April 26, 2012

My Awful Experience With Julep Maven

WARNING - This will be a long, boring, negative and just plain rude post. If you are not into that or simply don't care, please skip it, thank you.
I have never felt the need to write a blog post about a negative experience with a company before but this time, I have to let it out and warn my fellow beauty junkies about it. So it all started with that 1¢ promo. I tell you - please never, ever get suck in such marketing ploy. I know, I should have known better, still, being the little curious girl that I am, I simply could not let such an amazing deal pass.

So I went at it. I ceated an account at Julep Maven, browsed the boxes of colorful nail polishes with excitement, finally made my mind, then entered my credit card info. That is when the first incident happened, which should have raised my red flag. I kept getting the same error message that my credit card number and my address did not match. Hmm, what? I kept trying maybe five times with my card, then I tried with my mother's card, but I got the same error message, even though after maybe three times, it finally worked.

Josianne also had this problem: "No credit card would work for me, they said that the address didn't match"

Some days later, my mother got a call from the bank about some unusual activity on her credit card - they asked her if she could confirm that she had really made three 1¢ transactions. When my mother received her credit card statement some times later, she noticed that she had been, in fact, charged  three times for the 1¢ box, which, strangely, is the number of tried it took me to finally succeed. Notice something strange here? Now let's get things straight - I could not care less about 3¢ instead of 1¢ for a box worth around $40, but if Julep does it with such a small amount, don't you think they might do it as well with an higher amount? My doubts have been confirmed when Josianne told me that one of her friend has been charged seven times the normal price of a box ($19.99) on her credit card, and that it took about a week for her to finally get a refund.

I immediately emailed Julep regarding this issue (I was already in contact with Micah as I had questions about the 1¢ promo)

And, of course, these are the answers I got. What was I expecting? Also, why did I get two answers from two different persons at a two-days interval?

They probably knew I would not go through all this trouble for 2¢, and they were right. But it does not stop there.

After trying two Julep Maven boxes (Classic With A Twist Intro Box that was sent to me for consideration to review and Boho Glam Intro Box that I got with the 1¢ promo), I decided that Julep nail polishes were OK but surely not worth $19.99 a month, so I politely asked them through email to cancel my account.

Please note that at this time, I had no idea that I had to call their office to cancel.

Their answer

Since Micah told me I could call their office after business hours, that is what I did the day after, on March 15. I made sure to leave all of the required info in order for them to be able to cancel my account. I was expecting a confirmation, at least by email, but I haven't heard from them since then, so I assumed my account had been cancelled.

But, on March 27, surprise, surprise! The March box was coming my way!

I rushed to email them regarding this issue through their website, hence why I can't include a screenshot of my message, but basically I explained them that I had left a message on their voicemail at the office on March 15 to cancel my account but that I had not heard from them since and so I assumed my account was cancelled, but I was still charged for the March box.

Their "answer" (because they don't really answer anything)

So they are basically ignoring my problem and even want me to pay a $4.95 restocking fee to return the package (I have never heard from a restocking fee from any company before?!), or exchange it for a store credit. Click here to read their return and exchange policy.

They did not answer to this email and I'm starting to get slightly annoyed...

...so I make a second phone call at their office and leave a second message on their voice mail. Yes, I was a bit rude but at this point, I could not care less. Nobody f**** with me!

The day after, on March 29, despite having left for a second time all of the required info to cancel my account, I get a message on my voice mail from someone at Julep Maven, saying something like this "Hi, it's **** from Julep Maven and I'm calling regarding a message that was left at our office yesterday. Please call me back, I can be reached at this number [...]" Hmm I don't think so? Why would I waste my time again to call a second time?

I wrote them another email

While waiting for their answer, I was getting angrier by the minute and of course, I had to vent on Twitter. The people behind Julep Maven's Twitter have tried their best to help and I do think it's because of them that my account finally got cancelled. They told me I should get an email from the CS team regarding this issue and I finally did!

The cancellation confirmation

The email that shortly followed - they were still ignoring my complaints and wanted me to pay for the March box!

My answer

Wow, it was about time!

Wow, they finally understood! Is it wrong that I was still expecting apologies that I never got? But wait, it's not over yet...

I hurried to email them when I received the box...

Their answer, which I received 4 days after

Hmmm excuse me, what? This was not clear at all and I hope nobody has been fooled by this! Their return policy has since been modified with this clause...

Another email from them, on the same day

Of course, now I can't blame them for this. But note the part where she says "the check should be mailed out by the end of the week" - I waited and waited for this check that came only yesterday, April 25, and you know what? The check is dated from April 19! I highly doubt they are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience.

I was already unsure about all of those monthly boxes subscription services, but I have never, ever experienced such an awful customer service from any other company before, and after my little investigation, I can confirm that I'm not the only one who had problems with them.

