Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Little Lace Box March 2015 Review + the Perils of Expressing an Opinion

Little Lace Box is a lifestyle subscription box that caters to women who love fashion and beauty. They try to cater each box to a theme every month but since I've been subscribed that hasn't really happened.  I don't mind because I'm not huge on themes but it can be hard for those expecting something to resonate with the designated theme.
Currently, Little Lace Box is not accepting new subscribers while they get their new website and billing system under control.  I think they were hoping to be back online for April but that apparently has been moved to May.
Included in each box is an information page explaining the theme and each item included in the box. If this box looks empty it's because one item is not included in the actual box.
This box is curated by three girls who are sisters in their twenties.  I think they've been having some issues because last month they said that the box was not what they'd hoped and this month, according to the letter inside, has been dedicated to "spa day" even though the original intent was adhere to the theme surrounding "Here comes the Sun."

The Cost: $39.99/month

What You Get: Each box should have a fashion accessory for or your home. You may also find a selection of name brand and boutique brand products and discounts exclusively for the fashion maven inside every woman.

Urban Spa All Natural Sea Sponge- This is a natural sea sponge.  I've tried these before but they just kinda get gross and then I can't bring myself to use it.  This will be swapped to someone who can enjoy it more than I will.
Value: $13.99
Kate Spade Water Bottle- I think this might be the best thing in the box.  It's Kate Spade which is nice but it's a water bottle.  And you can't wash it in the dishwasher.  If it was a vase or sunglasses or even patterned napkins for a picnic, I might be a little more enthused. As it is, this is the gold glitter bottle and I think it might be the best variation.  The bottle is pretty heavy duty and the outer sleeve is rubber. The actual bottle itself is clear glass and the lid is plastic.
Value: $30
Baronessa Cali Tarocco Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioning Treatment- These are made with olive oil and Sicilian Blood Orange Extracts. They smell fantastic and I know many will be glad to see that they're a matched set. I don't really care for hair care which is a bummer. I may end up using these, though, just because they smell good.
Value: $29

(not pictured)

Gallery Wrap Printed 12x12 Canvas- This obviously was not included in the box. It's for an artist textured canvas, printed and mounted on a frame.  It's gallery wrapped which I like.  I think I might have a good photo that I took for this. Hopefully that will work.  I'm not sure how one goes about actually getting this, though. I heard there was supposed to be an email with a code attached but I haven't got one. Hm.
Value: $51 (although they are all over the place for $13 or even less so this value is suspect).

VERDICT: The theme for this box was "Here Comes the Sun" and I have to admit, I really don't see any relation to the theme for any of these items. The theme from last month also didn't really fit so I don't know whats going on with their theme choices.
I am underwhelmed by this box.  There's a sponge but no cleanser.  A water bottle that can't go in the dishwasher. A shampoo and conditioner which I'm sure most people will love because they're a match but hair stuff and I don't get along. I know it's inevitable so I don't hold that too much against them. And a canvas print that I have to work at to get. I would have actually been so much happier with the canvas if there was actual artwork to choose from. Instead, it has to be a photo of your own. And I hate that look. I have never been one to put up photos of myself on the wall (even wedding photos). Putting my dogs on the wall would be even weirder. And a photo of my garden would be sort of redundant since it's already outside... And it has to be a certain size, too. Ugh. Work.

So.  I suspended my account.  Next month's theme is "Nonna's Kitchen" and while I love kitchens and cooking, the adherence to theme has been minimal and I really don't want food products from a box like this.

Update:

Or actually, I just had my account cancelled for me.  I had mentioned on a subscription box forum that I found the way they treated their customers, based on several instances I had read about, to be extremely unprofessional.  I felt that snarkiness and sarcasm should not be part of a customer service experience and I felt uncomfortable supporting a business like that.  Half an hour after I wrote about my concerns on the forums, I received an email saying they cancelled my account.  Maybe that was an coincidence?  Or maybe they read what I wrote and didn't like it.

From a business perspective, this kind of thing is not a sustainable attitude for a successful business. In order to continue to grow, they've got to learn to provide polite customer service and accept (or ignore) criticism- constructive or not.

Cancelling my account because they don't like my opinions is legal. They can refuse service if they so choose. However, that's an emotional decision, not a successful business decision. It also denotes a certain level of unprofessional-ism that coincides with how some of the other things they've done have come across.

