Birchbox Canada Update - Ending February 2016

Birchbox finally confirmed by e-mail what we've all known since Friday (click here for a refresher). They are putting "Canadian operations on hold". The last box will be March February 2016. The e-mail cites the current exchange rate and high shipping costs, which completely makes sense. Canadians are paying $14.95 CDN per month to receive the same products and service as US customers (paying $10 US a month, or about $14 CDN). When you think about it, we are getting a deal. The exchange rate sucks and Canada Post parcel shipping is outrageous. I get where you're coming from Birchbox. I wish instead you would offer Canadian shipping through your US site (many of us are willing to pay!), but I get it.

What I don't get is why you are not offering refunds to annual subscribers. Instead of refunds for unused portions of annual subscriptions, Birchbox is offering credits in the form of Birchbox Points to be used in the store before April 30, 2016 (after which I presume they are gone forever).

Read the full e-mail here:

I know that many people will be satisfied with this outcome, but I'm not.  If Birchbox isn't going  to honour the year-long contract I paid for, I want a refund. Forcing us to spend the remaining balance in their store doesn't seem right. I called my credit card company to see what my options are. The AMEX rep said they could try to dispute the charge as "products not received" since I signed up for a year and as per the Terms & Conditions, I am supposed to receive a full year of boxes  By offering store credit instead of boxes, Birchbox is changing the terms. For those curious, the Terms & Conditions are here. I e-mailed Birchbox about the refund option, but have yet to hear back. UPDATE 1 - See below. Birchbox is now offering the choice of points or a refund!
UPDATE 2 - See below. Birchbox is now offering prorated refunds to all annual subscribers!

As an aside, speaking to both VISA and AMEX about this situation made me less inclined to EVER sign up for a year-subscription with any company. When it comes to subscription services, there isn't a lot of protection for the consumer unless the company closes shop and runs, and even then it's a huge hassle.

Are you a Birchbox Canada subscriber? How do you feel about this news?


Update 1: Birchbox has posted an edited version of official announcement on their Facbeook page. Click here to see. The wording is identical to the e-mail, aside from a few words.
For all Birchbox subscribers, February 2016 will be your last shipment.
If you have a monthly subscription, you will no longer be billed after February. If you have an annual subscription, you will be credited the remaining value of your subscription in Birchbox Points or a refund.
The words "or a refund" have been added to the end. But to get a refund, you have to e-mail info@birchbox.ca and request it. If you don't request a refund, they will automatically credit your account with points. The edited Facebook announcement also says February will be the last box, not March.

Update 2: This morning (Feb 3) Birchbox finally e-mailed all subscribers about the situation. The e-mail is pretty well identical to what has been posted, except instead of offering Birchbox Points or a refund, they are giving everyone prorated refunds for the remaining boxes owing.
The full e-mail can be viewed here. This is the best case scenario outcome!


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

Comments

  1. It's sad as I love Birchbox but you're right, with our low dollar and expensive shipping it's not surprising. I can't see any person being okay with "store credit" for an annual subscription. That's garbage. if you can't provide the product, refund the money. plain and simple. makes me glad I'm too indecisive to ever commit to a full year.

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  2. Yes email them! I just heard back and got my year sub. returned to my credit card not in points!

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    Replies
    1. oh good to know! I really don't want to deal with the c/c dispute process.

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    2. yes I thought it was going to be harder too - it was surprisingly easy!

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  3. I am on a month to month however I have a gift card with them. I suppose they will still honor it...

    The last few Birchboxes have been less than stEller so from that point of view it's okay.

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  4. I just emailed them too. I will see if I hear back. I'm especially disappointed that they actually accepted my annual subscription on November 28, 2015, when this must have already been under discussion. I really don't want to get points, because I have only received 2 boxes so far, and neither has been very impressive.

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  5. Thank you so much for keeping us updated, this has been very helpful. I will also be looking for a refund on a year's sub.

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  6. I was always thinking of joining birchbox but I guess I'll never know if I'd like it. With the low dollar, do you have any recommendations of boxes that charge in Canadian dollars? My $25 subscriptions are now costing $40+.

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    Replies
    1. If you are looking for a beauty box, the only remaining affordable option is Top Box. $12 CDN per month plus tax. They provide 4 samples per month. You can check out my reviews here: http://cdnboxaddict.blogspot.ca/search/label/topbox

      I have been unsubscribed since April 2015 though...

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  7. Thanks for the update, I did not know about this, as I was not noticed by the company. Not sure why? I got my AMEX bill yesterday, my box subscription has been refunded on my credit card.

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  8. Any word on them starting back up again? Birchbox was my favourite.

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    Replies
    1. I haven't heard anything and it's not likely with the Canadian dollar so low.

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    2. My wish would be for them to operate in the US and ship to Canada, like Ipsy does.

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