things that Kitty likes

Why I am no longer a Julep Maven

I am a very patient person. I am a very reasonable person. I am not a saint, but I do value integrity and the truth. This is why I wrote this post letting you all know why I am no longer a Julep Maven. For those of you that follow my blog, I have raved about this program quite a bit. What’s not to like? You get sneak peeks of the newest shades and at least $40 worth of stuff for only $19.99 a month. I got my box and blogged about it. I was happy with it. My friends and co-workers signed up under my referral link. They were equally pleased as well. Some of my readers signed up. So far, they seem happy with it. Unfortunately, that’s where all the happy stuff ends.

I noticed that I haven’t gotten any of my referral credits in. I know for a fact that 3 people I know personally signed up under my referral link. At least 2 of my readers have told me so as well. How many more of my readers that haven’t commented? I don’t know. But I thought it was about time I followed up by asking them since the referral link email I got stated that it takes about 7 days and it’s waaaaay past 7 days for those that have signed up under my referral link.

Referral Link Email

Referral Credit Detail

I used their Contact Us section and politely asked about the referral credits, not thinking that fellow blogger Jen did as well. She got a reply back first and informed me of their response to her, which I also got. Basically, they said that their referral program wasn’t working and they’d have to recreate it. They will award us our credits if we provide them the names of the people we’ve referred to participate their Maven program. Um, say what? Excuse me? I am a blogger. I can only account and provide names for those who I know personally that have signed up for the program. I am NOT going to create a post asking my readers who have joined the program using my referral link. And as most other bloggers know, not all readers will leave a comment. Why would they? “Hey, I used your referral link.” Really?! So, I sent them an email back stating that. I also asked them if they will inform their users (those that signed up for the Maven program and got referral links, but haven’t realized that the referral links were no good) about this glitch. I also mentioned that I’m pretty sure that a lot of people have signed up through posts that other bloggers have made. If 2 of my readers said they signed up, I know that more established bloggers out there got 10 times that at least. See below to what they replied to me about the program and my reply to that, which I still haven’t gotten an answer. Their reply to my inquiry is at the bottom. The unanswered email I sent is on top.

Referral Program Glitch

They still have not replied to me at the time of this posting. I’m not sure why. Is it because I’m in queue or is it because they are hoping I’d go away since maybe they probably aren’t going to inform those that signed up for the referral program this glitch? Well, read on what Jen has posted here and decide for yourselves. If they messed up, shouldn’t they take it upon themselves to correct it? Own up, inform your users and find a way to make things right. Not informing users isn’t making things right. It’s shady. At least to me it is.

I will not support a company that doesn’t see that they have to disclose things like this to their users or customers. I am done with them. As of this posting, all my posts in relation to this brand will be taken down. The Maven program is good, not gonna lie, but I refuse to support a company with such practices. If you don’t care about the referral program and/or choose to support them still, feel free to do so. I, for one, choose not to.

UPDATE: They replied to my response back, which left me even more questions than before. Read on.

Referral Program Glitch Reply

I thought they couldn’t tell who had referrals and how many they have. Is this something they missed with the reply? How can they tell which Mavens have referrals and which ones don’t? Shouldn’t they inform ALL Mavens then? They shouldn’t have responded the way they did then to Jen’s inquiry where they stated: “Given the unfortunate circumstances, we have done everything in our power to try to reward as many of the claimed referral credits to our Mavens.” and that was with no email sent, no announcements on their site or social accounts.

I hope they learn from this and find points to improve on. They should’ve notified all Mavens in the first place. Again, good program and great polishes. But this? I’m walking away from it.

Another UPDATE: I got a personal email apology from Julep and also the apology email to all Mavens in the program. See below.

Julep Maven Apology

This was the notification that I was waiting for. I hope that moving forward they will not wait for this long to disclose glitches like this. It’s better to hear from the brand/company than from users. I appreciate their apology, but I still stand by my choice to no longer support them. If you continue to support them, feel free to do so especially if you feel like they haven’t wronged you. I don’t see any reason to stop supporting them at all if that’s the case. They have great products and again, I do love their Maven program. It’s brilliant and creative, something a polish lover would love. I just didn’t agree that the way they handled this situation much earlier.

EDIT: Closing comments on this post since it’s old and I’m getting ridiculous comments such as the last one. At the end of the day it’s the principle people, not the free referrals I’m after. Ethics is something I don’t compromise.

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20 responses

  1. Not good. CS needs some work “thanks for your patience”? Really?

    It should be “thanks for being one of our early adopters and helping get Julep out there. We appreciate that you brought to light that our program have issues and we will take your suggestions back to our marketing individuals since it’s obvious that as a blogger you really are passionate about our program”.

    QA and CS there need some SERIOUS WORK.

    BunnyMasseuse is willing to be hired and work for Julep to HELP THEM GET THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE RESPONSES AND HANDLING IN GEAR!

