LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA -- As a long time customer who has been very happy with Vitacost's service in the past, I felt compelled to post this review after a recent horrific experience with the company. By the way, this is the first official negative review I have posted about a company in years so it takes a lot for me to be so angry that I will do this.
Last week, I placed an order on 1/22 for an OTC sinus remedy in the morning. Because I was anxious to receive the product, I paid $7.58 for ground shipping because in the past, doing so caused the product to reach me in two days since I live in Virginia.
I was very upset to receive an email on 1/24 that the product had just been shipped and that it wouldn't arrive until 1/28. According to Vitacost records, it was shipped on 1/23 but I suspect that because it didn't arrive at the UPS facility until late that day, it was not shipped until 1/24. I was also angry because another supplement I ordered from another vendor in North Carolina that Vitacost does not carry arrived on 1/28. I had placed it on 1/26 with free shipping. The vendor's prices are lower than any other outfit that carries the same product.
So I contacted customer service with my complaint about delayed shipping and kept receiving boiler plate responses. I asked twice for a priority customer service callback to no avail. During one phone call, I asked to speak to a supervisor and after a period of silence, I gave up. I later read in other reviews that this is common practice in not allowing customers to speak to supervisors.
The emails I sent were an exercise in extreme futility. When I sent a 2nd one, I asked that a supervisor respond. When it was clear one hadn't, I sent another one and again made my request and someone did respond with another typical boiler plate response. When this person offered me a 5% discount on future purchases, I asked that the shipping charge be waived. I won't repeat what I thought of this person's offer but let's just say it wasn't positive. I never heard back from the company.
As a result of my horrific experience, I decided to post a complaint on my3cents because Vitacost needs to know that providing inferior service is not acceptable. I also wanted customers who were considering doing business with this company to hear about my experience.
After reading posts from VitaCat, a representative of the company who seemed sincere about resolving customer service issues, I decided to email her before posting this complaint. When she didn't respond, I decided to post it. Needless to say, when my OTC remedy runs out, I will be looking for a new vendor who carries the product at a reasonable price and doesn't gouge for shipping.
BOCA RATON, FLORIDA -- I have been a customer of Vitacost for well over 2 years. When I place my orders, I order with the expectation that an order will be shipped within 24 hrs as indicated on their site. However, they neglect to inform the customer that shipping carrier choice is their option. The majority of health & beauty sites that I have dealt with automatically ship via UPS unless faster shipping is chosen.
I recently ordered $156 of product. The site specified that 2 of them would not be available until a week later which was fine. Everything else would be shipped within 24 hrs, I paid for shipping twice for 2 orders. Vitacost shipped the first order UPS & put a tracking # on the site. They included one of the items that wasn't supposed to be available until the later date which was not right. I received the box in 4 days.
I realized on delivery that the 2nd box would include vitamins that I desperately needed which was 16 oz and should have been included in the first box and shipped UPS since it was 1-lb weight. Vitacost specifies that items under 1 lb are shipped using a postal svc. company "Mail Innovations" so my order should not have shipped with them. No tracking info. was provided on the site for the 2nd box!
After calling Customer Svc., I found out Vitacost chose to send the 2nd box by postal mail with no expected delivery date & Cust. Svc. could not provide a delivery time frame. I was unable to track the package using the tracking # given by Customer Svc. & unable to reach anyone at their carrier, Mail Innovations.
This is the 2nd time Vitacost has done this with my order. I'm still waiting for my order. On an order placed in July '09, Vitacost chose to send by postal mail, the same carrier. I was again unable to track the order, I had to leave on vacation, and the package never arrived. I was however able to have my credit card credited. I am annoyed and thoroughly disgusted with the shipping policies, the lack of helpful knowledge of the customer service reps, and the inaccessibility of a viable outlet for complaints and resolutions. Shows how this company cares about customers.
It is not worth the hassle to shop here. There isn't even an email address other than within the site to their customer service. Oh, I happened to locate an email address from another disgruntled customer's review. I wish I had read resellerratings.com before I chose to shop here & stress myself. Do yourself a favor & check them out before ordering.
