Rent the Runway has stopped accepting any new subscribers until October 15 after chaos in its supply chain led to a torrent of complaints and the loss of a senior executive.
The online fashion rental service, announced on Friday that in order for it to focus on “our current customers”, it would not be “accepting new subscribers or new event rental orders to be delivered before Oct. 15.”
This comes after weeks of intense backlash on social media from its subscribers who have complained of their orders turning up days late or not at all, customer service waiting times spanning multiple hours and a general lack of communication from the company.
@RenttheRunway well. After 9 DMs, 5 tweets, on hold for three hours, failed attempt at chat. No response. Today is my engagement photo shoot. I guess I won’t be wearing the dress I ordered. THANKS RENTTHERUNWAY!! Bravo on your exceptional costumer service. #renttherunway
— Sadie C (@Saddiesundown) September 22, 2019
Since the disruption began on September 13 while the company began to implement a “significant software transformation” in its supply chain, horror stories have emerged of customers failing to receive dresses for special occasions including their own weddings and red-carpet events with no time to buy an alternative.
“I’m reaching out to further update you on delays that some of you have experienced in receiving your orders over the last few weeks,” Rent the Runway’s chief executive Jenn Hyman said in an email to customers.
“The delays, which began Sept. 13, are due to unforeseen issues associated with a significant software transformation that we are executing in our fulfillment operation. 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, at which point you will experience much improved availability of styles.
“So that we can focus entirely on you, our current customers, while we fix these issues, we will not be accepting new subscribers or new event rental orders to be delivered before Oct. 15.”
According to a report from the Business of Fashion, Rent the Runway’s chief supply officer Marv Cunningham will step down from the company in response to the growing backlash.
What. The. Heck. This isn’t ok @RenttheRunway I thought it was just me. Then I see it’s hundreds of thousands of customers & has been going on for over a week? yet not a single email/call/notification to let us know we aren’t going to get what we ordered and paid for? @rtrhelp pic.twitter.com/AOjcRXW6Sg
— Summer Ratcliff (@SummerRatcliff) September 26, 2019
Rent the Runway charges customers either $89 or $159 per month for a subscription, which allows them to rent high-end cocktail dresses for important events rather than splashing out on an item for one-time use.
It has seen a dramatic rise to popularity over the past decade, and its model has been replicated by a range of retailers including Bloomingdale’s and Urban Outfitters.