Soylent subscription UX needs improvement front-backend


#1

Your subscription UX needs serious improvement. The potential flaw I uncovered is as follows.
Once you create a new subscription entity, it immediately takes into effect. Customer credit card gets charged immediately prior to shipment (legal issues here). And fulfillment of the subscription gets queued and cannot be overridden. For instance, I made a subscription that I intended to be for 48 bottles, but instead I carelessly chose the 12 bottles and clicked add subscription. The subscription goes into effect, but the UI allows you to change your subscription information. However, changing your subscription does not override the current fulfillment, which is very absurd. What if I made a mistake with the shipping address instead? When I change it then it is pointless as your system would not take into account the change.

If such feature is complicated to build, then perhaps provide a phone number so that we can call an agent to tell your plant/warehouse to update the fulfillment… An email is not a great customer service, period.

Please take this seriously as not supporting this feature is absurd in today’s standards.


#2

Well, a phone number would have to be staffed 24/7 to answer all the people who stay up late and make drunk purchases.


#3

I think that is a silly assumption. Most small to medium e-commerce websites staff or outsource agents to answer calls made during regular business hours.

Either way they need to provide a feature to modify pending orders. The email I sent out to the Soylent team still hasn’t been responded yet.


#4

I didn’t realize that there isn’t any quick way to modify pending orders! (I haven’t had the need for such a thing yet) But you’re right, it is something they should definitely implement. I’m not sure about users modifying their orders directly, since the time between placing an order and having it shipped is so short, but a hotline and/or live chat would be a good solution.


#5

I ordered mine on Saturday, and it got shipped late Monday. Between that time, I was hoping the change subscription feature would take into effect when they ship it out, but it didn’t. I also sent them an email just to let them know, but I still haven’t gotten a response since Saturday. Having a hotline or live chat would help.

I don’t know what software architecture they are using in the backend for handling fulfillment and shipping. If they are using a message queuing service to handle requests coming from the site to create actual fulfilment orders, then having another message queue sent to the fulfilment processor to change the order when the state isn’t ‘In Production’ can be simple. I assume when it already goes to production, changing the order would be more complicated as it would involve changing the order status to something special that would indicate the plant workers that the order needs to be kicked back for additional production or it could be as simple as hey this order needs more or less bottles please change it kind of status. When it comes to changing order shipping address, it can be as simple as if not shipped then change order shipping address to new updated one so that when they create the shipping label it is the new updated one.

My 2 cents…


#6

I have to agree that the UX could use some improvements.

I’m not so sure it should allow a quantity change to take effect immediately, and to an order that was just placed – it might be better to have an online mechanism to quickly cancel an order, instead.

But, I recently wanted to re-use my original 12-bottle subscription when I decided to go to 2.0 full time. The sub was paused, and I had to reactivate it before I could change the quantity. So I ended up with a 12 bottle subscription order, and had to make up the difference with a non-subscription order – effectively losing 15% in the process. That was rather annoying.

It would have been great if I could have either changed the quantity before reactivating the subscription (or have it automatically reactivate upon changing it), or cancelled the 12 bottle order and resubmitted the order with the correct quantity.


#7

What I’ve done in that situation is either leave the existing sub paused (or cancel it completely) and then make a new subscription for the correct amount. Messy, but it works! Just don’t ask me how many subscriptions are on my account.


#8

That’s exactly why I didn’t go for that solution. I’m a bit OCD, and having a bunch of unused subs on my account would make me twitchy. :smile:


#9

I just did exactly what you advised. I subscribed to 36 bottles. It says my credit card is charged. So I paused the subscription indefinitely now, hopefully that will not stop the shipment…