Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Not so thrilled with Thirty-One

UPDATE (7/12/12): You know, I really hated writing this post.  But I honestly felt like it was the right thing to do. It generated a lot of discussion both here on my blog, and on Facebook.  And, I have told several of my commenters that we do own other Thirty-One products (such as the lunch tote, a skirt purse, and a few other things) that have been fine.  I honestly think we just got in on a “bad  batch” of the shoulder bags. 

In any case, my situation did not fall on deaf ears this time.  A dear lady named Stacy (that I’ve been conversing with on Facebook for a few months now) read my story.  She’s a Thirty-One consultant and she called Customer Service and explained my situation – even shared the link to this blog post – and they are sending me a brand new bag!

I think it just goes to show that sometimes you need to speak up.  My confidence in Thirty-One has been restored – and it’s all because of Stacy and her willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty.  So, thank you, Stacy and Thirty-One!  Now, I’ll be able to carry my bag to Disney after all. 

And a brief word of advice to those of you in the party plan business (I know - I’ve been there, done that) --- go out of your way to make your customers happy!  I know sometimes it seems like more work for you – but it’s SO worth it!  Your willingness to make the extra effort, might make a world of difference to you customer.

 

 

I try really, really hard not to be a disgruntled customer.  Really, I do.  But, I also try to bring my readers (many of which have become friends) honest reviews.  So, when I find something that I’m really disappointed in – even if it’s not something that I’ve been asked to review, I feel like I need to share.  Because, if the shoe were on the other foot and you knew something about a certain company, I’d want you to tell me.  So, here goes . . .

Last summer, a friend of mine announced that her daughter was signing up to sell Thirty-One and invited me to her “online party”.  Ashley and I had fun looking through the virtual catalog and we ended up selecting the Organizing Shoulder Bags for each of us.  We thought they would be great to carry at Disney because they’d be hands-free, yet our stuff could be convenient.  We decided to spend the extra money to have our names embroidered on them.  Because we had to have them shipped to us also, we ended up paying almost $60 each for them. 

We received the bags a few weeks later.  Ashley’s ripped on her way up the stairs to her bedroom.  As in the entire strap tore away from the purse.  We got in touch with our consultant who took care of it for us and Thirty-One replaced the bag, no questions asked.  But, the fact that the strap tore away that quickly and easily left me with a bad taste in my mouth. 

003I never used my bag, but rather packed it away for our Disney trip in January/February.  Here’s a picture of it that I took today – you can see why I bought it, right?  I mean, it’s pretty cute with that black jacquard material and my name on there is turquoise. 

I used the bag at Disney for a week.  A week.  That’s it.  I didn’t stuff it full.  I mean, the whole point of ordering the shoulder bag was so that I could carry the  few things that I’d want to have with me (wallet, camera, phone, chapstick, and hand sanitizer).  In fact, my stuff didn’t even fill the purse (it’s actually much bigger than I expected it to be). 

Here’s what the inside looked at by week’s end:

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Honestly, these pictures don’t even do it justice.  There’s a tear along the inside zipper pocket from the left-hand side of the purse, at least a 1/3 of the way across.  I was so disappointed!

When we got home from our  trip, I called Thirty-One, only to be told that it was “past 6 months” since I had purchase it and they couldn’t send me a replacement purse.  They COULD, however, give me a gift certificate for half the value.  ($22)

So, basically, I’m left with a purse that I can’t really use.  I know the rip is on the inside and the outside looks fine.  But, I know it’s there.  And every time I reach into the purse, I would brush against it.  The lining is made from a very thin, slippery material.  It’s NOT lining quality in the least bit.  And the zipper they used – a leather-ish one.  (For the record, my mom has this same lining in a demi-style purse, but her inner zipper pocket is the cloth zipper style.)  In other words, it’s just going to continue to rip further.

I cannot believe that this particular purse (which is still available in their catalog for $42) passed any type of quality control test.  Cause shouldn’t they pack those suckers to the limit and use them for weeks and months on end to test them?  Mine was used for a week!

I’ve been in the home-party business.  I understand that companies need to have policies in place.  However, I’ve seen companies make exceptions for “time lapse before use” (think: birthdays, Christmas, etc.)

So anyway, that’s my Thirty-One story.  If you’re reading this, don’t invite me to your Thirty-One party.  I’ve learned my lesson.  From now on, I’ll buy custom-made purses from my friend or splurge on Dooney & Bourke (I should post about my D&B bag – now, THAT is a purse that will hold up FOREVER – no doubt!)

22 comments:

Ginny said...

That stinks. With the price you pay for their stuff they really need to have at least a "workmanship" guarantee; most reputable companies do.  I know a few people who sell Thirty-One stuff but after seeing some of their line I was not impressed and very turned-off by the price tags and what you have had to deal with I am glad I have never dished out the money. I'll stick with my department store pocketbooks. They seem to last forever. :)

Lena Herrington said...

I'm like Ginny. I am turned off by their prices and then also by your experience. I know a few people who sell their products and even held an online party (that no one bought anything from) for a friend who was a new consultant. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with them and thanks for letting us know! :)

Hannahb1113 said...

I had the same problem. Almost all of the thirty one bags I've bought are torn or falling apart somewhere. I won't be buying more anytime soon either!

Heidi Strawser said...

