Dec. 22nd, 2010 11:26 am
elizalavelle: (BtVS - loathing)
[personal profile] elizalavelle
I've left this post open instead of friendslocking it so if you know anyone who is looking at ordering from Geeky Clean please feel free to direct them here and also to their Facebook page where negative reviews have started to go up as well. Buyer beware with this company.

I have done the impossible, I'm even less impressed with Geeky Clean than I was a couple of weeks ago.

The backstory to this is I made an order from them on Oct. 13th (exactly ten weeks ago.) Their site says 4-6 weeks for international delivery. That's pretty standard. But I got no confirmation of shipping or any notice at all from them after 4 weeks and so around the 5 week mark I started trying to reach them through their website to see what was going on with my order.

I recieved no reply to either of the two messages I sent into them about a week apart.

Then a friend who has used them for wholesale orders for her own business gave me the wholesale contact email to see if I'd get a response from there. I did. They had 500 emails backlogged (from what I was seeing online by then I bet most of them were concerns like mine - ordered in October and by December had no soap and emails were going unanswered) and the guy reminded me that they were a small company (husband and wife) and so things were very busy for them.

I understand that. But they're not so busy that his wife can't post on Twitter multiple times a day but somehow manage to leave out an update about them having a backlog of orders. They've also updated their site a few times, added new soaps and updated their Facebook, all without addressing the fact they had orders from October, both domestic and international, that were not being shipped due to difficulties on their end... but they were still taking new orders.

In fact they did a Black Friday special with fast delivery promised (I believe it was in time for Christmas but I didn't note it) and recently had a "order by Dec. 14th and have your order by Christmas" shipping promise on their site.

Really? Because I ordered 2 months earlier and I am not getting my soap by Christmas so how is that even possible?

Not only that but the response I got said that international orders were going out on Friday December 10th. I figured okay, I would not do a chargeback, they could still make it in time for holidays and this company seems to be trying to make things work so I'll be upset but wait for the soap to arrive.

My order just shipped, Dec. 22nd, with no word from them about the additional 12 day delay but now it certainly won't be here for Christmas and I've been left with a few days to scramble and find a way to replace the gifts until they arrive in January.

I sent them an email letting them know that it wasn't their products that have made me decide I would not be ordering from them ever again but it was their lack of customer service. I also said I'd be passing on this information to people who I knew so heads up - currently I'd recommend finding another place to order soaps from until they get themselves sorted out.

I think they're nice people with good intentions but they're in over their heads and until they learn to actaully communicate with their customers about actual shipping times and the delays that are happening then they're not worth ordering from.

They also made no effort to actually deal with the issue - I ordered many soaps, if it was just a few that were out of stock they could have emailed me to ask if I wanted it shipped in seperate packages (actually the shipping notice I recieved today said it might be in seperate boxes anyway so why they couldn't have sent some things earlier is a mystery to me. Unless they had none of what I ordered when their site said that it was all in stock.) They also could have emailed to say the order was going to be delayed to see if I still wanted it knowing it wouldn't arrive in time for the holidays. There was no offer of a refund, no offer of throwing in anything extra to make up for the lengthy delay, no offer of shipping it express to ensure that it arrives as soon as possible. Nothing to even indicate that they understood that they hadn't lived up to their end of the purchasing agreement.

I think it's entirely unreasonable for me to order a product that's listed as being in stock in Mid-October and for it to not even be shipped until 3 days before Christmas. Also I should note that this cost me $50 in shipping fees, so it's not as though I've paid $10 and am expecting a rush order.

**ETA** They also deleted the comments on their Facebook page about late orders. That makes me have less faith in them actually addressing the issue at all.

**ETA 2** Last night the reviews tab came off of their Facebook page. Not great. I understand it's tough to see people who are unhappy with the product and who are talking about wanting their money back but hiding the issue just means the next batch of customers go in unwarned without having a chance to see the feedback.

**ETA 3** I was contacted by Jess privately and she's asked that I keep the communication private. But I will say that she's trying to deal with the issue that I had which is a good thing to see.

