At the end of last month, Olivia Rodrigo fans started to receive the merch they had ordered from Rodrigo’s website in May, which was released to promote her debut album, Sour.
When their orders began to arrive in July, though, many fans complained on social media. They claimed that the items they received didn’t look like what they had ordered, and some of them posted about it on TikTok to show just how different they believed the merch looked in person.
In response to the complaints, a spokesperson for Ceremony of Roses, the company that sold the merch, said they are working to make it right.
“We are committed to providing the highest quality goods and services to Olivia’s fans and are aware of issues with a few of the products," the spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. "We are working to resolve these issues moving forward and in the meantime, granting refunds or exchanges to anyone affected.”
For example, one person claimed on Twitter that a friend had received a beaded bracelet that was supposed to spell out "sour" but actually said “sur.”
Another fan posted photos of what they said they thought would be a crop top but arrived as a long, almost dress-length top.
Delaney McCabe, a 20-year-old college student from Orlando, told BuzzFeed News that when she received her merch she was “super disappointed but not surprised" that it didn’t look like what she had ordered.
“I know a lot of other artists have issues with their merch, and her designs were so good, almost too good to be true,” McCabe said. She decided to post about it on TikTok after seeing other people post about their own orders.
McCabe tried to fade the T-shirt to a lighter color with bleach to make it look closer to what she wanted and has been sharing the progress on TikTok. She also said she thinks she will probably tie-dye it with bleach.
Soon, other people began to comment on her video, claiming they also received items that looked different than the photos online.
One of those fans who saw McCabe’s video is 23-year-old Chloe Bolenbaugh, a student from Tampa, Florida.
Like McCabe, Bolenbaugh also purchased her merch in May, and it arrived at the end of July. Bolenbaugh said she knew that ordering online meant that there was a risk of her item not looking the same in person, but she still felt upset.
“I was definitely feeling a little hurt when I realized that my item was so different than the one advertised online,” she said.
Bolenbaugh ordered a lavender top that she thought would have cuffs. She based this assumption on the photo online, she said, which featured Rodrigo.
However, she said she ended up receiving a top that was more purple than lavender and the fabric looked thinner. According to Bolenbaugh, what she received was completely different than what was shown on the website.
Bolenbaugh said she also contacted the merchandise company, Ceremony of Roses, and they quickly responded. But she said that when she tried to send a reply to their response, the email bounced back. She said she sent an email to the shop again and hasn’t heard back since.
Bolenbaugh posted her TikTok after being inspired by McCabe but also because she hadn’t seen her item posted online. She said she wanted to share her experience in case other fans had been affected too.
Her video went viral, and Bolenbaugh said she hasn’t read a lot of the comments because it has been so overwhelming.
“It’s also such an odd thing to get a lot of traction on,” she said. “You can’t really have positive reactions when the situation is sour.”
She said she didn’t think the video would go so viral, and she really hopes Rodrigo isn’t upset.
She hasn’t returned the shirt yet as she is waiting to hear back from Ceremony of Roses, but she thinks it’ll become a top she will wear at home when she wants to lounge.
Another fan who posted a TikTok is 22-year-old Ella Lian, a recent college graduate from the Bay Area. She said she purchased her merch the night Rodrigo’s album dropped and received part of her order in July.
When she ordered her items, she said she got an update telling her that her order would be shipped in a couple of weeks. However, Lian claimed that she is still waiting for an item that she has not been informed has been shipped yet.
Additionally, Lian said she also got items that didn't match what she thought she had ordered.
“I was really disappointed when I first opened my merch,” said Lian. “I was looking forward to longer sweatshorts and was so confused when I found short shorts.”
"I even looked back at the site to make sure I wasn’t just remembering wrong, but the shorts were so much longer, they didn’t have a back pocket, and just [were] overall cuter online," she continued. "They also didn’t have a drawstring like on the site, which was unfortunate because they didn’t fit very well. Honestly, I was just sad because the shorts looked more like a diaper."
Lian said she has found Ceremony of Roses to be very helpful and said the company gave her a full refund.
She said she posted her TikTok because she noticed no one had posted about the shorts yet. “I thought it would both be funny and helpful to show other fans what the shorts looked like so people didn’t make the mistake I did,” Lian said.
Lian said she has kept her merch and will be wearing it to sleep.
“I don’t think I’ll make any changes although I’ve thought about adding a drawstring myself,” she said. “The material is pretty rough so they’re not very comfortable to be wearing often.”
BuzzFeed News has contacted representatives for Rodrigo for comment.