This was my last month for the Stars Hollow Monthly box.
Done by LitCube, they've had problems since August 2016 with their shipping, pretty much ever since they switched to a fulfillment company. They've bounced around from fulfillment company to fulfillment company, with problems with each one. The box that contains the items has gotten fancier but the quality of items has not. It was a combination of item quality and shipping delays that caused me to cancel this subscription. A day here or there late isn't a big deal, but December really took the cake. This box is supposed to go out around the 22nd of each month, with two day shipping. December 26th came and went and all we were notified of was that they were going to be late, still no tracking.
The box didn't ship until the 28th of December, almost a week past when it was supposed to. Peggy, the owner of the box, is typically high customer service oriented, but when it comes to shipping - the answer is always blame the shipping company, blame the fulfillment company - she doesn't take any accountability for her supply chain. She's big on the blame game, which in my opinion is not the way one runs a company. The box didn't show up until the 31st.
Which, again, is something that could be chalked up to the holidays - but...if you're including Christmas themed items, you want to make sure that they get sent before Christmas.
Items included a car air freshner, a scarf, a necklace, and a Christmas ornament. Now, even if it was one I was going to keep - which it's not, getting it after all the decorations were already put away means hassle. Luckily, or unluckily, as the case may be, this is not one that I had any interest in keeping - this means that the box is already 1/4 of a dud for me.
The image on the ornament was just plain ugly. No way was I putting that on the tree. Sorry for the pictures being the way they are - the ornament stayed in its packaging and went on its way to the thrift store as a donation.
The Luke's logo was about the only thing that they got right.
And on top of that - it's branded as Stars Hollow Monthly 2016. If I wanted a branded tree, I'd play a video game. Product placement and promotion is not something that belongs on a Christmas tree. This was a definite bust for me.
Next comes item number 2: the scarf
It was folded nice and pretty, but you couldn't tell anything. So I made it messy. It's a full length scarf, but a) it has nothing to do with Gilmore Girls, which is basically the point of the box, and b) it's super thin. The first snow of the year came on Friday the 6th, and this did nothing to retain heat, to keep my ears warm - bupkus.
Also, as you can see from looking at the end, it's got a rather unfinished hem and it's very, very thin. That makes this box a bust on 2/4 items. Moving on.
Item #3 I do not have a picture of because I threw it out. Not in the trashcan in the house either - that went to the curb. It was an Ooober air freshner. And it stunk to high heaven. Sneeze fit the likes of which surpassed all walks past Bath and Body works in the mall stinky. It was supposed to be a citrus scent, but it smelled like someone chewed a whole wad of Fruit Stripe gum - but unlike fruit stripe, this did not loose its scent (or in the case of the gum, the flavor) in five seconds. Oh, no. It continued to stink. The trash has been taken since then and the trash can still reeks of fruityness. That makes this a bust on 3/4 items.
Leaving the final item - a necklace with a quote from the song.
This necklace is, admittedly, pretty cool, but the chain's rather cheap. It's not equal to the cost of the box, and it's not equal to the cost listed on the insert. It's the only thing I'm keeping from the box. So - subscription was cancelled.
If you're going to do a themed subscription box, one of the major points is making sure that the items meet that theme. Another is quality items. A third is making sure that your item won't run people out of their house. All in all, it was a decent box when it started, and I got some pretty cool Gilmore Girls themed items, but December was the end for me for this one.
Now, for those of you who are interested - Peggy is switching back to fulfilling the boxes herself starting in February. There were no issues when the box first started less than a year ago, because she filled them herself and she made sure they shipped. So - you have that to take into account. However - she has also rented warehouse space this time around to do this, instead of doing it out of her home - which means that part of the money from the box will be going to pay for that, which means there may be a trade off in item quality - i.e. it could remain at what it has dropped down to instead of what it started out as. So - there's that to keep in mind too.
The thing is - It's just not enough to keep me as a customer. Strike 1 was the constant problems with shipping each and every month. Strike 2 was the immediate passing of blame, instead of treating the fulfillment company as a part of the supply chain. Strike 3 was the item quality, lack of adherence to the theme, etc.
Labels: subscription box review