Date: 2010-12-22 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've emailed Christopher and politely suggested they address the issue. I would hate to see them go under or bankrupt or anything. I believe she lost her job a while ago, which seems to me to be the perfect opportunity to embrace the web business whole heartedly and make it work.

I don't know if any of that is true though, I'm just speculating. I saw on the facebook page that people are starting to contact t he Better Business bureau in the States. That could be so disastrous for them.

I honestly hope they can pull it together. I love their stuff.

Date: 2010-12-22 08:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If they would just communicate they'd do okay, people can be patient if they know what's happening, but this is a pretty big communication failure. If it were just me then they'd also be fine but they seem to be having the same problems with orders in the US and just aren't able to keep up with emails or orders but aren't willing to limit the orders to what they can keep up with either.

I think they likely need to scale back if they can't afford to hire extra help right now and just make what they can make and when they're able to keep a smaller business balanced they can look into hiring some part time help. Even a teenager to answer the emails for minimum wage would likely be a huge help for them. Most emails probably require a form response so they can prep those and then only have to deal with the complex questions.

I was polite in my email to them, not particularly forgiving the second time around but I was polite and clear. I don't want to be mean and nasty because that's likely to make anyone just tune out and I think I have a good point to make about communication.

Of course I made that point when I replied to the email Chris sent me in early December and then they let my order sit for 12 more days past when they said it would ship. Once again no communication about that delay so I'm not feeling particularly heard by them right now.

I don't wish them ill but I also don't want anyone I know to be stuck in a similar position to me where I now have to make up 'IOU cards' as Christmas gifts instead of being able to give out wonderful presents. Hence posting this, and when I get home I'm going to link to it on Facebook (theirs and mine) not as a vindictive action against them but as a alert to anyone who's planning to order from them anytime soon. Hopefully they see this and take a moment to pause and reassess how they communicate with their customers and actually work to fix the problem this time around.

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Date: 2010-12-23 12:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I also had a problem with Geeky Clean. I ordered during their Black Friday sale. I never recieved an order confirmation email. After a week and a half I emailed them and @ replied them. No response. I sent another email- nothing. Then I twittered some more. Still nothing. When I saw that other people posted on their facebook about problems I filed a paypal claim. I needed these for a Secret Santa. They had 2 weeks to ship the order in time for when I needed it, and to not receive an update, or anything in that time period was disheartening. I saw the link to their blog post where they talked about the backed up emails and whatnot. Awful that they couldn't post about it on facebook or twitter. Instead, after looking at their twitter I saw that they were taking breaks to play WoW. Really? You have over 500 emails and you're twittering about playing a video game? I understand needing to take a break- but don't put that out there when there are angry customers.

In the end I did get my money back from filing a paypal claim. I would have much preferred the soap, but oh well.

I feel awful because I was so excited when I saw their Tardis soap that I sent friends and online people to their store. Many of them ordered and haven't gotten their items.

As far as contacting the BBB and whatnot. I did. I'm sorry but their actions were inexcusable as a business. They continued taking orders even when they knew they were being swamped and couldn't handle it. It would have taken a few seconds to send an update tweet and facebook status.

And then they deleted our comments on their facebook page? Wow. Not good business and I will never, ever, ever recommend their company to anyone. Ever.

Date: 2010-12-23 12:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's a shame that they couldn't figure out the customer communications. I don't read Twitter often but I scrolled back today and saw their posts about WoW and such. It's fine to take breaks, but it's not good business to post when you're doing that, it just gets people upset.

Deleting the Facebook comments was just not smart of them. Instead of addressing the issue they tried to hide it and likely just made more people even angrier.

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Date: 2010-12-23 04:30 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

Date: 2010-12-23 04:38 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
You my dear sir or ma'am do not understand that businesses rely on good customer service and communication to survive.

Date: 2010-12-23 04:40 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
If this husband and wife team wants to stay in business they need to learn how to run a business and what customer service is. People have legitimate complaints about the crappy service they received from Geeky Soap.

Date: 2010-12-23 11:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
First of all "your" is not the same as "you are." Please learn to at least flame me properly if you're going to do so.

