea of what PV Body was founded on, but just wish we could have seen the items before the automatic switcheroo. I think doing so many deals and promos when you first start a business may not have been the best idea for keeping up with orders and satisfying customers.
Oh my gosh…so sleazy of them. That stinks they switched things up -- glad you’re exposing it!!
Well, they just emailed I think bloggers who did deals with them. If the clothes are great then I would happily do something with them again but I just think they should have to start from scratch with their subscriber base.
The company’s CEO Marcus Greinke owned several other failed ventures–including Snappy Tuna–google it–you will be surprised. BEWARE of this company.
Interesting. Googling now!
I signed up for this subscription box too when you posted it but luckily the price didn’t go up and I paid about $31 dollars with your special deal. It’s $49 dollars now for the subscription and the workout clothes are so-so. I received a green tanktop from a brand called Electro and gray leggings from American Apparel performance line. They were nice pieces but this sucks that they are changing their items to their own brand, nonetheless raising the price to almost $50! Their customer service was terrible as well, I didn’t receive my subscription box for almost two months and they never reply to email on time! Thank you so much for letting us know about this company.
I saw when prices went up and wanted to apologize then. I had forgotten they did that.
Glad you wrote this I signed up and quit a while ago, I never got the free t shirt promised to me, I never received my order tracking #, and they had a million excuses. I just decided to cancel, I get great stuff at TJMAXX and at my fave sporting goods stores on sale! rather than have to deal with them
Clare @ Fitting It All In says
ugh. that is frustrating. I didn’t sign up for PVBody yet (though i was so tempted!) and am kind of glad now. Here’s to hoping Ellie is fantastic!
WOW. Check out the comments on their Facebook page today. Seems like they are totally blowing it. People aren’t getting their orders, they’re getting charged for stuff they didn’t want…. nothing good going on there right now. Bummer.
Yeah, I ordered through Sarah’s promo ($31 deal, not bad) and my order took over a month to arrive. I halted my subscription until I received my order, and when I got it, I cancelled it, given all the additional changes. I got black leggings from NUX and a top from Electric Yoga. I’ll wait for the dust to settle and consider whether to subscribe again or not.
Ohh that makes me mad! I am NOT a fan of bait and switch. I signed up via another blogger and will be discontinuing my membership. It was good while it lasted, but I don’t dig bad business ethics like this.
Kimberly @ Healthy Strides says
I’ve had problems with pv.Body, namely its customer service and promo codes. I’ve written about it a couple times on the blog (http://bit.ly/12Z2Ir9 and http://bit.ly/RUr5mj), and I would never do business with them. I think it’s a great idea if you are getting the name brands but that’s not what people are getting. And I really didn’t like the outfit I got. I think it’s a shame, too, because they understand the power of social media and exploited it.
Thank you for posting this! I really appreciate your honesty.
I signed up through a different blogger in mid December and have yet to receive my box! The last person I talked to at PV body had NO clue of the whereabouts of my order. First, she told me it was shipped a few days ago. I told her that I lived only 45 miles from Santa Monica and if it was shipped, I should have it. She then changed her tune and told me there weren’t enough “smalls” in stock to send me anything! It’s been a really disheartening experience. I cancelled my subscription service and now just want the clothes I paid for last month:(
Hope | pv.body says
Hey Sarah! I just read through your article and I’m excited to clarify and help solve any confusion from the email you received from us this morning. We love having you as a brand ambassador and I would never want you to think we were trying to be misleading as a company.
After five months of shipping other brands, we constantly received feedback from our members that the clothes were too big, too small, uncomfortable, not cute and not exactly what they wanted. The only brand that constantly received positive feedback was Lululemon.. of course. 🙂
So we started thinking about ways we could send our girls exactly what they were looking for without actually becoming Lululemon.. and Ellie was born. Ellie was never a bait and switch plan; Ellie was created to send women the best quality, the best stitching, and the cutest styles (literally, we use the same fabrics, sewing machines, everything as Lululemon) but at a fraction of the cost. We were able to take all the negative feedback we got and turn it into something positive. If you don’t love our new line, no problem… At the end of the day, there is no commitment to pv.body or Ellie. You can cancel your membership at anytime with a click of a button.
Yes, we did increase our price by $10 in December. The $39 price was an introductory price we used to get off the ground; we just launched in September. At the end of the day, we had to raise the price to stay in business but happily signed up thousands of woman at the original rate.
And yes, we did have some shipping and customer service issues. Trust me, we spent morning, noon and night in the office trying to keep up with all the orders that came in. We were finally able to bring on 11 new members to the pv.body team and orders are shipping pronto now days. So thanks to all who bared with us.
The pictures on the new landing page are still of our pv.body model. As an ambassador, you were literally among the first group of people to know about Ellie. We had a new photo shoot last Thursday and the new photos of the line will be featured on the landing page when we announce it to the public.
For anyone having customer service issues, never hesitate to reach out to me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org. I promise to take great care of you and your order.
I left you a voicemail but I’m very happy to answer any questions that you have and would be honored to personally send you the first sample box of Ellie so you can see exactly what we offer. In fact, if you’re up for it, we’ll fly you out to Los Angeles for a day so you can experience Ellie first hand. Just let me know. 🙂 Thanks, Sarah!
Orders are not shipping pronto these days. I sent a return on 12/29 and my account still says pending. The reason I sent it back was because I had stated that I like muted colors and you sent me something lime green.
I was due to be charged on 1/6 and have not yet.
This means you are not “all caught up.”
I emailed CS about both issues.
Julie @ ROJ Running says
I sent orders back for exchange/refund around the same time. Due to the “awesome” customer service I really don’t know which I am getting. My account simply says “delivered” nothing about pending any type of change. I will be SO MAD if I am out my money. Ugg. Sorry you’re being yanked around too!
Hope | Ellie says
Hi everyone! I just wanted to clarify that we use similar fabrics as Lululemon, and we use manufacturing facilities that are also used by Lululemon, but our fabrics are not the exact same as those of Lululemon. Thanks!
Michelle Gagnon says
So here’s the thing- I did sign up as part of that promotion. I NEVER RECEIVED my lululemon gift card, or the tank, or anything else I was promised. That is a bait and switch, no matter what the reason was for it happening.
But here’s where it gets really insulting.
When an item showed up that I liked (the pants, not the top), I returned the other half of the outfit- only to discover that I was only due store credit? When I called to complain, they said that was in the fine print of the contract I signed. Ah, yes--the fine print. Because I’m expected to hold up my end of the bargain even though, you didn’t deliver on what you promised. Plus, refunds to my account took an insane amount of time, and most of the items you list online (cause hey, I’ve gotta use that store credit, right?) are listed as SOLD OUT Well done, Ellie. If you couldn’t handle the volume, you should have limited the promotion.
I’ve never experienced worse customer service in my life. I signed up at the $39 rate and was promptly charged $49 the next month with no notice that my rate was changing. Zero reply to my customer service requests…just a notice that you couldn’t handle the volume and then a bogus follow up email saying my issues was closed as resolved (it wasn’t!). I never received the free tshirt I was promised despite it appearing on my packing slip, and the items I was shipped did not match my preferences. Frankly I am not surprised you changed your name after all of the complaints about pv.body.
Marcus Grienke is a crook and should be behind bars. Hope did not write this response, Marcus did in his relentless pathological liar ways. Avoid this loser at all costs!!! For reference, research a recent lawsuit (public California records) regarding his embezzlement of several hundreds of thousands of dollars from startup Cocobop.
Carly D. @ CarlyBananas says
I always wonder if anyone ever got anything from Lululemon from pvBody. They contacted me after FitBloggin and I thought it sounded good but in my reply email I asked them how they could afford to put Lulu clothes in since they don’t sell wholesale -- that’s how they keep people paying $100 for yoga pants…you can’t walk into sports authority and get them cheaper. Anyway, I was curious if we were affiliates for pv could I leverage that for any better deals with Lululemon. And I never got a reply again. I tried asking a few times…but nothing. So I never got involved with them and now I’m glad. I never blogged about it because everyone else seemed to like it. It’s too bad it was a scam, that’s even worse than what I figured.
Hope | pv.body says
Hey Carly! I remember talking with you directly and looking back through our email chains, I never saw unanswered email. I’m happy to answer any and all questions! Never hesitate to reach out to me directly: email@example.com. We have a lot of really happy customers that love our clothes and I think when we unroll the option to choose exactly which two pieces you’ll receive, girls will really love them!
While I appreciate you chiming in, I’ve placed several unanswered calls to customer service without getting a response. Now, it’s too late to return the items I didn’t like and get a refund. In addition, when are you planning on reaching out to the other subscribers about the switch to Ellie? I have not received an email, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Without Sarah, many would still be in the dark.
Hope | pv.body says
I’m really sorry about the unanswered phone calls! We will definitely refund you. If you’d like to email me personally, I’ll be able to look up your order. firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be announcing Ellie formally in the coming days to all of our customers. We reached out to Sarah first because she is one of our ambassadors. We’ve also started talking about it on our social media accounts.
ditto, I had the exact same issue that Kasey had with items that did not meet my preferences being sent to me, multiple emails and phone calls going unanswered, etc.
