**A step by step guide at the bottom of this page on what you can do to get help with your issue.**

I want to talk to you all, not as a brand, but as a person behind Suspect who's recently been through a whirlwind. This isn't your typical, polished corporate apology with empty promises. It's me, sharing the chaos of trying to deliver "the perfect baggy joggers" to you. From the viral explosion on TikTok to the nightmare of supply shortages, PayPal freezes, and a series of customer service hiccups, it's been a ride.

I dove into this with passion, not expecting the overwhelming demand that led us to navigate through uncharted waters. Mistakes were made, plans went sideways, and amidst trying to fix one issue, several others popped up. It was a learning curve, steeper than anything I've faced with Suspect before.

I was struggling to find good-fitting baggy joggers for the gym. Since I own a brand named Suspect, I decided to create some unique pieces for personal use. I dislike tracksuit brands, feeling they lack the creativity and effort I value, so I've always avoided them. Over the last 2 years, whenever I showcased these joggers on my story, I noticed an uptick in private messages each time they were shown online. People were curious about when they would be released. Despite the interest, I didn't take any action until I uploaded a TikTok slideshow showcasing them, which surprisingly got 1 million views within the next day. Initially thinking it was just random luck, the demand proved to be overwhelming. Another upload garnered 600k views, and sharing them on my other account brought in hundreds of thousands more views. They had something special, prompting customers to dub them 'the perfect baggy joggers'.

After my follower count jumped from a modest number to 15K overnight and I received over 100,000 email sign-ups, I pondered whether to offer a pre-order or wait until production was complete. The response was overwhelmingly in favor of a pre-order. Despite my general reluctance towards pre-orders, I negotiated with my trusted manufacturer, with whom I've worked for over 4 years, and they offered me a promising deal. They assured a 15-day production time plus 2-day shipping to our fulfillment center in Belgium. Despite it being a pre-order, I limited the quantity to 2500 units to ensure the production was manageable.

Due to the urgency, I had to pay extra to prioritize our order. After signing the contract, I was as excited as everyone else. The 15-day timeline seemed entirely feasible, especially since we had recently secured a fulfillment center, which looked promising for Suspect.

I committed to keeping everyone updated through our social media channels. However, after two days without any news from production, I assumed they were just busy and informed everyone that everything was proceeding as planned.

Given the significant growth, I realized the importance of scaling up quickly and sourced a customer support team for 20 days, as it became increasingly challenging to manage alone following this exposure. I was in daily contact with the manufacturer, who showed me around, updated me on the progress, and consistently assured me that everything was on track. Yet, on day 14, just one day before the deadline, they informed me via email that we had exhausted the supply of black cotton in the area and needed more time to source and weave additional material. This was devastating news, especially since we had extensively discussed avoiding any delays. I immediately shared this update with you, and surprisingly, everyone was very understanding.

Meanwhile, we encountered some issues with Shopify, our e-commerce platform, which occasionally threw errors during refund attempts. When I logged into PayPal, I discovered that all the funds from this drop had been put on hold, and they had even frozen the account entirely. I hadn't anticipated any issues since I had other payment processors to keep things running. However, I was unaware they had also blocked us from issuing refunds. For instance, when Jake ordered trousers and then a zip-up hoodie within minutes of each other, I planned to combine the orders and refund one shipping cost, €14. But when attempting to process the refund, I was immediately met with an error message stating all issues needed resolution first. I communicated this to Jake, explaining that the refund would be issued once PayPal lifted the block on our account, and he was very understanding. Trying to contact PayPal for a resolution proved futile, as it was impossible to speak to anyone beyond receiving generic advice to 'check the FAQ for solutions.' As weeks passed, Jake, who had never ordered from Suspect before, grew impatient and skeptical, thinking this might be an excuse to avoid refunding the €14. This period was incredibly stressful, feeling as if everything was spiraling out of control. I decided to manually process the €14 refund to Jake via bank transfer and began doing this for all similar orders, exchanges, and shipping requests that couldn't be completed through PayPal, aiming to maintain customer satisfaction.

Unbeknownst to me, this approach would lead to one of the most challenging situations I've ever faced. Because bank transfers take a few days to process, customers started filing disputes through PayPal. Jake, for instance, who only needed €14 refunded for shipping, filed a dispute explaining that he had placed two separate orders that I combined, but the refund for shipping was taking too long. PayPal responded by refunding the entire order amount, in this case, €200 plus shipping and a €15 fine for the dispute.

Disputes surged because refunds were not possible due to the account freeze. At this point, PayPal was holding a significant sum, claiming to protect customers. However, instead of using the funds they were holding to process refunds, they put our account balance into the negatives. Since my card is linked to PayPal, they started deducting the negative balance from my funds, which were earmarked for fixed costs, subscriptions, taxes, etc., causing the negatives to increase by thousands each day. Despite these challenges, at least the customers were being refunded.

