Wednesday, July 23, 2014

One Blogger Didn't Just Complain About Julep, They DID Something!

Now I tend to be pretty hard on Julep a lot of the time. But it is simply from the constant occurrence of the SAME FREAKING ISSUES. If you go back two years you will see posts of mine where I say Julep is too focused on GROWING the company and on getting new business and not enough on retaining and keeping happy the customers they have. Well, its been an ongoing issue since day one and why I can find more EX Julep mavens in my polish obsessed friends world than I can current.

As far as I have always thought, there are two options. Deal with it and accept the issues, or leave. Well, one blogger (I wont name names but it was not me) decided she couldn't NOT acknowledge the issues but also wanted to remain a maven and she did something about it. And I think it is full of information we are all going to be interested in!

Business Name: Julep

Seattle, WA

Bus Phone:

Names and addresses of any other businesses involved in your complaint:

Transaction date: 6/13/2014
Amount in dispute:


Explanation of complaint:
On June 13, 2014 Julep held a "Red Marker Sale" and I placed an order. I received an email telling me that my order would be delivered by 6/24/2014. After a few days I noticed that my order was sitting in the DHL facility for 5 days without movement. Concerned for my package I called Julep and spoke to Miranda, she was nice at first and tried to help. When I asked to speak to manager she put me on hold without notice and when she came back on the line she told me one wasn't available. I simply asked her if she could contact DHL and see why my packages hadn't left the WA facility, she hung up on me. I immediately called back and was on hold for close to an hour before I got through to someone. I didn't get this girls name, I explained my concern and she said to me "what do you want me to do? Do you want me to run to f****ing DHL and find your f*****ing package myself? Go F*** yourself!" And she hung up on me. So I took to social media and posted my concern. Katelynn the customer service manager called me and automatically started accusing me of lying and creating a stir on FaceBook. I have no reason to lie and nothin to gain, all I wanted was an apology and an explanation for the shipping and the poor treatment I received from their customer service rep. I have been trying to contact Julep since Tuesday and I can't get through there hold times are an hour plus. Katelyn did give me a direct number, however that number is dead and doesn't connect to anyone. I  am not the only dissatisfied customer out there. People are receiving broken items, beauty products with mold in them or/and even dried out products that are shipped with mold in them. Julep has gone down hill and there customer service is truly showing it. No customer should have to defend themselves and have to pay for broken products. They are also tricking us by hiding the skip feature to their monthly maven box and ignoring numerous calls for individuals that want to cancel their monthly subscriptions.   If you call to cancel you get an automated message that says "we're sorry but we are to busy to take your call right now. Pleas send us am email." In which a lot of women are doing, yet they are not processing those emails and they are getting charged for the next month. Someone needs to take a look into Julep and correct the issues. Thank you

Complaint as Public Record: Yes
Disclosure Notices: Yes
Bob Ferguson
Consumer Protection Division
800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2000 Seattle, WA 98104 (206) 464-6686

July 23, 2014


RE:   Julep
File #:   450475

Dear Amanda********************:

The Consumer Resource Center of the Attorney General’s Office has received the enclosed response from Julep regarding the consumer complaint you filed with our office.

We realize you may not consider this response a satisfactory resolution to your complaint; however, the Consumer Resource Center does not have authority to impose resolution of the dispute on either party. Your complaint has been closed accordingly.

We regret that we are unable to provide further assistance to you regarding this complaint. If you would like to pursue the matter further, you may wish to contact the Small Claims Court in your county, or a private attorney for legal advice.

We appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention. Please note that consumer complaints, including responses, are public records and are available to the public for copying or inspection in compliance with the Washington State Public Records Act, RCW 42.56.

Program Specialist 3
Consumer Protection Division
(206) 389-2743
Fax: (206) 587-5636
From: Dwight Gaston []
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 11:45 AM
To: ATG MI CRC Complaint Processing
Subject: Complaint #450475

Ms. Hatcher:

I’m writing in response to a customer complaint, placed by Amanda**********, against our company, Julep Beauty, Inc.  I’ve done my best to explain our perspective on each of her specific complaints, as well as outline any corrective action we’ve taken.  Caitlin McAfee, our Customer Service Manager, has made numerous attempts to contact this customer to resolve the issue, but without success.

This is the first such complaint I’ve responded to; I hope I’m approaching it in a helpful manner.  Please let me know if you want additional information, or a different approach.

