****Loooooooooooong post ahead! This was after editing.****
I've been blogging for over a year now, and despite the many things I've learned I fall back into old ways. If you remember my "Blogging Revelations" #2 was about how blogging sometimes causes you to make impulsive buying decisions. This is what happened with me and the Julep Maven program.
The Julep Maven program sounds really great. I think what makes it extra enticing in the cool personality-like quiz you take before hand which basically predicts the types of products you are going to receive. The price of the monthly subscription is $20, that is really steep in my book, but since it's nail polish I was going to give it a try. I signed up for the Maven program in early August using a discount code making the introductory box $5. That's no big deal.
My box was mailed out August 15, the expected delivery date of August 24th came and went, and I didn't see my box. In the meantime, I received an email about my September box, and was really put off that I would only be receiving one bottle of nail polish and 2 hand treatments. This bothered me, so I paused my subscription. I contacted Julep about my missing intro box, was told excuses about Hurricane Irene may of caused delays when Irene didn't even come into play during the shipment of that box. After I received that email, I noticed the tracking status on my box suddenly updated again after almost 2 weeks of no movement. It was still in Seattle August 26th, no where near Hurricane Irene or the east coast. Sure it may of been USPS' fault, but around this time is when I found about the referral link drama, so I was starting to scratch my head.
Let me just say I had no intention of using referral links. It's fine if others do, but I don't feel comfortable posting stuff like that on my blog. I do definitely understand the frustration with the referral codes mix-up. I saw a few people benefiting from the referral program, while many others were left in the dark that there was even an issue. This was wrong in my book!
I eventually received my box September 2nd. Here is what I got. I was "American Beauty".
For $5 this is a steal! There is no doubt about that. I'm not impressed by fancy hand scrubs, so the hand scrub I didn't find anything spectacular. The polish Cameron I thought was beautiful. The formula on this was a dream. Aflre is really not my cup of tea for a color.
#1 Biggest issue with Julep/Julep Maven program is the price of their products.
Their bottles of polish are .27ml which is almost half of what you get in a standard bottle of polish. These are sold for $14 each. The hand scrub retails for $32. This is really exorbitant to me.
I'm sure you're asking me why I'm complaining about those prices when if I kept the program I'd only being paying $20 for $60 worth of product and I only paid $5 for the first box worth $74? The individual retail prices of these make me cringe. Why? As I nail addict and a nail blogger I know I don't have to spend that type of money for great nails. I have my $10 Lush Lemony Flutter, and I am happy. I have my $2 Sally Hansen dry hand cream I got at CVS beauty sale, and I'm happy. Even if I'm paying $20 for $60 worth of stuff, it doesn't feel right to me as a person and a blogger who preferably shops on a budget. If it was 3-5 bottles of polish, then I might re-consider. I know so much information on nail products, that I already have my favorites, so these high priced items for a steal are meaningless to me.
Honestly I think their prices are pretentious. Perhaps this is why they are giving them away for in their Julep Maven boxes? Is this Julep's fault? Not at all. It is my fault. My fault for being impulsive and not doing any research on this brand and their products. If I had taken the 10 seconds to look up the prices of their products individually I would of never signed up. Plus, I got the impression this was more nail polish vs. nail products.
#2 Their customer service is shaky
All you have to do is go to the Julep Nail Parlor Facebook page and about 40%-50% of the posts on there are complaints and issues. People have been double charged. People have had missing orders. These are not posts from 1 or 2 people, these are posts from handfuls of people. Though Julep I noticed is trying to remedy these situations, it's a little too late.
I understand this is a brand new program, but they are in way over their heads. I honestly don't think they are intentionally trying to screw people over. I think this just blew up in their faces and they're left scrambling, and probably do not have enough people on their end to deal with it efficiently. In some ways I feel a bit bad, but in others I don't. It's very touchy when you're dealing with money, and when people are being charged for cancelled subscriptions it's a big deal. I also don't like that like myself, many people are having issues with missing orders.
These 2 major issues along with my own missing order leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. Oh, on top of that I had a hell of time trying to log on to their site. Passwords they sent never worked, and I eventually had to figure out how to sign up properly. This was a whole other issues, but this post is already long enough.
Would I recommend this program to people?
If you're like me, definitely not. You will not be satisfied, and paying $20 will tug at your heart strings. I do see how this program would be liked by others. It does offer some high end products for a reduced price. If was in dark on nail products and had interest in trying something higher end. I may like this program.
That being said, I wouldn't subscribe to it now. If you do have an interest in this program. I strongly recommend you wait it out. I'd keep an eye out on their Facebook page and blogs about this program. I think it's very shaky right now. I'd wait until you see some more stability in how they deal with issues and etc before you commit.
