This is a rant, but it's something that's been really bugging me in the last few months. To be honest, I started subscription boxes because of Loot Crate and Nerd Block, because they're the big ones. However, what I've come to realize is how little they care about customers (especially Loot Crate). They care about you if you have a massive YouTube following, but otherwise you're nothing. Your comments get ignored, your issues get resolved when they feel like it, and your boxes ship after everyone else's (their big name bloggers and celebrity endorsers who get them for free). Of course, it's important to have blog reviews and companies need them, but it's also not honest or ethical when paying customers are not treated the same way as reviewers.
I recently read a fellow blogger's rant on Loot Crate and I was saddened by her experience. She has been blocked on social media from having an opinion. What's funny is that her review wasn't really that harsh. She simply called them out because if they're promoting themselves as the leaders, why are their boxes the same quality as those from the up and comers like 1Up Box? They should have the ability to offer far more.
What I think this really speaks to is something I noticed with Loot Crate myself. They have horrible customer service and everything they do, in their emails, their posts, their partnerships, feels antithetical to what it means to be a geek. Geek culture is about embracing that which makes you a little odd, not about bandwagons. Geeks are obsessive and passionate about their fandoms, so when we get promotional content pushing the great Star Wars haul, we expect it. We don't want stickers. In addition, most of us are used to being treated like garbage outside of our fandom. Only other fans get our hardcore love of the same show, series, comic, movie, etc. So this insane push for more, more, more and the obsession with popularity goes against everything fandoms are about.
What it's really about here, I think, is that The Big Bang Theory is popular and mainstream culture is becoming inundated with all things celebrating nerdiness and geekdom. Of course, most of it is fake, but we all know the difference between marketing and fandom. Sadly, though, Loot Crate seems to be operating under the business model that geek = cash cow, not geek = passion. Nerd Block has some issues, too, but I do believe that the people at Nerd Block, somewhere in their mess, truly want to please their customers. I think they hire people who maybe don't care (as is the case with most customer service reps honestly), but at their heart, I do think Nerd Block is trying. I noticed that they posted recently asking for customer feedback, and they do seem interested in real responses and honesty. In contrast, the people at Loot Crate are arrogant and sarcastic. I have never seen worse customer service - and I've seen plenty of bad service. Customers are the reason Loot Crate is in business, but they certainly don't know it.
Meanwhile, new companies like Hero Crate and Collectible Geek are popping up to recover all of us who are so disillusioned and disheartened by this behavior. They seem to really love the stuff they're promoting. You also have people like Wil Wheaton and Naomi Kyle starting their own Quarterly boxes. Yes, everyone wants to make money, clearly, but I truly feel that Loot Crate has lost sight of everything they supposedly stand for in focusing on nothing else. (Although they're a completely different lifestyle, look at a company like FabFitFun. They're huge and yet each customer is treated the same. It doesn't matter if you're just a woman ordering a box or if you're Lauren Conrad - they value you as a customer.)
In communicating with them recently, they were arrogant, sarcastic, and rude. Worse, they actually wished me luck with other companies, bragging about their superiority. The idea that anyone would look down on new businesses, rather than partnering with them to help the entire industry and culture thrive, is sickening. I think people should be aware of the attitudes and behavior, because I understand that maybe they just hire people with no stake in the success of the organization, but that's no excuse to alienate customers.