Katie Heddleston says
I received a top by Lululemon 🙂
Lucky duck!! 🙂
Liz Pessaran says
I just wanted to say thank you so much for putting this review out there, I was one of your followers who signed up. my credit card got charged immediately at the end of december and i still have not received any clothing. I am thoroughly disappointed in their customer service, and time on shipments. After reading your blog about it I definitely plan on canceling my account with them. This seems like a cheap way to make more money, and saying its because of their “reviews”…. I really thought you looked great in the outfits and was looking forward to some cute outfits for myself… Sorely disappointed. But very grateful for your support towards your followers. I appreciate it! THANK YOU.
Hope | pv.body says
Also happy to help with anything I can! Feel free to email me personally: email@example.com.
That’s so disappointing! I actually really liked my first package from them.
Hope | pv.body says
Hey Nic! It’s not disappointing 🙂 If you like the clothing before, you’ll love it now. Plus, you’ll be able to actually pick what pieces you want. We did this as a response to our feedback from our customers so we could give them a better experience at a better price. Try it for a month, if you hate it, we’ll send you a full refund. 🙂
Yeah, IF they can actually get through to you to get the refund.
Wow you ladies have high expectations. I understand when we spend our money on something we should expect great service, but this seems like a new company that’s trying to get everything right. We can all kind of assume when a company starts new there’s going to be a learning curve. I support new businesses having a few bumps in the first few months, especially companies focused on women since there aren’t enough of them out there. I’ll give them a try and if things aren’t working smoothly in a few months then maybe I’ll be singing another tune.
No offense, but I don’t think the expectation is too high here. We purchased something. We expect the items that were purchased. If items cannot be fulfilled, we expect a heads up or notification. Any other legitimate company I know would be contacting their customers and trying to make things right. I know this company is saying that they are trying, but I see too many people get promised something will be fixed and then two weeks later, nothing is different. Also, the red flags all over the place are making people very uneasy. The company has been using the same excuses for months if you look into the history. Maybe things will get better…maybe it’s not a scam. But when they have demonstrated how little they care about my business and the business of many other customers, I want out. Immediately. Either the company is a scam, or they don’t know how to run a company. The bait and switch tactics, the stalling, the CEO’s history, the MANY unhappy customers…it’s perfectly fair for customers to be concerned and be wary of what is happening.
Huh, is this why my card was charged on 1/4/13 and my delivery tracking date went from 1/11/13 to “N/A”? I was wondering about that…
I placed an order with them on Dec. 21st and even though I just received my order from them today I was quite happy with what came. I have been following them on Facebook and knew they were running behind but gave them the benefit of the doubt. I knew that if I “really” needed to get in contact with them facebook was probably my best route. It appears they have done there best address everyone’s concerns via Facebook. I’ll definitely be giving it another month to see what I get. 🙂
It just irks me that you have to publicly complain to have your problems addressed in any reasonable amount of time.
i put in my order about a week ago, my package arrived today, and i liked what came. i will give it another month to see how it goes.
I had the same thing happen to me Sarah…I kind of felt like it was too good to be true so I signed up and created my discount code but I didn’t share it with my readers , mainly because I wanted to do more research. I’m sorry that this happened to you and I totally feel like the site is misleading. I’m curious to see what Ellie gear looks like.
Took this right off the BBB for snappy tuna (markus greinke’s former business venture before starting pvbody.com):
“BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.
Based on BBB files, this business has a BBB Rating of No Rating. The reason is as follows:
This business has no rating because BBB has information indicating it is out of business.
Complaints on file with BBB concern consumers ordering items online through the Snappy Tuna website, once consumers order their items, their debit and credit cards are charged, however the consumer never receives the ordered items. Complaints on file also state that consumers are unable to reach the company by phone and that emails to the company go unanswered.”
Sound familiar to anyone? Their whole Facebook page is covered in similar complaints.
Rachel @ painfreekitchen says
Wow. Not surprised at all. A while ago I saw a comment on youtube that someone called lululemon to see if they were really working with PVbody. Luluemon said they had never heard of pvbody and they were not allowed to resell their clothing. So when every blogger said “they sell lululemon!” but never received anything from them, I immediately knew this company was up to no good. So happy I decided not to subscribe. And thanks Sarah for letting us know. Not many bloggers will apologize like that.
Totally agree with Rachel on this one! Great move on Sarah’s part in acknowledging this. Appreciate the honesty and sincerity!
Carly D. @ CarlyBananas says
Allison -- In my earlier comment I mentioned asking them about how they’re able to resell Lululemon clothes because I didn’t think they allowed wholesale purchasing and they actually replied but the response was “Oh, we replied to your email!” still not answering how they were planning to keep buying something expensive and sell it for less.
Agreed that it was great for Sarah to post this.
Marcus here at pvBody, chiming into the conversation as well. I really can’t add to anything that Hope wrote about Ellie in her earlier post, but I’d like to throw something else out there: we just received our first shipment of our Ellie signature Capri and I’d be happy to give away 100 pieces if you email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org so you can experience the quality for yourself.
We are putting out a new line of 24 pieces every month and if you want to subscribe, you can and you can choose your pieces yourself, if you don’t want to subscribe, you don’t have to, every item will be individually priced and you simply will not find the quality and design anywhere else at this price point anywhere.
A word about customer service issues: we have them, we do, but we’re working tirelessly to resolve them, because we hate having issues with returns and orders as well. Some things can be fixed with a couple of all nighters, other things take time. If you fall into the latter bucket, I assure you that everything will be resolved in the next 2 weeks, and I’m truly sorry that it takes that long.
The reason we started Ellie is because it doesn’t make sense to pay $100 for leggings at Lulu when they could cost $50 -- and that’s what everybody told us ‘we’d live to buy Lulu, but can’t afford to’. Well now you can.
Again, I apologize for any inconvenience anybody has experienced, but as I said, I’ll pass out 100 crops to try and for you to experience the quality, just shoot me an email. And if you have any other issues, email me too and I’ll make sure they are taken care of.
The whole appeal of PV Body was getting name brand items and popular brands that people are comfortable buying and want. People aren’t interested in getting pieces from some random new unknown brand that no one is familiar with like your new Ellie line.
Thanks for noting this! Too funny. Just read a favourable review of PVBody minutes ago and was wondering how it all worked.
ex-PV Body staff says
Sarah, you are completely on point in questioning PV Body. While I’ll stop short of calling the company a scam, the company is run by 2 very unethical people who don’t care about their customers, so much as they care about aggressively growing subscription numbers.
They have known from the inception of PV Body that they were going to switch their subscription base (customers) over to a new brand, Ellie. Sending out Lululemon outfits to just their bloggers, as well as doing mass Lululemon gift card giveaways, are all part of a major marketing effort to capitalize on the Lululemon brand in order to gain get subscribers.
I can tell you with certainty that this was the case, as I worked there. I questioned the ethics of their marketing strategy and I questioned the bait and switch tactics of bringing on Ellie using Lululemon’s name as leverage. As a reward for that, I was subsequently marginalized and false rumors were spread about me from the CEO & co-founder himself.
For Sarah’s readers, I would highly recommend that you not give PV Body your business. Again, the founders of the company severely lack the ethics and experience to run a company. The morale at PV Body is extremely low for a number of reasons. Due in large part to the behavior of the CEO and co-founder, Marcus Greinke, towards female employees (making inappropriate sexual comments, yelling and cursing at staff, spreading false rumors, drug use, and firing staff without due cause.)
Add to this general ineptitude of PV Body’s other “co-founder”, Lindsay Daniels, whose main focus is on keeping a sexual relationship with Marcus in order to maintain her “co-founder” status for shopping sprees on the company credit card. For people who are cunning enough to market a female empowering brand, their behavior is anything but that.
The only goal Marcus and Lindsay have for PV Body is to grow subscription rates -- i.e., their customers -- so they can be bought out once they hit their target numbers. They truly DO NOT CARE about their customers. Their new brand, Ellie, has been poorly planned, is being rushed through production and will be based on knocked-off bodies brands such as Lululemon, Nike, Lorna Jane, Body Language, Nux, etc.
There are a multitude of other really bad practices they engage in. I’ll be happy to answer any questions about them, PV Body or Ellie if you want to post them on here.
Wow! I’m glad I stumbled upon this review! I signed up through PV body last month for their 40% off deal an did not receive this at all. After several emails to customer service I finally got a response saying I would be refunded. I did get the refund but when my order came the top was not the size I specified so I sent it back. Hoping I will at least get a replacement before I cancel my subscription!
I was one of your readers that signed up through your promo and it took them 2 months to send out my first shipment, and their lack of communication was nothing but frustrating and unprofessional. I cancelled my subscription before my first shipment arrived (and yes, the clothes were cute, but nothing name brand and I would have rather gone to the store to pick out my own stuff) I agree with you, I love the idea of PV Body, but it seems like they need a better business plan and a higher quality of entrapaneurship on board.
