Saturday, July 19, 2014

BirchBox July2014

Unboxing Birchbox July 2014

Please forgive my rant in this post.  July was a weird Birchbox month for me.
Birchbox & Women's Health Teamed up for July 2014

Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription service.  The cost of the service is $10 a month.  Subscribers receive 4-5 beauty samples; ranging from haircare, skincare and cosmetics.  The idea of Birchbox is to give women a kind of "try-on" before committing to full size versions.  In addition to the samples, subscribers also enjoy the perks of a phenomenal point system.  Upon testing out their monthly samples, subscribers can log onto Birchbox.com and submit feedback on each sample.  Every time a subscriber provides feedback, they are awarded with 10 points.  When a subscriber reaches 100 points (100 pts = $10 to spend on Birchbox.com), subscribers can begin to use their points to redeem for any of the many items offered on the Birchbox site.  The Birchbox site reaches far beyond just beauty products, offering items from Kate Spade Saturday, Jonathon Adler, and other high end companies.  You can find everything from skincare to electronics, jewelry and purses. The Birchbox point system is heads above the competition.

I know that this is kinda a late post.  However, if you have read either of my blogs, you will know I've not had access to a laptop or PC.  I tried three or four times to do this post and all times lost my work. Thankfully, I am working on a PC right now.  I cannot tell you, how much easier it makes my life!  I absolutely adore my iPad, but sometimes you just need a good ol' laptop.

July 2014 Birchbox: Options & Glitches

It was just a couple of weeks ago that I wrote a post about the greatness that is Birchbox.  I commended them on how ahead of their competitors they were in listening to the community.  I stated that I couldn't imagine ever ending my subscription.  However, the very next day my feeling shifted in a major way.  I was so super close to cancelling my subscription.

Last month, I posted about Birchbox giving their subscriber's the "Power of Choice".  It was the first time in the history of Birchbox, that they gave their subscribers the ability to choose one of the five samples they would receive in their July boxes.  Subscribers received an initial email the night before informing users to keep a lookout for the email that was a sort of green light to make your choice.  The email came around 7:15 am CT.  In the email there were two separate links; subscribers could either choose A). Cynthia Rowley lip stain OR B). Ruffian Nail Polish.  Once making that choices it would take you to the corresponding landing page, in which you would then proceed to choose which shade you wished to receive.  This was a phenomenal idea, one that excited most all of the Birchbox community.  It ended up being a great idea in theory.  The execution didn't go quite as planned.

I suppose that Birchbox hadn't really prepared for how popular the idea would be.  They were geuinely not prepared to handle the amount of traffic that flooded the site that morning.  I usually am sound asleep during the early hours of the morning (being a stay at home mom, my hours are similar to that of a vampire).  However, it just so happened that I was awake and within 15 minutes of receiving the email, I was logging on to try to pick my sample.  It took probably about twenty refreshes, but finally I was in!  I was so super excited about the choices we were given.  I had been dying to try the Ruffian polish for awhile!  So, I made my choice for the Ruffian Ambrosia (a very pretty metallic lilac shade).  I then took to all social feeds; Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to tell everyone to check their email.  Along with the message, I had attached a screenshot of my selection.
My Tweet Showing my Selection !
Well, about three or four hours later, we received emails telling us that due to a glitch or something to that nature that we would need to make our selections again.  This time, having chosen the Ambrosia the first time, I was confused.  I couldn't decide between the Ambrosia or the Rosary shade.  When I got to the Ruffian selection landing page and went to choose from the drop down menu, there was an option for "Surprise Me".  So, I thought that would be a great option.  I would still get the Ruffian polish, but could still have the element of surprise when it came to which shade I received.

I should have thought about the fact that probably what would happen would be, the option least chosen would be the option they gave everyone who selected this option.  However, I was just so excited I wasn't thinking very clearly.  But even if it had been the least of my favorites, I was still going to be thrilled.

To Peek or Not to Peek

When I first started Birchbox, I don't recall them sending out emails trying to get you to peek at your products.  They tended to want you to have the element of surprise, as part of the fun of receiving your Birchbox.  However, a couple of days after we received our tracking emails, we received emails asking us if we were going to peek or not...  I used to be really good at holding back on the surprise.  I did really well with #nopeeking.  That is until I logged onto Facebook and began seeing everyone posting the pics of the goodies that they were going to be getting, peer pressure can be so overpowering sometimes.

SO, I peeked.  I was not happy with what I saw.  For someone who had given so much attention to the whole "power of choice" concept, it was a tad disheartening when I ended up seeing my July Birchbox.  I know I'm going to sound like a complete nerd, but I actually cried.

As you can see in the pic, there is no Ruffian Ambrosia.  No Ruffian Relic, nor Ruffian Rosary.  I was beyond upset.  So, I immediately emailed Birchbox customer service, asking where my Ruffian polish was. The response I received was less than satisfactory.  The first cs rep I communicated with, was pretty much kinda like "Sorry, this was our first month and things didn't quite go as they were supposed to".  Well, before I had even received a response, I had emailed them again after noticing that I was once again receiving yet ANOTHER Supergoop.  Just two months ago, I had complained about receiving the same brand in literally every other box.  It seemed as if we had fixed the issue, only for it to rear it's head once again.  Just one month later.

The CS I got that time, was much more sympathetic to my plight and actually comped my August box.  So, I was not thrilled (I still really wanted that polish, but it showed effort on the part of Birchbox and good customer service and that made me satisfied).  So, I was fine.  I had actually found someone to swap the Ruffian with the Supergoop, so the rest of the products were growing on me.  I was really anxious to try the Harvey Prince lotion.  So, once again life was good.