Needless to say, I cancelled my subscription. I'm sticking to my birchbox. I think why I like birchbox so much is introduces me to products I never would of tried or known about. I do not have a lot of insight into skincare and cosmetics, so I'm enjoying the products in my birchbox. Does this make sense? I don't think I'd ever be satisfied with nail polish style box, I know way too much, and have too many products!
Sorry for this SUPER long post. I just wanted to let others know my experience, and bring attention to Julep issues outside of the obvious referral link one.
I agree with a lot of what you said, their customer service is really poor :( I'm still trying to get several issues resolved at the moment!ReplyDelete
With the post by "http://www.facebook.com/allison.lanier3" on the Julep FB page it's a clear example of headless replies from Julep CS with a uh-oh follow up by Jane to cover the tracks.ReplyDelete
One hand does not know what the other is doing, or if they do they don't care enough to make sure the message is clear.
They stated they are hiring new Mavens... yeah.. from CRAIGSLIST... seriously Julep? Get into the "LinkedIn" world and let's get some upper class CS shall we?
I agree with you. I ordered the first box and I'm not satisfied whit it. I'll cancel my membership.ReplyDelete
I considered subscribing to the Julep Maven program, but now I'm glad I didn't!ReplyDelete
I also have Birchbox and I LOVE their program!
I signed up for this the other day. I didn't look too much into it and didn't realize that the polish was so small. The code I had was for 1/2 off so $10 isn't too bad, but I don't think I will keep getting it, after I get the first one.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing your feelings - I'm still conflicted with how I feel about it all.ReplyDelete
I looked at the Maven program, but there's no way I'd evern fork over $20/month. I love my Birchbox, though!ReplyDelete
I appreciate your honesty and how you still managed to keep the post positive instead of just completely bashing Julep.. which is so easy to do sometimes.
Sorry you were disappointed. :/
I so agree with everything you said about the company being in over their heads. I don't think all of the logistics were thought through and they probably didn't think the program would take off the way that it did. I haven't had any issues with the 2 boxes I received, but I'm probably one of the lucky ones. I'm going to stick around to get the free October box and then probably cancel. It really sucks though because I love the idea behind Julep...the follow through just isn't what it should be at this point.ReplyDelete
Wow. Thank you thank you thank you for posting this!!ReplyDelete
I too fall victim to impulses. If I had not quit my job, I would have signed up for this program. I am happy I didn't. I understand not everyone had the same experience as you but one bad experience raises a huge red flag. It's such a ripoff on my eyes. Overpriced!! $14 for tiny polish. I will pass. Thank you so much for posting this. I appreciate your opinion a bunch!!
I am with you Steph on this one. I did not sign up when it first got going. I wanted to wait for some blogger feedback on the quality of the polish. I also don't like to have things picked for me. I am not a fan of pyramid schemes. I took great offense when a blogger showed off the stash she got from Julep from all those who signed up under her. I sold MK for a time and never once hosted a party or signed anyone up to sell under me. It's just not my thing. If I spend $20, I want to pick out what I want for it - not have it picked out for me...and in looking at the shades they have to pull from, with as many bottles/shades I have in my larger than most have stash because I am a lot older than most of the blog readers and have had this one collection going for 25 yrs with a # of large purges (some sad partings that I should not have gotten rid of - but it was pre-internet days and did not know there were folks like me out there that loved polish and I thought - out of vogue, need room - make room for more, not wearing it - now I have a much harder time parting with any bottle because I buy really wisely for the most part. I go through and purge any drugstore ones I have except now I will hang on to my Complete Salon formula SH - bloggers taught me that is a great drugstore polish! Sorry you got that stuck feeling as so many others have with this program.ReplyDelete
I got this same Julep maven box!! I cancelled after the first month. I thought it was crazy that my second box was already on it's way before I got the first one. I also was frustrated at how long it took for shipping! I just think they really need to work on their customer service and also their website it didn't work half the time either!ReplyDelete
I've been really thinking about trying this since they have a free month code. But it just seems so incredibly overpriced. I already do BIRCHBOX which I think is okay, sample society which is really good, ipsy which is great and GLOSSYBOX which is awesome! BB is usually just equal to the price with an occasional great month. SS is always way way above value and the products are often full size or close to it and are things I really like. BB lately has been hit and miss in regards to my interest in the products. Ipsy is so cool with the cute make-up bag every month and are pretty darn good with value and product interest. And GB is amazing in value and interest often having fullsize luxury items!ReplyDelete