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Subscription box item missing - company won't replace it

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Consumer Rights
11 replies 1.2K views
KipepeoKipepeo Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Consumer Rights
I have been subscribed to a popular beauty box subscription service since just after they launched eight years ago. I've had one problem with a broken item in the past, which was sorted quickly.

There was an item missing from my box and they are refusing to replace the item unless I provide a photo of the packaging, which I threw away as soon as it arrived because why wouldn't I? They have offered me a ridiculous partial refund instead.

I have been a loyal customer for almost eight years, as I said, and I have paid nearly £1000 for my subscription over that time (well over if you include their postage costs) so why would they assume I'd possibly be lying over one item that I wouldn't want a duplicate of?

There is nothing on their website to suggest that they would need a photo of the packaging in case of issues or I would have kept it/photographed it in advance. I have checked their T&Cs as well as their FAQs and refund and returns policy.

Do I have any rights? Should I pursue it as I paid for all the items in the box and am being refused a replacement because someone who works at the company didn't pack it? Or am I just being stubborn?
Big thanks to everyone on the comps board :kiss:
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Replies

  • Aylesbury_DuckAylesbury_Duck Forumite
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    It doesn't seem unreasonable for them to ask for more information, which would include the packaging because it might indicate a problem with the packaging itself. You were hasty to throw the packaging away before checking everything was present.

    What's the nature of the "ridiculous partial refund"? A refund of some the value of the missing item or a refund to the value of that item? If the latter, that's perfectly fair. If the former, it's also fair given your inability to provide the information they need.

    If you don't think they're treating you in a way that reflects your custom, cancel your subscription and explain why you have done so.
  • KipepeoKipepeo Forumite
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    It doesn't seem unreasonable for them to ask for more information, which would include the packaging because it might indicate a problem with the packaging itself. You were hasty to throw the packaging away before checking everything was present.
    By 'packaging', I mean the postage box the whole thing came in, the actual inside packaging I still have.
    What's the nature of the "ridiculous partial refund"? A refund of some the value of the missing item or a refund to the value of that item? If the latter, that's perfectly fair. If the former, it's also fair given your inability to provide the information they need.
    Item's value is £15, refund offered is £2.
    Big thanks to everyone on the comps board :kiss:
  • Aylesbury_DuckAylesbury_Duck Forumite
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    Seems a strange amount to offer and actually, I agree with you that it's a ridiculous amount. In my opinion, they should either take your word that the item was missing and refund the full £15 or tell you there isn't enough information with which to make a decision and not refund you at all. The fact they've offered £2 is strange because it's nowhere near the value and so small as to probably be perceived more negatively than no refund at all!

    It's up to you whether you want the bother of pursuing £13 and whether they value you enough for you to continue ordering from them. I'd be inclined to leave it and take my custom elsewhere, letting them know why you have done so.
  • LilElvisLilElvis Forumite
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    Seems a strange amount to offer and actually, I agree with you that it's a ridiculous amount. In my opinion, they should either take your word that the item was missing and refund the full £15 or tell you there isn't enough information with which to make a decision and not refund you at all. The fact they've offered £2 is strange because it's nowhere near the value and so small as to probably be perceived more negatively than no refund at all!

    It's up to you whether you want the bother of pursuing £13 and whether they value you enough for you to continue ordering from them. I'd be inclined to leave it and take my custom elsewhere, letting them know why you have done so.

    I believe these subscription boxes offer you a selection of items for a marked reduction on the RRP - so, for example, you pay £20 for 10 items with a total suggested RRP of £100. So the OP would not have paid the £15 "value" for the item and 1/10 of what she did pay for the boxful (the £2 offered) would therefore be reasonable. Perhaps the OP should clarify as to exactly what she paid for.
  • garth549garth549 Forumite
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    LilElvis wrote: »
    I believe these subscription boxes offer you a selection of items for a marked reduction on the RRP - so, for example, you pay £20 for 10 items with a total suggested RRP of £100. So the OP would not have paid the £15 "value" for the item and 1/10 of what she did pay for the boxful (the £2 offered) would therefore be reasonable. Perhaps the OP should clarify as to exactly what she paid for.


    ^^ this

    The RRP and what you pay for something are very different things. You'll almost never pay RRP for anything!

    You need to add up the RRP of everything in the box and work out the percentage cost of that item in proportion to the total cost of the box.

    Eg if the total RRP of everything in the box is £200 and the box cost you £20 then you need to divide the RRP of each item by 10. So the value of a £15 item becomes £1.50
  • pinkshoespinkshoes Forumite
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    Kipepeo wrote: »
    I have been subscribed to a popular beauty box subscription service since just after they launched eight years ago. I've had one problem with a broken item in the past, which was sorted quickly.

    There was an item missing from my box and they are refusing to replace the item unless I provide a photo of the packaging, which I threw away as soon as it arrived because why wouldn't I? They have offered me a ridiculous partial refund instead.

    I have been a loyal customer for almost eight years, as I said, and I have paid nearly £1000 for my subscription over that time (well over if you include their postage costs) so why would they assume I'd possibly be lying over one item that I wouldn't want a duplicate of?

    There is nothing on their website to suggest that they would need a photo of the packaging in case of issues or I would have kept it/photographed it in advance. I have checked their T&Cs as well as their FAQs and refund and returns policy.

    Do I have any rights? Should I pursue it as I paid for all the items in the box and am being refused a replacement because someone who works at the company didn't pack it? Or am I just being stubborn?

    8 years, £1000 spent and they treat you like this?

    Take the £2 refund, then send them a letter cancelling your membership and detailing why they are losing such a long standing customer.

    The £2 will be the item cost rather than the RRP. They aren't a very good company if they feel that is an acceptable solution rather than a replacement.
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    Loyalty counts for nothing nowadays.

    There is no personal customer service- you are only a number.
  • Matty36Matty36 Forumite
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    You cannot expect a a £15 refund for a missing item when the item is part of a £10 per month? subscription. They asked you for evidence, which you cannot supply and were still offered a partial refund. As you're paying around £10 per month. £2 isn't that unreasonable.
  • One of my businesses is organic skin care products and we supply miniatures to a few of the beauty boxes; the rate of "missing items" is fairly high and almost always due to packing errors.

    I don't agree you're at fault for discarding the packaging, and I don't agree in canceling your subscription over one issue if it's something you obviously enjoy.

    Honestly the advice on here is baffling.

    I would ask to speak with someone more senior, preferably on the phone. And stress you want a replacement not a refund and that you have been a long-term customer.

    If it's one of the major beauty box companies I'd be surprised if you don't get through to someone with some common sense quite quickly.

    It won't cost them much, if anything, most manufacturers pay for their products to be part of subscription boxes not the other way around. It's advertising cost.
  • Aylesbury_DuckAylesbury_Duck Forumite
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    What's "baffling" about the advice people are giving? Is it that you don't understand it or simply that you don't agree with it? It's a forum, frequented mostly by non-legally-trained people giving their semi-informed opinions. If you want to see definitive, legal advice on matters, you're in the wrong place and should be paying for qualified opinions.
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