Love your blogs btw, you are definitely an inspiration!
Thanks Jami. I’m so sorry you had a poor experience. I hope you still come back here for my recommendations and realize this was an outlier.
I also had a bad experience. Everything I received was exactly what I did NOT pick on my style profile. I also didn’t receive a Lululemon gift card as stated for their promo. When I asked customer service, they said they ran out of gift cards. I also asked customer service via email and twitter when you can expect shipment once you become a member and received no response. I think there should be some standard time frame ?
I canceled my membership. I wouldn’t join again unless all these issues are resolved and they’re clear about brands they’re shipping out.
I’m reaching out to Hope now as she seems to be the only responsive person at PV!
Same thing happened to me! I never got a lulu gift card or the free tank I was promised. Thinking of disputing to credit card company.
Same thing happened to me -- no free shirt, no gift card. I stuck around for January, received it in February, didn’t fit my style profile at all, returned it, got the same items in different colors. By that time, I already ordered February, which arrived on the last day of the month. Kept it, love the top, got lots of compliments and ordered on March 1 with hopes all kinks were worked out. As of today, no March outfit. I’m done. If I had time, I would write a negative review about this company any and every where I could. Back to Lulu and Athleta for me. Good customer service means more to me than cheap prices and bad business practices.
Thank you SO MUCH for thist post, as I was one of the people who had e-mailed your personally to give you a heads up about the type of company that you are working with. I think the company made a poor decision to contact a huge number of bloggers to promote their product and had no clue how to handle the response.
I contacted Hope but am still waiting for the exchanges for two of my packages to go through. In addition to the poor customer service, the clothes I was sent were shockingly horrible choices as compared to my style profile.
Fingers crossed I get better choices next time and will consider re-joining the company!
Staci Jansen says
This company is a TOTAL SCAM. Omg, I’ve read so many blog posts with this same info and people in this same position. That’s what stopped me from placing an order with them. And BTW, I heard they got a CEASE & DECIST LETTER FROM LULULEMON because they’re basically using the Lulu name to sell their own crappy clothes… and now this Ellie junk? Please. DO NOT DO BIZ WITH THEM. GET A REFUND. Get out while you can. Total switch & bait plan. Companies like this disgust me because all they do is take advantage of innocent consumers looking for a good deal.
I’m going to chime in here, too. I learned a long time ago, that if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. I thought about doing this, but honestly gals?? You can find much better deals via Victoria’s Secret in clearance. They are always having free shipping with a $25.00 purchase, or % off clearance, etc. Also I shop Nordstrom too, clearance as well. Their Zella brand is awesome. I love their moisture wicking fabrics. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on my outfits or pieces. You want to go another step further?? Ebay is also a good source. So lots of good options out there and in the end you save a lot of money and from what I’ve seen aggravation and headaches. And that’s my two cents and how I keep myself outfitted for the classes I teach.
Sarah, you’re a sweetheart and we know your heart was in the right place. I hope you gals all get your problems solved. Just know gals that your actions will speak volumes. You cancel your membership with that company and let others know?? It won’t be too long before they take notice and get their act together. These blogs are the best way to get the word out. Have a lovely day!!!
This was honestly the first thought that popped into my head when I got the email about Ellie -- the fact that people signed up for $40 thinking they’d get Lululemon, then price went up but they thought “okay maybe I’m getting Lululemon still”, then it’s this new brand. The brand could be awesome! But I don’t really like the way this whole thing was done. I’m an ambassador for the brand but don’t really want to promote my discount link as heavily as I was previously.
It will be interesting to see how this change is communicated to those who are signed up. I’ve been signed up since September and have had the same problems as all those listed here. I gave them the benefit of the doubt through December as they seemed to be focused on getting staffing. This change to some new line is just a little disconcerting. Nothing is like Lululemon even the Zella line that is supposed to be made by one of their old designers. So I’m really concerned that they are still bringing up the comparison. I signed up at the original $39 price and not interested in paying $50 per month. So if that happens I will be cancelling my membership. My only hope is that I get that option BEFORE the prices go up.
I contacted the BBB about my personal experience/problems and my concerns with the company. There’s too many red flags. Too many excuses.
and you guys, just because they say it’s not a bait and switch plan doesn’t mean that it’s not.
products and promotions were promised. people practically have to beg to have these promotions honored. and now, with no notification as of yet to their subscribers, they are looking to change out the brands and products that they promised with their own unknown brand. intentional or not, it is still bait and switch.
it’s wrong no matter what the explanation. if you want to start your own line, do it right. don’t merge subscribers expecting a certain product to a new line that doesn’t offer what was promised (ie: known brand names). i’d trust you much more if you advertised through pvbody, closed pvbody with a valid explanation, and offered a sign up link that your current customer base can choose to register for or choose not to. Ellie could have the greatest merchandise on the planet, but I won’t buy it. I don’t trust the company or the ethics behind the business.
Katy Widrick says
Thanks so much for this, Sarah…I, like you, wrote a very positive review and even just signed up for their affiliate program after serious thought — ONLY because I liked the service so much that I wanted to pass on the 20% discount to my readers. This gives me a LOT to think about, and I may update my own post with a link to this one.
My experience was pretty positive — I got a shirt that I loved and pants that didn’t fit. I was given return information immediately, but am waiting for my exchange pants (Hope says they are in the mail!) so I’m really saddened to learn all of this. I think the lesson at the end of the day is transparency — Hope has an interesting and I think valuable explanation of why the company is changing but
a) why were previous shoppers not notified?
b) why is the company STILL reaching out to new affiliates/ambassadors if there are so many fulfillment issues?
Going to think hard about this one.
i agree with Katy. I had a great experience but i do realize that it’s a start up company so lots of flaws to fix, which i hope they do.
Denise @ Hey Alala says
Sarah -- this sucks! As someone who has launched retail brands in the past, and who is launching my own activewear brand next year -- the most important thing for me when we launch is to build a REAL and HONEST relationship with our customer. There is too much junk out there in the world, the last thing you need is someone else to take your money and give you a lousy experience. What a shame. Thank you for highlighting this issue!
Janice - The Fitness Cheerleader says
I worked on a social media campaign for pvBody and was promised an outfit as part of the compensation package -- that was in mid-November & I’m still waiting for it…
Thanks for this post, lady. I got the same invite you did, but passed it up because it looked too good to be true.
I’m part of a local fitness group and I’m the first and only person within the group to try out pvbody. All the ladies in my group are eager to hear my feedback. My situation is not that bad, however now I’m starting to worry after reading the previous posts. I made my first order on 1/4/13 and it’s only been 8 business days, but I still have not received a shipment notification email. I have emailed pvbody through their website but I did not receive a reply. I gave up asking about my order and I’ve decided to just wait. I emailed Hope only to tell her that I had to update my sizing info and to ask if that would be reflected in my soon-to-be-shipped order. Hope was actually very nice and helpful. I am going to share my first outfit with my fellow group members, and some of them actually wear LuLu Lemon so they would know good quality when they see it. I’m trying my best to remain optimistic and trust this company.
Thank you so much for posting this. I want to add that orders are not going out pronto. I am currently still waiting for my order form Decmeber 21st. They had no problem charging my account, but I am not able to get ahold of anyone. My emails get answered with generic “Hey babe, I see you want to change your profile or have questions about returns” did they not read the email? I can’t return soemthing that I haven’t even received. I have since cancelled and I am going to dispute charges with my bank.
This company reeks! I hope you don’t take them up on their offer to ‘fly’ you out there, or give you ‘100 capris’ are you kidding me, this company seems like it’s sold its sole, it’s only worried about pleasing the bloggers. What I hope they know is as fast as social media can build you up, it can take you down. Bad Business, continuous bad customer service. I hope they give me my money back.
I call BS. How is Ellie using the same fabrics as Lululemon when Lululemon uses fabrics like Luon and Luxtreme that they created, developed and PATENTED for their use only?
I agree, Sara. Lululemon has patents on their signature fabrics, so how IS it possible that Ellie uses the same fabrics?
I was lured in by promises of Lululemon gear, Lululemon gift cards, and Lululemon comparison. Now I believe it’s all just dishonest bait & switch advertising to purposely mislead consumers and rip us off.
Tara @ A Daily Dose of Fit says
…but did they ever really promise Lululemon gear? It’s my understanding that Lululemon was one of many brands that they offered in their package. When I filled out the style quiz, I wasn’t able to pick the brands I wanted. So I knew that I might not get Lululemon, though it is possible and I have seen it shared by other bloggers. And if they are similar to Lululemon, what’s wrong with calling out that comparison? Those who sign up do so knowing they aren’t signing up FOR Lululemon…but for something like it or perhaps maybe a piece of Lululemon if that’s what is chosen for them. I buy stuff from Old Navy because it’s similar to Lululemon. I buy Lululemon when I want and can afford Lululemon. Now, I can’t speak for pv’s fabrics, but I never once felt like I was being lied to. In fact, I was excited when they announced their own line of clothing. To me, any awesome fitness gear is…awesome. Especially if it’s affordable. I just hope that this is the case of a small company growing too quickly. The internet, man. It swirls with rumors and untruth…and it swirls fast. I appreciate this post for drawing the questions to my attention, for sure. And I will proceed with pvBody cautiously and lightly until I know exactly what I’m dealing with. I love the concept, and I would really like it to be clean of scandal.
