Options for appeasing delayed 5/6 orders


#1

Due to the recent update outlining an additional 8-10 week delay for 5/6 orders on top of the 10-12 week initial ship time, I think it would be in Rosa Labs best interest to consider options for softening the blow.

Many people, myself included, have given Rosa Labs hundreds of dollars on loan with the expectation of being repayed in Soylent in the stated 10-12 week time period. Nearly doubling that wait time without offering any incentive to remain a customer is terrible customer service.

A few ideas I’ve seen floating around:

-Refund new orders, maintain position in que, charge when shipping is finalized; At this point 5/6 orders have given Rosa Labs a 10+ week loan with no interest. Repaying that loan with the added thanks of keeping the customers position in que would be a really solid move.

-Add Soylent to order as interest; 10% additional product being included in our orders would go a long way towards replenishing collective goodwill towards Rosa Labs. An extra 3 days of Soylent in my 4 week order would give me plenty to give to friends and family who are interested, making this a good marketing strategy as well.

-Merchandise; Include a thermos T-shirt, or other goodies in order to maintain goodwill.

These are just a few ideas I’ve seen/had. I think one or all would be very helpful for Rosa Labs keeping customer loyalty. At this point I personally have not requested a refund to order DIY ingredients solely because I very much want Rosa Labs to do well. I think they have a world changing product and I want them to succeed.

What could Rosa Labs do to make you a happy customer? Are you already a happy customer and unphased by this recently announced delay? I’d love to see some other ideas and official responses.


#2

I made a number of posts relating to concern about the company holding on to customers’ money during extended delays in this linked thread (I don’t think I’ll re-insert it all here): http://discourse.soylent.me/t/what-a-surprise/15622/5?u=vicc

Yes, I’d like for my money to be returned to me while maintaining my place in the queue. I’d additionally like Soylent to pro-actively obtain my consent to charge me and ship when my turn comes 3 or 4 (or more) months from now, so I don’t have the lingering concern that $300 will be charged on some unknowable date months in the future, when I may not be prepared for it.

Some extra freebies would be a nice gesture, but I’m more interested in getting my Soylent without them holding onto my money for months.


#3

The refund thing sounds like a good idea, but it would be a logistical nightmare.


#4

Yes, I understand that it would be complex (and perhaps lead to more delays) to provide interim refunds.

If it’s not feasible to provide interim refunds, then I’ll probably* be generally OK if my order is actually shipped per the new 18-22 week from when I ordered it timeframe. Some bonus freebies wouldn’t hurt either. :sun_with_face:

*if I get in a financial crunch in the next few months before my order ships, getting $300 as a refund is probably going to be the first thing I think of.


#5

I’m with @vicc on this one. I’m willing to wait it out unless I absolutely need my money, but think Rosa Labs should really do something to make up for the delay & build some customer loyalty.


#6

I’m with vicc also. While I’m comfortable now, I remember times in the past where my “couch change” was the difference between eating and not eating. I have had to call in deposits to do things like pay rent.

Rosa Labs, therefore, has a developing situation starting in May where a lot of the folk were ordering what they thought were groceries rather than some neat techie advance. They should develop a system quickly where they can maintain queues without demanding payment more than 30 days in advance. A lot of companies (I’ve ordered custom furniture in the past) request a deposit to show good faith from the customer, but not the entire purchase price until delivery.

Eve


#7

They are shipping as fast as RFI can manufacture Soylent. RFI may need to retool some of their centers for Soylent, or Rosa Labs may need to get its in-house-production center up sooner rather than later.


#8

Good luck – they literally have many times more customers than they can actually handle, so I doubt they’re too concerned with retention right now. I’m just surprised that they haven’t shut down the order page until things are under control. The only thing I can think of is that they’re relying on new orders in order to fulfill refunds, so if they shut down new orders, they wouldn’t have any money coming in to refund people with. If that’s the case, what happens when the number of refund requesters exceeds the number of new orders coming in?


