Today I’m going to be talking about why I decided to cancel my Birchbox subscription. I subscribed to Birchbox in January of 2016 and my final box was the September 2016 box, which is a total of 9 boxes that I received from them.
In the beginning, I was obsessed with everything that Birchbox sent to me. I actually loved them so much that I unsubscribed to Ipsy in April because I was getting all of the samples that I needed (I ended up subscribing back to ipsy in May because I had seen that the April bag was awesome and I felt super left out lol).
I just want it to be known that this isn’t a bashing post on Birchbox. I loved a lot of the boxes they sent to me, and I’m not trying to shine a bad light on them at all. I’m just sharing my personal experience on what led me to unsubscribe. That said, here we go…
THE REWARDS PROGRAM ISSUE
I started becoming unsatisfied with Birchbox around July of 2016 (that is to say, more unsatisfied than the typical ‘oh dang my box sucked this month’ that can happen from time to time with subscription services).
The company wasn’t doing very well at the time and they had been losing a lot of money. This led them to get rid of their rewards program. Instead of getting $5 a month to spend in their Birchbox store (by reviewing the products sent to you), you got one award of $5 per year for reviewing samples, and the only way you could earn Birchbox points is if someone signed up through your link (or you had a shitty box and they gave you credit to make up for it).
I understand why Birchbox had to do what they did, they were basically handing out free full-sized high end products to people just for reviewing items. I can see how long-term this would be bad for the company, and a change would need to be made. However, why can’t you just call a thing a thing Birchbox? Instead of saying that they were making budget cuts, they covered it up with “you can still earn points in our store by referring your friends!” (If you have some time to kill, go read through the comments on their Facebook post announcing the rewards change lol).
My frustration came from the fact that they scrapped rewards altogether. Instead of doing something like ipsy (you get points for reviewing which you can redeem on the samples that ipsy chooses for that particular month), they just decided to screw over their subscribers by taking away the whole thing. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, Birchbox.
THE SAMPLE ISSUE
The rewards were the first irritation for me. What made me even more upset was when the samples started getting a budget cut as well. I felt like I was getting more and more shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, and face wash samples. There was only 1 or 2 actual makeup products every month, which isn’t why I had subscribed to them. Ipsy was sending me makeup brushes, nail polishes, mascaras, blushes, and lipsticks meanwhile I was getting yet another facial cleanser from Birchbox.
THE SAMPLE SHRINKAGE ISSUE
Along with getting crappy products, the sizes of the samples were getting smaller and smaller. Not only that, but I started to notice that the tubes of face wash and moisturizer were only 1/3 of the way full, and I was only getting 1-2 uses out of them. I understand that they’re called samples for a reason, they’re not supposed to be enough to last you months on end. I also understand that you’re only paying $10 a month for what you’re getting. All I’m saying is that Ipsy is giving me 3oz bottles of deep conditioner for my $10 while Birchbox is sending me .33oz of face wash over and over again.
CRAPPY PACKAGING ISSUES
When I first subscribed to Birchbox, they used to wrap the products in tissue paper and anything spillable came with a seal or wrapped in plastic wrap. That all stopped happening in about March. They included foam padding in the bottom of the box, but all of my products got jumbled and battered in shipping every month. No, it’s not Birchbox’s responsibility for what happens to your box in transit. But, like, if you packaged and sealed everything correctly to begin with, you wouldn’t have things breaking/leaking/ripping in transit.
THE BROKEN SAMPLE ISSUE
If you saw my August BB unboxing (if you didn’t, you can go see it here), you saw that this particular ManaKadar product arrived to me shattered to pieces. There was no bubble wrap around the powdered product, there was no individual box to protect the item. The only thing they had going for them was the fact that there was plastic wrap on it so that it didn’t explode all over the entire box. Judging by all of the comments on Facebook and YouTube, mine wasn’t the only one that arrived broken. Apparently nearly everyone who was sent this product had received it shattered to dust. I know that Birchbox had no way of knowing how delicate the product was before sending it, so that’s not really what bothered me about the situation…
…I did email customer service about the broken product, and Birchbox’s customer service is one of the best out there. The representative is always very appologetic, always gets the replacement item sent to you quickly, and always gets to your email in 1-3 days. I was sent a replacement quickly, but when it got to me, the invoice had someone else’s name and address on it. I get it, they had a lot of customers receive the broken item and they had a lot of replacements to ship out to a lot of people in a very short amount of time. But the fact that customer confidentiality wasn’t considered is terrible. Even worse is the fact that if I have someone else’s information on my invoice, someone out there has my name and address on their invoice. Someone has my information, and I have no way of figuring out who it is. Hopefully they’re trustworthy people and shredded it, but I’m never going to know for sure.
SPILLED AND STAINED FIASCO
In my very last Birchbox Unboxing (link here if you missed it), I showed that the purple shampoo Birchbox had sent me leaked all over my box, drenching everything and staining the box itself. Inconvenient? Yes. Huge deal? Not really. I emailed customer service and they sent me a new box with the same items. Problem solved. Except I had said to the customer service representative that I had no need or use for the blonde toning shampoo and conditioner samples they sent to me because I don’t have color treated blonde hair that would need toning, (naturally dirty blonde hair here) nor do I plan to stain my bathtub with purple products.
She basically told me to shove it. No, actually, her exact words were, “this shampoo is actually wonderful for all blonde types…this particular shampoo is an amazing product! It really gives your hair a whole new life.” and she sent me the exact same products that I had just told her I didn’t want or need. Did I get the $5 credit that I had emailed them looking for? Yes. Did she send me a scripted line and the exact same products I told her I didn’t want? Also yes. Either way, I guess whoever I decide to pass on the shampoo and two bottles of conditioner to will be happy to get them.
OVERALL JUST LIKING IPSY MORE
At the end of the day, I honestly just preferred Ipsy. I was being sent larger samples, I was being sent more makeup samples, and I was being sent samples that I was actually using and loving. If you go back and read my Birchbox vs. Ipsy posts, Ipsy was beating out Birchbox every single month. And while I only had that series going on my blog for a few months, I’d had Birchbox and Ipsy together for 8 total months, and probably 5 out of the 8 I preferred Ipsy to Birchbox. So in the end, I felt that the $10 I was spending on Birchbox could go to another subscription that I would like more.
At the end of the day, it was only $10. Not a big deal and definitely nothing to get upset over. If I’m unsatisfied with a service, I can plain and simple just take my money elsewhere. No harm done. ☺️
Again, this is my personal experience with Birchbox and all of the reasons I decided to cancel my subscription with them. I’m very happy with the subscription service I chose to replace them with, and at the end of the day, it’s just makeup.
I hope you enjoyed hearing why I cancelled Birchbox! Thanks for stopping by!!