ONLINE, FLORIDA -- If I could give negative stars, I would. Their prices and customer service have always been incredible, but I've noticed in the last 6-9 months, they have gone completely downhill. I live in Canada and they started advertising "No surprise tax bill at your door" in their Canada shipping ads. I thought this was too good to be true -- and it was. After my delivery, I emailed them to clarify and their response was: "We guarantee duty free shipping, however, actual tax may differ from duty. I apologize for any inconvenience."
If that's the case, they really need to stop calling it 'no surprise tax bill at your door' and replace it with 'no surprise duty bill at your door'. I think this is false advertising, however, seeing that 99% of the time I am paying duty when ordering from a US merchant, I'm not surprised when these additional costs do come up upon delivery -- in fact, I expect it.
However, what upset me the most is that in my last two orders, I received the shipment in 2 boxes and they pasted the same total invoice to both boxes -- meaning I paid double the duties/taxes. After it happened the first time, I emailed them and they were quick to refund the duplicate charge, but they could not guarantee it wouldn't happen again.
Of course, a mere 2 months later, it happened again on my next shipment and once again, I had to go through the whole process all over again. They claimed they put a refund through on my credit card, but that was nearly a month ago and I called my credit card company who said nothing has gone through yet.
Honestly, it's just not worth the hassle...unfortunately, stay away :( Amazon doesn't deliver most supplements/ vitamins to Canadian customers, so I find luckyvitamin.com to be a great alternative if you're in Canada ordering from the US.
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA -- I just called your customer service line and explained that I was very unhappy with the way Vitacost uses their promo codes as bait but rarely honors them. I became familiar with Vitacost through a promo for $10 off your first order. I familiarized myself with your website and loaded my cart. Upon checkout, the system would not take the promo code.
I called the customer service line for help only to be told that the coupon could not be combined with any other promo and since the items I chose were on promo, the coupon wouldn't work. They spoke matter-of-fact and they were not sympathetic to the issue and the fact I wasted my time. Nowhere on the coupon did it say that it could not be combined with any other promo. Even though I made that clear to the customer service rep, they did not honor the coupon. At that point I started receiving emails with promos.
A few months later I attempted to use a promo. Again, it wouldn't take it even though I had received the email only 1 day before. Apparently I was 2 hours late. Again, another bait without honoring the promo. You should give your customers a reasonable amount of time to use the promos you advertise to avoid frustration on our end.
Today I tried to take advantage of your BOGO offer on Vitacost products. The banner clearly states in large print "Buy one get one 50% off on Vitacost brand products". So I loaded my cart with two coconut oils and attempted to check out with the promo. It didn't work. I called the customer service line and was told that item was excluded. I'm very frustrated and feel that Vitacost baits us with misleading emails and refuses to honor what they represent to the customer.
As I was speaking to the customer service supervisor, I noticed the fine print at the very bottom in very small letters "exclusions may apply". Again, a very underhanded way to promote your products. I told the CSS that I wanted the promo honored for the Vitacost product I chose because after three poor experiences with your promos, I was feeling misled and I wanted them to honor the promo as it was represented. She checked with her manager who denied my request even though I made it clear they would lose my business.
It's unbelievable that this is how your manager handled this situation after I expressed willingness to be loyal to your business if only I was shown an act of good faith and extended a reasonable offer considering I've been jerked around so much. Vitacost needs a good lesson in customer appreciation and circumstantial exceptions to the hard and fast rule.
I was excited to learn about the company from hearing an ad on the radio. I wish now I had reviewed on the internet what bad experiences others were having before making my very large order. I purchased about 30 items. Got an email a day or so after saying one item of the many was being shipped separately and I'd get an email when the rest of the items shipped. I got another email and was very excited to learn a day or so thereafter that the rest of the order allegedly had shipped.
I received a box marked 2 of 2 which was poorly wrapped and prepared for shipping. Inside was a packing list indicating all remaining items were included in the shipment except the initial item sent previously (still not received by this time) and so I started counting the items sent to me to discover I was missing 18 items (not including the item allegedly previously shipped and the item listed as being on back-order).
I called Customer Service and held on a while and when I got someone live and told her the situation, she said to hold on so she could transfer me to customer service (curious as that is where I was supposed to be in the first place) and she then "transferred" my call to another period of waiting instead of a live customer support person. After waiting a while, I was directed to leave my phone number so they could call me back. Now I was getting really upset.
