Wednesday, June 18, 2008

DO NOT buy anything from Well Naturally

I've been duped, and I feel very silly. But in the interest of helping fellow soapers, I'll share a little story.

At the beginning of June, I placed an online order with Well, Naturally, based in Surrey, BC and run by Mary Robinson. It was for soap supplies. My credit card was charged on June 4, and after hearing nothing from Mary or her cats (I'll get to that in a second) about shipping, I sent an e-mail asking about the order status. Nothing. So a week or so later, I e-mailed again. Still nothing. I think I e-mailed a third time, nothing, then decided to call last night. According to her voicemail, "the cats are terrible at taking messages", and apparently so is her machine, as it is full.

Before I placed the order, I did a very quick search and no huge red flags went up, but apparently I should have googled "well naturally complaints". I'm thunking myself on the forehead for not checking with the Better Business Bureau before ordering from a new company - their rating there is unsatisfactory.

Edited to add: I contacted my credit card company, and they can do a charge-back once 30 days have passed with no delivery of goods. I will definitely be changing my credit card number! I'm glad that I don't have to pay, but it REALLY upsets me that people do stuff like this. I like to think that people can be trusted. Argh.

At there are lots of complaints from other people who have had similar experiences.

Please do not order anything from Well Naturally!

Some WONDERFUL Canadian suppliers about whom I have nothing but good things to say are Cranberry Lane and New Directions. Very professional, prompt, and they have great selection.

Update: June 21, 2008: Mary e-mailed me today to say that I should go ahead and do the charge-back, as she is dealing with cancer and chemo. I would like to believe her, but I kind of just, well, don't. I will be doing the charge-back, though - does she think that by telling me that, that I'm just going to say "Oh, you poor thing - just keep my money." Umm, no. I will be writing back to tell her that if that is indeed the case, she should at the very least delete her website.


Goatmeal_Crisp said...

I had the same experience with a company called Magic Wand Weddings. I received part of my order and a note that the rest was on back order. It never showed up and they wouldn't reply to emails or messages. I Googled them and found tons of complaints -- apparently they pull the no-show "back order" trick a lot, after charging your credit card for the full amount -- and a D rating with the BBB. After lodging a complaint with the BBB I miraculously got a refund, unlike the 40 people with unresolved claims on the BBB site.

ingrid said...

That sucks!

Sounds like the Mystical Creations Yarns scam. It's worth a read:

egassner said...

I'm so sorry! I've had a similar situation with a company. I half my order was 'out of stock' and the other half sent was incorrect and some of the MP soap inserts were MOLDED! Yuck! Her message box was full too, so It took a good 3weeks to reach her. And the items that were out of stock were never refunded...just put 'on-credit'. Like I would order from them AGAIN!? Ha!
I hope you get it resolved soon!

Sarah C said...

That's awful! If you made the purchase on your credit card, though, you can call them and have them look into getting your money back for you. Check out this website for Visa (I'm sure other companies have similar policies):

sherrieg said...

I contacted my credit card company, and they will do a charge-back once 30 days have passed with no goods or contact from the company.

Blogger was having issues when I published this post, and somehow that paragraph disappeared. But thanks for your concern, and I hope this doesn't happen to any of you!

Raegan Belliveau said...

I've also been duped before, so sucky. Do change your credit card number.

Goodie2shoes said...

I've been duped as well. Placed an order with Mary and her stupid cats in May and haven't heard a thing. Didn't even know that she was supposedly suffering from cancer and going through chemo. Who knows if it's true, but really that's no excuse for taking people's money. I've sent at least 10 emails and phoned dozens of times. The whole situation is very frustrating. I'll be contacting Mastercard to get the charges reversed. I also reported her to the BC Better Business Bureau. Wish I had checked that out before I placed the order ... she has 69 complaints against her and only 1 has been resolved!

I've definitely learned my lesson.

Sandra said...

As I posted on Rip-Off Report today, I was at one time a customer of Mary's. I bought many things from her wholesale, including bulk herbs, soap making supplies, clays, salts, essential oils, floral waters, etc. Firstly, I never had a problem with the quality of her products. Secondly, her prices were far more reasonable than Cranberry Lane, whose prices are a complete rip-off. I stopped buying from Cranberry Lane altogether because of their prices. Thirdly, Mary always delivered my orders to my home, on time, as promised. And her delivery charges were very reasonable.

Sure, she's a bit eccentric and has a thing with her cats and tends to wheeze when she talks, but I find it hard to believe that I am the only person in the States or Canada who has had a positive experience dealing with her. How is that possible? Only me, out of the thousands of customers she had?

In addition - having met her in person several times and having dealt with her over an extended period of time - I never once felt that she was trying to rip me off or shortchange me. I always got what I paid for and was never overcharged.

I just had to say something because as I said, I am seeing nothing but negatives about Mary and thought it was very unfair as she always treated me well.

And if she does have cancer, I wish her a speedy recovery. Nobody deserves an illness like that. None of us know how we would react upon being given news like that. I tend to think I would fall apart. So give the woman a break.

sherrieg said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Sandra, and I'm glad that you had no trouble dealing with her. My story still stands, though, and since there are so many other people who have had the same problems, I do want other potential customers to know what took place. Thanks, and take care,

Marnalah said...

I'm sorry to hear that Mary has been dealing with cancer. I always found her prices reasonable and her products of high quality, so I tend to believe that she is unwell. That doesn't make it any nicer or easier for the people whose orders have been falling through the cracks, though. I see that she has now taken down her website.

Anonymous said...

Would just like to update you on
Mary Robinson, she is now in Hospice and has been given less than a month to live.
She has been ill with cancer for sometime and it has spread to Her brain.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mary did indeed have cancer and passed away on February 3, 2010.

mountainmom said...

How sad :( I was looking for her site after being out of my soapmaking for 5 years raising my young children and found all these complaints about Mary's site. I had ordered from Mary for 3 or 4 years without any problems. I actually had some nice conversations with her....some about cats... and she was always very helpful if something was discontinued ect...finding me a suitable replacement. It is so sad that she could not take care of her business and that now there is all this negative feedback about her left behind.
R.I.P Mary

Anonymous said...

I have to say, Mary was always wonderful to work with, as I did for years, and I was sad to learn she had cancer. I hate that anyone thinks of her as a rip-off artist, because she wasn't. Nor was she the type to try and suck you in to just giving her money. If she was ill, she was probably responding to you much better than she was feeling. Your unkind comments have made me very sad. I'm so sorry you were inconvenienced, but I'm glad you are alive.

Shucky, who owned Nelsie's Cupboard and who has been volunteering with her local hospice for years.