In the summer of 2013, I signed up with Wen to receive their seasonal formula plan. I got the summer scent in my orders (at that time it was Summer Mango Coconut) and I was scheduled to receive Fall Apple Spice in the fall of 2013. When fall rolled around, I instead received a shipment of Sweet Almond Mint. I called to complain, and they said that they “did not receive the new fall scent in time to ship,” so they’d substituted Sweet Almond Mint. This seemed strange to me, because their site was advertising the Fall Apple Spice, as were the print materials I’d received in my summer Wen shipment. They offered to send me a return label and ship a different “regular” scent of my choice instead. I opted for Pomegranate, and shortly after that I found a great Wen deal on QVC and stopped my Wen subscription.
This October (2014), I started hearing from other Wen subscribers and readers who suddenly did not get their Wen seasonal Fall Ginger Pumpkin scent from Wen.com, receiving a different, substituted scent like had happened to me last year.
Over the weekend, I got a too-good-to-be-true Wen offer in my email offering a fantastic deal on Wen if I’d resubscribe. The package price was great considering all of the items inside, and I bit the bullet and subscribed — again, knowing I could cancel again at any time. This package only offered the “regular” Wen scents, so I chose Pomegranate and ordered.
Well, after I placed my order, I was redirected back to Wen.com, where I saw an offer advertising that of your bottles will be Fall Ginger Pumpkin when you place any kit order. I called Wen today to see if I could take advantage of this and have one of my three Pom bottles be swapped out for the Fall Ginger Pumpkin.
The woman on the end of the line had some pretty interesting things to say… things that I think push this into the “bait and switch” area of marketing. She said “We don’t have any Fall Ginger Pumpkin to ship, it’s sold out.”
I said “But it’s showing right now on the homepage of Wen.com. Take a look.”
She took a moment and said she was looking at it, then added “We don’t have it in stock. I can put a note on your account, but you won’t get it.”
I asked what would happen if someone placed a new order, right now, on the page showing the Fall Ginger Pumpkin. You can go there right now too and see this offer on the homepage!
She said, “They’ll get Sweet Almond Mint.” She added that “the month is almost over,” adding that the fall scent was due to stop shipping at the end of the month anyway. (Again, today is November 24th, 2014.)
What? That’s crazy. I don’t think they should be advertising a bottle of Fall Ginger Pumpkin with every new kit order when they have none to ship and willingly tell customers so on the phone..! And what about the people I’ve heard from this year who never got a fall scent at all for 2014 and had a different substitution sent. Did they even actually have any to ship at all?
Just a heads-up for any of you on the seasonal plan. These kinds of product substitutions were what prompted me to drop my Wen subscription in the first place and simply buy from QVC. I love the product, but incidents like this don’t inspire a lot of confidence to customers.