Company Response on 10/18/2010:
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to respond to this complaint. CandyWarehouse.com takes pride in the quality of our products and services and that is why our company has been growing from the first day it started business back in 1998. Just take a look at our thousands of ratings by customers:
This order was placed during the summertime and shipping to Gainesville, Florida, an extremely hot destination. As you can see in our information page for warm weather shipping, we specifically state the following (http://www.candywarehouse.com/heatindexmaps.html):
“Even if you and CandyWarehouse.com take every precaution possible, there is always the chance that candy will melt during transit. Please consider the type of candy you are purchasing during warm weather months as CandyWarehouse.com cannot provide refunds for melted products.”
Moreover, this policy is not uncommon to us . . . our competitors have the same policy as well (see below):
http://www.candydirect.com/shipping (see the last paragraph in bold print) http://www.candyfavorites.com/shop/hot-weather-shipping-faq.php
If a customer is ordering chocolate in the summertime and shipping to one of the hottest areas of the country, he/she needs to understand there is a risk of melting. That is why we even ask customers to re-consider the type of candy they are ordering during warm weather.
According to UPS records, this particular customer’s package was left at the recipient’s front door. As noted in our warm weather shipping guidelines, we strongly recommend orders containing meltable products be delivered to either a business or if to a home, where someone is physically available to receive the product immediately. Since this product was left at the front door, there is no way of knowing how long it was left out in the heat.
All of our packages are delivered in cardboard boxes and we do include icepacks with meltable products. This particular order included one 5-oz box of chocolate. For a very small package like that, we include one icepack and increase the number of icepacks according to weight. In addition, by adding more icepacks to an order, the cost of shipping to the customer would increase as well.
This customer accuses CandyWarehouse.com for being cheap and inconsiderate. Quite the contrary. Most of our competitors charge anywhere from $2 to $3 per icepack while we include them for free. We truly try our best to protect our products but a customer needs to understand the risks when ordering extremely heat-sensitive items, like chocolate, during the summertime and to a destination known to be one of the hottest in the country.
The customer also suggested we use dry ice. Unfortunately, dry ice can actually ruin chocolate by causing the chocolate to become too cold and therefore causing it to “bloom” and altering its taste and texture (this is why one should not put chocolate in the refrigerator). Another suggestion is using a Styrofoam box. We are actually considering this route but it would mean charging the customer approximately $5 for the box. When the product this particular customer is complaining about was only $7.50, it does not seem cost-effective to then have to pay $5 for a Styrofoam box on top of shipping. Again, we are not being cheap or inconsiderate. Shipping in the summer is challenging and therefore, we do what we think is best and most effective without charging the customer an arm and a leg!
We deeply regret this customer was unhappy with her CandyWarehouse.com experience but stand behind our fair and reasonable policies. We have been in business for over 12 years and our melted candy policy has not changed over a decade. We hope the customer understands she too must do her diligence, read our policies, consider the risks and take some level of consumer responsibility.