The problem with it is that they’re advertising it in a misleading way, leading people to believe that they are actually getting lululemon items. I saw the ad and it was awfully ambiguous to me!
Yes. I was promised Lululemon gear and a free gift card through their. That is why I initially signed up with them.
If they cannot deliver on what is advertised, then why make the claim?
It is disingenuous.
I understand that you are a PV Body affiliate, so I am not here to change your mind about them. But you have to see from the dozens of comments on this blog, as well as reading through the posts on their Facebook page, that there are many things this company is doing that is leaving customers angry, frustrated, and upset.
Tara @ A Daily Dose of Fit says
Rest assured, I am angry and frustrated and upset, too. I stood by this company, recommended this company and have since learned that so many are questioning it. That doesn’t make me feel good at all, which is why I took their ad and my affiliate link off of my main page. It’s why I edited my original review post as well. I just wish I knew the whole entire story. The truth, so to speak.
The rep from the company themselves stated in a comment on THIS thread that they use the same fabric as Lululemon and the same machines. Read above. They didnt compare thy said “the same”
I just emailed Hope, and here is her response, “To answer the question, Luon is the name Lululemon uses for a fabric made by a Taiwanese fabric manufacturer and is 87% nylon and 13% Lycra® -- the fabric itself is not patented and is widely available if you know where to go. Garment manufacturers are also not limited to just one customer, in fact the factory we work with manufacturers for most active wear brands in the country.”
Tara @ A Daily Dose of Fit says
Thanks for clarifying Sara. I missed that comment when I scanned through everything. In my comment, I was simply referring to the comparison that Jamie was speaking of.
Thanks for getting a response from Hope, Sarah.
Is there anyway to confirm that Luon really is just that?
Hey Sara and Jamie,
I just want to clarify one rampant misconception: Lululemon does NOT have a patent on their signature fabrics (Luon, Luxtreme, etc). However they do have trademarks on the names. Other active wear companies, such as Zohba, use the identical fabrics. I’ve never tried PVBody and after reading this thread I’m glad! I just wanted to clear up a piece of misinformation that I’ve seen propagated across the Internet.
Megan @ The Running Doc says
I’m glad to see someone else speaking out about their unease with this company! I had the same experience as you in that I had no problems with my clothing but became increasingly uncomfortable with the 100’s of women complaining on their facebook page and their attempted switcheroo with the new clothing line. Something is definitely not right and I e-mailed Hope yesterday to let her know I was no longer comfortable representing the brand, and of course I have yet to receive a response back.
Amanda @ Sistas of Strength says
So much drama about pv body and the changes lately. I find it really interesting to read!!
Malek Neman says
As the CEO of NUX, we thought that selling some of our merchandize to PV.body was a way to reach a large audience, and let them judge for themselves the quality and styling of our made in the USA products.
We are in no way associated with their brand Ellie. In fact their decision to produce their own brand is news to us!
Every purchase is a vote. businesses can guide themselves in any way they see fit. It is up to us, the consumers, to decided. We vote for or against their policies and practices with each decision to buy or pass on a product.
At NUX, we stand for 100% made in the USA.
Thanks Malek for stopping by. I love my neon Nux top that I got from PV Body. 🙂 I didn’t know you were made in the USA. Good to know!
I was unable to signup for PV Body because I am in Canada -- guess I’m lucky now! I did just look up the NUX line and it’s beautiful! I’ll be adding some to my collection for sure!
And I loved my NUX Harmony Skinny Pants I got from PV Body. The fit is amazing. 🙂
I, too, received some Nux pants from pv.Body. They are terrific- even better that they’re made in the USA- and I will be purchasing Nux products again. From a REPUTABLE retailer.
Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution says
I know this is out of date, but I’m so glad to hear about Nux! I got a Nux top from PV Body too, and it’s my favorite workout top that I own! Good to know.
I’m sorry, but this sounds INCREDIBLY fishy. I’m a big fan of Lululemon and know a fair bit about the company from past experience and I’m quite certain that they don’t sell bulk or wholesale. First of all, all their “Strategic Partners” are listed on their website -- and those are dance and yoga studios, not online retailers. The only “wholesale” Lululemon I’ve seen anywhere is overpriced fakes, some more convincing than others, which are abundantly available online.. And I’d wager to bet that’s exactly what subscribers are receiving, not authentic Lululemon items. You can get some pretty convincing fakes out there -- beware!
As to the claim that Ellie clothing is made the same as Lulu, Lululemon has patented many of their signature fabrics and designs -- and they’ve been proactive about guarding them. Google the Lululemon/ Calvin Klein fiasco. If there’s any truth to the claim that Ellie is replicating Lululemon items, I’d say Ellie and PV Body will be in for a hell of a legal battle, sooner rather than later.
And if they ARE replicating Lulu items, essentially that would be a Lulu knock off. If I had signed up for a service promising to provide items of Lululemon clothing, I’d be pretty peeved to be told that I’d be paying MORE money and getting a knock off instead.
There is nothing professional about the way this is being handled. I’m sorry, but there’s no excuse for changing the service on customers right after they sign up, or hiking the price like that. And if that is being done, the CUSTOMERS should have been contacted by the company, not to have to read about it on someone’s blog! Not shipping orders on time, not processing returns, not answering emails, not answering phone calls… SHADY.
To anyone placing orders: I’d be very cautious on this one, smells awfully fishy to me.
I’m alerting Lululemon. PV Body is leveraging the Lululemon brand name to grow their business. NOT COOL
This is the general email to the legal department at Lululemon --
If any other customer is as pissed off as I am, I urge you to get in contact with Lululemon, as well.
I actually did just that this morning. 🙂 they obviously were very concerned.
My business savvy boyfriend has advised me to stay way from pvbody until they work out the kinks or they are exposed as a scam. I sincerely hope it will not be the latter. I just requested a refund for my unshipped order so let’s see how that goes. If I do not receive a refund in a timely matter then I will most definitely dispute the charge on my card.
If pvbody is not a scam then my heart goes out to them.
Yeah, I don’t think they are a scam. I got my stuff, it just took longer than promised. They do have a lot of kinks to work through, though, as far as the changes they had made and shipment/customer service goes.
I really advise anyone who signed up to get out as soon as possible. I know those problems with customer services may be justified by the fact it’s just a small company starting out and a million other excuses. I did a bit of research and discovered that the exact same pattern and problems (huge delays, items charged and never recievd, lies about quality)happened to customers in two of Marcus Greinke’s previous business venture, Snappy tuna (as mentioned by another comment) and Charles & Marie. Customers are complaining everywhere on the internet and some have lost huge amounts of money. Coïncidence ? Sounds more like a scam to me !
Thanks a lot Sarah for your honesty !
5 more minutes on Google and I found two other failed companies (also subscription services) whose CEO was Marcus Greinke : Cocobop and Pura Vit vitamins (and dozens of complains everywhere on the net again about the same types of problems !)…
The other co-found Lindsay Daniels was also involved with Cocobop. Google it and you’ll see her name on Angel List with Cocobop.
Also she’s in the “How to Cocobop” video on the Cocobop Facebook page after the 1:20 min mark.
Here’s something else I found. If you look at Marcus Greinke’s LinkedIn profile, there is no mention of PV Body, Ellie, Snappy Tuna, or Charles & Marie on it. Why is that? Something about that isn’t right.
This may be the most interesting post yet. Why wouldn’t he want to attach those companies to his professional profile/resume?
actually, in all fairness, Charles and Marie is listed. As well as XXL Commerce, Inc. (which I believe was affiliated with Snappy Tuna). But in reference to Pvbody he just has:
Pssst, can’t tell you yet, but stay posted
About this Lindsay Daniels, isn’t it strange that she is both the cofounder of puravit, which sells vitamins, involved in copobop and the creative director of pv body ? I couldnt find anything online about her experience in fashion or fitness. How could she then design a brand of fitness clothing as good as lululemon ?
Sarah W. says
I received my initial shipment with them and love both my pieces, but I am clearly in the minority. I think I received NUX and something else (not Lulu).
I am extremely disappointed about them changing to Ellie and have canceled my subscription. I’m also disappointed in myself b/c I am the champion of “if its too good to be true, it probably is…” (I blame my two week sickness for that weakness ;0)
at any rate, I found this post googling, read the comments: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/charles-marie-104362
Sierra @ Posh Meets Pavement says
I really appreciate you posting this. I have heard chatter about the PV body marketing model through my work and I was skeptical from the beginning. I think it’s honest and admirable that you put up your post and explained the situation as you understood it. I don’t like the idea of misleading bloggers to pimp a concept that is not up-front and honest about the motives. Great post!