#9

But Matt88, people who are ordering merchandise don’t care, nor should they be expected to. I used to run a business that was really labour intensive. Sometimes I was without sleep for days at a time to supply orders. Occasionally I farmed out work to a trusted colleague and paid the extra. It was not my clients’ problem that I was accepting more orders than I could fulfill on deadline.

I’m sympathetic. I really am. But this is commerce. When, for instance, a branded store’s employee responds to a request for help with “don’t you understand we’re understaffed?”, my response is that I do understand so I’ll help your problem by not shopping here.

Eve


#10

That sums it up very well. That’s our grocery money they’ve got.


#11

@EveB, it was more of a “don’t blame the shipper for the manufacturer” type statement. Sort of like, “don’t blame the messenger”.

Though I would prefer if people would realize that the world doesn’t revolve around them and moves at a pace other than theirs. I’m getting tired of people who placed an order on a product with a KNOWN delay, then complain about it later. Its a new product, new company, and should not be compared to places like Amazon and Newegg where shipping happens shortly after order placement.


#12

Excuse me, I am not one of the complainer trolls. I resent being treated like one.

People don’t have to know the nuances of a company when they order a product. We’re not talking about “blaming the messenger”. The shipper, the packager, the manufacturer and the developer are all assumed (by the normal consumer) to be under the control of the company whose logo is on our order acknowledgements.

Eve


#13

@EveB, I didn’t say you where? If you notice how I organize my comments, the only part that pertains to you is the part that has you tagged, with new paragraph usually addressing all it may apply to. Its how I reply to many people in one comment instead of multiple posts. If they did make such an assumption, then they may not understand how all the puzzle pieces fit together to make delays and shortages.


#14

I like a lot of the recommendations here - please keep sharing your thoughts. We plan on doing something for both the backer and new customer communities that have been so affected by our delays. Unfortunately we aren’t able to commit to any one thing just yet, so we will wait to share details until we have a more concrete plan in place.


#15

@ana Really happy to see you’re keeping up with feedback from your customers! Thanks for the response and hope this thread can work as a nice brainstorming session :slight_smile:


#16

@ana - Glad to know that someone from RL is out and about. Perhaps this is the end of the communications blackout? :3?

I’d like to throw a suggestion out there that RL stop charging for new orders on the website until the orders are ready to ship, at least until the lead times go back down to reasonable (i.e. days) levels. I say this, because I am really, really worried that someone is going to get bent out of shape enough to launch into legal shenanigans.

I am definitely not a lawyer, but a cursory reading of the FTC’s website that gets linked here every now and then makes it sound like that just holding people’s money for that amount of time isn’t kosher in the face of delays, rather they make it sound like consent must be affirmatively given, and refunds proactively issued if it isn’t.

If Rosa’s legal department hasn’t checked out this angle yet, they should.

Most companies that I’ve seen work this way (collect payment info at order, charge on ship), and I’d imagine there’s a very good reason for it.


#17

I’m afraid you’re not going to get much sympathy from original backers, as for the statement above they DID promise t-shirts to a hand full of people… guess what never got delivered? Care to update us on this @JulioMiles @ana


#18

They kept searching for the perfect cotton so they ended up not making any tshirts :wink:


#20

The last part was unnecessary… Though I think your first part is relevant.

If by “bury” you mean flag/hide, the only posts that have been hidden are ones that are rude and abrasive (with a rare handful of odd exceptions). If your post gets flagged, it will be for that last sentence. Being rude like that is against the forum guidelines and doesn’t contribute to the discussion.


#21

Without “fanboys” this product may not have gotten very far off the ground.
Good thing in life there were “fanboys” of telephones, electricity, indoor plumbing, having a great date with a beautiful women. If everyone was against it, we would be without.
Soylent is the same.

Imagine what we would miss out if there weren’t “fanboys” of anything!