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I have been very surprised to see all the comments/complaints about BB in this forum, particularly about the coupon code policy. It also seemed like people may not have given direct feedback but would be angry and just shop elsewhere. Taking your money elsewhere is effective, IMO, only if the place you are taking your business away from knows why; otherwise they are in the dark about what they could improve. I realized I would be quite upset if I were offered a few bucks off my next order if I had a leak or damage in shipping, so I decided to write to Anne-Marie directly to give feedback about problems that have been encountered, things I think they could improve, and to let her know that her business may be more affected than she realizes.

I thought I would share the response I got from the Customer Service Manager. I wrote her back to say I was not certain communication was always clear because people had seemed certain that they were offered a coupon for damage and not a replacement. It is possible that individual representatives are offering coupons when they should be offering replacements, so if your experience is not what is outlined, I would encourage you to respond to this woman and let her know. If I were a business owner, I would want to know what was going on down the line but I would not always be in the know without direct feedback. So here you are:

_____________________________________________________________

Hi Amy,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a letter to Anne-Marie. It means a lot to her and she has already sent a handwritten card which you should be getting soon. As the Customer Service Manager, I wanted to also address your concerns as well. It really was awesome that you took the time to write. Like you’ve said, most people will just complain on a forum or just not shop with us.

As for the specific complaints, it is true that our processing time tends towards the 48 to 72 hour mark. Many people who live east of the Mississippi face a long transit time too. This makes the total order time to the East Coast seem like forever. We have hired more people and look to hire yet even more so hopefully that time will shorten as a result.

As for how we handle damages, leaks and missing packages – what you have heard is categorically untrue. We do offer the option to either replace the item or credit but if our customers have an important event where they need the items, we will expedite the replacements when we can (if the flashpoint allows for expedited shipping). We look to keep our costs down and so will ship ground for replacements whenever possible, but we have and will ship overnight if our customer needs that to happen. We never deny anyone a replacement. If you hear of people that are concerned about how we handle a damage or a missing item, please encourage them to call us at 1.877.627.7883. We will do what we can to make it right.

Here’s what I think most are talking about when they say they are receiving credit and not a refund – returns. Our current policy is to give store credit only for returns. To be frank, I don’t agree with that and it sounds like our customers don’t either. I like Amazon’s policy of a refund directly back to the card for all allowable returns. I am talking now with upper management to see if we can’t make that happen. These kind of guidelines can be slow to change but I’m up for the challenge!

I hope this helps explain a little bit. Please do contact me if you have any other questions or concerns J

Tina
 

marilynmac

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I never ordered from BB for this reason: when I check out, the shipping cost floors me. Surely they don't need someone to point that out to them. Whoever set the shipping rates knows how over-priced it is.
 
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I didn't ask about the cost of shipping, only the speed of processing. Distance matters. I paid $12 to have 4 x 8 oz or less bottles of FO shipped from Peak in Denver, but $14 to have 9 or 10 bottles of 1 pound, 8 oz and a couple 2 ounces of FOs in glass plus molds, shipped from BB in Washington state. It depends on where you are, the cost, with UPS or Fedex. I have no idea how each business finds their price point, but again, cost was not my feedback, but time to ship was.
 
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lillybella

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I have complained MANY times to Tina about slow processing - ridiculously SLOW and poor packaging (FOs leaking, missing items)! Once I received a $500.00 order that wasn't mine from BB! Lucky I'm honest! I live west of Denver & I am very happy with Peak.

I was surprised to see my last order from BB was delivered by UPS - not FedX.

I only order from them as a last resort.

However, I do think they have improved or trying to improve in the past year.
 
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I'm curious what their response was to the leaks in shipping and missing items. People have said that they got the coupon code thing but she says they do not do this. I was seeking clarification on that point. She said the coupon code is only for returns. What did they do with your complaint?

I'm not unhappy with Peak. I was just stating the shipping can seem high from one place and not another depending on your distance from the company. I would also add that the person whose $500 order came to you instead of them was probably not very happy with Peak.
 
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Their shipping charges to the East Coast are ridiculous, and it takes far too long. It's been a complaint now for three years I've been in soaping, and they show no signs of fixing it. They have some nice stuff, but once you've been in soaping long enough and you have your stock, they fall off the list of places to reorder from because of this. I order from them occasionally, maybe once a year, and only for a special something I can't get anywhere else.
 
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In fact, Lionprincess, I mentioned that their replies to customers can be overly perky and take a passive stance that takes no responsibility for the issue and is dismissive, and that people find it very irksome, myself included. I told her flat-out that this loses customers.
 

new12soap

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Baloney.

I have ordered from BB several times over the years, NEVER during a sale or "peak season", and NOT ONE TIME did they EVER process my order in less than one week. Not. Once. Yes, shipping times via UPS ground to the east coast are ridiculous, but that is out of their hands.

I have never returned anything to them, either, and nope, no one offered a replacement at their expense. They offered a coupon for the purchase price on my next order, which I would of course then have to pay to ship. I also call BS on the whole "categorically untrue, we offer the option" story. If one or two people experienced a misunderstanding, or even a rep that made an error, okay, but I don't see that as the case here.

BB is very good IMO of blowing smoke and pretending all is happy and bright, but for MANY customers that isn't the reality.

I appreciate what you are trying to do, I agree that we should all try to be fair and get both sides of the story. I know that you and a lot of others have very good experiences with them, and that's great, I would not tell anyone else to stop shopping with them or boycott them or anything. But like I said before, they have nothing I need I can't get elsewhere, faster, and usually for a much better price!
 

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My primary complaints (and why I order from other places that may have higher costs for a similar product) are speed of processing and packaging.

