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Taste Guru Subscription Box Review – May 2014

Taste Guru Subscription Box Review - May

If you read this blog a lot you know that my reviews are generally pretty positive. I may not like or need a product in a subscription box, but if they delivered what they promised subscribers, I’m not going to hold my personal preferences against them in my verdict. (Of course if I absolutely love a box that should be pretty clear!)

This review is not going to be a positive one though. I’m pretty bummed about it too because when Taste Guru originally launched I was so excited about a gluten free box that sent both snacks and pantry staple items.

I’m not sure entirely what’s going on with Taste Guru right now, but based on comments I’m seeing on my review from last month, it seems like the following things are happening:

  • Many subscribers are having issues getting responses from their customer care/social media.
  • They have blocked users from commenting on their Facebook page.
  • Many subscribers are still waiting on their April boxes.
  • It seems like Taste Guru is penalizing customers who signed up with a Gilt City or Groupon deal with a lesser box. (I’m not sure if it’s only on the last box of your subscription, like what happened to me).

For reference, I subscribed to Taste Guru with a 6-month subscription deal through Gilt City, and this was the last box of my 6-month subscription.

So, as you can see from the top picture, I received my May Taste Guru box in a USPS mailer and it has 6 items in it. Here’s a picture from Instagram of what the May box should look like. (I received 6 of the 9 items for the May box). I haven’t received a response yet from Taste Guru about the discrepancy in boxes, but if I do I will update this post.

The Subscription Box: Taste Guru

The Cost: $39 a month (less with 3,6, and 12 month plans)

The Products: 6-8 full-size gluten free products.

Check out all of my Taste Guru reviews and the Gluten Free Subscription Box Directory!

Taste Guru Subscription Box Review - May 2014 Pasta

Free for All Kitchen Gluten Free Crackers – Value $4

Delallo Gluten Free Orzo – Value $3

These crackers are tasty, and I’m used to only three varieties of gluten-free pasta from Trader Joe’s, so it’s nice to have Orzo to try!

Taste Guru Subscription Box Review - May 2014 Soy Joy

Enstrom Almond Toffee Singles – Value $2

Soy Joy Bar in Dark Chocolate Cherry – Value $1.50

Verdict: This box has a value of about $10.50. I’m definitely disappointed in the value and just not sure what’s going on with Taste Guru. The point of offering your subscription on a site like Gilt City is to attract new customers and hopefully impress them enough that they decide to stay subscribed at the regular rate after their discount is over. I definitely would have kept subscribing if I hadn’t received this box, (and seeing that they are ignoring their customer’s complains/questions isn’t helping).

Given how they are currently handling customers, I do not recommend subscribing to Taste Guru. I’d love to see them turn it around, respond to customers with transparency, and provide customers with a great value to make up for the previous issues, but it seems like these are the actions of a company that isn’t going to be around much longer.

I think this is the most negative review I’ve ever written, and I even made sure to not write the review immediately after receiving the box, since I didn’t want to write a review angry!

Do you subscribe to Taste Guru? What has been your experience?

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!

Posted in Subscription Box Reviews, Taste Guru Reviews| 42 comments

Comments (42)

  1. WOW!! I was wondering what was going on!!! I too purchased the 6-month Gilt voucher. My May and June boxes were these “chinsy” boxes!!!! I’ve gotten TG in the past and they were big boxes with several full sized items in them! And, actually, a co-worker also redeemed a Gilt voucher and has received the regular TG boxes! Not these small ones!! So, we can contact Gilt about getting a refund?
    Thanks so much for your review!

  2. I am so upset that I waited to use my voucher. May was my first and June was even worse. They sent me the Delallo orzo again. The value is below $10. Their customer service keeps closing my zendesk requests saying they are sorry I am not happy but, never answering questions. Attached is my box. They are not sending out the big brown boxes to those of us who used their voucher. I subscribed last year and recommended the site to three people I know who are gluten-free. I cannot believe they are sending out such horrible subscription boxes. I hope to get an answer soon as to why I am getting these small boxes.

