Rent the Runway Lifts New Customer Freeze, Says It's 'Back to Business as Usual'
“It is our responsibility to rebuild trust with you over time," Rent the Runway said in a statement on the company's website
Fashion subscription service Rent the Runway has lifted its new customer freeze and is “back to business as usual,” according to a statement released on Tuesday.
The popular startup — which launched in 2009 and is worth $1 billion — said employees completed “system upgrades ahead of schedule.”
“We built this business for our community, and we are so thankful for the support over these past few weeks,” the statement said. “As we continue transforming the traditional model of clothing consumption, we may not always be perfect, but please know that we will never stop investing in making your renting experience the best it can be. We are breaking new ground together — thanks for being on the journey with us.”
The news comes just weeks after Rent the Runway announced it would temporarily stopped accepting new members in order to address “logistics problems and shipping delays,” Chief Executive Jennifer Hyman said in an email to customers on Sept. 27.
“We realize we have let you down, and we need to fix it,” Hyman (who founded the company with fellow Harvard Business School graduate Jennifer Fleiss) wrote. “We understand how frustrating this is for you, and we want you to know how valuable you are to us.”
In addition to providing a full refund, the company also made $200 payments to members who didn’t receive clothing in time for a special event, according to the email.
Rent the Runway further addressed the situation and apologized to customers (who pay up to $159 a month to rent high-end clothing, jewelry, handbags and more) in a statement posted to their website, titled “Update From Team RTR.”
“Over the last few weeks, some of our customers have experienced delays in receiving Rent the Runway orders,” he statement begins. “The delays, which began Sept. 13, are due to unforeseen issues associated with a significant transformation that we are executing in our fulfillment operation.”
It continues, “Our technical team is working to fix these issues as quickly as possible. We expect this upgrade to be completed by Oct. 15 or sooner, which will improve the Rent the Runway experience.”
The company apologized to customers,
The news comes less than three months after the Wall Street Journal reported that the New York-based rental service sent out an email in July titled “We’re Sorry,” promising to “reestablish the level of customer service [customers] both expect and deserve from Rent the Runway.”
In the note, Hyman announced that the company would double its customer service team, implement new ways for customers to manage their accounts and create a new Twitter account dedicated to customer service (@rtrhelp). Additionally, the businesswoman revealed plans for a 300,000 square foot fulfillment facility in Texas, which will expedite Rent the Runway shipping and returns.
Speaking with CNBC in 2017, Hyman acknowledged public criticism and explained Rent the Runway’s transition from new start-up to successful company as “entering our teen or adolescent years.”