Secondly I know they're not a huge company but if they can post up deals on their website they could also post that they have a backlog. I had no problem waiting, I had an issue with them choosing not to communicate the delay. I do believe they were entirely capable of that.
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Date: 2010-12-23 06:27 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I posted the above comment and I would like to ask the owner of this journal to please remove it. I was out of line posting a private email in a public place. Thank you.

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Date: 2010-12-23 06:27 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
They have now removed the reviews tab on their facebook.

Date: 2010-12-23 11:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I saw and I was not impressed. I understand the want to showcase that they are a good company but I sure wish I'd seen some of the negative reviews before buying from them. Hiding the problem is nothing like fixing it.

Date: 2010-12-23 06:37 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'm are sincerely sorry for poor shipping experiences that people have been experiencing. It's never been my intention to rip anyone off or try to "steal money". I'm an artist. I didn't go to business school. This is a hobby that got really big, and way too fast, and I am doing my damnedest to keep up with it the best I can. We have had several technical and financial hiccups that have caused us to delay shipping pieces. I DID address this through my blog, and several times though twitter. I'm actually looking to hire someone to deal with my emails because I just can't keep up with the questions. If I could afford to send soap AND refund..I would!!!! But I can't guys!!! We can barely pay our bills and the ability to hand out free product just doesn't exist for! We make MINIMAL profit doing this. I fight my husband daily to keep my prices as low as they are because I want everyone to be able to purchase them. I really do appreciate the business I receive. However if you really don't want to purchase from us again, THAT'S OKAY!! There are plenty of other soap makers out that that are organized and make neat products. and are two really cool soap companies. Buy from them.

Despite what comments I've read, I am not trying to lay a guilt trip on anyone for our tardy shipping times. I know it's a problem, I really do. I know we've got issues customer service wise, and we're taking a break in January for a work these issues out. Right now I'm focusing on getting out as many boxes as I can as fast as I can. You can call it a guilt trip if you want, but we have sacrificed our Christmas time and money year after year for this business. You can't tell me that I don't care. I work very very hard here, and to see all these negative comments feels incredibly personal, I can't help but be defensive.

Now I want you all to know I'm not walking away from this without taking advice from these posts. I know that things need to change, and husband and I are actively discussing what we're going to do so October-December never happens like this again. And I'm sorry if it makes people mad, but I reserve the right to edit the comments that are posted on my Facebook page. There are a some unhappy people, and I understand that. I will do everything I can possibly do to make them happy. But I'm not willing to discuss things like that on a public page when that is not the common experience with my business.

This is the only post I will be making here, because I do not believe in starting forum post wars. I appreciate that you all take this much interest in my business, and I'm truly sorry for the bad experiences. None of this was ever intended to happen this way, and will not be this way in the future. This was not written to be spiteful, mean, or bitter. It's simply a response that is needed and I'm trying to be as sincere as possible on what goes on here.

Have a great holiday, and please be safe!

Date: 2010-12-23 07:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A little communication can go a long way. People are generally very forgiving. A quick note (even a generic answer) to people that you are backlogged would satisfy most people. Some can never be satisfied 100%.

Too often I have seen the lack of communication backfire on people producing things. With no update or communication people will tend to think the worst.

I hate seeing the multiple excuses. One event or crisis after another that delays a run of parts or whatever.

I am not saying this about geekyclean but with other people where there was originally loads of enthusiasm for something offered for sale that eventually turned very nasty.

Hopefully Geekyclean can learn from this and come out stronger. The downside is you have lost some potential future customers.

Date: 2010-12-23 11:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You do have the right to edit your facebook page. I don't want to see people slamming you or being vicious. On the other hand the comments that came down made no mention of being ripped off. In fact I specifically said I didn't believe that anyone was being ripped off in my reply.

The problem is that taking away discussions and now deleting the reviews of your product takes away your customer's voice. And I'm sorry but seeing all of the problems that have come up tells me that while this may not be the most common experience it's not the most uncommon either.

I get that this was a hobby but you decided to run a business. What may need to be worked on is working to realize that negative comments about your business aren't personal. That's tough when you're a smaller company but it has to be done. I don't think anything negative about you as a person but I do think the business is being managed poorly right now.

