The Parcel by Marie Claire Spring 2014 Edition – Review + Why I Am Not Happy!

Hi everyone,

As some of you might know, many months ago I shared a post about a new beauty subscription box by Marie Claire Magazine and was so excited about how amazing it sounded. After receiving a dispatch email this afternoon, letting me know that the Summer Edition of The Parcel by Marie Claire was on it’s way, I realised that I hadn’t shared my thoughts on the Spring Edition box! This was probably due to how unhappy I was after some disappointing experiences with regards to the box but I will get into that after I show you what the contents was for Spring.

the parcel by marie claire spring edition

  • OPI Nail Laquer in Chillin’ Like A Villain – $19.95. Received Full Size.
  • Lancome Vissionaire Advanced Skin Corrector – $97.00 for 30ml. Received 7ml Sample.
  • L’Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Purse Size Hairspray – $4.95. Received Full Size.
  • Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain in Parisian Passion – $25.95. Received Full Size.
  • Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Push Up Liner – $35.00 for 1.4g. Received 0.10g Sample.
  • Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara – $38.00 for 8.5g. Received 3g Sample.
  • Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner. $4.99 for 200ml. Received 40ml Samples.

I was really happy with the contents of the box! I think the mix of higher end to mid range to drugstore brands created a box with a lovely mix of products and I enjoyed that there was skincare, haircare, cosmetics and nails included which not only allows you to try lots of different types of products but it also means that if you were not, for example, a nail polish type of person, then there was still a large quantity of other beauty products there for you to try.

However, I was not impressed by how my The Parcel by Marie Claire Spring Box arrived…

After all the excitement and hype I had created around the box, I was greeted with a smashed nail polish bottle and the polish completely covering the rest of the contents of the box! First of all, the nail polish was placed at the edge of the box with absolutely no safety packaging or bubble wrap around it which I think was a really bad mistake on their part because it is obvious to assume that some bottles will definitely smash during transit. If other subscription boxes can at least provide some sort of cushioning and protection for a nail polish, I dont see why Marie Claire couldn’t have. The OPI Gwen Stefani nail shade was actually a gorgeous shade and the Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain shade in this damaged box was one that was a ‘me’ colour so I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to save them or anything in this damaged box. My replacement box contained an OPI shade from another line and not the Gwen Stefani line which was supposed to be included in the Spring Box. Others whose boxes weren’t damaged were also out of luck, receiving OPI shades from other collections and I also know of quite a few people who received boxes with a smashed  nail polish.

marie claire the parcel spring edition 2

The biggest issue I had with the box was the customer service (or there, lack of) that I received trying to resolve the damaged box issue. I received the damaged box on October 14th and that evening, I send off a message via the ‘Contact Us’ page of The Parcel’s website to let them know of my issue. On the evening of the 16th, I hadn’t received a response back and tweeted Marie Claire to which I received a message saying to call the Subscribe Today Customer Service Line (Subscribe Today is the company in charge of Marie Claire Magazine and The Parcel subscriptions). On the afternoon of the 17th after still not having received a reply to the message I sent via the website, I called customer service and after 10 minutes of waiting to be connected to a representative, I finally let them know of my issue and the representative told me that I needed to send the damaged box back to them and I would then be sent a replacement. I let them know that that would be impossible as although I had kept the box for 2 days waiting for a reply, I finally threw it out because of how strong the nail polish scent was but I did however have photos of the box if they required it. I was then put on hold while they spoke to their supervisor and was then told to email over my images as proof (of a damaged box) to their supervisor. I told them that I would them those straight away (to let them know to keep an eye out for the email because I wanted the issue to be resolved ASAP) and it was about 3:30 by then and I sent off the email. It says on their website that the phone line is open until 5:30pm so I assumed that the supervisor would’ve been able to get to my email in the 2 hours left in the day as I did state that the images would be sent over straight away but I didn’t receive any reply.

A day after this phone call, I received a reply to the initial message I sent via their website saying that my issue was being dealt with due to my phone call and therefore, I would not need any help from the email end of things. With no reply to my email sent to the supervisor, I called on the afternoon of the 21st to see what progress had been made and to also share how unhappy I was with the lack of communication. I asked for a refund (as I know of some individuals who were able to get a refund STRAIGHT AWAY on their first call who neither had to post back their damaged box or submit photos as proof) and was told I couldn’t because I had signed up for a yearly subscription. I let them know that I only wanted a refund on this specific box and not the whole payment I made for 4 boxes but the answer was still no. The representative finally then went to speak to the supervisor about the progress regarding my issue and came back telling me that I should expect a replacement box within 10 days. I asked why I hadn’t received a reply to my email and if I was going to receive a tracking number or email to confirm that the replacement box had been sent out but at that point, the representative was in a mood and not helpful at all. I was shocked to find my replacement box at my doorstep on the 23rd.

the parcel by marie claire spring edition 1

I am so disappointed and unhappy with the customer service I received. I think that the issue could’ve been entirely prevented very easily if the nail polish had come in some bubble wrap in the first place to minimise the chance of it breaking (my replacement box arrived with bubble wrap securely around the OPI nail polish). For it to take over 3 days to receive a ‘Contact Us’ response, 2 emails/messages I had to send plus 2 phone calls just to chase them up for any sort of communication is appalling, especially for a brand so well known and held in high esteem. I definitely dont feel as though there should’ve been so much hassle on my part, as a customer, to resolve such a simple issue but instead I had to spend time and effort to do so with very little help from them. I do regret purchasing a yearly subscription because of the hassle I had to go through as I wasn’t able to obtain a refund on this box and their poor customer service that I do not want to deal with ever again. The upcoming Summer Box contains a nail polish product and gosh, if it arrives without bubble wrap and is damaged, I just may lose it a little! A subscription box is a service and I think their customer service should be one of the top priorities for them. All I can say is, ‘Not Happy, Jan!’


What are your thoughts on the box and my experience? Am I being too harsh or am I justified in my thinking?

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