  3. I wanted to update anyone who subscribed via Gilt City – I sent them photos along with my emails proving that Taste Guru is not sending people what they advertise. Gilt City is aware of the issue so if like me you either were not sent boxes or got this insult of a box for May contact Gilt City for a refund!
    On another note even though it clearly states on Gilt City that it will NOT auto renew and people email them however if you do get charged I hope people start sending the information to the BBB! If enough people complain maybe they will finally stop!

    • I have been going back and forth with my complaint at the BBB, as well and had a gilt city subscription; however it was a gift so I hope the person who bought it for me is able to get a refund. Please feel free to connect with me on Twitter @tabithapac. I’m collecting and putting together a PDF file showing their discrepancies, poor customer service, censoring, etc. I even have video showing how they censor their comments on social media so that they position themselves as trustworthy and a good company.

      • Tabitha, I don’t do Twitter and I’m one of the Groupon folks who never got box #3, would you like to add my data to your complaint? I have a record of emails, unfulfilled promises, and BS from them.

      • I ended up getting a refund from Groupon after quite a bit of back and forth. It’s funny that they just decided not to even bother sending out an April box to so many of us. Tabatha, I sent you a bunch of pics on Twitter a while back… I’m also going through the BBB. Filing complaints wherever I can so they don’t keep stealing people’s money, and also they keep making really good company’s like Groupon and Gilt City look bad. This company needs to get out of the subscription business. They have failed miserably at it.

  4. Was charged $174 even though I was assured weeks ago that my sub was not auto renewing. I’m contesting this charge. With no April box in sight and a low value May box why would anyone renew?

  5. I sincerely wish all gluten-free businesses the greatest success, but dealing with Taste Guru’s customer service has been an epic fail. I’ve had assurances that my April box would be delivered since March 18. Despite a flurry of emails confirming that I’m on the shipping list, it’s now June 2 without any indication the APRIL box is shipping. I feel others should be forewarned that the company is not fulfilling its deliveries.

  6. I also had a 3 month subscription via Groupon. I received my first two boxes and did not receive my last box which was April 2014. I emailed the company and was told there was a shipping delay due to the holidays and it would go out within the next few weeks. I waited and did not receive a shipping notification and emailed them again. This time i was told she checked and made sure i was on the next shipping list. Today 6/1/14 i found you review and saw that i am not the only Groupon user this has happened to. I just emailed them again and said if i dont get my last box i will contest the charge. My other problem with this company is they “switched” servers and i was not able to log in to my account and cancel my subscription. Luckily i emailed them and they canceled prior to it autorenewing. Its a shame. I really enjoyed the GF products. It has potential if they would make things right.

    • I just called Groupon to tell them the EXACT same scenario! They gave me a partial refund $15 so you should receive the same. I was calling to tell them to never offer another Taste Guru Groupon. Dealing with their Customer Service has been an exercise in futility. Not comforting, but interesting you’re hearing the same thing from them.

      • Well Groupon has been far less helpful for me than you. I have been corresponding with them back and forth and their final response was to email Taste Guru again… Unbelievable. I sent them all the details, but the lady who got my case at Groupon, I don’t believe English is her first language or she is just using canned responses because it appears she doesn’t actually read what I’ve been writing LOL. June 2nd… and still no April box.

      • After calling Groupon and explaining the situation they emailed me and advised they have contacted Taste Guru and they will be fulfilling my order. Prior to Groupon’s email I had already conntacted Taste Guru via email and was given the same BS story that they are still delayed and my last box (April) will be shipped ASAP. I called Groupon again and sent them all of my emails with Taste Guru and they refunded my entire Groupon price-$37 (3 months of Taste Guru). I hope everyone else gets a full refund.

      • I also ended up getting a full refund from Groupon. It’s a shame that it ended this way. Taste Guru offered a good service. But when they got in over their heads, rather than being honest, they lied and scammed their customers. You can’t come back from that.