Sheila from Maddy Loves

I won't quote everyone because some were not OK with their statement going public and I fully respect this, but I personally find it very important to warn my fellow bloggers about such companies. Please note that I have been told by a few other bloggers that everything went great for them and that's good!

Lovely ladies, please be careful and I hope I won't have to write such a negative post anytime soon. Feel free to share this post to help me raise awareness about such an awful customer service!


  1. omg gaby thats awful :-( sorry you had to go through all of that.

  2. Merci pour le lien!

    Je crois vraiment que Julep devrait améliorer leur service à la clientèle, ça fait broche à foin pas mal!! Ils vont peut-être le réaliser en voyant ce post!

  3. wow what a palava you went through. Though if its anything like the company I work for it has to go through several procedures and departments before any money is paid out but thats no good to you as a customer I am just glad that you sorted it all in the end.

    Becky’s Makeup and Beauty

  4. Wow, I hate shady companies.Thanks for the post!

  5. I tried out the 1 cent promotion as well, and after my first box I didn't think it was worth $20/month, so I called and cancelled.

    Cancelling was pretty quick, she just asked me for my name and e-mail and why I was cancelling, and it was done - I recieved a confirmation e-mail a few minutes later.

    I've heard of a re-stocking few with some websites, but it is a bit ridiculous, especially since you cancelled before it was even sent out.

    It sounded like they wanted to fix the problem, but it wasn't that much of a priority for them.

    I'm glad you sorted everything out though.

    Did you end up getting the 2 cents refunded? I would of, especially since she said it looked like your account only got charged once. There must be a glitch in their system if they didn't see the other two charges, but they INDEED went through.

    1. Hi Arezu I know this post was quite some time ago, but if you see this I have a question about yoir experience. When you called in and cancelled, and recieved the cancel email, did they still charge your card afterward?

  6. Wow. Well, I can guarantee that they won't be getting my business. Just like the company Ciate. They have been treating bloggers like crap recently. If your customer service or company sucks, you can forget getting my money! I'm sorry you went through all of that, but thank goodness after all of that time that it finally worked out!

    Also I've awarded you the Blogger Appreciation Award on my blog, just to let you know! :)

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  8. That is just horrible horrible service. I had the same sort of issue with urban og when buying shoes they ignored my request and sent with ups when I requested USPS due to the brokerage fee's finally after weeks of campaigning against them they issued me a full refund and told me to keep the product and I also got ups to wave the fee's . It does go without saying if you threaten them with social media bad publicity they will back down and cater to the client as they don't want the bad rep. Good for you and thank you for this review I was almost about to subscribe to them but not now.

  9. I had heard from a few other people that Julep makes it VERY difficult to cancel your subscription. One of the reasons I did not take advantage of the 1 cent offer was because I saw that you can only cancel via phone, not online. Usually this is a tactic that companies use to retain customers by having skilled call center agents who will try to talk you out of cancelling and I HATE dealing with 'retention' agents. Thanks for your honesty, and sorry for your troubles.

  10. I'm sorry that you had such a horrible customer service with Julep.
    I managed to call their number and cancel after the 1cent box without a problem. I just generally dislike having to call to cancel anything because it can sometimes can very lengthy.. and it makes me feel obliged to stay subscribed just to avoid the hassle of talking to someone who may or may not be persuasive.

    Judging by the emails they sent you, they were generally just rude about the whole refunding issue. It was their error so it would only be wise to waive the refunding fee and the shipping fee back to them from the very beginning.

    Glad that you managed to share this story though, will definitely pass it around to some of my friends who were thinking about getting the one cent box promotion.

    1. Hi Victoria this post was from a long time ago, but I have a question about your experience since it is similiar to mine. After the cancellation email, was that the end to your boxes completely? I'm worried that they will still charge me (scared from reading all the negative service from julep). Thanks!

  11. I had the same problem Gaby! I was hella pissed. It took me a little over a week to finally get someone on the phone to cancel. I had told them I didn't want my April box and to please refund me my money. They told me they couldn't unless they got the box back and I had to pay that restocking fee! Plus the money wouldn't be put back on my card but rather credit at there store! It took me forever and I just kept the damn box and cancelled. I WON'T be going back to them at all!!! I'm sorry this happened to you.

  12. thanks for the warning ive never heard of this company but definitely won;t ever be purchasing anything from them!

  13. That sounds like a really horrible experience! :( Xx

  14. theres nothing worse than bad customer service !!!

  15. That's terrible! I absolutely hate when you receive a reply to an email ignoring any questions you've asked. So infuriating!! Hope you get your money back soon xx

  16. Wow that's really shady! It sucks when a company does something like that. :/

  17. It's sad that it happen to you. I ordered from them once and when I wanted to cancel they were pretty rude too asking why I want to cancel. They keep trying to persuade me into not canceling the subscription. Luckily, the lady was nice enough to quickly cancel it or I would have been charge another month.