Of course they can sit around and say "Good riddance! We don't want people like her subscribing anyway!" But that type of thing is not growing your business even if it is satisfying some other internal need.

They're a small business and with this kind of attitude they will stay small. Growing up in a business environment myself, it's hard to disassociate myself from certain attitudes regarding success and how to conduct yourself in a professional manner. If they want to stay small then yes, they can continue on just as they are, be themselves in all their sharp-witted, vindictive glory and cancel accounts of people they don't like.

Normally, this is something I would keep in my forums and not really discuss on the blog because it really doesn't have an effect on the box itself and I personally had not been a focus for their tactless responses. But now it has affected me so I feel I needed to mention it. Though it doesn't reflect on the box, it does shed light on the company itself. It's a shame because the idea is good but treating people they way that they have been is absolutely unacceptable.

28 comments:

  1. I had the exact same experience when I got my January box. I told them I didn't think claiming shipping as the 5th item was fair. And they replied with they can't please everyone and I may not be a good fit so they cancelled me. I blogged and tweeted the replies just so people know. They really need to work on customer service.

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    1. Oh, my gosh... That is even worse than what they did to me! I just cannot see that kind of attitude sustaining a business for very long... But I am glad to hear I'm not the only one they did something so ridiculous to. I mean, I suppose they are right. I'm not a good fit. Because I don't condone those kinds of actions!

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    2. I'm confused - and I do not mean this is a contradictory way (I promise!). I thought the January box was the one with the teapot and honey, etc.? I thought that box had seven items - Did I overlook the shipping as an item thing?

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  2. Shananigansreview@tmblr.com if you #littlelacebox the blog entry is there. Has all the email correspondence. Your experience is typical for sure 😞

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    1. I read your review and it did kind of look like you asked them to cancel your account, I think you were questioning them when you said, "cancel my account.", but since there was a period instead of a question mark they probably took it to mean you wanted them to do so, or did you? At any rate, I can't find the right word for what I felt reading that exchange. I never thought they were all about "value", there is no mention of a promised value on their website. Instead they talk about discovering new up and coming designers whose products might not have hit the market yet. I appreciate you taking the time to write your review as well as Sarah here on Bits so that people like myself can see both sides of LLB. Don't think I'll be subscribing to this box.

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  3. Wow, canceling people's accounts for expressing dissatisfaction is really unprofessional. Legal, yes, but it reflects really poorly on them. Whatever happened to saying "I'm sorry you didn't like the box, what could we do better?" Geez.

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    1. Exactly. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's not going to last long unless they change their attitude.

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  4. Wow, I didn't realize they treated their customers like this! I had been considering trying this box, but now I'm going to stay far away!

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    1. I think if I'd been more aware or paid more attention to what people were saying about this company, I would have avoided it more assiduously.

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  5. Well I'm glad I canceled. Not only did this month's curation suck (sorry not sorry), but their attitude leaves a lot to be desired. Such a shame... they started out with so much promise.

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    1. I think that's what makes it worse. There was so much potential but they cannot continue to do things like this and expect to grow.

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  6. So glad I unsubscribed a while ago... HORRID customer service!

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  7. That is really unfortunate. I read your entries on the forum you posted in, and while I had a dissenting opinion (of sorts), I just hate that you had this experience. I have had some correspondence with LLB and they really emphasized at the time that they would never deliberately treat a customer badly, they wanted to joke and talk to customers in the letters like they do with each other, yada yada. I believe them, but I hope they don't get too cavalier about it all. There is a fine line there and I guess it is better to err on the side of professionalism. I get the feeling they are finding their place, and while I do hope the brush up on the communication skills, I hope they don't lose the "friend to friend" vibe they have going. Otherwise, I respect the fact that they acknowledge that they are working out kinks, etc.

    Also...I would like to know more about this company and the people running it. I get the whole "sisters" things, but otherwise there is not much info out there.

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    1. "Little Lace Box™ is a division of Milk Money Marketing, LLC" I mean, who are these folks? I get that is is sisters, etc., but even the "About Us" page offers no real information.

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    2. I can't tell if I feel better that I'm not the only one that this happened to or if I feel worse. I have no issues at all with a friendly note accompanying a box, explaining what they're thinking about or what happened last week. It makes you realize that the box is curated by real people and not some gigantic company. That's important.
      But you are correct when you say it is better to err on the side of professionalism when it comes to customer service and money issues. That is also very important. And the thing is... it's not hard to do both. It's entirely possible. And I actually do hope they figure it out sooner rather than later. I do not wish them ill but I do wish them smarter. :D Haha!

