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French Box Updates

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French Box Updates

I’m an annual subscriber, and I just received this email from FrenchBox:

Hello Liz,

We’re happy to announce that we will resume the subscription box in May with a new and improved FrenchBox.

You purchased a pre-paid subscription with us and we want to thank you for your patience during this time of transition.

The issues we faced with our recent boxes were a clear sign that we weren’t doing things the way we originally intended. FrenchBox went on a hiatus for a few weeks in order to reorganize operations and come back with a better box for you.

We would like to present some of the changes we are introducing for FrenchBox as well as your options as a pre-paid subscriber.

What’s changing ?

We’ve listened to your feedback, examined our recent shortcomings and worked hard to prepare a new FrenchBox that we we hope you will enjoy receiving for years to come!

A better experience

More flexibility: Cancel or put your subscription on hold at any time, pay only a few days before your box ships.
More transparency: We will provide more information about products such as ingredient lists and use-by dates.
The promise that all brand name products we send you were acquired directly from brands or through their official distributors.
Easier, faster customer service through your dashboard.
A box every OTHER month

For a renewed focus on quality and experience.
Shipping dates will be “expected dates” and confirmed about 2 weeks before we ship the box.
A new price: $36

A box with with better products, more exclusive products and prodcuts that you cannot find in the United States.
More information about the products you receive.
Free Priority Mail shipping.
Wanna know more ? You can review our FAQ online (login required) with answers to your most frequently asked questions about this transition. We will update this page as new questions come in.
You will find answers to such questions as : What’s in the May Box? Why haven’t we heard from you lately? Why did you stop shipping every month ?

FrenchBox Changes FAQ
Your options today…

We are preparing our first new FrenchBox and we hope you will try us out. Since we’re changing the way we do the box, we are offering the following options:

Option 1 – (default) you will receive our upcoming boxes automatically.
We will add 30% to your pro-rated balance (we called it your “final balance”) and we will send you our boxes until your balance is depleted; or

Option 2 – you can decide later: keep your final balance with us and use it when you are ready; or

Option 3 – get a refund: we can refund your pro-rated balance.

Please verify your account information on your dashboard, under the tab “My previous account” and let us know if you think any information is incorrect.

You can contact us via our priority customer service form your dashboard if you do not wish to proceed with our the first, automated option.

Verify your account information

What’s next ?

If you agree to option #1, sit back and relax: we will email you updates when the theme is revealed, when the shipping date is announced and when your box ships.
We currently expect to ship our next box in the second half of May. We will confirm or update the shipping date around May 15th.

If you do not agree, contact us and we will work things out with you.

We’ve listened and will continue to listen…

We want to thank all of our subscribers for sharing feedback. This provides great insight into your wishes, desires and disappointments. It strengthened our feeling that the changes we are making are the right ones.

Going forward, we want to make it easier to get your opinion and we are planning to collect your rating and feedback on products for each box.

We are very excited about the direction we are taking (and the next box…). We hope you are too and remain a subscriber for years to come!

Bisous!
The FrenchBox team

What do you think of the latest updates? I’m happy to see they are allowing annual subscribers the option to refund the remaining balance of their account. I think I might give them another chance and see what the upcoming box brings.

Written by Liz Cadman

Liz Cadman

Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She’s been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.

58 Comments

  1. There is a place to scan to get all the information on everything…thank goodness for iPhones! Several people have asked…there it is!!!

    SUPER FAST shipping, really lovely packaging, including the box which I will certainly up-cycle for something 🙂

    I really loved the keychain and it will be PERFECT for my cousin as a Christmas present as she does documentaries. I wouldn’t mind trading for one for myself as well 😉

    I’m also loving the huge soap and the bookmark, although debating keeping or gifting as we are a family of readers.

    Well done French Box, I’m glad I gave you a chance!!!

    • what I liked about this box was the theming. The beauty items did revolve around Cannesvand the film festival. although I don’t think the non beauty items were that expensive they were really unique. the postcard was from Cannes in the 50s, the filmstrip keyring representing film in France and I even watched the film it came from (so great of Frenchbox to make this extra effort to provide that on/ the website) and the bookmark made in the shape of a palm representing the grand prize at Cannes the Palms d’Or I liked all the beauty products but loved the memorabilia.

  2. got mine today also. Exact same as everyone else
    My soap is green not sure of the scent as good
    And they need to put in the info card I kept looking for one

  3. I received trial sizes of: Payot body scrub and Marilou Bio Night cream. I also received a tube of lip gloss and a large bar of soap. There was also a keychain with a 35 mm film clip, an old post card and a small gold Palm leaf bookmark.