Thanks, Lena! I hate complaining about things, but this just kept festering. I think I needed to share it. Maybe now I can put it to rest and start saving my spare change for a Dooney! :)

Jennifer Wedemeyer said...

I bought Kenzie an adorable lunch bag from them and was a little upset with the $30 price tag BUT she's now had it for 3 years and it's still holding up after much use. So sorry that you got a raw deal on your bag that stinks!

Heidi Wojtowicz said...

Thank you for sharing this.  I almost bought from that same online party but distraction upon distraction kept me from doing so.  I even thought...wow, great looking products, I could sell those.  I'm kind of glad the Lord kept distracting me.  It makes me understand all the distraction.  I'm sticking to my Vera Bradley. :)

Fetterz said...

I haven't had a purse-style yet from thiry-one, but I'll keep my eyes out now.  I do happen to love the totes, they work out well with my kids sport and the "goodies" I have to carry to the games.  Keep an eye out for Dooney as well, I recently purchased one from Disney and the leather loop on the handle popped off in an instant.  I was changing the lentgh to the strap and oops!  I didn't return it because I loved the purse, but disappointed in the workmanship.  Quality control does seem to slip by quite often for somethings that is used constantly!  good luck:)

Ashley said...

As a Thirty One consultant, I'm sorry you had a bad experience.

Meghan LeBedz said...

Huh. We've never purchased any shoulder bags, but my mom has several purses and a lunch bag, and those have held up quite well for the past few years. I won't be buying 31 any time soon (I'm poor enough as it is!), but thanks for the heads-up!

Ourhomeschoolreviews said...

That stinks! Did you call the consultant back and ask her to take care of it for you? I think you know I sell it now, and I have found Home Office to be awesome and have been able to help customers past the warranty period. I love the bags and have rarely had problems. And any that I've had they have taken care of it.

wytukamomma said...

My 31 bags (not purses) have held up well. However, after I learned that 31 supports Planned Parenthood, I stopped purchasing from them because of my own convictions. Thank you for posting this review though. :)

Heidi Strawser said...

Ashley has one of the lunch bags and it's been just fine. :)

Heidi Strawser said...

The consultant was in the process of quitting, but she was very helpful and gave me the number to call the home office, which I did. It wasn't that they were unkind - I was just disappointed that they wouldn't do more than offer that gift certificate. I didn't necessarily want something else at that point - just some satisfaction for the current problem. Thanks!

Heidi Strawser said...

I have heard others mention this too. Disappointing.

wytukamomma said...

Yes, I feel that it it really disappointing. 

Christine said...

Thanks for the heads up. I have purchased from 31 and have so far been happy but I am dismayed that they financially support organizations which support Planned Parenthood. I found this article in my research, and I suppose I can no longer buy Girl Scout cookies with a clear conscience, either.
http://www.lifenews.com/2012/04/20/thirty-one-gifts-admits-funding-pro-planned-parenthood-groups/

Krista said...

I am glad you wrote! I bought a couple items from them also and they simply haven't held up. I have bought from a similar company, their items are about the same price, but the quality was much better.

gizomotech said...

I attended my second, and last 31 party last night. I did not order anything the first one but hate going to a family members party and walking out without ordering anything. The next time I will respectfully decline the invitation. I am not a huge purse/handbag type of person. I like very small bags that carry only necessities. With that said, I find 31 items RIDICULOUSLY overpriced! I ended up spending this poor girl's last $50 on stuff that I am going to give to my daughter-in-law to use for my granddaughter. And that is the last I will ever buy from 31. I have seen better quality, cuter bags at Goodwill and Dollar General. Even retailers, such as Macys, have bags of better quality for cheaper. I am sorry, I just don't see what all the fuss is. Funny story: I have a decent sized lunch bag I take to for work every day. I got it at Walmart and paid $10 for it. It had 31-esk material and pattern (which had nothing to do with why I bought it). People compliment me all the time on it and ask me how much I paid 31 for it. LOL!!!!!

Sandy said...

The products are very shoddy but high-priced because when you spend $40 everybody gets a cut - the hostess, the demonstrator, the geographic manager, the distributor, the marketing folks, the executives. As with home-based businesses, you can count on spending at least 300% of the true value of the product. Friends invite friends and relatives because they get "free" items - translation - your purchase is helping to purchase items for the hostess.


I work long, hard hours to earn my salary and I refuse to subsidize my friends shopping habits (Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple, Thirty One, it goes on forever). I would rather buy my friend a lovely gift and enjoy time together instead of enriching the home-based sales neverending line of people lining their pockets. I politely decline ALL of these pyramid scheme invitations.

Natalie Fox said...

I have that same purse in the black and white print and it ripped too. Same place on the inside, and I had barely used it. I haven't had issues with any other Thirty-One bags, just this one. But it was 'too late' once I informed the consultant and I was not able to have it replaced.

WorldWeary said...

My wife and I will never again go to one of these gift parties as well! Their products are so utterly cheap and low-quality, especially for the rapacious prices they charge! Look, i'm all for helping causes and people, but their low quality merchandise are a joke!

Maryann leman said...

I am very upset with 31 and will no longer buy from them! I bought a wallet from the first party I attending I just loved it so I had her find another one cause they discontinued it she found one at the outlit store ! I put it in my drawer to save it months later I took it out and the zipper was broke! But because I didn't check it right away they won't do anything about it!
Not good company police if u ask me I will not be buying another item

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