Updating you daily became increasingly difficult as the situation evolved, and my updates began to sound more like excuses rather than informative progress reports, undermining my credibility. I've never experienced anything like this, and the mounting pressure began to take a toll, leading me to dread posting another update about production or refunds. Consequently, I chose to remain silent rather than risk spreading misinformation or changing the narrative shortly after. This approach is not standard for a company, but as someone deeply committed to delivering quality clothing and unique pieces, I felt overwhelmed. My entire investment in this brand, including selling my dream car (a MK7 GTI, as the real ones would know), was at stake.

We were 22 days into production when the customer support team began to report an influx of messages from individuals inquiring about their refunds or questioning why I wasn't responding on my private Instagram, @glen anton.

Initially, I had engaged the customer support team for 20 days post-production to help address all your inquiries. However, as their contract ended and the challenges mounted, I decided to take over customer service personally until I could stabilize the situation and find a dedicated support team.

The rapid increase in my social media following, which grew by 100K in just 3 weeks, made it impossible to respond to even 10% of the messages. This was a new experience for me, and while it's no excuse, I found myself in a situation akin to million-dollar companies with extensive teams and resources, yet I was managing everything single-handedly.

In an attempt to resolve the ongoing issues, I isolated myself, tirelessly contacting companies, PayPal, Shopify, and my accountant, striving to find a solution.

After more than a month, production finally concluded. Given the urgency, I opted to ship the order by plane to avoid further delays. I had carefully calculated the costs to ensure there was enough to begin a new production cycle. The primary goal of this pre-order was to increase exposure, allowing a vast audience to experience the quality that Suspect represents.

However, tracking the shipment became a problem a week later, with the status stuck on 'arrived at airport Brussels' for 7 consecutive days. Unable to get more information over the phone, I drove to the airport myself to assess the situation and prepare the fulfillment center for the shipment's arrival. To my dismay, I discovered that every box had been opened in search of an invoice, which the manufacturer had neglected to include for customs. Presenting the invoice I had was insufficient, prompting customs to initiate an investigation to determine the shipment's true value. I had invested 70K in production, funded through Shopify payments, only to be informed by customs three weeks later that I owed a 12K fine. With PayPal still holding my funds for 180 days, I was losing thousands due to disputes accessed through my available bank funds, on top of the fixed monthly costs required to keep the brand operational. After paying the fine, I contacted the fulfillment center to manage logistics, but due to the unpacking, all items had been repackaged, resulting in the removal of the original barcodes necessary for their system to process the items correctly.

The fulfillment center advised that it would take an additional 2 weeks to rebarcode everything, which, considering the upcoming holiday season and Black Friday, led us to decide that I would take the shipment home and handle the shipping personally. Gathering a team, we began packaging immediately, dedicating 2 weeks to the task with minimal rest. Opting to ship the items ourselves meant we lost access to the fulfillment center's volume discounts. Originally, shipping costs were estimated at €9K through the fulfillment center, but this figure skyrocketed to €26K when handled independently, utilizing a third-party company for prepaid labels.

The need for manual labor extended to inputting tracking numbers for each order. Using Shopify, which typically auto-detects and selects the appropriate courier (BPOST, POSTNL, or DPD in our case), I noticed anomalies with certain orders being assigned to 'Post Italia, DHL, etc.' I initially didn't think much of it, assuming these were the designated couriers upon reaching the respective countries.

Amidst this, the volume of messages across all channels became overwhelming, with hundreds pouring in daily. I found it impossible to address even a fraction of these due to the ongoing challenges. Relief at having dispatched all orders was short-lived, as issues with tracking information began to surface. Some customers reported non-functional tracking links, which, upon investigation, worked correctly for me. The problem escalated, and with it, a surge in disputes. It wasn't until I received a screenshot of a malfunctioning tracking link that the issue became clear. Shopify's system uses geolocation to direct tracking inquiries, meaning that clicking a tracking number could redirect customers to their local postal service's website (e.g., Post Italia), where the order would not be found due to the courier mismatch.

I once again updated everyone, though by this point, the circumstances seemed almost unfathomable. PayPal began issuing refunds without requiring our input once our dispute rate hit 3.1%. This meant customers were receiving their orders for free while still being refunded by PayPal. We were unable to restock these items since they had effectively been sent out at no cost to the recipients.

The arrival of the joggers brought an outpouring of love and appreciation from those who had patiently awaited their orders. Many expressed that the wait was worthwhile, praising the joggers as 'the perfect baggy joggers.' This feedback provided a semblance of relief amidst the overwhelming stress and anxiety. However, this situation merely scratched the surface of the issues encountered with this pre-order. Approximately 50 customers reported issues such as the joggers being too short or buttons detaching upon opening the back pockets. The pricing was set to merely break even, considering the costs of initiating a new production cycle and taxes, leaving no room for error.