    Curious to see what everyone else received. I’m sure the review will be up soon.

  4. I received my May Frenchbox this morning. There is no information card in it (the fold out card describing the contents). Do others have the card? Can’t comment on value until I look up the included items.

    • My posts containing links always take days to show up (if ever) so I posted the contents in MUT with links to the items to show values.

      • The curation of the box was excellent I loved the unique items. I do hope for some food,jewelry,or accessories in future boxes. I do think it is a great recovery on their part.

    • I got mine today also, and there was no info card either. I don’t know the value but I’m excited about the box. To me it looks better than the Oui Please box since these are items I will actually use! I’m obsessed with the large beautiful bar of soap. They are really expensive in France, I would say around 8 euros for one like this. Or maybe I was just in the over priced shopping district. Either way I was very happy to get this soap since I regretted not getti one while in France

      • Yes, this soap is HUGE, especially compared to the tiny one from Ouiplease. I am most happy for body scrub. It’s only travel size, but Payot is a great, high end brand and I use a lot of body scrub in summer . ( a must before applying fake tan )

      • Which soap did you get?

        • Rose & gardenia. Smells so nice, it will be one of the gifts for my mum, because I don’t use this kind of soap, but she loves them.

          • I got lavender and milk, the top half is purple and the bottom is white.

  5. Is it bad that I am a teensy weensy curious about the upcoming box? I received an email stating that the theme is Cannes Film Festival which is different.

  6. Since they have increased the value of each box, I think its being a bit unreasonable to expect to receive the same number of boxes. At least they didn’t go under completely. If you don’t like the new pricing model, consider yourself lucky that you can just take the refund and walk away.

  7. I can appreciate the position FrenchBox is in and even the need to be bi-monthly for sourcing purposes. I can appreciate their need for an increased price. In my opinion, this increased price should not start for yearly subscribers until the end of their current contract.

    If they really want to show loyalty to those who showed loyalty to their product (by purchasing the entire year in good faith), they should honor the quantity of boxes each has on their contract. This is what needs to be done in order to get back any of the goodwill/customer satisfaction that was lost in February.

    If not, I am undecided whether I will request a refund or continue for whatever remains of my paid up amount. I am certain, however, that if I do not get all of my boxes I will not continue after my paid boxes stop, nor will I ever sign with them again, nor will I recommend them to anyone. In fact, I would be certain to recommend against signing with them.

    • I think they have done that. It looks like that added 30% credit to my account. I have recieved 6 boxes and with the 30% I have enough credit to get 6 more at the increased price. That seems to fulfill the year as far as I am concerned…

      • Actually I spoke too soon. I see now that it is 6 months of subscription but only 3 boxes. My mistake. So they are shorting everyone the benefit of their actual contract. Bummer. With that info i am taking the refund.

  8. I love French Box and luckily, never received the bad box, just the “replacement” items. It was kind of a fluke, but for some reason, they had trouble even filling all the orders that month – so I ended up being one of the fortunate few who never received the terrible box the left such a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

    Since then, all of my communication with Ben has been great. He responded to my emails in 24 hours or less. He always took complete responsibility for everything and was very patient in explaining what was going on. As a new subscriber, I was more than a little confused.

    To sum it up, I loved every French box I received and I am definitely staying with them. I won’t name names, but there are other subs out there who haven’t gone to even one, one hundredth of the length that French Box has. I hope that enough people stay with them that they can get back on their feet again. I’m sure it will be worth it for us all!

  9. I am going to continue at least my remaining subscription term. Ben at French Box has replied to my questions and I as others have commented I think they are sincere. I had 6 remaining months and will receive 3 and a partial. Glad to see them regroup and work out a new business model as this could have gone a different direction. They are trying to make it right the best way they can.

    • Connie, can you share with us your questions and his responses?

      • My questions were about my remaining annual subscription. Ben said that I would receive 3 more boxes (had 6 left) and a partial balance of around $24.00. Straightforward and sincere and definitely appreciative of those subscribers willing to give them a chance. Had hoped for a little more but I guess I feel lucky that they just didn’t give up ship with nothing.

    • It will be interesting to see how they will give you a partial box!

      • Ben said the “partial” could be toward box or credit to purchase products.

  10. I think it would behoove them to make this first box in May available to everyone at the original cost of $24 and then increase to the new pricing just to allow people to try the new and improved box, shop appreciation to their customers and regain and build trust.

  11. I may give this one another go, I love the face mask I got and only have 1 more use out of it. I still have the cute mirror and notebook in my purse.I would expect the boxes would only improve at this point.

