Former direct-sales jewelry company Lia Sophia misled customers by touting a lifetime guarantee it no longer honors, a new lawsuit charges.
The once-prominent home-party jewelry company announced it was shutting down its direct-sales arm in December. However, it continues to sell inventory online, and its Facebook page is still active. A May Facebook post said that “the demand for lia sophia has been so strong and our customers’ response so positive that we have decided to continue to sell all of the available inventory we have and begin to explore other business models.”
The suit, filed June 23 in Illinois federal court, calls the company’s lifetime guarantee—which promised to replace any jewelry it sold—an essential part of its direct-sales model. But once it ended the direct-sales model, the company announced the guarantee was no longer valid, it says.
It also claims that company executives knew for most of 2014 that its days were numbered but continued to have sales associates offer the lifetime guarantee.
A former sales associate also joined the suit, charging that the company’s new e-commerce model contradicts repeated assertions it would never sell around its associates.
The suit seeks class-action status and charges breach of contract and violation of Illinois’ consumer fraud law, among other charges.
Lia Sophia has not filed a reponse at press time and could not be reached for comment but told The Chicago Tribune the suit “had no merit.”