Friday, June 30, 2017

Online Order Frustration: My Review of Thrive Market

In my effort to move to an anti-inflammation lifestyle and anti-inflammation diet, I am trying to locate stores near me and online who sell organic and healthy groceries. Thrive Market is an online retailer that sells organic grocery items at a wholesale price, with an annual membership ($59.95, at the time of this post). It’s like an online Costco for organic food! I am really hoping that Amazon will come up with something like this now that they have purchased Whole Foods.

I have a Whole Foods 12 miles away from me, but it’s in a very congested area that I like to avoid. Years ago, I used to drive through that area daily to go to school and later on to one of my jobs, but the traffic has gotten insane over the last 15 years or so and the mere thought of driving through there gives me a headache. Also, the last few times I shopped at Whole Foods, people reached over me like I wasn’t there and took the food I was trying to pick up! It happened multiple times and I am not a slow shopper. Such a sharp contrast to where I shop where people move their carts over for people to pass and will move over to let people reach things when they say “excuse me” (Whole Foods customers don’t speak).

In order to avoid the traffic and annoying people, would a cheapo accountant like me pay $59.95 a year (which is like $5 a month)? Sure! So, I signed up for Thrive Market right away and placed my first order. I bought some coconut oil, almond flour, organic vinegar, nuts, cleaning products, and feminine care products. I was so impressed with their offerings that I added items to my shopping list for next time: organic peanut butter, organic vanilla extract, deodorant, etc. They even have a category called Whole30 Picks where I found a number of items I wanted to try! I was so excited about this new service!  

After so much anticipation, I received my order the other day and guess what?

A huge FAIL!

I noticed the box had a piece of cardboard taped to the outside. OK, that’s weird.

I open the box and the vinegars on top were wrapped nicely and the cleaning products were separate from the food. Nice!

But under the vinegars the bag of nuts was glistening. What the hell is this?

Under that, the coconut oil jar is half empty. Shit!

I lift that up and see coconut oil all over the almond flour and feminine products! What the !@#$!!!

Aaand the almond flour expires next month?! Are you !@#$ing serious?  

Taking these out of the box, I see why there is cardboard on the outside of the box; the coconut oil seeped out of the jar and all over the box, disintegrating the cardboard. Someone cut the corner of the box and patched it with cardboard and tape. Now I assume it was UPS, which is very nice of them. I hope Thrive Market didn’t send me the box this way! I had to throw out the coconut oil and feminine products. Everything else needed to be wiped off. 

OK, what do I do now? Normally, I would call them immediately but they don’t provide a phone number or an online chat. I had to e-mail them according to their Help section. That was Wednesday. Today is Friday and I still hadn’t received a reply other than an auto e-mail that generates a ticket number!

I researched them online and the reviews were positive as long as you didn’t have an issue. But you are out luck if there is a problem with your order or you want to cancel your membership as they take a long time to answer the phone or reply to your e-mail. I find this completely unacceptable for a food company. If you sell food, you should be reachable and responsive the same day. It should take no more than 24 hours to come back and fix the situation (i.e. send me replacement items). I worked for a small family company and they had a phone line for customer service, so there is no excuse for any company not having one.

Update: I sent another e-mail and a Facebook message this morning. It looks like Facebook messaging is the way to go! They replied that someone will contact me shortly. I finally received an e-mail reply where they refunded me for the 3 unusable items and extended my free trial another month. I still don’t know if I should try them again (even though they offered a 6 month membership for $29.95), because I would need to create a new order to reorder those damaged items and you have to spend $49 for free shipping. Also, it looks like it would be hard to reach someone if my future orders had an issue. Please let me know if you use them and your experience with Thrive Market or if you use a different online grocery for organic items. 

Update 2: I ended up cancelling during my trial period. I just couldn't bring myself to order again after that hassle with my first order. 

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