As part of my recent lifestyle change, I decided to look into some healthier meat options. I’m eating more of it now than I ever have in my life, so I want to make sure I’m getting the best quality meat possible.
On the face of it, that’s what Butcher Box, a monthly subscription service to the tune of $129 for 24 meals’ worth of meat, whether you choose a mixture like I did or whether you get all beef, chicken, or pork, offers. You can also choose a 30-day or 60-day period for your recurring payment and the arrival of your next box.
There are plenty of coupons and offers available online. I took advantage of some (plus the 1000 Swagbucks offer for signing up) and decided to plunge into the world of boxed meat with Butcher Box.
“Convenience” – perfectly portioned and packaged meat delivered right to your door.
“Quality” – 100% Grass-fed & Grass-finished Beef, Heritage Breed Pork, and Free-range Organic Chicken
“Value” – less than $6 per meal, plus free shipping
How the Butcher Box Service Holds Up to the Promise
From my experience, the only convenience Butcher Box truly cares about is their own.
I ordered my first box on September 30. On October 2, I received an email saying that my box was on the way, and they sent me the FedEx tracking information. The box was supposed to have been delivered yesterday, October 4, 2018, by the end of the day.
On Wednesday, I checked the tracking information just to see where the box was, and there was a notice that the package would not be delivered because it was damaged.
I was understandably disappointed. I’d been planning my meals for the week around that high-quality, healthy meat that was supposed to be coming in the mail, and then I suddenly discovered there was no meat and no meals for the week (and I’d already paid my $120+ – that’s more than my weekly grocery budget).
So, I reached out to customer service to see what the company could do to make things right for me, a brand new customer. I’m copying and pasting the exact emails so I can give you a really clear picture of what I found myself facing (in addition to the non-receipt of the box I’d already paid for).
Here’s the first message I sent:
I was checking on the status on my order that was supposed to be delivered by tomorrow evening, and I found this… “unable to deliver because of damaged package.”
We are quite disappointed and upset because this is our first experience with the Butcher Box and we found out that we will not even be receiving it. We’re wondering how you intend to make this right. Please let us know as soon as possible.
I immediately got the canned reply:
Thank’s for choosing ButcherBox!
We’ve received your message and one of our member experience specialists will be following up with you shortly.
In the meantime, feel free to check out the following resources:
Frequently Asked Questions: https://support.butcherbox.com/hc/en-us
If you found the answers you were looking for in the linked resources, simply reply got it and we’ll close out your request.
Have a great day ahead!
ButcherBox Member Support
Thirteen hours later, I got this reply from an actual customer service representative:
Thanks for reaching out. I’m so sorry you have experienced an issue with your ButcherBox delivery. I do see from your tracking that this order has been damaged in transit and will not be delivered. Usually the when the carrier damages the order, they contact us so that we are able to set up a replacement right away. I am truly sorry we were not notified about this order. I would love to make this right for you by setting up a replacement for next week. Please let me know if you will be available and I will get that set up for you.
All the best,
Customer Support Specialist
So, basically what they were offering me to make the situation right was – THE BOX I’D ALREADY PAID FOR AND NEVER RECEIVED.
I was … irritated, to say the least. My next message was not very cordial:
Okay, so you’re offering me the minimum in customer service. That would be okay, and that would be the least I would expect (either a new box or a full refund). I paid for a box; I should receive a box. I understand that this was something that happened on the shipping side, but I don’t think I should be penalized for it. And I really feel that I am being penalized, since I’m suffering a shipping delay and not being offered any sort of compensation. I will wait for the new box to arrive before cancelling my subscription (assuming the next one makes it here eventually).
This was their ever-so-caring reply:
I do apologize that you are unhappy with the resolution. We aren’t compensated by the carrier in any way other than a small shipping fee reimbursement. When a carrier damages a package, standard practice with most companies is to have the customer file a claim and seek reimbursement from the carrier as once it leaves the warehouse in the intended condition, the carrier is actually liable and not the company itself. We believe the right thing to do despite this is replacing the shipment free of charge. We would rather take the loss financially than require our members to complete the tedious and usually unapproved process of filing a claim with the carrier. Our policy is to replace (or refund if preferred) anything that is damaged in transit on the carrier level, which I’ve already taken care of for you. Your replacement order number is SUB_744006. Once this order is in transit you will receive tracking information via email.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is anything else I can help you with.
All the best,
Customer Support Specialist
A few things irked me about this reply:
- “We aren’t compensated in any way…” – boo hoo, sob, sob … poor company. Really?
- “Standard practice with most companies is to have the customer file a complaint…” – um, not most companies I’ve ever dealt with. EVER. Most companies I’ve dealt with know how to correctly package their products so they don’t get ruined, and/or they bend over backwards to make sure the customer is happy, regardless of what that does to their bottom line.
- “We’re replacing this shipment free of charge…” – wow, don’t do me any favors. You didn’t charge me a shipping fee to begin with (as stated on their website). Why would you charge me a shipping fee for a box that is a replacement for a box I PAID FOR AND NEVER RECEIVED?
So, here’s my reply (as you might have noticed, my responses get less and less cordial as we go on, because I get more and more irritated):
You mean you would actually consider charging me a shipping fee for something I should’ve received and didn’t? I know you’re not, but that seems to be the standard practice for you guys, according to your response.
And how do I know that the carrier damaged the box and it wasn’t damaged before it was shipped? There’s no indication of when the damage occurred. I know you say the box left your facility in the intended condition, but I only have your word on that. And, seeing that this is my first experience with your company, I have no way of knowing how honest you’re being with me.
I’ll wait a week to see if the box arrives, and then I’ll be cancelling my subscription and possibly asking for a refund if the box does not get delivered. This service really seems like more trouble than it’s worth.