    September 1, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    • Amen! It’s a good program, but they certainly lost my confidence when they’re not informing their users about this. Disclosure is important.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:56 PM

  2. beachgal

    I had read from others who also got stuck in this glitch the Maven program had. If they were not 100% sure after major testing, it should never have been launched. They only burn links to customers. If you start a tier program you better support the ones who have taken the time to write and give you something at least…and they know bloggers are not going to have access to blog followers real names. That’s insane – and they are using Social Media as well as blogs to run this tier scheme on. They know folks don’t use real names often on those sites!. I only know of one person who I follow that got her first pay back on sign up credits and picked out her polishes she wanted. She got quite a few so he must have been not affected by the glitch. I personally did not like the posting of look at all the stuff I got because I got so many of you to sign up for this program and use my link! I am not a Mary Kay fan, Amway and other pyramid companies…fine if you like their products and use them – but don’t press on me to sell it for you. And I even sold Mary Kay for about 6 yrs…but I never did parties – I had only 2 folks at a time come to my house – usually one where I could really pamper them with soaks in foot baths, do their ‘satin feet’ thing – paint their toes. I worked hard and had fun doing it…but I never wanted to go after anyone to sign up under me. I hate going to parties in folks folks where you feel you HAVE to buy something even if you don’t want anything or don’t have the $ that night just to support the host. I felt the same way about the Birchbox thing when it launched as I do about the Maven program. I did not jump to sign up. I wanted to wait and hear stuff like this and also see how the polish formula was. Right now the colors are OK but nothing to write home about unique. The bottles won’t stand up in my storage I KNOW. So they would have to lay down which takes up lots more room when sorting by color and not brand or collection inside a brand. Thanks for sharing this with us. I am not like many who said – heck, in college, cannot do this every month. I could make room for it – but I HATE bills and on going things and the fact I don’t pick what shades I want every month – even with the preview and asking for another shelf pull, I don’t think I would end up with what I would want. And I could have bought things I need or want with that $20 – plus tax and shipping. Like I said – hate bills and have no credit card debt – just my known monthly have to have them charges & even with that, it’s tight living on not so great of social security disability due to my bone disease. I just think cust relationship wise, they should have had another response to their goof up like I said, when they KNOW were it not for blogs, social media, they would not have blasted off this fast – and who is going to get those names to confirm? I want to say this was not planned to have a glitch – but it’s suspicious to me it would happen on the launch and that they have no other alternative such as offering a flat credit of X $ for X bottles if you cannot send the names of who signed up under you – letting that plan cap out at like 5 free bottles. What’s the worst that could happen if they did that??? They were going to send out credits to folks anyway…now keeping it all for themselves and asking folks to start over basically? Just not good business move. I bet the big pyramid folks like Mary Kay are laughing about this one. It’s not higher programming – it’s only a code associated with ONE person and a tier that forms under that code. Any grade school kid learning basic use of Access or even Excel could design this and pull up the #’s.

    September 1, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    • Very well said. Good program, I’ll give them that. Execution was not smooth. But not disclosing something that directly affects a lot of their customers? Unacceptable in my book. I only found out cause I asked. I found out another blogger asked recently. I don’t care about the credits anymore. If they had sent out an email stating that, I’d be so-so about them. I might forgive them over time. Them choosing not to disclose is what did it for me.

      There are other brands with better integrity that I will continue and choose to support. Thanks for your comments. They got a lot out of this program, lots of customers. I will not support them if their practices are questionable. Disclosure weighs a lot in everything these days, as it should.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:14 PM

  3. I’m glad you wrote about your experience as well, I think it’s important that people know what they’re getting themselves into in signing up for a program with this company. More complaints are coming in not just about the referral link, but about the subscription service itself. It’s sad when customers have to talk amongst themselves to realize there’s a problem and the company remains silent, not addressing the issue.

    September 1, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    • When they started the program, some glitch is expected. But disclose them, right? The customer can choose to participate or not still. But choosing not to disclose? Why?! In this day and age, disclosure is everywhere and is essential. That is something they will have to work on clearly.

      Thanks for your comment. I greatly appreciate it.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:29 PM

  4. This issue is not going to go away for Julep. I’m disappointed that a program that seemed to be a nail bloggers dream and a way for Julep to get a lot of exposure has left them with ‘bad’ exposure. :(

    September 1, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    • If they owned up, they wouldn’t look this bad in my opinion. Like I said, good program? Yes. Good business practices? Not in my book.

      September 1, 2011 at 4:54 PM

  5. Horrible business practice. I canceled my subscription.

    September 1, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    • Me too. And so are my 3 personal referrals. They were scratching their head at why the company can’t even send an email out informing users at the very least.

      September 1, 2011 at 9:44 PM

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  9. What a turn-off! Kudos to you for taking a stand, Kitty. Companies like this need to realize that customer service is as important as their product. A good product with bad customer service is such a waste.

    September 2, 2011 at 4:04 AM

    • I agree! Too bad since I was gonna get you some of the shades. I just can’t see myself supporting them anymore. I wonder how many people who don’t read blogs aren’t aware of this since they never notified any of us about it.

      September 2, 2011 at 9:28 AM

  10. Am sorry this happened to such a nice blogger. :( It would have been best practice for them to have been much more generous towards those of you that supported and helped them out instead of *again* asking for MORE from you.

    September 2, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    • They have reached out to me and offered to make it up, but I am no longer interested at this point. I accepted their apology, wished them all the best and offered them suggestions.

      September 2, 2011 at 11:24 PM

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  12. Christina

    Wow..It sounds to me like you reeeally want those referrals for free nail polishes.

    March 14, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    • You can think what you want but they even offered me a whole year of something to which I declined. My ethics are not worth free polishes. Disclosure is everything. You can read up on other blogs and other people’s opinions on that situation. Please go and read my post all over again.

      March 20, 2013 at 9:35 AM