Oct 042017

Breaking Up With ButcherBox

Breaking Up With ButcherBox

I was first introduced to ButcherBox earlier this year when I was sent a box for review. It’s on my previous blog and you can read about it here (and get a recipe!).  I loved it!  Being in Northern Colorado that is close to Wyoming this area still has some ranch land.  However, finding grass-fed and pastured beef isn’t all that easy.  At least, I haven’t been able to find a reliable farmer who consistently has meat.  Purchasing a half or quarter cow isn’t an option for us right now because we don’t have that kind of freezer space.

So after our first experience with ButcherBox, Scott and I decided that it would be worth the investment to sign up for delivery each month.  I signed us up to get a box that contained beef, chicken, and pork.  We got this each month and looked forward to our delivery!

The biggest noticable difference from when I was shipped a box for review and when I signed up, is the choice of delivery service.

The box I was sent for review arrived via FedEx.  It arrived on time and arrived in great condition.  When I signed up for the service, the boxes arrived via OnTrac shipping.  I was extremely disappointed when I saw this because I have not had great experiences with third party shippers.

Because the meat is frozen and shipped with dry ice, the package is supposed to arrive at least 2 days after it was picked up by the shipping company.

With OnTrac our packages consistently arrived very late.  We usually received our package on a Thursday and it wouldn’t arrive until like 8pm that evening.  That’s late and really pushing the shelf life of the dry ice at that point.

This was every month, the package would arrive super late.  However, we loved ButcherBox, so we were willing to overlook that.

What pushed us over the edge is when we got a package full of rotten meat.  Yeah.

OnTrac was supposed to deliver the package on a Thursday, like normal.  We did not get the delivery until the following Monday.  FOUR DAYS LATER.  The meat was thawed, rotten, and we could smell it before we even opened the box.

Not only was the package late, OnTrac repackaged everything, I’m sure because the thawed meat was leaking through the box.

A normal ButcherBox package is in a clearly labeled ButcherBox with their logo all over it and that box is wrapped in plastic.

OnTrac repacked the ButcherBox shipment in an OnTrac box, printed out a new delivery label from OnTrac, and repacked everything.  With a typical ButcherBox shipment you get a paper invoice along with recipe cards telling you about the cuts of meat and a recipe for that cut.  None of these were included in the repacked box.

ButcherBox wants you to contact them via email instead of calling them.  They ask that you take pictures so that they can see the issue along with being able to send those along when they file a claim.  Scott and I took pictures of everything and sent off an email explaining what happened.

It took over a week before ButcherBox replied to the ticket.  I emailed back and forth with the representative and ButcherBox decided to send out a replacement box.  I specifically complained about OnTrac and our history with getting packages late from them.  I was told that there were no other delivery options for my area.

Uh, what?

The following week, I got a shipping notice telling me that the replacement box was on the way and I should get it in two days.

Y’all, can you guess what happened?

The box arrived days late, again.  It was repacked by OnTrac, again.  It was full of rotten meat, again.

Seriously, guys, I can’t even.

I emailed customer support, again. Included pictures and explained that we got a package of rotten meat, again.

It took customer service a week to get back in touch with me.  I asked for a refund and cancelled my subscription.  Customer service refunded my money and told me to have a good day.  That was it.  A few days later I was sent an email asking me to rate the customer service.  When I clicked on “Bad, I’m not satisfied.”, that link sent me to a page that said this ticket is closed and rating unavailable.

Ooookay then.

On both occasions, I asked them to submit a claim with OnTrac because this is money out of their pocket but it’s also a waste of quality meat.  That’s hundreds of dollars wasted because the delivery company they decided to go with can’t meet their commitment.  I mean, ButcherBox is paying for this service, I would think they’d want to check into it.  Apparently, not?

My issues with this whole situation aside from getting rotten meat delivered to my door:

  1. Taking over a week for customer service to respond isn’t OK.  Not when you’re dealing with something as expensive and as perishable as meat.
  2. Not taking the issue seriously enough.  I felt like customer service didn’t really care that the package arrived super late and I was stuck with rotten meat.  TWICE.
  3. I wanted to continue with my membership as long as I could get the package via a different shipper. I was told that wasn’t an option. Which to me means that ButcherBox got the cheapest deal with OnTrac and isn’t really interested in changing that. (Or even investigating the situation.)
  4. Customer Support wasn’t interested in submitting a claim with OnTrac which seems ridiculous to me. Why wouldn’t you want to recoup your losses?!

So, yeah.  I loved ButcherBox and talked it up to all my friends. I always tagged them on Instagram whenever I used one of their products for a meal.  I had nothing but awesome things to say about them.  So I’m extremely disappointed with this recent experience and with how it was handled.

I’m really upset that I had to cancel my subscription because the delivery company they are using, OnTrac, isn’t meeting their agreed upon commitment.

That’s been my most recent experience with ButcherBox.  If they decide to switch to UPS or FedEx for delivery, I’ll definitely sign up again because I loved the program. Seriously.  I’d love to talk with someone at ButcherBox who isn’t a first level customer service rep to see if this could be made right but that didn’t seem to be an option.


PS: Here’s a link to PaleOMG’s podcast with the founder of ButcherBox, Mike Salguero. He discusses delivery problems and how they strive for quality customer service.  Unfortunately, I don’t feel like that was my experience.

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Andie lives in Idaho with her husband and dog (a sweet pittie girl). She's training to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner with a focus on womens' health and autoimmune conditions.  By focusing on whole foods and being active, her goal is to heal her body and to create a healthy work/home/life balance.

Reader Comments

  1. Thank you for this post, as I’m going through something exactly like this. It’s my first time(and last time) ordering from them and still waiting on my box, but I see so many people raving about how great they are. Seriously, how can they be so great when either you never receive the box and/or so much food waste!!

    1. Hi Tabitha, sorry to hear that! Have you chatted with customer service about this? I had success doing that and have been able to resubscribe with much better results.

  2. I live near Indianapolis. I had no problems with quick delivery and the meat was frozen, but repeatedly, in every shipment, I would have torn packaging. The meat was exposed to air and frostbitten. Or I would put a package in the refrigerator to thaw and it would leak blood everywhere. Apparently, the dry ice makes the packaging brittle. Then I have to spend time uploading pictures to get a refund. They said they are working on their packaging, but I held my order for months to see and nothing has changed. I just canceled.

    1. Sorry to hear that Natalie! I’m ok with the packaging and always take precautions when thawing meat in the fridge. I usually will put it in another plastic bag or a bowl to catch anything in case it leaks.

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