This launch, despite being the most successful to date, left me wishing I could reverse time and forego the pre-order entirely. Although many supporters have been with me from the beginning, understanding my commitment and honesty in building this brand, the majority of this batch were new customers. I don't fault anyone for their complaints, bank claims, or disputes. As a customer myself, I would share their sentiments, especially given the lack of direct responses from me. This inability to keep up was not for lack of trying but rather the sheer impossibility of managing the situation single-handedly. I wasn't in a position to recruit and train a new customer support team, as every day brought significant financial losses. The situation with PayPal, which chose to extend the freeze on our account for an additional 180 days, further complicated matters. This move by PayPal is alarming, as it suggests they could appropriate the entirety of the funds under the guise of rectifying supposed damages to their platform. This practice, widely recognized as a scheme by PayPal, has been documented in discussions found here: [https://www.warriorforum.com/off-topic-forum/371260-all-too-famous-paypal-took-my-money-situation-update-i-win-i-win.html], here: [https://www.reddit.com/r/paypal/comments/qbzy1a/ultimate_guide_paypal_steals_your_money_after_180/], and can also be explored by searching '180-day hold PayPal scam.'

Currently, I am still addressing these issues, with our PayPal account remaining inaccessible for processing returns. We have taken the matter to small claims court in hopes of resolving it.

Reflecting on this ordeal, I acknowledge that some aspects could have been managed better. However, the enormity of the situation overwhelmed my capacity to respond effectively as a sole operator.

I want to assure everyone that I am doing everything within my power to rectify this situation and am fully committed to ensuring customer satisfaction.

The lessons learned from this experience are invaluable, and I've taken measures to address the core issues directly. From March 2024, Suspect will expand its operations to include a dedicated team, ensuring such challenges are handled more efficiently. We've secured a fulfillment center capable of shipping orders until 23H midnight, offering much more affordable shipping rates, eliminating taxes for customers outside the EU, and establishing in-house customer service to better support our community.

I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment this situation may have caused your patience, understanding, and the love you've shown for the joggers mean everything. This experience has taught me volumes, and I'm here, committing to not just do better, but to redefine how we operate to ensure you feel valued and heard.

So, thank you for sticking with us. Here's to overcoming challenges and coming out stronger on the other side. You're not just customers; you're the community that keeps Suspect going. Let's move forward together.


Glen, Founder of Suspect

So, here's what you can we do as a customer:

As we navigate legal proceedings to resolve these issues, we want to reassure you that your concerns are not being overlooked. If your order has been impacted by the pre-order situation, we kindly ask you to follow the steps outlined below for assistance. To ensure your inquiries are addressed efficiently, please contact us via the email that best corresponds to your specific issue.

We understand the urge to reach out through social media, including Instagram DMs and comments, but please be aware these channels are not equipped for support-related queries. Additionally, sending multiple messages across different platforms and emails may complicate the resolution process.

We ask for your cooperation in keeping communications concise and focused. Like you, we are navigating challenges posed by larger entities, but our priority remains to find resolutions for you. Your patience and straightforward approach in this matter are greatly appreciated as we work diligently on your behalf.

Step-by-Step Solution Plan: Select the e-mail that best corresponds to your specific issue.

  1. Order not received: If you're awaiting an order and haven't received it, please provide us with a comprehensive set of details to assist in our investigation. Include your order number, whether you received tracking information or not, the order date, and any additional relevant information you may have. This will enable us to quickly identify the status of your order and take appropriate action. Send this information to info@suspectclo.com with the subject "Order Not Received Inquiry".

  2. Returned Items: For items that have been returned but not yet processed/refunded due to issues with PostNL / Bpost, we're requesting detailed information and proof of your return. Please include your order number, the items you returned, and any proof of return such as receipts or tracking information or pictures. PostNL & Bpost has been experiencing problems, requiring us to manually verify returns. Rest assured, we are actively working to confirm the receipt of your returned items and will contact you regarding the next steps. Please send this information to returned@suspectclo.com with the subject "Returned Item Inquiry".

  3. Tracking received but not updating: We are aware of issues with tracking updates from PostNL and BPOST, which are currently affecting approximately 5% of pre-orders. We are in legal proceedings with these carriers due to their slow processing. If your tracking hasn't been updated, we ask for your patience and understanding as we work through these challenges. We are committed to resolving these issues and ensuring your orders are delivered as soon as possible. For tracking inquiries, please contact tracking@suspectclo.com with the subject "Tracking Update Inquiry".

We will try our best to respond within one business day and provide you with all the info you need.