      • Thanks for the update! I called Groupon and they said they will call the merchant and see if they will send the last box to complete my order. If they do not comply or fail to respond to Groupon within 3 days they will issue me a partial refund. *fingers crossed* let’s see what happens!

  7. My box was almost as bad! Lots of duplicates of nature valley bars and seaweed snacks that just seemed like they threw leftovers into my box. I subscribed via the 2FOR1 code starting in April. Will never subscribe again!!

  8. I am another Gilt City subscriber who was burned by the May box. I finally managed to make contact with a *person* at Taste Guru via email. This is after the phone hung up on me. I told them in no uncertain terms that I wanted my account closed, just to make sure that they didn’t try to auto-renew. One hour after my email, I received a response from “Laura Cordes” stating that my subscription would be canceled on May 31.

    When I received full boxes, I was fairly pleased with the service. But the rapid decline in quality and customer service is reprehensible.

    Of course, they had the audacity to offer me a 20% off discount code. LOL

  9. I received the same box as you and inquired about the three missing items and was told that the variety is not guaranteed and the boxes are sent at random. I’ve never seen such a poor response from a subscription box company. I was missing one piece of candy from a Love with Food box once and they sent an entire new box. Now that’s service!

  10. I got the exact same box, and am sorta relieved because I thought I might be the only one to get a crummy box since I canceled and they knew it would be my last box.

  11. I don’t subscribe to this box but I’m sorry you are going through this. I had to post a review like this once and the company stopped their subscription two months later. Hopefully they get things turned around.

  12. I got the same meager contents as you Liz. Never received my April box. It’s still on the way, they say.

  13. Thanks for this review. I signed up for the 3 month groupon and never received my final box. It was supposed to be coming in mid April. It is almost the end of May and the May folks have received theirs but I am sill boxless. I contacted them 4 times and each time they said it was on the way. Most recently this week. It is unfortunate that they are not truthful and honest with their customers. What a poor way to do business. I am out $20 for the box they never sent. Feel like I should go to BEtter. business bureau but it may not be worth it.

  14. Can I ask if your tracking was through Fed-ex smart post or usps?

    Ours is set to arrive at my boyfriends today but he doesn’t get home until late. It was sent Fed Ex Smartpost and definitely took longing than usps priority mail to get to him.

    We got three boxes on our first subscription and all were good, full boxes. Skipped April and then resigned up this month for 3 more months through Gilt City. I’m crossing my fingers we just get lucky with a decent box, but if not, does Gilt City have a return policy or anything similar to Groupon’s for companies that don’t deliver what they say they will??

    • I got the same small box sent usps in a small priority box. It probably cost as much to send it as the contents in it. This was my last box from my Gilt city voucher that cost $65 for 6 months. I cancelled earlier this month. I’ll be interested in seeing if everyone got the same box. Certainly if you paid the monthly $39 this box would be a huge disappointment.

    • Mine always used to come UPS, but I guess I will have to be on the lookout for a tiny package of crap instead of the large box of crap.

  15. I received my May box but still haven’t received my April box which makes no sense whatsoever. I can’t even log into my account. Customer service takes about two weeks to finally respond, and they simply said that they are upgrading they’re system and some people didn’t receive the April box. They should have communicated that way before anyone has to email them. Everything in my May box was so crammed together the popcorn and crackers are basically crumbs. Which pretty much sums up this subscription – crumby.

  16. I’m not really interested in food boxes but I read pretty much all of your reviews bc I enjoy them. Actually I have recently subscribed to nature box and graze due to your reviews so I guess I do like food boxes lol. What is wrong with Taste Guru? Who would pay $39 a month after receiving a box worth $10? I agree with u that they won’t be around longer and the Gilt City offer was probably just a way to get a few dollars before shutting down their operation.

  17. Hey Liz, I also really appreciate the honesty. I was considering a subscription as a bday gift for my sis-in-law, who has a tough time finding yummy gluten free food. Now I have been warned. Unfortunately, It does sound like they are about to go under.