Processing:

Mid last year, I ordered several items from them and from Mad Oils in Florida on the same night (I'm near Denver - about mid-point between them). Mad Oils shipped the next morning. It took several days to arrive. I liked what I sampled from Mad Oils and reordered a larger size from them. BB still hadn't shipped.

Mad Oils shipped the second order the morning after I placed it. It made it to Denver before I finally got a shipping notice from BB.

However, I did order a mold and a few FOs from BB in December on Monday. I had it all by that Friday. I was a little shocked to be honest - perhaps they are working on warehouse staffing!

Packaging:

I hate the way BB packages powders like SLSA, Dendric Salt, etc. I've had it become punctured during shipping. If bags arrive intact, they seem to develop holes before/while I'm using them.

Honestly, spring for a ziplock BB... it might not look as cute as the double tied flimsy bag, but at least I won't have to clean up grit from everywhere. I did notify them when this occurred and they offered me a coupon. But, I don't want to have to deal with grit and coupons when the core issue (packaging) isn't going to be resolved. So now, when if I need some powder supply and I'm making an order from something I can only get from BB - I don't tack on my powder to their order... I go make an order somewhere else I don't have to worry about leaks.​

I'd say those two issues have resulted in a missed opportunity loss of around $200ish for them from me last year. It's chump change to a big company but a significant part of my hobby budget.

It's a shame really, since the perky talk doesn't bother me, love that they make videos and think their products are of a high quality. I'd order from them more often...
 
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I expressed my opinion on the coupon thing and told them that this loses customers as well because every good company I've dealt with immediately sends out a replacement for a broken/damaged item. No one wants to have to order again, pay shipping AGAIN on something they already purchased and wait 1-2 weeks for it to show up. That is why I specifically asked them about their policy with damage. Is it at possible that one arm thinks one thing is going on and another handles things in a different way? The company doesn't seem that big. I could see something like that happening at IBM or Kraft, for instance.

I love many of their products and I will continue to use them. They state their processing time at the top of the page and update it, so I am aware of delays. I have never had anything delayed longer than they state they are expecting. If something happens and they offer me a coupon code, though.....watch out.
 
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It is exorbitant for you because of where you live. For me to get a huge package from them with nearly a dozen FO's in glass bottles, molds and other things for $14 seems like a steal. Like I said, distance matters a lot in the shipping world and you are about as far from them as you can get in this country. However, I would not accept having to pay to ship the same item twice. I would definitely raise a stink about that.
 

Jstar

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Here's the thing I see just from reading the forum posts when damage issues are reported to BB..every one of them say they get an email with a discount coupon 'on their next order'..I haven't seen anyone say that they returned the damaged product..have I missed this?

Imo, if a company, no matter how big or small, cannot offer more than a discount on 'another' purchase, who needs them?

You order again, pay the same high shipping costs 'again'..and hope and pray that your next order is intact..and you get to just eat that damaged first order..

"Oh you ordered 8 oz FO and only got 3 oz? Wow, so sorry to hear that..what a shame..here's another $5.00 coupon, order again and we'll see if we can get the whole thing to you this time"

Uhhhh no.

Sorry, just throwing my 2 soapbubbles off in there :p
 
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I am in California so I find Brambleberry shipping way better than some but I know much of that comes from being so close. Daystar shipped my order Monday from Texas and I got it Thursday, Brambleberry shipped my order Wednesday and I got it tonight. I have no complaints so far with their service and their products stand the test.
 
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I agree about the coupon issue 100%. That's part of why I wrote to them, to say the I found it to be a huge negative against them. I have no idea if the customer service manager woman is lying through her teeth, or if rep's are offering the coupon and someone higher up thinks they are not. I have also have not heard of a single person offered a replacement, which is why I replied to her email to say that is not what is happening. It's a terrible policy, IMO.
 
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I've only ordered once but I appreciate them stating right up front flash points and their flash point policy so I can tell exactly what will be affordable to ship to AK and what will not be worth it. Many other companies are not up front and I can't tell until I check out whether it is reasonable (or even possible) to order from them. It is very annoying. Other than US Priority Mail, I have to wait for just about everything, but I don't recall dishonest (or unreasonable) time frames with BB. And they give free samples, which not all companies do. So I have no complaints.
 
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In fact, Lionprincess, I mentioned that their replies to customers can be overly perky and take a passive stance that takes no responsibility for the issue and is dismissive, and that people find it very irksome, myself included. I told her flat-out that this loses customers.

The overly perky (verging on passive-aggressive) tone that I hear from some 'CEAs' rubs me up the wrong way too. I'm sure this is their way of dealing with the frustrations of the job but I think a bit of sincerity would go a long way. And Anne-Marie would make a better impression in her responses to reviews if she once in a while acknowledged that some concerns are valid...

I do love a lot of their products however and appreciate the tutorials. Slow shipping has never bothered me because I'm used to it being in Hawaii!
 
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It is exorbitant for you because of where you live. For me to get a huge package from them with nearly a dozen FO's in glass bottles, molds and other things for $14 seems like a steal. Like I said, distance matters a lot in the shipping world and you are about as far from them as you can get in this country. However, I would not accept having to pay to ship the same item twice. I would definitely raise a stink about that.
I am well aware of shipping costs and distances. Please don't think I'm that simple. I know how much it costs to ship, I've run a distributorship and used many forms of shipping. Other companies from the same area DO NOT charge as much as they do. That is my point.

I know Bramble Berry has its defenders. This is one of the reasons why the subject can be contentious. You cannot dismiss the experiences of others by cheer-leading, however. They have serious PR issues despite their sunshiny outlook.
 
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I placed an order from a company in Vancouver(not soap supplies) 3 days after I ordered something from BB. I got the order from Vancouver 3 days before the order from BB. I don't remember the exact numbers(it has been quite a while since I ordered from BB), but the shipping from Vancouver was cheaper.
 

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