Canada Goose is on the hotseat in China — again.
Customers and consumer advocacy groups in China claim that the pricey parka maker’s return policy in the country is discriminatory — and confusing at best.
The furor started when a customer in Shanghai told local media that the company refused her effort to return a damaged $1,800 jacket she’d purchased in October. She claimed the embroidered logo was defective, according to local media reports.
Her account went viral and attracted the ire of the Shanghai Consumer Protection Commission — just three months after the Canadian company was fined about $70,000 by Chinese government regulators for what it said was misleading advertising about its goose down.
The account about the Shanghai customer sparked a social media frenzy with some consumers calling for a boycott of the brand.
The China Consumers Association and state-run media described Canada Goose as “arrogant and superior,” according to South China Morning Post.
And the Consumer Protection Commission held talks with Canada Goose on Wednesday, with more scheduled for next week, according to the publication.
At issue is the customer’s account that she had been told to sign an exchange policy at the store where she bought the jacket that stated, “unless otherwise provided by applicable laws, all products sold at Canada Goose’s retail stores in mainland China are strictly non-refundable,” according to the South China Morning Post.
But the company’s website in China states that items purchased within 30 days may be returned to any store in the country where it was initially purchased as long as they meet the return conditions, which include being unwashed, unworn and with the original tags still attached, the publication said.
Canada Goose did not immediately respond for comment, but it clarified its policy to say that customers could get a refund for their purchases within 14 days, based on Chinese law, if there were issues with the brand’s craftsmanship, the company told Reuters.
Canada Goose is not alone among major global brands facing a backlash in China, which has been the subject of global criticism over human rights issues.
A bevy of companies from Nike, Burberry, Adidas and H & M have faced social media-fueled consumer backlashes this year.
China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying said earlier this year in response to questions about Western companies facing boycotts after they expressed concern over alleged human rights abuses in China’s cotton industry: “Anyone who offends the Chinese people should prepare to pay the price.”