    I don't think I will order from Julep Maven anymore. Their products are definitely not worth $19.99 a month:)

  18. Awww, hugs! They need to work on their website if it does that kind of crap to customers' credit cards! It's just not smart business.

  19. oh my god that's awful! shame on them! i recently experienced bad customer service to so i know how your feeling there!
    i really hope it's all been resolved now though, i hate companies like that!


  20. ah julep moi j'avais payé mon premier box 5$ et j'ai attendu 1 mois et demi pour le recevoir puis comme je ne le trouver pas interessant pour20$ et bien j'avais annuler par e mail et je n'ai pas de probleme mais c'est vrai que les contacter par telephone c'était mission impossible personne ne répond et pour tout te dire je pense qu'ils font ca car il y a pleins de personnes qui veulent juste profiter 0.01$ le box et ils ont raison si ca ne les arranges pas alors ils ont qu'arreter d'offrir ce genre de promtion ils sont vraiment des cons.

  21. All I have to say is shame on them!!!
    THnak you for sharing thid with us.
    I will NEVER buy the Julep Box.

  22. Merci pour ce post très bien documenté. Ce n'est pas négatif, tu rapportes des faits qui sont ma foi, très troublant. Du coup j'ai envie de tout annuler de cet abonnement. Un seul mot me vient en tête: racket...

  23. Ok I am not laughing at this but it's kind of funny they are that confused! lol like WTF!? and you know what I had that problem too, I had been emailing them and tweeting them as well in February I believe and they sent me a package twice and wanted me to pay for the second one as well. I also had a triple 1 cent charge on my card.. I am going to go check my credit card and see if that was the only thing charged.
    I am glad you got it cancelled and I am very shocked they have done this with quite a few people =(

  24. thank you so much for writing this. I have been on the fence about them for a while but the $20 price tag (I stay in the $10 area) was keeping me away. I know that every single monthly mailer program has issues but I haven't seen anyone have the problems that you're having!

  25. Oh no! I placed my 1cent order last week. what shall i do?! I dont want to get it anymore!!

  26. Je viens de relire tout ça et mon dieu seigneur qu'ils font ça compliqué. Ils ont l'air d'être 3000 dans cette compagnie.

    Rien pour aider ma cause, je déteste vraiment le concept des beauty box et vraiment je vais parler de toi à mes lectrices, juste pour backer mes dires...

  27. You are not the only one who had an awful experience. I know of MULTIPLE beauty bloggers who have been lured by the Julep subscription and, after discovering that they did not feel it was worth it, basically went through hell and back to cancel. A few of them are still fighting to get refunds even months after their initial requests. It seems that those who receive actual results (cancellation & refunds) are the ones who make public (via blogs, youtube, etc) their awful experiences. I know that I will not subscribe to them myself since so many of my friends have had such negative experiences.

  28. J'ai eu une mauvaise expérience aussi avec Julep.

    Ma carte ne fonctionnait pas, donc j'ai essayé avec celle de mon copain... On a été chargé environ une dizaine de fois mais au moins ils m'ont remboursé tout de suite. Je leur ai écrit car ça me disait aussi que mon adresse ne fittait pas avec les deux cartes... je savais que c'était un problème de leur côté et non du miens.

    Ils m'ont répondu de vérifier avec ma banque malgré le fait que je leur ai déjà dit que j'avais déjà vérifié avec ma banque et que j'ai même essayé avec 2 cartes. Donc je leur ai réécrit en disant que j'avais vérifié comme mentionné. Ils m'ont demandé d'appeler pour faire la transaction. Je leur ai répondu que comme je ne parle pas anglais, j'allais laisser faire et ne pas commander.

    Ensuite je reçois un e-mail pour me dire que ma boîte est en chemin... Euhhhhhhh??? Je leurs réécris pour indiquer que je n'ai jamais confirmé d'achat et que je ne comprends pas pourquoi je reçois une boîte...

    Ils me réécrivent qu'ils ne voulaient pas que je manque l'offre alors ils ont pris la décision de m'envoyer la boîte et que JE DOIS LES TÉLÉPHONER POUR PAYER MA BOÎTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! QUOI!!!

    Comme ils m'ont donné un service de merde et que je trouve ça innaceptable d'envoyer une boîte sans me le demander, je n'ai pas répondu. J'ai reçu la boîte et je n'ai plus jamais entendu parler d'eux, et tant mieux. Merci pour la boîte gratuite Julep. Je ne me sens pas mal quand je vois autant de message sur des "crosses" qu'ils font comme ça.

  29. Oh hell no!! What awful customer service!! Thank you for making us aware of this.

  30. I guess if something is too good to be true we should all be wary. I wonder how much money this has actually cost you in time, phone calls and stress too?