At this point, apparently Pam felt that she was done with me. The next message I received was from Heather, a quality and development manager.
Pam asked me to take a look at your email thread. When the box left our fulfilment center in Deleware it was intact and without damage, it wouldn’t have passed through our system checks if there was any damage to the shipping container prior to being loaded onto the FedEx vehicle. Your box shipped from our fulfilment center in Deleware, to the access point in Ohio, to Kentucky where the damage to the box is noted on the tracking. The box was damaged at some point when it was received in Ohio or in transit to the Kentucky access point. When the box was unloaded or prior to the box being placed onto the actual delivery verhicle they noted the meat had thawed making the shipement undeliverable and destroyed as damaged. In either scenario, the box was damaged in transit and therefore technically the responsibily would lie with FedEx to compensate for the damages via a claim submitted by the recipient. This process is tedious and time consuming and we would rather assume the responsibility for the damage and replace the shipment for our member free of charge, absorbing the cost of the reship, which is and always has been our policy. While transit damages are rare (less than 1% monthly), they do occcur and we’re always happy to do the right thing and replace the shipment or if preferred, process a refund for the shipment instead.
Your replacement order ID is 744006. Since this is a replacement/reship of a damaged delivery, it should go out this week for delivery no later than Saturday end of day. All reships are given prioroty and upgraded when nexessary to ensure delivery same week when at all possible.
If you have any further questions, please let us know.
Aside from Heather’s inability to spell “Delaware” (and other things) correctly, I found this response to be annoying (although it did give me more information about the nature of the damage to the package – thawed meat … YIKES!) because it was basically the same response Pam had already given me. “It’s not our fault; it’s the carrier’s fault. And we’re doing you a favor by not making you file a claim with them or having to pay a shipping fee for the replacement box.”
Right… it’s FedEx’s fault that you didn’t package the meat so that it wouldn’t thaw out before delivery. Uh huh.
So, my response was:
I’m not an idiot. I understood all that information when Pam shared it with me before. I’m not sure why she referred you to me to harass me further when all I want to do is get the one box I paid for (or get a refund if the next box is going to thaw in transit) and get rid of this subscription.
Here was her reply to that:
It did appear that you were under the impression we would charge someone for shipping a replacement and that we would ship a damaged box, both of which are untrue. Pam was looking out in your best interest and wanted to have a manager reach out directly to assure you that we’ve taken ownership of the damage caused, the box being undeliverable, and issued a replacement that has been prioritized to be delivered this week which does include expedition due to the transit time to your zip code. Two-day ground orders put in after Wednesday ship on Monday and we wanted to be sure that you weren’t waiting an extra week. Pam and I will monitor the shipment and make sure there aren’t any issues.
Have a wonderful week remaining and an even better weekend.
Quality & Development Manager
“You were under the impression…”
Now, gee, why would I be under that impression?
They make it seem like they’re doing me a favor by shipping me a replacement box (that I’ve basically already paid for) for free. And their box of meat (that they packaged themselves) thawed out within two days. Obviously, SOMETHING about their packaging is faulty. And they want to blame it all ON MY ZIP CODE.
Um, gee. Victim mentality, much? They say they’re “taking ownership,” but their responses via email belies that just a bit.
(By the way, I quit responding at this point because I knew I was going to keep getting the same kind of answers … and that they didn’t care a thing about me or keeping me as a customer).
So, Butcher Box’s customer convenience? Yeah, that’s a joke!
Obviously, I can’t speak to the quality of the meat because I haven’t received it yet.
- If their meat quality in any way resembles the quality of their customer service, I’ve just wasted $120+. 🙁
- They certainly don’t seem to care that they’re wasting the lives of countless animals – cows, chickens, AND pigs. All that meat they packaged for me ruined in transit, so it’s (hopefully) going in the garbage. I hope they don’t try to resend it to me or another customer. That’s just BEYOND wasteful and/or dangerous!
Again, I can’t speak specifically to the value of the meat received because I have not received it. I’m hoping to make it go a bit further so that it ends up costing me better than less than $6 per meal.
We shall see if/when the replacement box gets here, although now I’m a little afraid to even try it.
The Final Verdict on the Butcher Box Service
As soon as that box comes in the mail, or the end of this week comes, whichever comes first, I am cancelling my Butcher Box subscription. I can’t wait!
I never anticipated inconvenience of this magnitude or customer service that was so poor.
I’m done, and apparently I’m not the only one, judging by all the poor reviews it’s gotten on the Better Business Bureau website and other sites. I wish I’d read all these BEFORE I threw all that money away, but I was drawn in by the empty promises.
Don’t be like me. Save your money, your time, and your sanity! Avoid Butcher Box at all costs!
The funny(sad) thing is, I really wanted to love Butcher Box. I have an affiliate link, so I was going to try to promote it on my blog and maybe make some money off of it. But now I can’t do that and feel good about it. I won’t promote a company that gives their customers such a horrific experience.
If you want my affiliate link, send me a message or comment, and I’ll give it to you. You can get a free box of ground beef in every box for life…assuming the boxes get to you. But I’m not going to post the link here. That service doesn’t even deserve the backlink love, in my opinion.
There are other companies that offer a comparable service, although most of them are a lot more expensive than Butcher Box.
One thing I’m looking into now is the meat boxes offered by Thrive Market (yes, that’s an affiliate link). They’re just a bit more expensive than Butcher Box, but Thrive Market’s customer service is a lot better, in my experience. To me, that totally makes it worth it!
I’ll report back at some point and let you know what I think about the Thrive Market boxes.
So, tell me. Have you tried Butcher Box? Love it/hate it? What about the Thrive Market boxes? What do you think about them? Is there something similar out there that you love, and I’m missing?
Talk back to me in the comments.