Is Soylent making a mistake by going with Amazon?


#1

Ordering Soylent through Amazon is now markedly cheaper than ordering Soylent through a soylent.com subscription, especially if you qualify for Amazon’s 15% Subscribe & Save discount or use Amazon’s Prime credit card with a 5% rebate. So a lot of customers, including myself, have been making the switch to Amazon – simple economics.

I’ve been with Soylent from the very beginning and have experienced a lot of ups and downs in quality, but one thing that has remained constant is the excellent customer service. When I get a bad-tasting batch, Soylent customer service has been happy to replace it.

My understanding is that Soylent customer service will not work with customers who have ordered through the Amazon fulfillment process. And that’s where I fear Soylent is making a big strategic mistake. They are incentivizing customers to to use an outside fulfillment process and then not giving support to those customers. I have a feeling this will come back to bite Soylent in the long run, because the product is not yet consistent enough, and maintaining good customer relations to smooth over those rough patches is vital as they go through their next phase of growth.

If Amazon is strategically vital for extending their reach and they must stick with Amazon, in my opinion, they should still give the best discounts to their own Soylent subscribers and should still provide their own customer support to all Soylent customers, including those who purchased through Amazon.

What do you think?


#2

Did you lose your grandfathered subscription?


#3

Yeah, I don’t know how, since I’ve been a continuous subscriber from day one, but the grandfathered price went away on my account fairly recently (not exactly sure when). Did this not happen to everyone else?


#4

Looks like my most recent shipment was at the grandfathered rate, but when the new flavors were added, the subscription reverted to 5%. I found others on reddit complaining about this, so if you think you have grandfathered status, you may want to double check your account. I think soylent changed people’s rates without telling them (or at least, that’s what happened to me).

In any case, the new flavors would certainly not be grandfathered. And even if you’re getting 15% through Soylent.com, Amazon gives prime customers the 15% discount (provided you order enough items) plus an extra 5% off through their prime credit card. So my point remains: even oldtimers like me are being driven towards Amazon, which seems to me like a poor move, if Soylent can’t maintain the same level of quality of customer support with orders shipped by Amazon.


#5

In my limited experience, Amazon has pretty great customer support itself.

I suspect it’s impractical for Soylent to support customers who ordered through Amazon. For example:

CUSTOMER: Hi Rosa Labs! I ordered Soylent through Amazon, but it never came.

ROSA LABS: Cool, I’ll just check your order number. [Realises he has no access to Amazon’s order tracking systems, because he works at Rosa Labs, not Amazon.] Uh.

(I could be totally wrong about that, of course.)


#6

My order from January 19th is still the grandfathered rate: $87 for three boxes, or $29 per box.


#7

Yeah, I lost it too. You have to be vigilant because they made the mistake of creating their website inhouse (and poorly) so mistakes frequently crop up. Customer service fixed it for me.


#8

I believe Betteridge’s law of headlines applies here.


#9

This. I had to email them monthly for awhile because i was getting charged the regular sub price. They refunded me every month but it was a minor hassle. Been smooth sailing for a few months though. Oh, whatever you do… dont change bottle amount to zero then immediately change it back to 12, 24, 36, etc etc or whatever. I think that’s how it got messed up originally. But everytime they had to halt orders of other products (that affected my other subs), I would lose the auto grandfathered discount.


#10

When I had a bad batch of 2.0 that I purchased on Amazon I was mistakenly told I could return it for a full refund, to do it online.

I did 1 of the 5 cases, and all 5 then said I was getting a refund. Then it changed to 4 saying no refund avail.

I spoke with someone on the phone a 2nd time and was told you cannot return food and a full credit was given to me.


#11

I drastically prefer ordering through amazon personally. Faster shipping, easy returns, simpler checkout and ability to order flavoring drops and smartwater at the same time. If anything soylent should be expanding who they retail through, not getting rid of the worlds largest retailer. If soylent wants to really take off they need to start marking the bottles for individual resale and getting them in every grocery and corner store in america. Ideally during this process they will gain economy of scale and be able to drop the price down by 20-30%. Personally I’d love to see soylent going for $1.50 a bottle eventually and that requires scale. Originally the promise of solylent was supposed to be amazingly affordable food. Eating 5 bottles a day for 30 days still costs more than a lot of peoples grocery bills. $400 a month is not exactly solving world hunger on the cost front.


#12

Amazon is actually slower if you use subscribe and save. You have your monthly shipments, at the same time every month but when they do ship it’s standard shipping. For example my latest S&S Soylent through Amazon shipped on the 12th and is arriving the 18th. Soylent usually gets to me within 3 days when ordering through RF.

Anytime I have had issues with Soylent, RF provided a refund or replacement writhin 24 hours. They also offered anyone who purchased FoodBars a complete refund for all food bars they ordered. When RF ran out of powder they offered 2.0 at a heavily discounted rate to make the price as low as they reasonably could for powder subscribers.

I think RF’s first step toward global domination was getting to market. Its second step is the Soylent van that hands out free Soylent. Its third step was selling through Amazon for bettter exposure. Its next step for world domination is selling retail.


#13

Boo! Do direct sales in the UK first!


#15

(That’s the final step)