    You'd never know there was a recession on in the world if companies can still give rubbish customer service!

  31. sorry that you had such a terrible experience. I haven't encountered any problems with them yet. I still recommend the promo to friends. But I know that most of them only want the 1cent box, so I tell them the exact date they need to cancel/skip so that they don't get charged. I really hope that I don't encounter the same problem as you did, since they are still in my good books.

    <a href="http://www.nailartcouture.blogspot.com>Nail Art Couture</a>

  32. THANK GOD I NEVER ORDERED! I made an account because of the initial hype over the brand but decided I didn't need the monthly subscription after all. Sorry you had to go through this. These Julep people are a sorry mess. I'm surprised they managed to get themselves stocked at Sephora. I'll just be avoiding them generally all the same. I think you did everyone a service by talking about this.

  33. Glad to see I am not the only one having problems with julep ! My Goodness they need to step it up! Check out my issue here : http://romanianbutterfly206.blogspot.ca/2012/04/julep-bad-customer-service.html

  34. Ishhh je suis contente de ne pas m'être abonnée finalement! Je vais partager ton article sur ma page.

  35. Après quelques recherches suite à mon expérience désastreuse avec Julep Maven, je tombe sur ton blog! Je suis outrée, c'est EXACTEMENT ce qui m'est arrivé!!!! Faisons-leur mauvaise presse...

  36. Thank you for writing this review! I was hesitant to order the penny subscription cause I know the cancelling can be difficult. I think it must also have to do with luck, I'm guessing it's due to chance if it charges you multiple times and whether or not I call during off hours.

    Very helpful (:

  37. I know this post is old, but I wanted to say I had a terrible experience with this company also. Very similar in the back and forth of emails all with them unwilling to take responsibility for their actions. I am also Canadian I wonder if they just don't value us Canadians for some unknown reason. I've read lots of bad accounts on this company and should have headed those as warnings. Thanks for this blog post. Cheers

  38. I know this post is old, but I wanted to say I had a terrible experience with this company also. Very similar in the back and forth of emails all with them unwilling to take responsibility for their actions. I am also Canadian I wonder if they just don't value us Canadians for some unknown reason. I've read lots of bad accounts on this company and should have headed those as warnings. Thanks for this blog post. Cheers

  39. I know this post is old, but I wanted to say I had a terrible experience with this company also. Very similar in the back and forth of emails all with them unwilling to take responsibility for their actions. I am also Canadian I wonder if they just don't value us Canadians for some unknown reason. I've read lots of bad accounts on this company and should have headed those as warnings. Thanks for this blog post. Cheers

  40. I'm really unhappy with Julep right now. A main feature is that they send a reminder email every month before they charge you and send your box out - a major selling point I would think, no? Well after my intro box last month, I've been waiting and waiting for their email telling me what is going to be in next month's box. After a while I forgot about it, and noticed my credit card has been charged on the 27th. I emailed them straight away to say I never received their email and didn't have the opportunity to skip the month or choose a different box. They ignored me for 4 days (during which time my box was shipped - and I don't even know what's in it!!) until I emailed again. Their response has been to say that it's my fault for not logging in on the 20th to check out the next month's boxes. I told them this was unacceptable, and that they could either provide me a full refund and I would send the box back, or I would dispute with the credit card company and they would lose me as a customer. They basically said the same - too bad, so sad. What the H kind of customer service is this? Their business model is built on hoping people forget to skip/cancel memberships. Failing to send a reminder email is, in my mind, a fairly big deal. Even if I were wrong, it's in Julep's best interests (and I believe most other companies would do this) to just credit me for this month's box. They want to shoot themselves in the foot, that's fine - disappointing as there were some products I wanted to purchase from their site but they have lost me forever. And considering that they think word of mouth is their best advertisement, I'm doubly appalled at the way I've been treated!

  41. I called to cancel and no one was picking up for a week! It was VERY annoying! I left two voicemails and no one called me back. I was calling the "delete your account extension number," so instead I tried to call the different extension about making an order. GUESS WHAT! Someone picked up the phone and I told her I wanted me account immediately and that I've been trying to delete it for a week. I told her that I was frustrated. I wasn't nasty, but I know I sounded annoyed and frustrated. She immediately sent me the confirmation e-mail that my account was deleted. I honestly don't think the "delete your account extension" is a real line!

  42. I never post comments on blogs, twitter or even facebook...but I am so mad at Julep that I have to do so now. After having the same type of experience as everyone else - no email followed by an unwanted shipment followed by horrendous "customer service" - I went online to see if it was "just me". Obviously I was not alone. I do not understand how this company is in business with such terrible service along with products that really aren't much better. I hope that anyone who reads your posts stays far away from them!!!!

  43. Hi Arezu this post was quite some time ago, but I have a question about your experience. After the cancellaton email, were you still being charged for next months boxes?