Monday, January 7, 2013

Diaper Disappointment

This post has a limited audience: people local to Rochester, NY who would consider using a cloth diaper service (where they wash and deliver your diapers). If that's not you, I'll give you a quick Peter outtake to make this visit worth your time: He sucked on his lollipop so much that the top 1/2 inch of paper stick came off in his mouth with a bit of candy stuck to it. After I fished it out, he said in disgust, "My sucker had a tag on it."

For the past two years, I've been a big supporter of Luvaboos, our local "natural parenting boutique" (as they label themselves). Their staff is knowledgeable about cloth diapers, their prices are reasonable, and it's a local, family-owned business. I've made a point of shopping there over online retailers because I wanted them to succeed.

My recent experience with their cloth diaper delivery service came as a huge disappointment.

When Peter was born, my parents bought me one month of diaper service from the only cloth diaper service that exists in this county, Sweet Pea. It was fantastic. The diapers were delivered two weeks before his due date, along with some starter supplies (pail, covers, Snappis) that were included in the one month package. They accidentally had us in the system for two months and just gave us a free week while they sorted things out on their end. I recommended them to a few of my friends.

Actually, they don't bring it to you... keep reading...

Within the last year, Sweet Pea was bought by Luvaboos. On 12/21 (16 days before my due date), my parents went into Luvaboos to set up a month of diaper service for me. They paid for one month (no supplies, that package doesn't exist any more) and tried to give my information to get me in the system. No, they were told, I had to call and give my address and due date. (Really?!) On 12/22, I called. I gave my name and address; she didn't ask for my due date and blithely assured me the owner would call me in the next week.

Anne was born on 12/27. On Friday, 12/28, we called Luvaboos (who had never called me back) and said we were bringing the baby home that evening.
"I have to put your information in the system first."
"I already gave all my information when I called last Saturday."
"Well, we need your credit card on file. We're not going to charge it, but we need it on file."
"I'm not the one paying. You have my parents' card on file."
"Yes, they paid, but we need your card, just in case." (In case of what? Diaper theft?)
*give card information* "So when will the diapers be there?"
"It looks like your pick-up day will be Wednesday. But it usually takes a week to get you in the system."
"I already gave my information last week."
"Well, someone will call you to confirm your pick-up day and get you in the system."

No one called. Let me throw in here that I am very glad I had bought a few newborn inserts and still had the covers from Peter. I felt a little silly buying the inserts, since this baby would likely outgrow newborn diapers before my first month expired, but it's a good thing I bought them anyway. Otherwise Anne would have just gone commando for her first few days. ;-)

On New Year's Day, my Dad, my husband and I descended on Luvaboos to get some answers. Yes, yes, I was in the system, everything was all set. My pick-up day would be Wednesday. I pointed out that I still didn't have any diapers to be picked up. "Oh, well that's because you didn't come in to get your first set. Most people come in to pick up their diapers a couple weeks before the due date, you know, because they need to buy other stuff too." A quick look at my Dad confirmed he hadn't been told this, either.

Luvaboos, you're a diaper delivery service. That's the whole point. Not only did you fail to call both times you assured me you would, you left out a crucial bit of information.

I asked the employee to pass along the information to the owner that we were very disappointed in how the entire order was handled. I don't know if that happened, but I still haven't heard anything from them. Frankly, I'm glad I just redeemed my reward points. Once this is over, I don't intend on giving them more business.

We'll see how the service actually goes. As far as I know, Wednesday is my pick-up day. I hope they know where we live...

11 comments:

  1. i'm sorry that you are having to deal with all of this. you should be resting and enjoying your newly expanded family. if y'all are blessed with more kids i would recommend renting newborn diapers and washing them yourself. we rented newborn diapers for ellie and it was great. david is still in diapers, too, so we needed to continue washing his, so it wasn't much more work to wash ellie's too. (i also had both my babies right at the end of the school year so ryan was home to help out and actually, he does all of the spraying and washing still). anyway - here's a link to a blog post which is a directory of newborn rental services. i hope your 1 month of service goes well!
    http://allaboutclothdiapers.com/a-directory-of-newborn-cloth-diaper-rental-programs/

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    1. I hadn't considered renting, sort of forgot it was an option. Thanks for the link!