Ugh…I also feel totally scammed. I emailed Hope yesterday after two weeks went by and I still had not seen my products. She said the shipment had not been sent because they were waiting on pants. Really? How about a heads up? I already cancelled my account but we shall see if I even receive the first one. Now that I see you can order Nux directly from their site, I am going to skip the sketchy middle man.
Allison @ girloctopus says
Thanks for sharing your experiences, and for being the first person to talk about Ellie. I’m somewhat concerned that they have yet to really address that publicly.
Nicola Fatti says
I also contacted the BBB today after a month has passed with NO email with a tracking # or package to be seen! First I was told my package was being shipped late because they had just received the free lulu gift card that was supposed to be included. Then later when I called again to see where my package was, I was told my lulu gift card was being “shipped separately”. Lies, lies, lies!
I canceled today, thanks to this review. While I did receive my items, they were late, no free promised tank top and lots of excuses when I called customer service. I was immediately displeased with the price just going up too. It’s a shame because a good concept but terrible business practice.
Breanna, do you accept new companies trying to make money off of other companies like Lululemon or flat out lying that they use the same materials or promised Lululemon gift cards?
I was sent the link to this blog via facebook message from someone who saw my complaint on the PV Body page. I’m so sorry for using this person’s blog as I actually signed up from another “ambassador’s” link. I am newly pregnant and this constant daily frustration is putting me over the edge.
Hope, I sent you an email and I REALLY hope you get my order sent/possibly refunded/gift card mailed. I just want out of this whole thing. This is such a terrible company. In all my years and YEARS of online shopping this is the worst experience I’ve ever had and the timing is just awful for me.
Sonya @ Sonyanomics says
I just came home from a trip to my local “off-price discount name brand clothing store” and I’ve seen a few of the brands that people have received with their outfits, including Nike, Colossal, Marika, and New Balance, for only $3-13. Everything I tried on was well made and damage free. I paid $64 for seven pieces of workout clothing that I picked myself and tried on and that certainly beats paying $50 for two unknown pieces of clothing and then having to wait. I’m kind of glad I requested a refund from this company and went out looking for clothes on my own.
awesome! i’m going to have to go shopping soon for new workout clothes :/ I surprisingly do not own a single pair of crops or leggings…only running shorts. Haha.
Sonya…out of curiosity have they actually refunded you yet? I’ve been asking for a refund all week and they have yet to credit my account. I’ve also gone to the BBB and opened an investigation with my credit card company.
Hoping I see that 40 dollars back in my account soon so I can go shopping for workout clothes that i will actually physically have in my possession :[ as to the workout clothes that i bought that may or may not exist over at the pvbody headquarters…ugh.
Sonya @ Sonyanomics says
Allison I actually received my refund a couple days after I requested it. I sent an email to Hope who forwarded it to Justin.
Have you heard anything from pvbody or received your refund yet? I wish you luck!
I had an absolutely horrible customer service experience from pv.body and having them take over two months to exchange a top despite multiple emails and phone calls. I hope people, especially the bloggers they have duped, see this company for what it really is and cancel their memberships immediately. I RARELY talk negative about a company but I’m pretty passionate about the claims that pv.body has stated and can’t live up to.
Thanks for this post. I personally have had a few problems with pvbody in the beginning and then the last shipment arrived and I was happy about it. But now I am very frustrated that pvbody has not made the announcement to switch to Ellie public yet. My husband works in apparel and I gave him the run down of what is happening with pvbody and he said that there is absolutely no way they could have put together a new clothing line within a few months. Design, materials, production, etc. can take years to get up and running. If this was their intent all along they need to own up to it instead of lying to their customers. I will definitely be canceling my membership; I work too hard to waste my money on a company that takes their customers for granted.
I had a former employee comment on here saying that this was their intention all along. The comment was long, included a ton of details, was well thought out but in the end, I kept it on private because I don’t want to get sued for slander.
Sonya @ Sonyanomics says
Lauren I was thinking the same thing about it taking more than a couple months to start a clothing line. And then I remembered actually reading about them trying to make their own brand from their website, MONTHS ago…
This was pulled from Lindsay Daniels section in the “About Me” tab on pvbody’s website: “behind the scenes she’s spending countless hours with her design team, developing our own line of active wear. A line that will have heads turning at the quality, the price and the fashion forward approach. Stay tuned for the launch of our first pieces!”
Again I saw this on their website after I first found out about pvbody in late November and it has been on there since then. In my opinion, that “About Me” quote really hints that pvbody was planning on switching to Ellie all along.
Sonya @ Sonyanomics says
Sorry it’s the “About Us” tab
Thanks for pointing that out, Sonya!
I worked for an activewear manufacturer for many years, and before that I worked with a few emerging fashion labels in the LA area. I can tell you with 1000% certainty that it takes anywhere from 5 -- 10 months to build a solid line from scratch. The time you spend sourcing materials with vendors, ordering fabric, ordering trim, getting ordered materials delivered on time, getting patterns made, having samples sewn, refining your fit, revising your samples, correcting patterns, getting markers made, getting production fabric cut, running production, conducting quality assurance and delivering product on time…is enormous!
A solid and well manufactured label doesn’t simply materialize in just a few months -- -- -- no way!!! There are too many working relationships and too moving parts that have to synchronize smoothly in order for a product to be delivered and to be delivered ON TIME.
Back to Lauren’s comment -- they either KNEW that they were going to be introducing Ellie all along and have therefore incorporated switch & bait marketing strategies on their customers. OR they did build Ellie in a few months, in which case their product will be guaranteed to be INFERIOR.
Activewear has to go through many materials tests to ensure that it’s quality tested (colorfastness, pilling, crocking, torquing, shrinkage, fit, performance, wicking, et cetera) which also factor into added product development time (think about 1-2 months for test results to return positively to move development forward). This is what Lululemon, Adidas, Nike and Champion all excel at and why they’re trusted brands -- -- -- because they put out quality product.
If PV Body is able to get product out so quickly and they’re not lying to customer (which I highly highly doubt judging from Sonya’s astute observation below), I’m betting it’s because they do none of the standard tests for quality assurance and are cutting corners to rush out product.
Sonya @ Sonyanomics says
Excellent information, Marinda. This definitely gives us a lot to think about. I am anxious to see the quality of Ellie clothing but I am very very indecisive about trusting this company.
Has any of this information gotten out to the media? I know it’s a bit dramatic to even infer that a local media outlet should investigate this company but, as a consumer I would really like for pvbody/Puravit’s business practices to be reviewed by a professional. I just checked pvbody’s Facebook page again today and there are still angry comments. They going to launch Ellie in 5 days and I feel like they might not be fully prepared to launch a new brand so soon… which again makes me wonder if they are legitimate.
has anyone else noticed that they won’t use the name “lululemon” on any of their ellie info or announcements? They keep referring to them as “our friends up North.” Wonder if the comparison was getting them into trouble…
I recently got an email from pv.body about the upcoming changes starting in February. My subscription would be going from $39.99 to $49.99. After reading all of this as well as my own experience I have decided to cancel my membership. I love getting new fitness clothes but I’m not so in love with how this whole thing unfolded. I knew something was wrong with my second order but gave them the benefit of the doubt. It may be legit or not but I’m no longer willing to be apart of it.
Sonya @ Sonyanomics says
I just received a pair of blue Ellie capris and I have to say that they are similar in quality to activewear that you can find at TJ Maxx. The quality of the fabric is decent however there were a few defects … you can read more and see pics at http://sonyanomics.blogspot.com/2013/01/ellie-review.html
Maybe I just received a bad pair?
I know that people are starting to receive Ellie in their pvbody subscriptions so hopefully there will be more detailed reviews.
Thanks for posting, Sonya. Things like unraveling thread, holes in the fabric, mismatched seams, and peeling labels all points to one thing -- -- -- -- > VERY POOR QUALITY.
Any trustworthy and reputable company will run sample production prior to running bulk production to make sure that there is quality assurance. Mismatched seams are the number one sign that a company doesn’t ensure QA in their production cycle. Peeling labels means that they’re working with a company that doesn’t know the activewear market. (Getting heat transfer to stick onto stretch fabric without damaging it is a very specific process and there are only a handful of good companies who know how to do that correctly in the LA area.) Also, there is no excuse for sending out product with unraveling thread. That is also an indicator that there is no QA going on. The companies I worked for would never allow product like that to be sent out.
Sonya @ Sonyanomics says
Marinda, I feel that pvbody/Ellie should have consulted you before they began their business venture! Haha! You know your stuff and you were absolutely right all along!
The capris were crap in terms of moisture wicking, breathablity, and staying on my fanny during my workout. And of course the defects only worsened after washing.
I am sad for this company. But I cannot say I am surprised.
