Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Battle of the Brands: TopBox vs LuxeBox

This is a review that is coming much earlier than expected. I had originally planned to get a monthly subscription to both TopBox and LuxeBox for a couple of months, decide on my favorite and then cancel one subscription and keep the other.

To those who have been living under a rock and never heard of these subscription boxes, you basically purchase a subscription and get a package in the mail every month with samples in it. I love me some samples, so this sounded like a really attractive idea. These two are the Canadian equivalent of a BirchBox or Julep Maven subscription (YouTube these babies if you want a better idea of what they are).

I believe the LuxeBox has been available in the US for quite some time and has recently realized that we Canadians like to get prezzies in the mail too (YAYYYY). On it's Twitter account ( @Loose_Button ) it promises "3-5 Deluxe Samples" where as on the website it promises "4-5 Deluxe Samples." It costs $12 per month for the subscription and can be cancelled any time. They also offer 3 months at a time or a yearly subscription that gives you two boxes free. I will likely opt for this option soon, but with Christmas coming and having never experienced one of these boxes I wanted to test it out first. Payments cannot be refunded for these options (but they can be cancelled at the end of the term, so long as the next payment hasn't been processed). I managed to create an account and finalize my subscription in about two minutes, and it could have been less if I didn't use my credit card so much the numbers are almost illegible. I also managed to get the December box!!

TopBox on the other hand is a relatively new Canadian company, also offering fabulous mail prezzies to Canadians. Their website promises 4 samples with every box and runs at $10 per month. I believe that they currently only offer monthly subscriptions and can be cancelled at any time. Up until I signed up attempted to sign up for one of these boxes I thought the TopBox would likely be the clear winner for $2 less and guaranteed 4 samples. I was sorely mistaken. When I went to the website the December box was sold out, but the January box was still available. This didn't bother me in the least, so I began creating my account. I entered my personals with no problem and chose to pay with PayPal, as my credit card wasn't with me at the time. It gave me a strange error, so I checked my e-mail to see if I had been invoiced and tried again, this time with my credit card in hand. After entering my details again and this time choosing to pay with credit card it gave me the same error. When I went to my account home page it showed THREE subscriptions, none of which had an invoice attached to it.

I proceeded to contact customer service and told them what my dilemma was. They promised to look into it and told me people had been having trouble with that page on FireFox. I told them I was using IE and asked them to please cancel two of the pending subscriptions. They e-mailed back again quickly saying they would be back in touch soon. Nine days went by and I still heard nothing from the company. So, I e-mailed again asking for an update and stating that I was anxious to make sure I didn't miss out on the January box. The only reply I got was, "There are no problems with the website. The January and February boxes are sold out, so you will have to wait for March." Ummm... excuse me?

I promise I am no diva... But if I successfully signed up for January and was unable to complete my transaction due to an error in the website I feel like I should be given the January box and an invoice. So, long story short, I e-mailed customer service back, told them I was no longer interested in trying their product and requesting that all pending subscriptions be cancelled. I haven't heard back again yet, but I certainly don't recommend TopBox. If it's a nightmare trying to GET an account, imagine how terrible it will be trying to CANCEL an account? It'll be like those book a month boxes my mom used to get in the 90's!!

I'll update you when I get my first LuxeBox (in December might I add...)

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