I logged on and clicked "chat" and got someone on the line. She wanted me to itemize the 18 items missing. I started doing so (it took awhile) and she looked into it and after a while, advised that the first box containing these items had never left the warehouse and she would have it re-shipped. Now I am finding all these negative reviews online and am really sorry I didn't do more investigation prior to making my order. We'll see how it turns out ...
FLORIDA, FLORIDA -- We recently placed an order for two bottle of Vitacost 16.9 oz. Fish Oil, and two bottles of Vitacost 16.9 oz. Cod Liver Oil. We had a surprising number of issues on this single order.
In specific: (1) shipping was relatively slow; (2) the cod liver was out of stock (no indication of that when we placed the order) and it was shipped separately about two weeks after the fish oil was shipped to us; (3) when the package with the fish oil arrived, we discovered that both bottles were leaking, and there was a strong rancid oil smell; (4) when the package with the cod liver oil arrived, one of the bottles wasn't included in the package, even though the packing slip indicated that both bottles were shipped.
When we called Vitacost about the defective fish oil, their Customer Service told us to discard the shipment, and that they'd immediately issue a credit to our credit card. Weeks later, that credit has never been issued. We've called and emailed Vitacost multiple times about their failure to issue a credit. Their customer service staff has told us any number of times that the credit has been issued on a particular date, we don't receive it, call back, and are given entirely different information.
When we called Vitacost about the missing bottle of cod liver oil, again, they claimed to have issued a credit for the missing item, and we have yet to receive the credit. Again, the information that has been provided by their customer service department does not align at all to what my credit card company tells me re: the alleged issuance of a credit. We've now called/emailed eight times and still haven't been issued the credits that Vitacost.com promised to issue.
Overall, Vitacost customer service staff aren't hard to reach, but after a whole handful of problems on a single small order, and apparently poor follow-through on issuing credits, this has been arguably the worst online vendor of natural supplements that we've ever ordered from.
FLORIDA -- In the recent several months the laudable, first-rated supplement company has deteriorated profoundly it its service. I have ordered thousands of dollars of supplements from Vitacost for the past 8 years, but I decided to cross them off my list of supplement companies.
First is their recent atrocious packaging of supplements to the point that the majority of your orders arrive at your doorstep dilapidated, mangled, open, with missing supplements. I don't know who they hired for their packing of supplements some of which come in bottles which are just tossed into a flimsy carton box and shipped without any protective bubble paper or foam.
The packaging is so outrageously poor that your are lucky if the package arrives at your doorstep intact. Most are crumbled, dilapidated, and open !! And the contents are either squashed or totally missing. Aside from their sloppy packaging, their customer service has deteriorated to the point that they are rude, abrupt and do not sympathize or for that matter care about your complaint. They are not there to keep the customer satisfied. They are there to placate you.
Many times they are out of stock of a particular item which puts your entire shipment of the other supplements on HOLD. They carry many brands at low prices but you get what you pay for: unfriendly customer service, and abominable packaging of supplements.
Their search box leads you to THEIR proprietary company NSI which sells supplements at low prices but their quality is not certified by an independent testing lab such as ConsumerLab, and since no other supplement company carries NSI, it leaves doubts in your mind as to their potency and quality.
I stopped ordering from Vitacost for above reasons. Their sloppy handling of your order is abominable at best. Compare iHerb to Vitacost and you will see what I mean. I use iHerb excusively now for their excellent packaging and large discounts on bulk orders and no shipping charge on orders greater than $60.
Well...I've forced myself to "endure" Vitacost's consistent slow and inefficient confirmation/shipping process; as well as frustrating dealings with there almost non-responsive customer service team - for over 12 months now. I've opted to do this only because they are still a little cheaper than most other online vitamin vendors.
About a week ago, I received a nice email (mass-posted email) from their CEO, saying that he was sorry for certain "issues" customers had been dealing within regards to their customer service. And that they've completed a lot of infrastructure change etc to help alleviate these "problems". He offers a 10% coupon and a commitment to better service, etc. from now on.
