The Natural Beauty Box Fiasco - An Anti-Review

In late March, I signed up for 1 month of The Natural Beauty Box, a Canadian based subscription box that promised 10-15 deluxe samples every month. I did my research, read and watched several reviews online and was impressed by what I saw. At $29.95 per month, it was more than I wanted to spend for a monthly subscription, so I decided to sign up for a single month for review purposes. This was on March 25th.

The first indication of trouble was at sign up. You get directed straight to Paypal. There is no registration system on The Natural Beauty Box website. Next, because TNBB doesn't keep a database of their clients, there is no confirmation or welcome e-mail received from TNBB. The only e-mail received confirming that I signed up was a Paypal payment receipt. I didn't worry about it too much because people have been receiving their boxes.

And then I started reading more reviews online. And they were not good. The most damning review was from Candice at Mirror Image. If I had read her post before subscribing, I never would have subscribed! She has another rant post here. From there, I started reading the "The Natural Beauty Box" thread in the MakeupTalk forums. In the beginning (July 2012), the posts are positive and reviews promising. Problems started appearing in October, when several customers didn't receive boxes. The rants and complaints started pouring in. Then customers started realizing the natural products included in the box, were actually from companies owned by the women running The Natural Beauty Box. They were using TNBB to promote their own product lines, without disclosing it to customers. They also blocked customers from posting on their Facebook wall (you can post, but it won't show up on the public wall) and people accused them of censoring Facebook comments by deleting anything unfavourable.

From the makeuptalk forum:
I like how they posted a status message "Dear customers and subscribers. Thank you very much for doing business with us! We wanted to let everyone know that un-reasonable and offensive complaints from people that aren't subscribed to TNBB and don't know anything about our products or box will be removed from our Facebook. Thank you for understanding", and deleted every single negative post on their page.

TNBB is run by a woman named Mila Emerald, who claims to be a Doctor, and her two daughters. MakeupTalk forum users found lots of incriminating information on the web, calling into question the Dr's credentials and accusing her of plagiarizing much of the product, health information and research posted on the TNBB Facebook page. Read the second post on this page. All this was posted to the Facebook page by concerned customers, and all the posts were deleted by TNBB.

This all happened BEFORE I subscribed! I saw the writing on the wall and decided to request a refund.

Here is a point form break down of the TNBB fiasco and my experience:

  • In October, many customers didn't receive a box. TNBB claimed there was a glitch with Paypal notification so they didn't know these customers had paid. (Remember, no internal client database).
  • December boxes were so late getting out, TNBB decided to just "skip" December and call it the January box. 
  • The February box shipped in reasonable time. 
  • The March box did not ship until April. Gen received hers on April 11th. It contained hotel samples. Hotel samples that can be purchased in bulk for 0.27 cents a piece. Hotel samples that can be picked up FOR FREE when you stay at a hotel. I was appalled.
  • I forgot to mention, in January, in the midst of all this trouble, TNBB raised their price by ten dollars to $29.95 per month!
  • April 5th, I messaged TNBB on Facebook asking when the April boxes would ship. I received a reply almost immediately: "They will be shipping late April. Thanks!". At this point, I didn't realize they hadn't even shipped the March boxes yet.
  • April 8th, I e-mailed TNBB requesting a refund. I never received a reply (to this day, even).
  • April 9th, I started a Paypal dispute. TNBB had 20 days to reply to my dispute to try to resolve the issue. They did not reply.
  • Sometime mid-April, TNBB restructured their subscription plans.  Instead of 1, 3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions, they now only offer a 1 month, non-recurring subscription, through Paypal. Still no customer database.
  • April 24th, TNBB posted on Twitter & Facebook: "Hi ladies! We are very sorry for the delay with the boxes. The April boxes should go out early May at latest.Incidentally, prior to these two posts on Twitter & Facebook, their feeds had been inactive since February 22nd. And remember, they have no customer database so there is no way for them to reach out to customers directly to advise of delays. Given their history, I felt this post was a way to bait customers into believing the box was coming, so the customers wouldn't dispute Paypal payments for the April box not showing up.
  • April 27th, I escalated my Paypal dispute to a claim, meaning Paypal weighs in and decides the outcome. TNBB was given until May 8th to reply to the claim.
  • May 8th, no reply received from TNBB so Paypal, quite obviously, ruled in my favour. I received my refund for $31.45 CDN.
  • The Natural Beauty Box still has not shipped the April boxes.

The bottom line is that The Natural Beauty Box misrepresents itself and its products, lies to customers, censors critical comments, ignores customer complaints and refuses requested refunds. This was my experience and from what I've read, it's the experience of many more. The people running The Natural Beauty box are unprofessional and unethical. Anyone who is considering signing up for TNBB, don't. Anyone who is currently subscribed to TNBB, start your Paypal dispute process now. Don't wait on the word of TNBB or your dispute time limit will run out and you will be out of luck. You have 45 days from the date of your payment.

Finally, any bloggers who have links to The Natural Beauty Box on your pages, I encourage you to remove them or disable the links. We should not be promoting this company in any way or encouraging our readers to subscribe to this company. Enough people have been scammed by them. My only hope is that this post gets picked up by search engines and whenever anyone searches for reviews on THE NATURAL BEAUTY BOX, they come here.




Comments are now closed for this post. Please e-mail me with any comments or questions.

Comments

  1. Whoa! That is horrible and similar to what I went through! I got ripped off by not one but two of these shady companies. They are The Big Pink Box and MyGloss Finds Box. This started in early March too. I was going to put up a post about these "boxes" and how badly they conduct business, but I'm so fed up. I know for a fact now that the MyGloss one is a complete scam. What kills me is the owner emailed me a few times saying mistakes were made and then went as far as to say that she didn't realize I was in Canada and said they don't ship here, but because it was her mistake she would send me another box anyway. The payment was through Paypal and it went beyond the 45 days, so I'm screwed out of that money. I now know she deliberately stalled so that it would go beyond the 45 days and there would be nothing I could do. I only learned this after I contacted Paypal. She's a professional scam artist and found out some info on her and well she's got a questionable past. As for the other box, just yesterday she posted this huge apology to customers and I communicated with her, but I still feel she's giving me the run around. I'm not getting my hopes up!
    I'm sorry you had to go through all that, but now we now to stay away from these type of companies!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The late December box and the mother-daughter duo and their misrepresentation was it for me. I found them to be dishonest about the product and I don't think they will last much longer...

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  3. Whew! So glad I saw this! I almost signed up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad! And according to their Facebook page, TNBB STILL has not shipped April boxes. They are telling their subscribers they will be shipped "any day". I left a post saying "don't hold your breath ladies" and TNBB deleted my comment. They haven't changed at all.

      Delete
    2. They did eventually ship April and May boxes together, but now there have been no June, July, or August boxes all summer - and no word from the company. At least one supplier reports she was never paid for the samples she provided for July.

      Delete
  4. i had to go though my visa card to get refund for the box they didnt send to me. the company told me they sent to to me when they didn't

    ReplyDelete

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