  12. I have corresponded with Ben several times. Based on what I’ve seen, I think they were just very inexperienced and did not develop a reasonable business model at the beginning I do not think they have handled things as well as Scandicrush. But I do think they have tried hard to remedy past mistakes such as the cell phone charm issu, the late moisturizer (sent at their expense) and the bad February box I did see one post about expired replacement products but I never saw the original post and don’t know who the original poster was or who,she contacted I tend to take the allegations with a grain of salt since both the replacement product companies are listed as brands on the Frenchbox website and the company might be subject to legal action if the companies did not authorize use of their products.. having said all this , I am still not sure I will continue with my subscription though I suspect the next few boxes might be awesome in order to reestablish their representation.

  13. So… I’m not a subscriber, and not planning to subscribe (I have more than enough subscriptions already), but I have been following the saga and I have to say that I am really impressed with the way French Box chose to handle things. I think they had good intentions upfront, but quickly realized that they weren’t able to delivery what they wanted under their old schedule and pricing structure. Rather than continue to provide sloppy boxes that would have slowly driven them under, they went back to the drawing board and came up with a plan to better meet customer needs. I think they have done a great job communicating with customers as they restructured, and offered some very fair options to those on an annual subscription. I wish all sub box companies were as responsive to customer feedback (Hello – Escape Monthly?). Just my two cents 🙂

  14. I canceled before the whole expired items mess and I’m so glad. I don’t care what they say, making the decision to send out years old and discontinued products knowing that you could harm people is just shady. The trust is gone and I would never buy from them again.

  15. Before the fiasco with the expired, crappy products I was very close to subscribing (glad I didn’t, obviously) and I am interested to see if they can turn things around. According to their website they are not taking new subscribers, but there is an option to “build your own box” for $36 and choose four full size products (I’m guessing from previous boxes) + a perfume sample. Maybe four full size products is what can be expected in future boxes? I’m curious because this email to subscribers doesn’t guarantee a minimum value nor does it give an estimate on the number of products. Stating the boxes will have “better” and “exclusive” products is really vague and doesn’t inspire much confidence.

    • When you opt to build your own box @ $36, the products include the Lanvin and Sultana items they sent as replacements for the bad boxes. If these are old products, as has been stated already, I’m not sure this really looks good for them. It’s a voluntary purchase and I guess they have stock to get rid of but still doesn’t bode so well.

      • You know, I saw that a few weeks ago and I could have sworn the price for four items under pick-your-own was $24. Does anyone else recall?

  16. I’m curious to see if FrenchBox bounces back from this. I’m not understanding the math because I think you would be a half a box short of what you initially paid, but maybe I am not doing the math correctly. I would like to see reviews to satisfy my curiosity :).

    • They are increasing the price of the box by 50% but only increasing the balance of your account by 30% so essentially you will not be able to get the same number of boxes you had left. I think you’re right in thinking everyone will be about half a box short. I’m interested in seeing how this plays out as well.

  17. Can one party change the contract made (for 12 boxes) without the consent of the other party? I paid for 12 boxes. Am I not due a total of 12 boxes regardless of the new price?

    Any legal expertise here?

    • They most likely can’t, but it’s also most likely that there isn’t anything you can do about it. It would not be practical to sue them to force specific performance.

      • Correct, legally they cannot unilaterally change contract terms absent 2 party consent. However, the ability to enforce contractual rights in this scenario is likely more trouble than it’s worth. I recommend taking the refund option. It’s the only meaningful method to get back your investment, taking into account the boxes already received (assuming prepayment for 12 boxes). From a legal standpoint, a court would be reluctant to force delivery (specific performance) of a 12 box delivery service model where the recipient has been offered a prorated refund and already did receive a some performance (past boxes delivered during the contractual term).

        Maybe this is a new area of practice I should consider: sub box contract litigation…I’m sure I can find some partners here on MSA, lol.

        • You are assuming that the contract is for 12 boxes, instead of, say 12 months. Unless you have the contract in front of you, and have read it word for word, you should really be careful about trying to give any kind of legal advice here. It’s really never a good idea to try giving free legal advice to strangers (assuming you’re even a licensed attorney). I would expect that French Box has lawyers who they pay (not free guess-givers on the internet) who have carefully analyzed exactly what they can and cannot do under contract.

          • I believe the wording upon purchase was $XXX a year of one box per month. I read that as 12 boxes due to me.

            Is there another way to read it?

    • Comment

    • Given the response I just received them them, I guess they realize this.

      Two thumbs down for them right now!

  18. I’m sad they’re going up in price and going to every other month 🙁 I like getting monthly boxes lol. Luckily I missed out on the ‘bad’ boxes and haven’t renewed my subscription yet, I’ll have to see a few boxes first with the new price increase.