Birchbox Delivery Day

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I will just show the pictures.

I was a wee bit upset...

To be honest, when my box arrived, I was not overly excited.  Afterall, I knew what was in it already.  So, I didn't rush to tear it open.  However, when I opened the box, the first thing my eyes see is the pink Whish shaving cream.  I was a little confused and thought perhaps they had placed a wrong item inside.  No big deal.  Then, I kept pulling out items and each item kept NOT being an item that had been in my preview.  I was so confused and more than livid.  I really was like what else can go wrong this month.  I tried looking on the bright side of things though.  

Sumita Blue Liner

I was pretty excited about the Sumita liner.  I had received a plum shade of the Sumita liner in a previous Birchbox and I had absolutely loved it.  However, I was in for a major disappointment when I opened it to reveal probably the only shade I cannot use, blue.  I am a green eyed girl and for anyone who knows anything about eye colors and the best colors that enchance, knows that green eyes just don't pull off blue liners very well.  

Caudalie Divine Oil: A dry moisturizing oil
This was the one redeeming product of the whole box.  I had previously gotten a Caudalie product in another Birchbox.  It is truly an awesome brand.  I know a lot of people aren't thrilled with scents in their skincare products, but I prefer my skincare to have a nice scent to them.  The two Caudalie items I've had the privilege of trying were fantastic.  They have had nice textures and smell absolutely amazing.  The only complaint I had about the serum I believe it was I tried, was the sample was so tiny.  It didn't really give you enough product to thoroughly try out to know if it did it's job or not.  This oil, seems to stretch a tad further than you would imagine it would.  It made my skin feel soft after applying and it had such a nice aroma, it was kinda pleasing to all senses.  It was very relaxing in a way.  I cannot say enough fantastic things about this product.  If you are in the market for high end skincare, I would definitely suggest giving Caudalie a try! So luxurious.  Made me feel like I was worth a million bucks.

Whish Shaving Cream

No. 4 Prep & Protect

I honestly, don't have a whole lot I can say about the No. 4.  I haven't had the chance to try it as of yet.  I have super fine hair and don't really require a whole lot of product.  Unless it's to add volume, there's not a whole lot of point in using fancy hair products.  I rarely even use conditioner on my hair.  However, my daughter didn't inherit my hair.  She was blessed or cursed with extremely course hair.  TANGLES are my worst enemy when it comes to my daughter.  I can't even begin to count the hours spent detangling her birds nest of hair.  Her hair truly is like the Judy Moody character.  It's as if at times, she's gotten a comb and teased the back of her hair until it's a jumbled up mess.  So, this spray will be used for those times when she's gotten herself into a hairy situation. hahaha... 

Whish Shaving Cream.  I honestly already had two samples of this stuff.  I had received them during some ebay purchases of makeup lots.  While, not the most exciting thing in the world, it's ok.  It costs $20 for a full sized version and I just don't ever see me spending $20 when shampoo can work double duty.  It smells ok enough, but it honestly doesn't lather up as well as you would expect a $20 shaving cream to lather.  

Jouer Tinted Moisturizer: DEEP BRONZE

This was kinda the straw the broke the camel's back.  I was dealing with my aggrevation at all the things that had gone wrong over the course of the month with Birchbox, when I went to test this tinted moisturizer out. I squeezed a tad bit on my finger and was shocked at the color.  Then I turned it over and read the color.  I am probably, maybe one shade above the fairest of skintones.  So, to see this shade in my box was a tad bit surprising as well as extremely frustrating.

I had already emailed customer service and received a response that they would fix it by changing the products on the site.  At the time, I was a little frustrated at this, but I was excited to get even more points.  I had already filled out 40 points worth of feedback for the products that I didn't receive.  So, the change would allow me to receive and additional 50 points.  90 points, that's $9.

However, when after seeing the blue liner and then on top of that the Deep Bronze tinted moisturizer, I reached out yet again to customer service.  I finally received a response from customer service, they were going to send me out two samples for the inconvience with my samples.  It's not huge, but I didn't want huge. When you are done wrong, you just want a symbol, or a gesture that a company wants to make it right.  That your feelings are being recognized and not overlooked or ignored.

Summary of the strangest Birchbox Month...
Anytime we begin something new, there are going to bumps and bruises along the way.  The first month of "power of choice' or "choose your own sample" was a little hit and miss.  I definitely wasn't the only person who experienced difficulties this month with the sample choice.  I understand that sometimes companies experience technical difficulties.  However, we aren't just numbers.  We are individuals.

But, Birchbox is my favorite for a reason.  Besides the one customer service rep that didn't seem very sympathetic with my plight, Birchbox made it right.  They made me feel as if my feelings were understood and valued.  They made me feel like they valued me as a customer and wanted to continue my business.  Which is always smart business.  Losing one subscriber is the potential to lose hundreds of dollars.  Multiply that with several customers, then you are on a slow downhill decline.  That's never a good thing.  So, a few dollars loss is better than a hundred or more dollar loss of future earnings.

Any smart business takes customer satisfaction a priority.  And Birchbox has definitely stood out as one company that cares about their customers.  I try to be extremely honest in my posts.  I don't want to misrepresent anyone.  But, please this was a really extremely odd month for my Birchbox.  It's not indicative of what you can expect from a normal Birchbox month.  It just seems everything that could possibly go wrong, did for me.  So, don't let me bad experience keep you from missing out on something great.

My Birchbox Plus choice. I chose these headphones for $13!
To purchase a Birchbox for yourself:  Birchbox.com

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate or referral links.
However, the opinions expressed on this site are my own.  I pay for my own box each month.

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