Funny thing is in past year this is what’s happened to lululemon quality. Unraveling thread, thinner material, color bleeding etc. luckily I am a regular customer and my local store is nice about returning damaged products. But still. Lululemon isn’t what it used to be yet the prices are higher.
I received a size large crop that is on the smaller side. I put it on top of a lululemon crop size 8 and the Ellie is significantly smaller. Disappointed but hesitant to return because of others bad experience with delays on refunds/responses. When I first say them, the quality and the similar long thin tear out tag I thought it looked like ghetto lululemon. The only thing that’s better is that they are supposedly made in the USA and lululemon is made in china, etc.
Sonya @ Sonyanomics says
I actually posted a link to my review on Ellie’s Facebook page and they deleted my post! Ha!
Trying to hide something, Ellie?
Diane L says
I had them delete my posts too, Sonya. I did finally receive a refund after filing a complaint with the BBB and informing PV Body of it. I also told them I worked for the Attorney General’s office which probably didn’t hurt. The company said they sent a free t shirt and a Lululemon gift card, but of course, these have never been seen. BEWARE.
I have the same complaints as others when dealing with pvbody. I waited quite patiently as I registered as a member during the Christmas holidays. I thought that some delays is to be expected. However, when replies from them to my queries indicate that they are mass mailers and not answering my questions. I decided to email them and threaten to dispute the charge to my credit card with my bank. Then they gave me a proper reply. However, I noticed that my order has been shipped. So, I decided to stop my subscription until I received my items and see what I want to do.
I received a Lole Women’s cardio top which is of great quality retailing for $50 and American Apparel’s tights. The top is great but the tights were not. The fabric is rather scratchy and even my Old Navy capris felt much nicer. Anyhow, I’m glad I found this blogpost and comments to firm up my decision not to continue with them.
PV BODY AND ELLIE ARE TOTAL SWITCH & BAIT!!!
So now after hyping their Ellie label, when you go to the website, it tells you that there is overload and it is now invite only. WTF is up with this company! I HATE invite-only sites because I know they operate by capturing your email so that they can sell it later.
SCAM SCAM SCAM SCAM
Sarah, please tell all your blogger friends to spread the word about how bad this company is. It is beyond belief. I have been reading this thread, checking in everyday to see updates and was ultimately patient & tried to give them the benefit of a doubt to wait for their Ellie launch. But all the people who warned about them on this thread were so so right.
This whole PV Body thing is fascinating in a train wreck sort of way. I kept wondering just what was behind their inability to get it together. I mean if this Greinke is such a savvy eCommerce entrepreneur, he should have anticipated some of these variables. And should be ensuring that his employees have the tools to do their jobs right, not back tracking and explaining why they can’t do it right.
And the execution of Ellie is also just fascinating….marketing all over the web and then nobody can access their site on the day of launch. But I just couldn’t figure out where the scam was…I mean, it’s not like they aren’t following through on some level, albeit slowly and badly for the most part.
But I just read that they got $2 million in seed funding from three investors of start-ups. Too bad they’ve not put that into actually making sure the business is well run!
PV Body is funded by a company called Science, Inc. It’s an incubator that also funds several other start ups. I should know because I worked in the same incubator space as them for another start up at Science last year.
It’s stupidly easy to get funded for an idea and raise money, but whether or not you can execute and lead the company from conception to successful execution is a whole other story. I’ve met Greinke at some networking events. He’s a convincing salesman and that’s about all he has going for him.
Given his pretty crappy track record at his other companies, I won’t be surprised to see this company either floundering in 3 months needing more money because they’ve burned through so much of it; or Greinke getting fired and replaced by an executive with a proven track record of legitimate success. Looking at the numerous complaints on this thread, on consumer reporting websites, and on their Facebook page, and on at least 20 or blogs from a quick Google search, it’s pretty easy to venture that this company won’t be going too far. I’m surprised the board members of Science haven’t gotten wind of this fiasco already.
Thanks for your insight, MM. I was thinking that he must be extremely charismatic to have gotten backing. My “savvy, eCommerce entrepreneur” was kinda tongue in cheek as I am too experiencing the same problems as many other customers are.
I come from a social services background where it is stupidly hard to get backing for good ideas that help the community, so I’m interested to hear that it is much easier to get funding for start-ups!
But I am curious as to why and how they chose to throw money at his new venture when his other similar ventures crashed and burned and had similar issues that this new company has. I mean, don’t they do any sort of due diligence and check someone’s track record and ability to be successful? Obviously not.
I am assuming that there are no nefarious intentions, but I simply don’t get why an entrepreneur would continue to make the same mistakes. Wouldn’t doing things well and right, even if there are a few hiccups that customers may be willing to overlook, ultimately make the business more successful?
Good word choice when you said fiasco! And thanks for sharing your insight!
Melissa, word in the tech community is that while Science has many successful start-ups, this is the first one that has grown as quickly as it did. Science is still a relatively new incubator, so it’s not hard to get funding when there’s been no standard of success that’s been established.
Start-ups are funny in that all it takes is an idea and you can raise money like mad. You can also burn through it, too. There are numerous other examples of start-ups that have raised millions of dollars, have never made money, and have ended up failing.
Trust me, I got your tongue in cheek reference! 😉 In the tech world, CEO’s are often replaced when they either no longer serve a purpose or fail miserably at strategic planning like Greinke is demonstrating. Maybe they’ll keep him around to raise more money. But in a game like this, when it’s hitting critical mass, IMO it’s best they get rid of him and either 1) promote someone from within the operation who understands it or 2) recruit an exec with a solid reputation to pull the company together.
Hopefully Science finds someone better equipped for the role of a C-level executive. Analyzing everything that been happening, Greinke looks to be a potential liability who is in way over his head and who doesn’t plan strategically. There’s a lot of money at stake and they stand to lose not only that, but also their talent in the company if he continues screwing up.
I really want to support an up and coming company and i would hate if lululemon, a huge company, took legal action 🙁
I received my first box in December and wanted to exchange because the pants were too small (so I just wanted a larger size) and I wasn’t a fan of the stripes on the top.
Fast forward to last week, I received the SAME top and blue crops from their ellie line.
so I have to say, their customer service is non existent but it is a new company that didn’t know what to expect.
but I was pleasantly surprised by their crops! they weren’t sheer at all and fit real nice. the rise was a bit like my lululemon strike tights. the fabric was thinner but still soft.
I don’t think they are completely ripping off the brand. I have many running crops, speed shirts and tanks from lululemon and judging by the preview items on ellie’s website, there’s not a resemblance other than that it’s all workout clothes.
I wish they had gone about their launch in a Better way though
I really hate all of the people ripping on Ellie/pv.body. Have any of you tried to start a company that’s breaking into a HUGE market that’s extremely hard to get into? Like seriously, clearly all of your devotion to Nike, Adidas, Lulu and your other brand names proves my point. It is very difficult for a new workout brand to make a big name for themselves. pv.body tried to send brand name or the equivalent to their subscribers. Part of the allure was getting a surprise in the mail and being exposed to new brands that are the same top quality as the more expensive brands. If you signed up to receive lululemon you did not understand the company’s motivation in the first place and are just really dumb to think that’s what was being advertised.
Pvbody clearly explained in a very long blog post that there were many reasons for their switch. One included that they were not able to get shipments as large as the customer demand from these small or large companies that they were getting products from. They went from being a 2 person company with 0 customers to a 50 person company with thousands of customers.
Imagine how you would handle this. You start a business with a friend and you just hope and pray that it will work, that people will be interested and believe in you. You got some products and a web designer and you start advertising. You reach out to BLOGGERS because they have INFLUENCE over people in fitness. Just like companies reach out to celebrities to advertise for them and of course they treat the celebrities specially! If you asked someone to propogate your brand for you and put their reputation on the line for their new brand, wouldn’t you give them extra/nice treatment? Obviously. Now imagine your company takes off. You all of a sudden have thousands of orders from people who are expecting shipping quality akin to that of amazon, a shipping behemoth. No you are not going to receive your orders in 2 days, yes it will take a while when they have fewer than 50 people packing and shipping these orders THEMSELVES and not huge shipping plants doing so all over the country. Think about how you spent your time since September. Did you start a business that completely took off, move into new offices, get new phone lines set up, FIND HIRE AND TRAIN an entire customer service, design, business, IT and shipment team? Did you do all of this while working nights and weekends trying to keep customers happy?
Obviously none of you who are suspecting a scam have ever been part of a start up company. it’s difficult to keep up with customer demand when you didn’t see it coming like it did. Clearly the company did not expect the influx of customers or they wouldn’t have advertised like they did, they would have started like many other subscription/monthly services that are invite only and then expand slowly. That probably would have been the proper method to start this business.
My next note is about Ellie. Why would a company completely design and create a workout brand in 2 months if it were a scam? I know many of you probably aren’t programmers, but have you seen their website? When it’s not down from the servers, it’s fantastic. It has some of the newest modern design features for websites. It takes a lot of effort and talent to put up a website like that in such a short time! Clearly none of you know how much effort it takes to even attempt to maintain a business like this, and obviously it won’t be perfect at first!
