Why I’m Boycotting Alex & Ani

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Let me start this post off by saying that THIS IS MY FAULT.

I attempted to place an online order for an Alex & Ani bracelet for a gift. Unfortunately my address book wasn’t updated and the item shipped to the wrong address. The package was signed for someone at the incorrect address. We had someone (the intended recipient) stop by the residence and slip them a note to see if they perhaps had the package. I then worked with Alex & Ani customer service to schedule three attempts by UPS to pick up the package. No response from the residents.

So I reached back out to Alex & Ani customer service to see if I had any other options. The representative let me know that I do not have any other options outside of filing a police report.

Let me tell you a little about my relationship with Alex & Ani prior to this incident.

I’ve spent approximately $180 in the last six months with this company. Probably about $200-$220 in the last year (they can figure this out because my email address is associated with all of the purchases). They just opened a retail location less than 1 mile from my house - the perfect place to pick up last minute gifts.

I wrote a glowing blog post on the company - encouraging others to buy the bracelets. Read that post now. It’s gonna be deleted!

I’ve encouraged family and friends via word of mouth to purchase the bracelets as gifts.

Another confession - I don’t wear the bracelets. Basically because I already have two charm bracelets and can’t wear them to work because they hit my keyboard/desk.

So this brings me to why I’m boycotting Alex & Ani.

I’m boycotting Alex & Ani due to my final correspondence with customer service. There is nothing they can do for me. NOTHING? You can’t offer me free shipping to purchase the item again and ship it to the correct address? Right. I know. It was my fault. But can you help me out? After all, this was A GIFT! A gift purchased by someone that has purchased five of your bracelets in the last five months as GIFTS! I know. I ‘m not your biggest customer, but I was gradually climbing that list.

I’m boycotting Alex & Ani because I believe even the smallest bit of help from them would have gone a long way (i.e. free shipping on my repurchase). For example, the hubs and I were dealing with someone stealing packages on our street last winter. I realized this when I ordered shampoo from Aveda and it was missing. I contacted the post office and Aveda about the package missing and they acknowledged that it was likely stolen. While the post office suggested that I file a police report, Aveda went the extra step of replacing my package at NO CHARGE to me. This time, I shipped it to my office to ensure that it would get delivered. This is the ONLY time that I didn’t receive something that I ordered online - just so you know I’m not some scammer.  

I’m boycotting Alex & Ani because of the others that have had issues with their customer service. This lady’s daughter’s bracelet broke and they would fix it without a receipt. I’m also boycotting Alex & Ani for the 134 people that complained to the Better Business Bureau about the company.

I’m boycotting Alex & Ani because I work in the social media field. I DEAL WITH CUSTOMERS on social media sites on behalf of some major companies. Customers that are often angry. For one client, when customers complain about their $5 food purchase, we send them to customer service...that typically results in customer service sending the consumer a coupon for free product. Without giving away too much info, my client’s product melts. So at least 80% of the time I really believe that the customer is at fault as to why the product looks crappy at home - they probably stopped at a few other places before they got home and it frankly melted. Because I deal with complaints on social media, I didn’t write my problem on Alex & Ani's company Facebook page. I emailed them privately.

I’m boycotting Alex & Ani because it’s a $30 bracelet. What is $30 to a company that invested in a 2014 in a Super Bowl ad, which cost $3 million to purchase air time and produce. A company that reportedly made more than $230 million in the last 10 years.   

I’m boycotting Alex & Ani because their marketing campaign and that Super Bowl commercial is about “Main Street America.” They are trying to prove that they are a company that isn’t “just selling jewelry.” Am I your exception? You didn’t explicitly tell me that my only solution was to “buy another bracelet” but it’s basically what you implied. Unless the Miami police department helps me track down the person that signed for the package. I’m not sure a $30 bracelet delivered to the wrong address is at the top of their priority list.

I've debated publishing this for at least two weeks because this typically isn't something I would share on here, but I decided what the heck - I'm gonna hit that publish button. I think an email from Kate Spade letting me know that I "left something in my cart" and "here's an extra 15% off that item to purchase it" pushed me over the edge. If they can offer me 15% on something full-price that I left in my cart, Alex & Ani could have at least offered to wave the shipping on my $28 bracelet, right?
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Soon-to-Be Apple of My Eye: Fruit Themed Baby Shower

Monday, May 18, 2015

When you are preggo, newsletters from “The Bump” and “What To Expect When Expecting” send you weekly emails comparing the size of your baby to a fruit or vegetable. For most of the early weeks, it’s a fruit.

This was the inspiration behind my Pittsburgh baby shower. Fruit with a little black and white - a nod to the nursery decor.

While my mom and I crafted a few things for this shower, I now need to warn you of one major fail - me not taking any pictures OR assigning anyone to do so. Therefore, you’re about to see some not-so-great iPhone images to illustrate how you could recreate this theme!

Planning started with a few different week-by-week pregnancy lists with corresponding fruit.

I was going to hire a designer to create invitations, but I actually just did them myself. No shame here - I’ll admit that I made them via Power Point, saved the file as a jpeg and then printed them from Zazzle. And the watercolor fruit? Yeah, that’s “borrowed” from the internet (don’t hate me if you’ve stumbled upon this page and I “borrowed” your artwork). That way, I could customize the file for place cards, signage and thank you notes.

For the decor, I came up with the idea to use fruit in market-like baskets with balloons tied to the top. So I had to pick fruits that had corresponding balloons - or solid balloons that could look like the fruit. I landed on the fruits above.

I ordered the fruit balloons online and we worked with Party City to inflate the balloons. We also sprinkled in some black and white balloons. Those were a hit for guests to take home for their kids!

The fruit was purchased in bulk at a Club Store the day before the shower and we encouraged guests to take some home! The color is awful in these photos, but above was the orange table (yes, the oranges are looking more like lemons!).

For other favors, my mom made mini-picnic baskets with fruit-flavored candy and boo boo bunnies!

For an added touch, I made some fruit garland out of foam for the tables with the gifts, cupcakes and place cards.

One thing I test crafted, but didn't use was fruit lanterns below.

For a “game” we gave everyone a card with a fruit “week.” The identical cards were placed into a basket and throughout the shower we pulled names.

I do like to dress in theme, so you may notice that I scored the most perfect dress at Kohl’s. It’s ironic because I’m not a typical Kohl’s shopper, but was walking through and spotted this non-maternity dress with some stretch. I bought it a month before the shower and crossed my fingers that it would fit!

Last, but certainly not least, thank you to all of our Pittsburgh and New Jersey friends and family that read the blog. Baby Smith certainly received everything she needs to enter this world and more and we seriously couldn’t be more grateful for everyone that attended our showers and helped to make them both a success! Let the countdown to the arrival begin!
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