DISCLAIMER: This is long. And it’s a rant. You have been warned.
I knew this day would come. The day when I have lost more or less all interest in the Julep Maven program. It’s a shame because I was an early supporter of theirs when things got hairy in the beginning between them and bloggers (referral debacle, stolen intellectual property etc) – but it has happened.
I started to lose interest in their polishes quite some time ago. The reality is that they don’t age well – at all. Within a few weeks of opening them they become separated and in many cases overly thick. One of the reasons I was drawn to Julep was because the polish bottles are sophisticated in appearance and looked fabulous when displayed in a neat little row. That is – until they all turned the same shade of awkward gray. Sure you can mix them back up, add thinner if needed – but they are definitely not display-worthy!
Another reason I started to lose interest in the polish is because in all honesty the vast majority of polish I get I have sent to me for review. At this point in time I simply can’t justify the expense of the Maven subscription solely for polish – I already have around 40 untried Juleps lurking around. I’ve gotten to the point that the only polishes I am willing to spend money on are those that I have specifically identified as ones I want to track down, versus the semi grab bag style of the Maven box. Yet at the same time I am not willing to plunk down $20 a month for miscellaneous products (perhaps if they were more consistent).
My one hesitation is that I do enjoy trying their other products – but lately it seems like they are going in a different direction than what I am looking for. I am far more of a lotion gal than I am a cosmetics gal – and when it comes to cosmetics I am quite picky about the colorings so dealing with a pre selected group of shades doesn’t work well for me.
However, this hesitation has become far outweighed by the hassle of dealing with the subscription. Truth be told – if they would simply offer an option to skip months in bulk (perhaps 3 and 6 month increments) I would be far more inclined to continue to participate. I love seeing what the boxes have to offer, and I would love the option to return at any point. However I inevitably end up forgetting to skip (since they also don’t offer you the option of skipping prior to the box contents reveal – so you have a limited window) and end up stuck with a box I didn’t want that I had the privilege of paying for.
I have called Julep’s customer service twice now to discuss this – asking if there was any way to put my account on hold for a set time, or skip in bulk. Nope. Nada. Nothing.
This in an of itself is an issue for me. Early on in my blogging career I went out on a limb and continued to feature their products at a time when the vast majority of blogs were calling for a boycott and blacklisting them as a company. I defended their status as a start up, with the hope that their product and service quality would rise to the occasion. This loyalty has been 100% one sided.
The best example I have of this is the transfer of referral points to ‘jules’ – when they changed their referral system 80% of the points I had were ‘lost’ On their previous site it would list the individuals who you referred (which was terrible – it would show peoples full names which as a blogger is concerning because I can guarantee that people who found my referral link via search engines wouldn’t be so keen on me having their personal info). At the time of the site transition I had approximately eight confirmed referrals. Yet when the new system launched I somehow had virtually no jules.
I called customer service and explained the situation. They asked for the list of names of those who I had referred. I explained that as a blogger, the people I had referred were not people I knew in real life and therefore I wasn’t certain of the names. I then was subjected to a lovely little lecture about how if this was so important to me, I should keep up to date records. Hm. Ok… so I should take a screen shot everytime I do anything on your site just in case you mess up? Doesn’t sound like an efficient system to me.
After quite some time, and back and forth, they ‘gifted’ me 1000 jules. They made it seem like they were doing me this HUGE favor when in reality they were only partially compensating me for services rendered. Sure they don’t technically ‘owe’ me anything on a contractual level, but it is very much the point of the matter! When I inquired about who I could contact to discuss the remaining ‘lost’ amounts I was told in no uncertain terms that I was ‘lucky’ to even get the 1000. Gee, thanks.
Was that experience a deal breaker? No. However it did highlight issues that I myself had previously defended them on – and I refuse to stay a part of a program that appears incapable of showing it’s members the same loyalty they show them. Having been a Maven from very early on in the program, I am disappointed in how impersonal it has become.
I have no doubt that the Maven program will continue to be successful with the general public. However I think it will be interesting to see how things develop in regards to their blogger relations. I wish them well, but I also hope they will take a closer look at some of these issues. Especially because some of them, like customer service problems, have been continuously inconsistent.
Now if only a Maven box would come up that I gave two hoots about – I just want to cash in my jules on a Maven box & add on and be done with it!