Honestly I think that Lulu is even more of a scam than Ellie. If Ellie is right, that you can get the same materials and quality workout clothes without charging 100 dollars for yoga pants, then Lulu is scamming all of you who ever pay that much for clothes you’re going to sweat in.
I truly believe that the Ellie clothes will be great, it’s obviously a big change and of course they will lose customers who aren’t thrilled with not getting brand names. I don’t see why anyone is freaking out thinking it’s a scam when everyone has eventually received clothing from this company and although the returns are slow, they happen. The refunds happen too. If you “try to call a couple times” and dont get through, then call again! Email again! Go on facebook! I’ve had pvbody answer every email and often even CALL to make sure that everything was worked out. They have let people know what’s going on as soon as they had it all together. If you ask me, they’ve been more transparent than most companies! I know the names of like 6 people who work there because they’re always online emailing, posting on facebook, commenting on blogs to try to keep as many customers happy as they can while they work out their business kinks. How many companies do you order from where you know the direct emails and phone numbers of their workers? Not many for me.
People like me, who are excited to have 24 new pieces EVERY MONTH to choose from for workout clothes that are creative, well designed, well made and exclusive to ellie is very excited for the cute workout clothes I’ll get to work out in. Plus, 2 pieces for 49.95?!? That’s an insane deal you only find at like Old Navy. So if they’re good quality and cute, it’s all worth it to me!! I don’t see sheeny shimmery leggings many places so I’m pretty excited!
Try to have some faith people, and try to have some compassion for an AMERICAN business that is MADE IN USA and is trying to act out the American Dream. They’re not trying to bait and switch you. I mean really, way to assume the worst in people. It will be fine. They’re trying to build their company as best they can and based on customer feedback. They have ALWAYS offered refunds, free exchanges, free returns and EASY cancellations. They have never once told you you HAD to pay every month.
Just quit freaking out all the time, it will all be fine.
Such a detailed and lengthy post! If that wasn’t the biggest PV Body/Ellie apologist comment I’ve ever read on this thread, I would be really tempted to think that you might be a company employee. Or who knows, maybe even Greinke himself (the long-winded writing style is certainly reminiscent of him and his blog posts.)
It’s amazing how much you know about the company, about building websites, about programming, about customer service, about starting a business and how much darn general detail you get into. Truly, who else would know so much about PV Body/Ellie??? You’re clearly not an ambassador (the hyperlink to the generic website is a dead giveaway) or a blogger, even. You definitely can’t be a customer, because as of today, there still is no website up.
You know “Kylee” forget what I wrote above. You’ve totally convinced me about how fabulous Ellie is! I’m so convinced that I’ve decided to file dispute charges with my credit card for the last two months of not getting any product from your company and for all the unanswered emails & phone calls!
Thanks for your help…”Kylee”!!!!
To Marcus “Kylee” Greinke -- I see you can’t even post your real name in defense of your own company.
Sorry, but you sound like you work for the company.
Athlete Within Ja says
I agree with you Kylee 100%! You said it well!
Check out my post about my thoughts on the company. 🙂
This company is the worst. I signed up and was not charged the promotion fee, but the full price even though on the payment page it said the promotion was applied. This was the beginning of January, I have been trying to contact them ever since. I cannot get anyone to answer! Emails, don’t get a reply-their phone number goes straight to voicemail and they never call back. Awful--i wouldn’t buy anything from them again, even if their line is awesome. You need to answer your customers!
I too have had a bad experience with this company. I placed an order on December 21st and have received nothing. I figured it would take a little longer since I have my stuff shipped to an APO box so I gave them a benefit of a doubt. When I received nothing by January 23rd I called and was told that my package went to some random person in LA. Then I was told that it would be shipped out immediately with January’s shipment. I was given a tracking number and when I checked to see it’s estimated arrival date it said it would be delivered by March 13th. Since that’s nearly four months after I placed the initial order I tried to contact them for a refund through their Facebook since several people seem to have their issues resolved that way and because I was sent a form email when I emailed them the first time around. I received a response telling me that I contacted them the day before (which I did not) and that I should call them on Monday. I get that companies grow and have some pains while growing but they sought out this growth and have been unable to handle it. Also, I fully believe that they pulled a bait and switch. I’m doing research on the FTC’s website and if this issue isn’t resolved by the end of this week then I will be reporting them for investigation. I recommend that other unsatisfied customers do the same along with filing a complaint with the BBB.
Hey Nicole, I’m encouraging everyone I know to also file a complaint on complaintslist.com under PV Body/Ellie. A bunch of my friends & I who got screwed over by this company are planning on doing just that.
Thanks Esther, I’m giving them a fair amount of time to resolve the issue and give me my refund. If they do now I will file my complaints with the FTC and BBB, after that I’ll be sure to post a complaint on complaintslist.com. I want to make sure that well established consumer protection agencies know about this poorly run, possibly scam of a company.
Hope | Ellie says
Hello All -- I do work for pv.body/Ellie and I can confidently tell you that Kylee doesn’t, although we sincerely appreciate her response and feedback. I can also tell you that no one at Ellie is operating under a pseudonym of Kylee. I have mentioned before and to many of you on this thread, we acknowledge and take responsibility for many of the shipping and customer service issues we have encountered. I’m not here to make excuses.. we grew very quickly and had a lot of catching up to do in a very short amount of time. Countless team members have stayed nights, upon nights, in the office trying to get everyones orders resolved. Most of us work weekends. As you can see on our social media channels, we have hundreds of happy customers as well.
We are not and have never set out to be a scam. Our only intention is to offer women a fun, fashionable line of fitness apparel at a lower cost… Initially it was other lines, which didn’t work out for a number of reasons.. Now it’s our own. It’s that simple.
I have worked with many women on here to help resolve their issues personally. As always, you’re welcome to email me if you haven’t received help with your order. email@example.com
You were never obligated to remain a member of pv.body or Ellie.. but I can honestly tell you that the Feb. collection we are getting ready to start shipping (on time) is absolutely beautiful. I’ve worked in the fitness industry for over ten years and I can confidently assure you that it rivals the best brands. Never hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or would like to see for yourself.
As for Kylee -- Thank you. Everything you said is true and I know first hand that every bit of the information you wrote came from our blog, our emails, or our social media channels. Thank you for listening. I’d love to connect with you as well if you don’t mind emailing me.
That is all very touching but why did you not reply to MY email? I sent a message regarding all the same complaints EVERYONE all over the net is complaining about. Delayed shipment, requesting a refund, missing LuLu gift card, blah, blah, blah. No response AT ALL from you! It’s resolved now FINALLY after threatening with a chargeback but don’t come here with the promise of helping people when you don’t even reply to emails!
I can’t believe you guys are taking this case of bad customer service to the courts.
Monique, it would be one thing if this were simply a case of bad customer service. Sadly it’s not that simple. The way they are doing business actually goes against guidelines set by the FTC. They are taking money and not providing the product promised in return for that money and it some cases they aren’t even providing the product. There’s a set number of days for delivery for items ordered and seeing as I haven’t received my items that I ordered over a month ago, and likely won’t receive them for at the very least another month, they are in violation of that FTC guideline. On top of that their website, when you could still access it, stated that items would be shipped within 7-10 days of placing the order, mine were not shipped until well over a month of the order date. Lastly, and I’m not sure about the other comments because there are tons and I haven’t the patience to read through all of them, but I never said anything about taking it to the courts. The BBB and the FTC are two different entities and they are not related to the courts. They are for consumer protection from companies such as PV Body.
Hello everyone. I just thought I’d contribute a little to the discussion as I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading everyone else’s inputs. I placed an order with pv.body on the morning of January 31st, one day prior to the launch of their Ellie collection. When I ordered, I was under the impression that I would receive two items from various name brands for a price of $39.96, which was 20% off, thanks to a link from one of their “ambassadors”. I even had watched the video on their home page where they describe the different outfits they had planned to send to four different women. I noted that it would take 7-10 days to ship out, which seemed fairly reasonable. I received a confirmation email about half an hour later, which stated that my order was “In stock, will ship immediately.” Sounded cool to me.
I was really confused when later that evening I received a new email from “Ellie” with the subject line “The Countdown Has Started” -- and upon opening it discovered it was associated with pv.body. There was a “preview” link, I don’t remember if I opened it or if it worked, but at this point I poked around the pv.body website and discovered a blog post about them creating their new Ellie line. I wasn’t worried because I was still under the impression that anyone who had placed an order in January would have their orders shipped out in a timely manner, with the previously mentioned products from other brands, since the launch of Ellie wasn’t until the 1st.
The next morning, I had another email from Ellie saying they’d launched their brand. (It actually went to my spam folder, but I found it.) The link didn’t work. I received another email later in the day saying their servers were overwhelmed and I’d have to wait for an invitation to view the site. I didn’t worry, because in the email it stated, “All orders placed in January will ship out immediately.”
