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Thursday, September 1, 2011

No Longer a Luxe Box Customer [UPDATED]

A few months ago, I heard of a new service for beauty addicts everywhere called Birchbox. The service would provide you with 3 - 5 deluxe beauty samples a month for a small fee. However the service was only available in the United States, not Canada.

Along came Luxe Box. A company called Loose Button started up an almost identical service in Canada and called the service a Luxe Box rather than a Birchbox. I signed up for one of the boxes, curious to see what it would be like. I received my first box in May and was quite pleased with the selection offered in the box.

After the first month, I chose to sign up for the three month option. Now, I received each box on time, with the promised amount of samples in each one and was only disappointed with one or two samples over the whole process.

In July's Luxe Box I received a sample of Stella McCartney's perfume Stella in Two Peony. The sample was a small sprayer type. I went back and forth on how I thought the scent worked and, quite recently, decided that I really enjoyed the scent and would like to purchase the full sized bottle.

The write up that Loose Button included with the product described the scent and told me the price of te full size bottle. It also left out the fact that this particular scent was discontinued in 2006. That's right. Five Years ago.

Why, I hear you ask, would a company include a scent sample that is no longer available? My guess, as none of my attempts to reach the company about it have been replied to, is that they found a wholesaler who still had boxes of the samples and were able to purchase them for a low, low price.

I think that for a company who promises to keep you up to date on the latest fashions and trends in the Beauty Industry is tripping over it's own mission statement by providing samples of a fragrance that was discontinued five years previous.

The second thing that has put me off of the company and the service is the sheer lack of communication that has gone on with the company and myself. I started off being able to tweet back and forth with who I assume is [REDACTED], the Community Manager for Loose Button. However, after asking if there was any sort of possibility of working with the company to set up a giveaway for my YouTube subscribers and possibly my blog followers as well, I was told to email [REDACTED].

I sent off an email, describing what I was thinking for a giveaway. I would choose someone randomly from comments and offer them the box. I made it explicitly clear that I would pay for the box that would be given away and I was just unsure whether I could provide the address to Loose Button or whether I would just have to order more than one box that month and ship them out separately myself (which I was prepared to do, despite it costing me more money).

I received no email in return. I sent several more emails after that, inquiring what the best route for this to go would be. Despite the company seeming eager to collaborate with me on this on Twitter, I received no response from them after I contacted them.

The company also upped their price when they went public from an invite-only status. They went from $10 a box to $12 a box. Initially I didn't feel too concerned about the price jump, but after I found out about the perfume sample being five years old, I have to wonder what is causing a twenty percent pay increase for the contents in the box.

These sorts of things are prime examples of bad customer service and really puts me off of a company. So, in short, I won't be ordering another Luxe Box any time soon.

[UPDATE]: After posting this, I received an email from the former community manager for Luxe Box confirming that there was a misfire in emails that caused the disruption with the giveaway. At their request, their name has been removed from the post.

I was a little saddened to learn that the manager had moved on as I had always enjoyed interacting with them. But at the same time it does make me feel better to know that they were not the cause of any of these issues.