We Clucked Up. Royally.

We are currently innundated with orders, as well as a justified shitstorm of messages, emails, chargebacks, and even a couple of well deserved negative reviews. Someone even mentioned that they thought we'd closed down - I can assure you we are very much still open, have zero debt, are a very viable business and will trade and produce the same quality products indefinitely while I'm still alive. 

We are working through the orders now and will also be refunding shipping on every single order placed prior to 17th of June

What Happened? 

You will have no doubt seen the 'announcement bar' active on an ecommerce site before - we use it when we're going to be closed for a while, or if we're having a sale, or there is any issues impacting our delivery logistics. To use it you type the message, then the critical step is ticking the activation tickbox (see below) and saving the page. 

To cut a long story short, (too late) I thought I had closed the store for a couple of months, for reasons below. I didn't tick the box. I didn't check that the banner was active. 

I also just got a new phone and hadn't setup Candle Monster's email account on it. I completely forgot about this (in line with thinking I'd closed the store) until it was too late. 

I work two jobs whilst I'm growing Candle Monster, and my other job is in Consulting and it got crazy busy. I was doing lots of very detailed work on a software project at a very big interstate client's office, and whilst I maybe could have done both to a mediocre level, I chose to focus on one thing and do it properly. 

With the store closed, I freed myself from:

  • Responding to emails
  • The nightmare of 5 social media channels (thats what it takes these days)
  • Reading the daily barrage of text messages from scammers and spammers
  • Answering calls from unknown phone numbers (I couldn't really answer the phone anyway, I was leading workshops all day) 

That may sound dumb, but running a business comes with unsolicited comms on a scale thats hard to imagine. And to give good customer service you have to sift through all that to make sure you don't miss a customer message.

I get about 15-20 sneakily structured junk emails per day, DM's on all channels, 2-4 direct marketing calls per day, 10-15 text messages and they even message me via the website chat at 3am some days too. Nothing is sacred any more - it's absolutely exhausting, hopefully now you see why I 'freed myself'.

I've now landed back home with the project handed over to this huge mess and dont quite know where to start. So I'm starting here.

Just to be clear:

  • You're right to be pissed off (I would be)
  • You're right, I didn't read or reply to your messages 
  • All orders will be fulfilled over the next few days
  • Shipping will be refunded on all orders prior to June 17th
  • Orders over $80 will also come with a free room-spray
  • If you prefer a full refund instead of your order, you'll get it

In addtion to this, please accept a genuine, very embarressed 'sorry' from me. Building a business is a lot of hard work - all it takes is a slip up like this to send you backwards a year or two. 

Once you've recieved your parcel, if you left a negative review, please consider removing it. I'm not going to delete them, I will not censor customers voices, this incident actualy happened, and I own it. Please understand that reviews directly impact whether customers buy or abandon carts. 

Thanks for being paitient.

- Damien

 

2 comments

I ordered on the 24th of April. I haven’t received a refund or my order. I am still waiting on the bank. I’m not sure why you would post this. I left a review that I will happily remove when I actually receive the goods or my refund. I have been out of pocket for months. I know you say that you didn’t ’press a button’ but I actually received a specific email with a discount for my birthday. So maybe many buttons weren’t turned off. I run a business too, I get it, it’s very difficult for all of us right now but you must have realised and continued to take peoples money. I’m not sure if what you are writing here is true either. I’m still waiting to hear from the bank after 3 months or backwards and forwards, a huge hassle I didn’t need. If this were true why are you fighting the transaction? You know you didn’t send it? My next step is to report the business as others have been doing. There are a slew of comments over reddit from many people left out of pocket. You blatantly ignored everyone from months and now you post something that clearly contains more false information.

Kylie Dexter July 06, 2024

Hi Damien,

I’m so glad to see this update from you tonight!

I was coming over to give you a serve, but instead I’m very pleased to read your note!

I’ve been there too, and so I very much appreciate your honesty – and humour! – and am glad that you are being frank with your customers. I hope the negative reviews are deleted, as it’s so tough out there, and we all can do with being given some understanding.

I look forward to receiving my candle and room spray. I’m so pleased that they’re on their way!

Good luck with catching up on everything, and best wishes going forward.

Regards,

Sarah Foster

Sarah Foster June 18, 2024

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