    • Healthy Surprise is all gluten-free if you are looking for an alternative box to give 🙂

      • UrthBox has a gluten free option, too. I get the vegan UrthBox (which does have a lot of GF stuff in it) and I’ve been happy with it so far (plus responsive customer service).

      • Urthbox never responded to me

    • Naturebox has gluten free options and they have some of the best customer service around. I’ve been using them for over a year. They have a snackisfaction guarantee too. The reason they have stuck around so long is they don’t jerk around their customers like Taste Guru. May 29, and I still don’t have an April box. Now Groupon is saying “well maybe they don’t know about the problem”, LOL!!!! The reason they shut down commenting and banned us all from their site is they DO know about the problem!!!! Sigh.

  18. My last box of three was last month. I got four items, two of which were repeats from the previous month (figs and chips), and two granola bars, It wasn’t even worth the gilt city subscription price. Two of my three boxes were not delivered until I had emails with customer service, though I will say they were answered within 48 hours (weekday). I also got my subscription canceled by email instead of auto renewed which was one of the main complaints on the now disappeared Facebook comments. I jumped on that ahead of time because of those, and have the still saved email that says my account was canceled because I also saw complaints that a new charge showed up after people had been told they were canceled. I suggest anyone who bought the “nonrenewing” Gilt CIty coupon email to confirm that they will not auto renew. I too have a hard time figuring out what has gone wrong over there. I can see maybe getting in over their heads and not having the money to refund customers, so just trying to get something out there, and I’ll forgive that, but if they are taking new customers and providing this kind of product, they are being dishonest. If the quality of their boxes varies from person to person, they are also being dishonest. I don’t know, but I am done (I hope).

  19. Taste Guru must not know who you are. I’m glad you wrote a bad review, I was starting to think this blog was just advertisements as it was too positive.

  20. I signed up with the same code. The first two boxes I purchased last summer/fall were really good. The value was about equal to the cost of the box, and it seemed well curated. Then Taste Guru took over GFreely. I think this was the turning point. Many blogger’s were promoting Taste Guru for a long time because Taste Guru offered $15 to affiliates per new subscriber! I gave my final and fairly negative review in February, though my subscription ends in June.

  21. Well, that’s just crud.

    Hopefully they right their wrongs. I think several other subscription companies did things like this before calling it quits. Just saying ‘oh well’ is a horrible business move…

  22. Fancy customer service is just as bad, they threw in a lot of junk from mystery boxes into the mothers day boxes. They didn’t reply to complaints and delete all negative comments

  23. Liz,

    Thank you so much for finally writing a negative review! All of your bloggers appreciate friendly critiques as well as well deserved criticism.

    I stopped subscribing to Taste Guru because everything was either granola and pasta and make my own. The contents of this box makes me sad…

  24. I am so glad you did this honest review. I subscribed last year for 4 months and loved it. I bought the gilt city 6 month deal and was going to gift it. I have 3 friends that are gluten-free completely. I ended up getting so busy that I forgot about it. I finally just had it sent to me. May was my first box. I was SHOCKED. I sent an e-mail and the boxes are random and may not contain what is advertised. I was basing it off my previous experience. Very disappointing. And so glad I did not send this directly to one of my friends. I would never pay full price for this box. I wish I would have used the gilt voucher earlier.

  25. Completely unrelated to Taste Guru, but the brown rice pastas from Tinkyada are good if you’re looking for pasta that’s gluten free. Sold at Whole Foods and Amazon for sure. (And good for you because they’re whole grain.)

  26. I love your blog because you are always positive. Even when you get a low value box you still remain positive. Your honest critiques are truly appreciated, especially when the customer service is poor. It is very helpful for all of us when we are considering new subscriptions.

  27. What? They not use flat-rate priority mail to send boxes? They use to ship UPS in huge boxes.

    As it is, $39 is a huge rip-off. The box was good when it first came out, but as they kept running deals on LS, etc, it got horrible. This is so not worth the price.

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