Birchbox: A Love/Hate Letter
At long last, I got my first Birchbox, that lovely little box of sample goodies we blogged about last month. Fun times! It came in a cute little girly box with pink tissue paper, with samples that seemed hand-picked just for me. There was a reusable travel poof filled with tinted face powder, some perfume, a tiny pink nail polish, a couple little Show Stoppers fabric tape samples to keep your attire intact and these cool Eye Rock instant eyeliner stickers that give you Amy Winehouse cat eyes. For $10 a box, not bad.
I had signed up for the month-to-month subscription, to be renewed monthly unless I cancel. I wasn't quite ready to commit to the yearly membership, which is $110 for 12 months and gives you a bunch of "points" to put toward the purchase of full-price products.
One reader did take the yearly plunge, however, and wasn't as happy as I was. She wrote:
I am a regular reader of the Deal Divas blog and thoroughly enjoy all the fashion madness! I was excited to learn about Birchbox via your Jan 12 post and happily signed up for an annual subscription when the opportunity arose.
However, I was really disappointed when I received my first Birchbox this month. The four samples I received were small - it felt like a rip-off. So, I tried to cancel my subscription - and that's when I saw the unpretty underside of Birchbox. I realized that THERE IS NO WAY TO CANCEL A BIRCHBOX ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION!! Additionally, with an annual subscription, one is automatically signed up for auto- renewal. And, you have to wait until the last month of your current subscription before you can change your online account to cancel the auto-renew feature. Note: A monthly subscription can be canceled.
I have spoken to the delightful emo young ladies who answer the phone at Birchbox. They are nice but even after clearly stating my dissatisfaction with the lack of value in my Birchbox subscription, they did nothing - not an offer if a cancellation, not an offer of a partial - nothing.
So, I am writing to you as a "heads up!" I would not recommend highlighting this business until they get their customer service act together. I was happy to support Birchbox until I felt they did not care about me. I feel like they are holding my money "hostage!"
Well, thanks for the warning, dear reader, and buyers beware! Not everyone will be 100 percent satisfied with the samples every month and if you're locked into the yearly thing, you're locked into the yearly thing. My suggestion to those interested in Birchbox is to try the monthly for a few months, and if you love it, go for the yearly and get the points and the one free box.
Deal Diva Emily