Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Green Blender Review: January 2015

This is kind of a review of Green Blender, but more of a review of the potential of the service than the result due to factors outside their control. I will say that their customer service and potential, though, are enough to keep me intrigued in trying again.

Green Blender is a weekly subscription (like most meal-type services, you can skip weeks out to a month in advance or so) of fresh produce and ingredients for smoothies. You are sent five recipes and the exact amount of ingredients (except ice and water clearly) to make two 12-oz. servings (or one big 24 oz. serving). They ship on certain days based on your location, and that's where the problem came into play with this particular order.

So Green Blender ships on Wednesdays to my area in Connecticut from Brooklyn. The idea is that the box will ship overnight and reach me when it's still fresh. Of course, we had a big storm on Tuesday, but that should be irrelevant to Wednesday in Brooklyn, you would think.

Apparently not. Although UPS, FedEx, and USPS closed on Tuesday for the storm, and we did get a hefty amount of snow, by Wednesday morning, everything was basically back to normal. Schools were closed and there was minimal traffic, because cleanup was still happening, but deliveries were back on schedule and you could see full pavement on the major roads. We live on a main road right off the highway, so by Wednesday evening, when the box shipped, we could have personally driven to Brooklyn and picked it up with no issue at all.

Come Thursday night, I got a call from FedEx. "Due to impassable conditions in your area, we are unable to deliver your package." Except by Thursday, schools were back in session and even the side roads were clear. We live in New England - it snows a LOT here. I thought maybe FedEx's facility was stuck or something, but no, they admitted (when I called) that the package had arrived overnight on Wednesday, but they were backed up. Which is essentially their way of saying that they couldn't function with a day off. Because it had now been two days since the storm and they couldn't keep up with deliveries (and by now, UPS and USPS were completely back to normal).

I contacted Green Blender and they were very nice about it, saying to see how the produce looked when it arrived, which was hopefully going to be Friday. They said they would provide a credit if the delivery was ruined, but that the package was in a refrigerated pack, so hopefully it would be okay.

Realistically, it may have been had FedEx delivered on Friday morning. I had another delivery at just past 10:30 in the morning, so they could have done so. But the Green Blender box did not arrive until after 5 pm. At that point, it had been sitting in a box for two days. Some of the produce, like the apples, was fine, because apples are resilient and used to sitting around for a few days. My oranges, though, were dented, and the bananas were just brown goo. The sliced pineapple chunks were a little iffy, but I figured they could be salvaged. Still, I was extremely disappointed, because instead of waiting for recipes and rotten fruit, I could have gotten recipes online and bought my own.

I contacted Green Blender again, disappointed although it wasn't their fault. They were very sympathetic and immediately agreed to refund my money. They canceled my account, although I am planning to reopen it in spring when I can rely on FedEx to show up (hopefully). Through all of it, though, they were completely understanding and super prompt in replying. The fact is that they had to shop for produce, put it all together, and ship it - and when it wasn't delivered on time, they ended up being penalized by poor planning on the shipping service's part. That's a lot of work on Green Blender's end for nothing, and I respect that they're more concerned about quality and customer satisfaction than their own ends. It makes me definitely plan to resubscribe as soon as the weather is a bit better, because there is real potential here. I like most of the recipes and the ones I don't like can be adjusted or I could always just eat the fresh produce! Either way, I'm disappointed in FedEx for the experience, but also really confident that Green Blender is worth the subscription. I recommend them when there isn't a storm.

By the way, they send big straws for you to enjoy your smoothies with. I also made my own smoothie using some of the ingredients and items I had, so here's the smoothie in a cup. I am really excited to try them for real this spring.





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