Geek Chic Monthly

Most reviews aren't going to be like this one, but I wanted to take time to make a note about Geek Chic Monthly. They're a cheap subscription box, ~$15, done through Cratejoy. The pictures do not do the items justice - or at least they did when I subscribed to this one, almost a year ago. Shipping issues made me cancel my subscription (see a trend here?), and it took forever to cancel, because CrateJoy does not actually have a feature that allows you to remove your own billing information without contacting them. While they have gotten better - at that time it was difficult to get a hold of them. Geek Chic Monthly is run by a woman in Texas. I forget her name. She's very customer service oriented, and she made a special trip to the post office to correct the issues, which was quite nice, but when the items got to me - they were nothing like what I expected. They were cheap. Dollar store cheap looking. It was the Zelda box, and it looked like a bunch of items that someone pulled out of a quarter machine at a grocery store. So, I cancelled, in spite of their stellar customer service.

I was taken off the mailing lists too - with no harm, no foul. Very CAN-SPAM Act compliant, and as someone formerly of that industry, this too is something I appreciate. Up until 2 days ago, when I magically found myself as the recipient of more mailings from them. Emails saying "hey, we miss you!" with a picture of their best boxes from last year - keep in mind not all of their jewelry is uber cheap looking, just most of it. And the value is there - sometimes - but it was too much cheap and not enough value for me. That being said - here's the best from last year - the image that was included in one of the two mailers

The one in the lower right corner was what prompted me to sign up in the first place - I loved the coin purse and the potential to expand my pocket watch collection further - but most don't have things like that. The lower left image was the Zelda box that I received. The Zelda postcard was rolled up and couldn't be flattened. The treasure chest was very cheap plastic and broke in shipping, and the earrings, necklace, and bracelet were in one piece- but were cheap looking. The closest to a decent item was the earrings (Majora's Mask), but they looked like they came from Claire's buy 1 get 5 free sales (do they even do those anymore - that was a 90s thing). Not very high quality and a big disappointment. The Hunger Games box, not pictured, was a pretty cool one - with actual leather jewelry that was higher quality, so again, I probably hit it on an off month, but still. It was very disappointing and I felt like I didn't get my money's worth. If it was five dollars, or even ten dollars, I would chalk it up as being worth the box, but not for $15 plus shipping. I can see this being great for a teenager who likes geeky things - but as an adult, I was expecting better quality. High school me would have loved this and not cared. That being said - it irked me that my email had been retained after removal, and that they were emailing me, but not overmuch. 

So - with some annoyance - I go to the second email - I got off their list, they shouldn't be emailing me - violation of CAN-SPAM and all - that was all that was going through my head. For those of you who are not aware, this is a big no-no in internet land. Turns out the second email was from CrateJoy, and it just had Geek Chic Monthly's box as the subject and in the header - though the email was directly CrateJoy - though I opted out of the mailing from Geek Chic Monthly - and though I closed my account with CrateJoy - which should have gotten me off the CrateJoy list as well, nope. The next email was refer three friends to Cratejoy boxes and get my next box free - promoted as though it was from Geek Chic Monthly and opining that I should try the box again. This is cheap advertising tactics at its finest, and questionably illegal in terms of mailing lists. Very disappointing. 

 While I reserve judgement for now - assuming these are the only two emails I get - just because a company has a strong reputation, like Cratejoy with subscription boxes, that doesn't mean that they always know what they're doing - and this makes me question whether they ever deleted my billing information from their database in the first place. Though I cannot see it doesn't mean it's not still in their system, which is questionable, and something worth taking into consideration.