I also don't expect to get my soap for free, but I do expect a company to try to address concerns and solve the problem. I did not make this post with the intention of pushing for free shipping/soap/other discounts etc. I put in a few sentences about possible solutions that could have been offered early on. The problem was that you had this problem for many customers so offering solutions would have been financially tough.

Which only goes to show that it's not an uncommon experience no?

Thank you for replying. I'm glad you're taking the time to get back to people. I wish that it had happened sooner.

Date: 2010-12-23 04:25 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
You do reserve the right to edit posts on your Facebook page but this is not YOUR Facebook page, it is your BUSINESS' Facebook page. As a business and not an individual, everyone who visits it has the right to see honest customer feedback presented before making the decision of whether or not to purchase your product.

Now let me say, I don't believe anything was done out of spite, by you or anyone else, and I'm willing to forgive the bump in the road that these past couple of months have been for you. I would suggest shutting the site down a week before Thanksgiving, completing all your outstanding orders, and building up a surplus of products before reopening for Black Friday, like what you did for GenCon.

Also, link to your blog on the GeekyClean website and Facebook page. I, like many, do not use twitter, and that is the only place I was able to find a link for it.

Sorry things got a little nasty, I hope this doesn't sour you on doing business with me again in the future.


Date: 2010-12-23 12:39 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

Date: 2010-12-23 01:04 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I paid $60 over a month and a half ago for something that still hasn't come. And despite emails to them, I still haven't received a response. I also run a small ONE PERSON business. In no way is the lack of communication up till a week before Christmas appropriate in any way. There was a legal contract that was created when we bought this soap. I realize life gets in the way and the holidays are crazy, but if there was something said earlier about backlogs and waits, people would probably not feel like they were scammed.

So go troll somewhere else.

Date: 2010-12-23 01:54 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
People are only going to hear/read what they want.

Several times it was posted that there was a backlog on orders. More than once I saw updates on twitter where she was asking her friends to come over and help her pack orders. (Offering to pay them with pizza from what I remember.) And she posted on her blog about it too. She communicated it in multiple venues and couldn't respond to emails because of the backlog of them. (Which she also talked about on twitter.) She can't afford to hire someone to 'help out', it is literally a husband and wife team running this out of their living room. He works and yes, she did loose her job, but she's working again now too. You're not buying soap from some big company, the two of them make all these soaps by hand in small batches.

I understand people are frustrated and upset. But try to imagine how insane this must be for her. She had a hobby making cool soap and then one day Wil Wheaton tweeted about it and overnight she's got a business that's growing faster than she ever expected. She's seriously doing her best and right now she's having to learn in a trial by fire kind of way and there's going to be some growing pains.

Just try to remember that this is a small operation. I know she sincerely loves doing this. Maybe deleting the posts from Facebook wasn't the best move, but when your business is you, and you alone, any negativity is going to feel personal. She's stressed out and didn't want to read the negative comments. Honestly if I were in her shoes I'd have done the same thing.

I get that people are upset about not getting presents in time to give them, and that stinks. But she really is trying to keep up as best she can. And she's not getting rich off this operation by any means. Her reason for making these soaps is the same reason you all wanted to buy them; for the love of all things geeky.

Date: 2010-12-23 02:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I actually can't find a link to the blog so it's entirely possible I missed out on reading updates there.

Twitter is busy and again, I could have not seen every update they made. But as they are a business if they were having problems those should have been on the business site. Expecting the customers to continually read their Twitter to know what's going on isn't reasonable. Especially as it's not a business only account and there are updates about playing WoW and such that I'm sure their friends are interested in, their customers, not so much.

I do respect that this is a small business and she's in over her head right now. However, thus far I haven't seen anyone being disrespectful towards her or towards her business. The only disrespectful person I've seen is the one who's trolling in the comments here trying to support them.

I didn't post this as an attack but as a heads up to people who are thinking of ordering from them. It's even more important now as other customer feedback is being eliminated. I sure wish I'd seen some of the problems before I ordered. It wouldn't have made me not order but I'd have contacted them first to see if they had resolved the issues... and as they aren't able to respond to their emails in a timely fashion I guess I'd have gotten my answer that way.

