Saturday, June 28, 2014

Julep: A general note

So, basically last month Julep had a huge "Red Marker Sale" and the experience of both the sale and the shipping of my box was so terrible that at this point I'm past "I can't really recommend this service" and into "no, you should probably spend your Jules and get out."

It doesn't help that I got this note today with the shipping notice for what will likely be my last Maven box:

Hello Maven,
I'm so excited for July's Maven Box, and hope you are too! I wanted to reach out and let you know that your box is on its way, but it might take a little longer than usual to arrive.
I know how much it matters that you get your box as quickly as possible, so we're working to expand and improve our shipping system ASAP (including opening a new fulfillment center very soon). As a token of our thanks for your patience (and with our apologies for any delay), we've added 100 Jules to your Maven account.

Dear Julep,

I'm not actually excited for July's Maven Box, because it will probably be my last one and I only ordered it to use up my Jules and to get the Secret Store for my birthstone polish this month, as a present to myself that I used to be excited about seven months ago when you announced the birthstone collection.

Despite my better judgement after how badly you presented yourselves and how terribly you treated customers (and how awful your communication was) during the Red Marker Sale, I placed an order on the first day. I got a shipping notice for it two days later. As usual, the "estimated delivery day" window was nearly five days, which is too large a window to be useful, but I just assume with your typical terrible shipping that it would be the last day possible.

An entire week after I got my tracking number, otherwise known as the first day of my estimated delivery window, I checked the tracking again and saw that my box had only just left the warehouse. One week after I been told that it had been shipped. ONE WEEK. My box was "transferred to the shipping partner" on the last day of the delivery window. What this means is that my box always sits in Maryland for three days for no reason I could ever figure out. And that's what happened this time. I placed my order on June 12th. I received it on June 26th, three days after the estimated delivery window was over.

I wrote you about the shipping issue in November of last year, after the order of my first mystery box became so messed up that I was no longer excited to receive it after it came in. Instead of the promised "3-4 business days" it took a week for me to hear back from a customer service representative, who said, "We take in all the feedback we can and we are working hard to roll out new and improved shipping options in the near future." And then it only got worse.

In other words: I have long, long ago given up hope of getting my box "as quickly as possible" and this note of "we're hoping to do something sometime soon nebulously in the future" is far too little, far too late. To give you a bit of context, I signed up as a Maven in September. It took you less three months to start souring my experience as a customer, and less than a year for me to be done. You've known about this problem for so long that I can't even imagine how it's taken you this long to switch shipping companies except that until now you just weren't losing enough money or customers to care.

You and I both know that 100 Jules doesn't actually amount to anything. It takes 20 times that much to get a free box, and it takes nearly ten times that much for a free polish. 100 Jules is insulting. Your entire Jules system isn't really worth anything, as a rewards program I've found it inadequate from the beginning.

So for the next few posts on my blog, I'm going to be reviewing some of the products I've gotten from you so that maybe a few readers will find a way to spend their Jules and cancel their memberships. I'll check back on the forums and beauty blogs every once in a while to see if you've fixed your shipping issue, and maybe started to prioritize customer service in any useful way.

As you'll probably see from the posts, I don't dislike your products (well, some of them I do) and there were some that had become staples for me. But I get better customer service and communication from other companies, and usually better prices too. So I'll just be looking elsewhere for now.