Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Raw Food World - Worst Company in the Business

The Raw Food World is quite possibly the worst company in existence.  Worst customer service, worst bunch of people working there, and worst communication in the online raw vegan community, that's for sure.  They also have started carrying quite a few animal products, which is bad enough in itself, but that's not my gripe.  The story behind my issue with this company goes back quite a ways.  Please allow me to explain.

Shipping problems with this company have been the norm for this Sleuth.  At first, I would pay for my order with Paypal, and then wouldn't get a shipping confirmation.  After waiting typically 5-7 days or so, I'd write them and ask where my shipping confirmation was.  They told me they had problems with Paypal and weren't notified if I paid or not.  That was okay by me the first time they said it, but then it happened again.  It got to the point where I decided to start sending customer service reminder emails to tell them I placed an order and paid via Paypal.

Another problems I had with them regarded shipping partial orders without letting me know in advance that items weren't in stock.  That is a huge pet peeve to me, especially when the item that's out of stock is the main reason I even placed an order from them.  I mean come on, they charge me on average fourteen to eighteen dollars to ship to me from their location in California (highway robbery!).  So between the lag time on shipping, gouging on shipping prices, and shipping partial orders, I realized I was dealing with a group of amateurs who were lucky enough to be in on the "raw materials" orders that come in from other countries.

But the most recent problem was definitely the worst.  I bought several bottles of Vitamineral Green from the company, and they shipped them to me.  When the box came, I opened it as usual and reached in to grab what looked like well-packed bottles covered in bubble wrap.  Instead, as soon as I reached down I felt a deep pain in my finger.  I pulled it out immediately and saw that I was bleeding profusely!  The Vitamineral Green bottle was shattered and glass went right through the bubble wrap and into my hand.

Panic set in as I was in my cubicle at work, amazed at what had just happened.  In pain I went running to the first aid kits.  I tried to put pressure on the wound but I couldn't open the gauze because the cut was on my finger and I could not hold anything.  A coworker saw me struggling and started to help me wrap it.  We ran out of gauze and had to go to the main first aid area on the first floor of my building at work.  The Corporate Safety Officer came down and helped me, cleaning and wrapping the wound.  All in all I lost a decent chunk of my work day and had trouble typing due to pain and the amount of wrapping the wound required.

I contacted Raw Food World about the problem.  They had me send pictures of the broken bottle and my wound.  I followed everything they asked me to do.  They refunded my astronomical shipping cost and sent me a new bottle of Vitamineral Green.  I sent them a thank you email and told them I will remain their customer although I'd had so many problems with them.  I received no word that the issue was still unresolved.  But then this morning as I went to place an order, I couldn't log in to my account.  It said "access denied", so I changed my password and tried again.  I got the same message.  So I contacted customer service and said this:
Hi, i'm trying to place an order and every time i enter my password it says "access denied". Also, i used the change password feature, tried it with my new password, and again it says "access denied." I want to take advantage of the June/July at-cost specials and there's only 24 hours to do that. Please help!
Thanks, Rick
I received this in response:
Our company has chosen to exercise our legal right to not serve you.
No reason was provided, no "thanks for writing", no nothing. My response:
Why? I'd honestly like to know. I deserve a reason. I've spent at least $1000-2000 with you in just two years' time.

Is it because you sent me product that was broken and caused me to get a serious laceration and miss time at work? I am amazed.

I'm filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. I'm posting about this on my blog and sending it to everyone I can possibly find in the raw community as well.

Thanks for showing me that you're quite possibly the most ridiculous company in existence.

Then I did precisely what I said I would and filed a complaint with the BBB. It turns out that RFW is not accredited with the BBB, but complaints are accepted for all companies. I submitted the following complaint:
The company sent me a package that contained broken glass.  I was cut badly and missed work time.  They refunded my money, and I talked to customer service who was nice about it.  I went to place an order today and was denied.  When I asked the company why I can't log in to their site, they wrote back just this: "Our company has chosen to exercise our legal right to not serve you."  That is unbelievable!  They've taken 2-3 weeks to ship in the past, they've left items out of orders they've shipped to me, and now they physically harmed me with an order.  Yet I look past all of that and attempt to spend another $300 today and I'm told they won't serve me.  No reason was given.  I am appalled and disgusted with how I've been treated as a customer.
I was never notified that they had a problem with me.  I am a paying customer, and know that this community isn't very big.  The pitiful customer service seems to run rampant in this raw vegan world.  Between this and last year's fiasco with Love Street Living Foods (another disgraceful company with shameful customer service and an owner who's full of himself), I am ashamed to be a member of this community.

Do yourself a favor and avoid RFW at all costs. I tend to be pretty upset when snubbed like this, so I am going to do some research into the company and Matt Monarch himself, as I've been concerned lately that he could quite possibly be a fraud of some sort. In my opinion, he's not the image he tries to project. He's just a marketer and seriously tries to sell things all day long, masquerading as a champion of health.  It's time to get to sleuthing - I'm going to figure out what the deal is and why it seems like they have the market cornered on lots of raw products.

Has anyone else had a problem with this awful company?