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    3. I'm curious if they ever contacted you about your experience? As in "Our bad! The cancel was a misunderstanding!" or have they just moved on without giving any more clarification? Have they made any attempt to make it "right"? =\

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    4. After they wrote the "We canceled it." email (and that was all the email said...), I replied asking why did they cancel when I had not asked them to do so but there has been no response. And based on what I'm hearing, I don't really expect one. It just appears that their goal is to get rid of customers who complain (about anything, apparently). Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.
      I'm just flabbergasted that they think this is an appropriate response to criticism. I got a couple PM's saying the same thing happened to them. Complaining=cancelled account.

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  8. wow, when I read the first sentence of your update I thought I was reading it wrong, I appreciate you sharing your experience because I would have waiting until May and subscribed and then read this and regret it. I'm all about supporting small businesses but if that comes with horrible customer service and bad business decisions (in my opinion) then I will not support a company like that. I recently stopped supporting a company I thought would be a great fit for what I was looking for in lingerie too...I completely agree that what they did was unprofessional and has me questioning their business experience and insight. Thank you again for this information, I will not subscribe to them for sure!

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    1. It's definitely hard. I've made no secret about my love for small businesses, especially when they are women owned and operated. These are young girls which would be SO right up my alley but I just... I can't get on board with how they've treated people. That's not the kind of business I want support even if I'm already biased toward them because they're women. Plus it's rough to cut a business off. Even when you know it's the right thing to do, it doesn't make it easy. This was actually a difficult post to write because of that.

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    2. I'm sure it was. I can certainly empathize with you. They certainly sound great, but customer service is incredibly important to me, so it's hard when an incident like this happens. Maybe over time they will change and gain some experience from this :) that's all we can hope for for them right?

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  9. I had a feeling several months ago that nothing at Little Lace Box is " stable"... You have experienced it first- hand. I avoided them all together. If I'm spending MY money and there are problems or deficits, then you have the right to express your opinion. If you hadn't, you'd probably still get what you got that you don't like. I'm sorry that this happened to you.

    I've had some small subscription box owners go off on me for reporting rancid skin care items, back in 2012.. I learned just to throw it away if I usually liked the sub, OR to stay away from items with low batch production and no preservatives..
    There's a REASON Chanel, MAC, Lancome' are popular worldwide-- You can count on not getting MOLD in your product..

    Also, this canvas print thing is not new at all. Pop Sugar, I think it was, did it in one of their first boxes. I didn't bother.

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    1. You definitely made the wise decision. I've noticed that there are many subscription boxes that don't make it. Sad, because it's got to be a lot of work but in certain cases it's probably the lesser of two evils. I should have been wary the second I realized MSA was not subscribing... Ive only been doing this a year but she's been around the block enough times to read the writing on the wall a lot sooner than I can.

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    2. Gosh, I hadn't even noticed MSA was not a subscriber. She would have definitely gotten a box by now and reviewed it by now if she was. I know the others were sent to her. Now I am nervous about paying for an annual subscription! I hope they shape up...I think they will. Like others have said, a lot of growing up to do on their part. I just hope they realize it.

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  10. I had a similarly disturbing experience with this company. I mentioned their poor customer service in a review and they replied with a snarky response on their Facebook page and published my full name...obviously attempting to embarrass me. It was clearly retaliation. I just don't see how a company that behaves in such an immature manner can possibly survive. My experience is the reason I completely empathize with what happened to you. Thanks for your review and publishing your experience. Little Lace Box needs to grow up!

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    1. Wow. That's just unbelievable. And you've hit the nail on the head--they definitely need to grow up.

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  11. Wow I have been out of touch and had no idea these issues with the box. Not thrilled to be supporting a company like that either. I will forgive a lot of the customer service is good or at least apologetic. Guess I'll be canceling this one!

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  12. Hey Sarah, I actually sent LLB an email today asking to suspend Aprils box because I was on a tight budget and they emailed me back a half hour later saying they cancelled my sub! As their website states we could suspend any month for any reason at any time...but I guess that's false! All I can say is WOW and good riddance. I agree, they sometimes have some wonderful products but with their customer service, idk how long they could stay in business.

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