Sounds good...it was almost time for my next order so I take the plunge. Oh to get the discount you must order by phone. After about 20 unsuccessful attempts I finally get connected, though after being on hold for about 30 minutes, I take the suggestion of their automated voice system (very irritating voice btw) that I can leave my # and they will call me back.
Well I do this, and again after waiting 5 hours for a call back that never comes I call again. Once again many attempts are needed to connect to their support lines to make the order. When I do get through the process takes forever...and they are out of a couple of things I wanted (not a big deal, I guess that happens). 2 days later I get an email saying they have cancelled another item due to the manufacturer being out of stock (again fair enough, I guess that happens from time to time), but no advise on whether anything has shipped, and yes no advice as to a refund of the amount that they canceled.
Still waiting for some sort of shipping confirmation, their website (my account) doesn't even show the order...and still no answer to my question (am I surprised - no). Just disappointing customer service for a company to treat their customers this way. I think it's time to spend about 10% more and go with iHerb (really good and responsive service from those guys)! Well worth it to order, pay slightly more, and not have to deal with crappy customer service.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- I ordered 30 items 8 hours ago and then I found out I forgot to order one more item after I finished the transaction. The system on the website is very lame and stupid. You can remove the item you purchased after you finished the transaction but you cannot add more item if you want to buy more in 10 minutes (this is the limit time you can edit your order). I guess they purposely programmed the system like this so the customer has to place a new order so they can make more money on the shipping fee.
So the next morning I called the Customer Service and this lady named ** (don't even know if this is her real name), picked up the phone and her service was very unhelpful at all. I asked her if she can help me edit my order because I forgot to purchase one more item to my order. She said, "Your order has been packed. We can't change your order but you have to place a new order"!!!!
Why is it so hard for her just to repack my order? My order is worth more than 200 dollars and I am a repeat customer. And then I asked her if she could help me find out specifically how many days it takes to ship to California. She just replied it takes 3 - 10 business days and she doesn't want to explain specifically. Come on, I also know it takes 3-10 days to ship to everywhere in United States. I read this on the website. She thinks I was dumb or stupid.
I actually do know how many days it takes to ship from Las Vegas to California because I always order from Vitacost.com. It is usually only take 3 business days. But because this lady is so lazy and doesn't want to help at all so she just said 3 - 10 business days in general. Doesn't even ask "is there anything else I can help you today?"
I was very disappointed at this lady but not at Vitacost.com. I know it is because of her that makes Vitacost.com image looks bad. So for Vitacost upper management, please train your Customer Service again. Your customer service used to be great and helpful. You can lose your old faithful customer to another business. Please do something about it.
THE WORST! WILL NEVER USE AGAIN. I would rather pay more money at Whole Foods than go through this hassle with this scam company. I ordered something on their website and then I canceled it. I received a cancel confirmation from Vitacost that the money would be returned to me within 72 hours.
I called the next day to confirm, but was told that the order had already been shipped out!!! The guy noticed the cancellation e-mails and said he didn't understand why it was shipped out but he would contact UPS to have the package sent back to the warehouse and once it was received, I would get my refund in 72 hours.
I don't understand why their mistake of sending it out, even though it was confirmed as canceled, meant I have to wait for them to receive it back in order to get a refund, even though they should not have sent it out. I waited for the refund. Nothing. I called the next week. I was told it was still in route to the warehouse. Even though I called on the day it was sent out, it apparently took 2 weeks for Vitacost to "receive it back". After 2 weeks, I called and was told by 2 separate reps that I would be receiving my refund in 72 hours.
I searched my account the whole week and the week after - nothing! I called today - almost a month after the order was actually placed - and was put on hold 3 times, and for 30 minutes. I was told that it is not confirmed that it has been received back. Well, it's a good idea I got the UPS tracking number from the original rep because when I gave it to her, she said that it had actually been received but she couldn't confirm if I will get my refund or when! I told her she better confirm to me that I AM getting my refund, and then she said she'd talk to the refund dept about getting the refund.
I told her to quote the amount and she quoted it at 3 dollars less than what I paid. I am still waiting now nearly a month later for this refund, and have been given the runaround and lies. Even though I canceled it and was given a cancel confirmation, they still won't give me the refund. BUYERS BEWARE!