Date: 2010-12-23 03:09 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
First of all, if you are going to post on a blog, don't do it anonymously. If what you are saying matters, put your freaking name to it.

I am Kylee Lane of and I noticed my company was mentioned above by GeekyClean, hence my need to comment on this situation. (Yes, I noticed I was not mentioned negatively, and thank you.)

My point. I am seeing a lot of *GeekyClean is a small business, a husband and wife, blah blah blah...*

So am I. GC was taking orders WAY past when she should have and at any time she could have SHUT DOWN HER SITE. Instead she was pushing for more orders all the way up until Dec 14, even though customers were already concerned about where there stuff was! This entire situation is her fault.

The only reason I point this out is because I also run a small soap business with only my husband. A hobby turned business over night. You know what I did?? I gave up sleep this entire month and then, when I thought orders wouldn't make it in time, I put every last dime into returning money, shipping free product AND express shipping. This is my only income and I gave it ALL back to my customers. If what you do is important to you, DO IT RIGHT.

The situation really sucks for everyone and I sincerely hope it hasn't soured people on shopping with independent businesses and crafters.

Date: 2010-12-23 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for your feedback. I've heard from a few small business owners about this and am glad to see that most places pride themselves on customer communication.

I checked out your site and your soaps look fabulous, I'll recommend it to others.

Congrats on making it through the Christmas rush.
Edited Date: 2010-12-24 04:51 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-12-23 05:06 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
They have also deleted the comments that customers left on their blog asking where their orders were. Not good business at all.

Date: 2010-12-23 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I hear that the reviews section went back up on their Facebook account. That's a bit of progress at least. Hopefully it's a turning point in the idea of not hiding the problem but dealing with it openly.

Date: 2010-12-23 05:27 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

Date: 2010-12-23 06:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
No, no one ever did say that an order had to be made. That's again not the issue. The issue is that they were not communicating with their customers about the delays and once they started to get called on that those comments were removed so that future customers had no clue that their orders might also be delayed.

However, it sounds as though the reviews are going back up and are being dealt with which is a positive step forward.

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Date: 2010-12-23 05:51 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
The reviews are back up and she's addressed most of the 1-stars. This is definitely positive action.

Date: 2010-12-23 06:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's excellent news! I'm glad that's being dealt with :)

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Dear commenters and TROLLS

Date: 2010-12-26 08:47 am (UTC)
ext_97559: (Default)
From: [identity profile] - that is all.

Re: Dear commenters and TROLLS

Date: 2010-12-26 12:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks Em :) I think that you have a lot of good points about the reality of being in business for yourself. It's definitely a lot of work, more than I think most people see if they've not tried it themselves.

Like I've said above, I hope that this fallout (and while the claim on Twitter was that the problems all stemmed from two people who ordered in October from what I've seen is that it's been a lot more than that) makes them figure out what's been going wrong and how they can fix it. They do have lots of happy customers, I don't dispute that at all, so they just need to work to even out those odds.

Date: 2011-02-12 05:38 pm (UTC)
ext_11996: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I've been trying to get at the very least an email out of them since October 1st, with no luck. My order was placed before that. Now I see no updates from them anywhere. It wasn't a cheap order, either....

*not happy*

Date: 2011-02-13 11:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Keep trying. They did respond once before I posted this but in the end to actually get them to respond and take action it took me posting this entry and linking to it on their Facebook and on my Twitter. I felt badly about having to do so but if they had just answered my emails they'd have been fine.

I'd also suggest leaving a review of the service you received on their Facebook page and continuing trying to contact them. My experience was they were trying to just ignore me and hope that I went away. As a paying customer I refuse to do so.

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Date: 2011-02-19 03:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They've updated their blog in regards to this:

Date: 2011-02-19 12:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank goodness - honest communication!

Well almost as they're still blaming the Christmas rush time period and from what I've seen the problems started even before that.

Still it looks as though people will have the option to get refunded/their soaps shortly and if they can follow through on that it's a good thing.


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Elizabeth Jamieson

January 2013


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