  19. The price increase is essentially 33% of the original price. The increase in your pro-rated balance *almost* makes it even. I do think it’s nice though that they are offering a refund of the increased, pro-rated balance.

    • Oh wait, I think I misunderstood that part. The pro-rated balance is what you had remaining in your subscription, and the final balance is after the 30% increase.

    • I checked my account online. They have me listed as receiving five boxes (which they cleverly try to mask by stating 10 months of boxes). Since I purchased twelve and received four, my math says that I am due eight.

      So that is short three boxes or 33% of what I purchased.

      How does it work out for the rest of you?

      • Yes, what they are saying is that instead of getting 8 of the old $24 boxes, you will be getting 5 of the new $36 boxes.

        In numbers, if you bought a yearly subscription you paid $17 per box. That means that you have $136 remaining in your subscription ($17 x 8). To that, they are adding 30%, thus giving you a total of $177. The new boxes are $36, so with those $177 you can buy approximately 5 boxes – so that’s what they plan to send you.

        You can either take 5 boxes or request a refund.

    • It’s actually a 50% price increase. The box was $24 and now they are adding $12 to make the new coat of $36. $12 is 50% of the original price so it is a 50% increase in price.

  20. So how does that 30% stack up as far as receiving the boxes we purchased. In other words, does it mean we will still get our full subscription or will it fall short? Has any math-lover done the actual math?

    • You’re gonna fall short. The price increase is actually 50% above the original price. They are giving a 30% bonus.

      So either they are confused too or they are trying to trick people into thinking its a fair deal.

      Honestly though, at this price point I am more interested in signing up. I didn’t think I would get anything good in a $24 a month box. I like that it’s every other month so it’s not too expensive of a commitment (I already have too many boxes!)

  21. I thought the replacement products were fine. I read comments before about them also being out of date but didn’t see any post confirming that. Did I miss something?
    I’m happy to stay with Frenchbox. I’ve found some wonderful brands through this subscription and bought more when my sample ran out. I look forward to good things to come.

    • My other response didn’t make it through, perhaps because I included a link. In any case, an MSA reader named Birdie called the companies that make the handscrub and the gel. She found out that the handscrub was discontinued in 2011. The gel was part of a 3-item gift set – along with the lotion French Box sent earlier – that was discontinued in 2013. This wasn’t posted in the main blog, but on the MSA forum and you can find it if you search for french box.

      • Thanks for posting this. I wondered why I could not find that discussion in this forum.

      • Hello nana, after the incident with the February box, we now guarantee that our products are acquired directly from brands or their official distributors. We also post product information that we collect from them.
        Birdie’s information about the scrub being discontinued in 2011 does not match what the brand told us, which is that the scrub was produced in 2015.

  22. Me neither. While I understand that they couldn’t send the box they wanted to send for the price they were charging, it shouldn’t have taken a fiasco like this for them to realize that buying old products in the gray market wasn’t the answer to their problems. And the fact that they sent old replacement products, also acquired in the gray market, suggests they haven’t learned their lesson.

    That said, I do hope Liz will stay subscribed and review a few of the boxes – in case I’m wrong.

    • I hope the reviews continue if for nothing more than the entertainment value of the whole debacle. It might sound evil but sometimes you just can’t help but watch the train wreck. I certainly don’t wish more of the same subpar/outright appalling boxes on any new subscribers who may not be aware of the history with this sub and has no internet access or ability to use google before subscribing. They say hope springs eternal but for me it’s a matter of once bitten, twice shy. Then again, I don’t trust anyone as a general rule, lol.

  23. I decided against giving them another chance. There is nothing that they can put in their next box to make up for the dingy, smelly, old box of crapola they sent me last time

    • For some reason this comment (and the imagery) made me laugh so hard. Which I needed today, so thanks!

      • Too bad I couldn’t post a pic of my shocked face when I opened it lol that would really make you laugh!

        I ended up demanding a refund which they gave me minus the box of crap. I’m not a fan of this company and know in my heart they were drinking yummy mojitos in South Beach near their office laughing at how they could repackage crap stuff and make money off of us box addicts. Guess they didn’t expect everyone to go nuts!

        It’s all so slick and slimy of them!

        Although you ladies are far more forgiving then me.

        • Lately a few boxes have re-organized or closed up shop. I think they start out cheap to get the subscriber base and then realize they can’t keep the box afloat with the money/manpower they have. I don’t think it was an evil plot to deceive. More just desperation of what to do. Big company boxes like Sample Society, Glossy Box will survive cause they have large buying power behind them. I think small boxes will continue to come and go. I like buying the small boxes cause I like to support small businesses but that does come with some risk.

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