February 4th, I got an invite to view their collection. Website still didn’t work. I figured…whatever. I was just patiently waiting for my
Today, I got a new email telling me to go pick out my items for the month of February. At this point I was a bit confused because I didn’t really want to have to go pick out my stuff, anyway. I signed up to be surprised with new work out clothes from established brands, possibly ones that I’d never heard of before! Not to go pick out non-surprise clothes from a completely new brand. But I went to visit their site anyway, and it worked this time. And I thought, well, it looks pretty nice. Might not be so bad if some of this shows up.
Then, I found out that I could check my order status in the “My Account” section of the website. It showed that my order from the 31st was “completed” with a ship date listed, 01.31.2013 -- Same DAY -- Yay! Or so I thought…upon clicking the tracking number, FedEx showed that there was no actual package in transit, only “Shipment information sent to FedEx”.
Then I started searching the internet for pv.body and stumbled upon this blog post, among others. I feel like I’m in the process of getting ripped off.
It seems to me that this company was not being transparent AT ALL. I thought I was getting two items from random, but high-quality brands. And I signed up for this ONE DAY BEFORE the launch of Ellie. You would think that a legitimate company would have been upfront about this on their main page -- I know now that the information about the new brand was out there, but I didn’t find it on their blog until after I’d signed up.
I wish I’d done the research sooner.
Well I guess I’m one of the lucky ones that has actually had a great experience with this company…
I signed up with them back in October and my first box was lulu shorts and a cute lulu tank. I was so stoked. My boxes since then have been other brands that have been quality and I love that I got a chance to try them out, because its not just about labels.
Last month I received a top that I didn’t like and the exact same pants that I got the month before, so I went on the site and printed the free return label and about 2 weeks later I received my replacement which happened to be from the new Ellie line and I honestly love it. I got a cute pair of purple capris with pink stitching and their grey tee with the mesh around the armpit area which is this super soft quality material and I’m hooked. I challenge you all to give the new line a shot and look past the labels, it’s good quality.
I feel bad for the hit this small company is taking. I too was frustrated, in December I sent them an email asking why I hadn’t been charged for my box that should have already shipped and received a response about how they were behind but quickly catching up. I stayed patient and it paid off. I can’t imagine how much money they’ve probably lost from girls returning box after box until they get lulu, which was never a guarantee but a gamble. Most companies like this wouldn’t even allow returns, so I think it’s great that they do and free of charge at that. I understand the frustration not being able to get those brands by more for such a great cost, but from a business stand point I understand it. They’re going to save a ton of money on returns by allowing women to purchase the quality products they want and choosing the pieces themselves.
I would be upset if I had locked in for a year and all the sudden the product changed, but you can cancel or suspend whenever you want. So what’s the big deal? If you have to have lululemon then go pay full price for the name.
I’ve been impressed with my first set of Ellie clothes and I can’t wait to see what comes this month. I’ve had good luck with their customer service, sorry if not everyone else has but they are a growing company. I’m sticking with it, namaste.
Athlete Within Ja says
I completely agree with you Kelsey. I just actually posted a blog about my opinions on the switch.
As far as I know, you are NOT obliged to be a member and you can always cancel at anytime if you don’t like the new brand. I’m seeing good reviews now from people who have gotten their clothes from Ellie and I’m glad I remained positive despite all the bad reactions. It doesn’t hurt to stay positive people. =)
I just wanted to say, thank you for posting this! I wish i knew about this before some other blogger promoted ellie.com. I had no idea PVbody was what they were before. Just as a warning to everyone out there: Not only do they not ship you your items right away, they also triple or double charge you.
Okay, I didn’t sign up when I thought they were going to send nike or lululemon or anything. i knew that i was going to get ellie merchandise so that’s not the issue for anyone thinking my expectations are ridiculously high for the quality of merchandise.
The issue is that if you go to their facebook page, everyone has had issues with trying to contact someone about getting charged over $200 dollars for two items because of a glitch. OK, start up companies have problems? They won’t answer your phone calls nor your emails. You need to stalk them on facebook to get a hold of them. Where does it outline that on their website?
They promised a refund to me in an email and on facebook. I felt okay. But if you keep scrolling down, you see that people who had similar complaints as mine had similar resopnses such as after they say, “HI! CHECK YOUR EMAIL! WE’LL REFUND YOU IN 24-72 HOURS! :)” people write back in 72 hours and say, “hey? i’m not seeing anything?” then, you hear nothing from ellie.com
Okay, maybe they are slow in sending stuff. i get it, i worked in shipping and delivery for nordstroms before. I personally dealt with packaging and processing merchandise for 2 years. THIS that ellie.com is doing is a bid outrageous. When you check out, be careful when you don’t get a confirmation the first time. I would just say walk away. Because guess what? you look at your bank statement and there are three charges of 75 dollars from puravit.com and no one answers their emails or phones? This is a bitch sketchy. I’d love to be patient, but please explain that to someone who has mouths to feed and bills to pay. And oh yeah, my bank account has now been 160 dollars short since Saturday… it’s now wednesday.
if you want to deal with this “up and coming company” thats cool. you have far more patience and money than me. But i’m glad some of you out there made me feel like I wasn’t alone!
This company is a DISASTER. There is no Ellie.com, all you get when you go to their site is an ugly generic page saying “CLICK HERE TO BUY ELLIE.COM FOR YOUR WEBSITE NAME!”
Did they not pay their bills for their domain name?? Because that’s what happens when you haven’t renewed your domain. So first they change from PV Body to Ellie without letting customers know about this switch. Now they can’t even get their finances together to pay for their new web address?
This company is like the Lindsay Lohan of internet startups — so much early promise, but now just a hot feckin’ mess.
Ummm, what site are you on? Just checked it and its definitely still there. Typo maybe?
It was down for a few hours. It’s since come back up.
Just an update on my experience, by the way. I did eventually receive a package. I got a bright green Nux top, which is awesome, and some Ellie crops, which I’m not as crazy about. They seem to run a bit small, and they’re low rise, which I dislike as well (and specified that I did not want my my profile). I’m pretty happy with the top, but I’m going to try to exchange the bottom. I just managed to print my return label now that the site is back up.
What’s your email, Kelsey? I’ll be happy to send you screenshots of Ellie.com that shows an unregistered domain name that I’m receiving.
Hi Sarah, I just came across your site accidentally and I am so glad that you posted this blog about Marcus Greinke. I’ve wanted to express my opinion about the guy but decided to just let it go and move on with life….he’s not worth it…but in seeing everyone’s posts, I felt that I needed to speak up so that hopefully I can save someone from the “Marcus Experience”. He is a total scam artist and should not be allowed to operate a business. While I think PV Body and Ellie’s concepts are quite interesting, so were his past former business ideas. I do not care how good of an idea or product is, I will NEVER buy, or attempt to buy, anything from him. I was a customer of Cocobop which had a cool way to buy women’s fashion accessories and Marcus was the CEO of this company. It appears, based on timing, that Marcus went from Cocobop to try to start a new women’s company called Stylethrills but was shut down and now it seems he has started yet another company called PV Body now Ellie. Prior to Cocobop, he started Snappy tuna, Charlies and Marie and who knows what else. Information about his unscrupulous business practices are all out there on the internet and I strongly urge people to do their own research on this guy. The complaints I read above here are almost identical to complaints about his other failed businesses. Being an unhappy Cocobop customer, I did some research and discovered that Cocobop had filed a civil law suit against Marcus and his now co-founder Lindsay, who he was having an affair with at the time and rumor has it his wife and kids left him, what a scumbag. The case # is CIV 513337 and can be looked up at https://www.sanmateocourt.org/midx/ . I strongly suggest taking the time to review the 14 counts of action filed against Marcus (and Lindsay) for improper business conduct. I had heard there were issues but had not idea as to the extent of it. Like me, I have no doubt you will be mouthing “OMG!” as your read the civil case.
In short, this guy has no values or morals, business or personal and for me, there are plenty of options for me to update and refresh my workout gear without having to take the risk of dealing with guy.
I wish that I would have read this before i bought something, I cannot stand the brand or customer service …..
http://www.ellie.com is an absolutely horrible website. I have had a bad transaction with them and they did nothing to correct or help me, just tried to sell me more, Katy got in contact with me and was absolute rubbish. HORRIBLE BRAND, HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE
do not buy from them, stick to the good stuff like Nike and sor a sexy look Victorias secret
Alex Webb says
Wow, what a scam. I have seen this before and I always wondered that it was to good to be true.
So felt an update on this feed was in order….it’s all still the same. I unfortunately signed up Dec 1st…supposedly the items shipped sometime after the Dec 11th….can’t figure out what the shipping is….four emails and various facebook posts and can’t seem to get an answer. I’ve got the 800 number printed out to call and cancel tomorrow am ugh.
When I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are
added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I get four
emails with the exact same comment. There has to be an easy method you can remove me from that service?
I’ll try to fix it for you! WordPress is a challenge sometimes for me…