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  2. What a fiasco! Let us know if your diapers arrive on Wed. and this bump in the road will be solved. Love, Aunt Monica

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    1. The dirty diapers were picked up and new ones dropped off without incident today. Seems like everything should go smoothly from this point. Phew!

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  3. I also do not shop at Luvaboos anymore and haven't for some time due to their extrememly poor service. I went there once and because their supply selection is ALWAYS so low, they said I would have to order the items I wanted and that "They would be in within 2 weeks, but probably sooner". (I just wanted to order them at home, but I gave in and just did the order there).

    Not only did the order NOT come in within 2 weeks, they never even called me after 2 weeks to say that the order was late. I had to call them and the response I got; "The order must be backordered." Wow. Way to not even know where my stuff is or even care to call and then when I do call to be so non-concerned or seem interested. So I canceled most of the order right then.

    PLUS, once most of the order came in, I finally got a call from them. Only thing was they tried to charge me for the 'bum spray' that I had already canceled saying that it was in the system that I had already picked it up (being as this was my first trip there to pick up my order I have no idea how I could have gotten it already) so I "needed to pay for it now". FINALLY, the lady got it in her head that I wasn't going to leave having paid for an item I didn't receive (though would have liked to if it hadn't been over 3 weeks delay in my order). So she 'gave me' the discount for the spray all the while acting like I was cheating them out of their money and she was doing me a favor.

    I only went back there to finish up the gift card that I had and even my husband knows that we don't go there. I bought the rest of our cloth diapers and supplies from BUY BUY BABY (with 20% off coupons for each one making diapers $14.40 each and saved almost $10 off the diapers sprayer) and online from Mother Earth Baby who has great prices and gives free shipping on orders over $79. And the lady personally emailed me about my order and said thank you to me!. I would love to find a diaper service that does not involve Luvaboos. Ugh.

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    1. Ugh indeed. So frustrating when you want to buy local and are driven away by lousy service. Isn't good service supposed to be the hallmark of local business? Sigh.

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    2. I always thought so! But I think "flightiness" is a great word to use to describe their service. I'm so sad that they took over the diaper service...how on earth would they have time to do that as well as try to run that store? Let me know what you guys decide to do or have found instead if you switched from them.

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  4. Huh... that's surprising. I've gone to Luvaboos a few times due to the fact that the local homebirth meetings were held there and I wanted to see what they were like. It's a bit of a drive for me (they probably wouldn't even deliver out here for diaper delivery) but there were a few supplies I picked up on clearance from them. I'm kind of surprised that their customer service was so poor. They seemed very knowledgable when I went in, but I don't doubt your story either. I had to remind them that the items I bought were on 75% off.

    I agree with supporting local businesses as much as possible but I just couldn't justify buying our diapers from them... ended up ordering a bunch of Bum Genius on a Black Friday sale online. After having to buy three brand new carseats (very special ones at that to be able to fit three in a row in a Civic!) it just wasn't in our budget to buy local at 2-3 times the price of buying online. =/

    Of course I'm beginning to think that since this baby feels like staying put inside me FOREVER I might never get the chance to actually USE said diapers... ;)

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    1. Yeah, we've bought most of our new diapers online, but I went to Luvaboos for accessories, detergent, and used diapers. I'd had some experience with their customer service being a bit flighty, but this was too much. Sigh.

      Hope your little one comes soon! :-)

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  5. Here are two other great sites to buy from. Jack be Natural has free shipping on everything (although if your order is less than $10 there is a processing charge of $2.50 i think) and usually a hand-written thank you with your order. Also, Franklin Goose is a great little store here in Richmond, VA, but they started out as a website. I love going there - it's currently where I go to buy my detergent and everything they sell is "green", most of it is organic (some of it is a little pricey) and the people who own and run the store and site and super nice and helpful - they even have a cloth diaper hotline! and they sell more than just diaper stuff.
    www.jackbenatural.com
    www.franklingoose.com

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    1. Thanks so much! I'll be sure to check them out.

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