We take this situation seriously, and want to learn from it so we can prevent such unpleasant experiences for our customers in the future.  We have fallen short, in general, in our customer service efforts over the last few months, primarily due to our company’s tremendous growth.  Our order volume is growing well over 100% on an annual basis, and our hiring in Customer Service hasn’t kept up.  I was brought in last month to run Julep’s operations, which includes Customer Service.  We’re building the team as fast as we can, and also implementing other solutions to improve the customer experience.

Here are my responses to her specific complaints:

1)      She claimed that her shipment, which we shipped via DHL Global Mail, sat for 5 days without movement in a DHL facility.  We have had numerous complaints about DHL’s performance, and in response we’re in the process of switching to FedEx SmartPost.  We believe this will provide shorter transit times, as well as more accurate tracking, than DHL.  Beginning with our monthly “Maven” subscription orders, which ship out of a facility in Ohio early next week, we’ll start using FedEx.  Sometime between September 15thand October 15th, the rest of our shipments will switch to FedEx.
2)      She claimed that one of our customer service representatives hung up on her.  We have no way of researching this in a definitive way, as we don’t record phone calls.  But this customer was warned that her call would be terminated due to the way she was treating our employee.  From our perspective, she was being unnecessarily rude and abusive.
3)      She claimed that one of our customer service representatives cursed at her, then also hung up on her.  As with the complaint above, we can’t research this  accurately.  But we have a small, dense call center, and such behavior would have been observed by others.  The behavior she described is absolutely at odds with the customer experience we’re trying to provide, and it’s very difficult to imagine one of our Beauty Advisors cursing at a customer without it being reported to a manager by someone nearby.  I can tell you definitively that if we did observe a Beauty Advisor cursing at a customer, we would almost certainly terminate that employee immediately.
4)      She claimed that Caitlin McAfee, our Customer Service Manager, accused her of “lying and creating a stir on Facebook.”  Again, I have no way of knowing what Caitlin said, but accusing a customer of lying goes against our core principles.  Caitlin is a solution-oriented, diplomatic person.  We would not condone the behavior this customer described, and I am confident Caitlin provided help in a professional manner.
5)      She claimed that she can’t get through to our customer service center, experiencing hold times of an hour or more.  Unfortunately, this is quite possible.  Especially during some busy periods related to our subscription program, we’ve been overwhelmed with phone calls.  Last week we implemented an online cancellation process that makes it far easier for customers to cancel their subscription, and we believe this is helping reduce the call volume so we can provide better phone service levels.
6)      She claimed that Caitlin gave her a direct number that didn’t work.  Caitlin received two voicemails from the customer, and returned both of those calls in a timely manner.  She wasn’t able to talk to the customer live, however.
7)      She seemed to claim that one of her products were broken when she wrote, “No customer should have to defend themselves to pay for broken products.”  We’re not aware that this customer had a defective product, but if she did, we’d happily replace it at no cost.
8)      She claimed that we “trick [our customers] by hiding the skip button feature to [our] monthly [subscription program].”  We did make changes to our subscription program, including changing the interface, and have heard this complaint from other customers.  We have tried to address the issue by changing the interface and more clearly explaining the changes to our ‘skip’ policies.
9)      She claimed that we are not answering emails requesting cancellations, which results in some customers getting charged for their next month’s subscription against their wishes.  Due to the volume and high growth, our email response time has lengthened.  In addition to hiring and adding the online cancellation option, we’re working overtime to shrink our email response time.  We are committed to hiring as many people as necessary to keep up with volumes.  We want our email service level to be on par with our customers high expectations, and we realize we’ve fallen short in this area.

I hope this was helpful.  I am also hopeful that, with your help, we can reach an amicable solution for this customer.

Thank you.


Dwight Gaston
Chief Delivery Officer

mobile: (206) 963-8776
111 Queen Anne Ave N, Suite 200
Seattle, WA 98109
Now while it seems that there was obviously a heated discussion had between Amanda and a Julep agent, they obviously do not see eye to eye on how that played out. But I think the acknowledgement to the AG about the phone call hold times, cancellation issues and shipping issues are all nice to see and to see concrete steps they are taking to correct these issues!

Now if only they would undo the back dating of the skip policy so that those who signed up between Dec 15th and January 15th actually get the subscription service they AGREED to I would be a very happy camper!


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