Friday, October 25, 2013

Shame On Spicy Subscriptions.

The following post Shame On Spicy Subscriptions is not suitable for those under the age of 18. Proceed with caution.

Back in July I received an email from Spicy Subscriptions to do a review. As always I was ecstatic that a company was reaching out to me. I am going to post some of our email conversation here so you can see what I was seeing and where the deception occurred.

Here is what they sent:

Hi Ruby,
I'm emailing you from Spicy Subscriptions, a monthly subscription service for couples. We think that our service would be great to expose your readers to and I'm emailing to see if you may be interested in trying out one of our Spice Boxes.
Each month we send out a curated box of romantic surprises to our members' doors. We have been featured in Cosmopolitan, SELF, Glamour and some other mainstream magazines as top gift options for couples.
Please let me know if this is something you may be interested in so I can have a Spice Box sent to you promptly.

I replied on that same day with the following email.

Good afternoon,
We would love to do a review!
All review products can be sent to :
This has been removed
Thank you for contacting us,
Owner of

They next day I was then sent this:
July 18th 
Hi Ruby,

Thanks for getting back so quickly! Can we run a give-away? I just noticed I mentioned doing a review in my earlier email. We do give-aways every month however reviews are done periodically. Next month for reviews is September.
Can we run a give-away of our 50 Shades of Grey themed box for your readers right now, and follow up with a review by yourself in the first week of September? We can offer your readers a 5% off coupon.
Please let me know what you think.. I think they'll really enjoy our service!

Thanks Ruby,
Spicy Subscriptions

July 19th (me)
We would love to do a giveaway our readers love them. I can start one on Sunday if that works for you.

July 27th (me)
Good morning Nicole,

Just checking on the coupon code so we can included it in the giveaway post and get the giveaway going.

Thank you,
July 28th
Hi Ruby,

The product image of our Spice Box is attached. Let's do a give-away for a Deluxe 50 Shades of Grey Toy + Sample Products. The only requirement is that they like our facebook page -

Also, your unique 5% off coupon code for your readers is (The coupon code has been removed from this email)

Team Spicy

They sent this image:

Which from previous emails they had said a box and I hadn't caught the change from box to toy and sample. chances are you missed that little switch up as well. I don't understand sending me an image and not saying this is an example not what will actually be in the prize. Now when they offered to do the giveaway first I was a little weary but then I thought wait this is a company. They can be trusted because why would they do something to harm their reputation?

Well guess what I was wrong. Bloggers don't run a giveaway for free, there is a lot of work involved that most people don't realize. First you have to come up with the giveaway HTML find bloggers to help you advertise to make it a success and advertise it on linkies and giveaway sites. Then you have to advertise the giveaway while its running and even to someone who is a stay at home type that is a lot of work and to someone like me who already works a full time job this is like having a 2nd full time job on top of that. Our payment is the product we review. If we don't like the product and don't think our readers will like it then we decline the giveaway. Another way of payment is through paypal or a gift card to the site of the company, but either way we are provided some sort of compensation. Which is only right, would you want to work 40 hrs a week and then on payday be told "ooops sorry we aren't paying for the last 2 weeks work." I DON'T THINK SO!

Normally I wouldn't have done this type of post I would have dealt with the company quietly and discussed the situation but I tried and Had someone (if this has happened to anyone else) done a post like this I would have never worked with them.

August 11th I have completed the giveaway and sent them the winners information.

Aug 11th
Hi Ruby,

Thanks for the link and the winners' info. I'll have the "Toy + Samples" emailed to her. I just noticed that there was no link to our facebook page in the give-away (only a mention); the link was something that was required however its okay for this time.. please keep it in mind for future collaborations.
Can you put up the ad that I sent to you up on your blog? I feel it would help you earn affiliate fees and free boxes. Its worked really well for our affiliate partners. For each person who joins through you you'll have an option to receive $5 or a Free Spice Box.
Team Spicy

Emailed to the winner.... that kind of had me giggling. Simple typo but still funny. And now you see the big change from box to Toy+Samples and no mention of a 50 shades of grey theme. I hadn't noticed the change until the winner wrote me to say they got a lipstick vibe and 2 packs of lube.

So I screenshot from the back end of the RC since the giveaway has ended to show that indeed the Fb page was an option on the giveaway and the very first one at that.

The next few emails go on to discuss why there is other bloggers listed on the giveaway and me explaining why that is done to help spread the word and help the company gain more exposure outside just the blog who is hosting the giveaways fans.

The last email was sent on Aug 18th. I waited from that point on wondering when the box that I was supposed to review was to arrive but as time passed I became worried that nothing would come.
So after waiting I write them on Sept 3rd asking about the box. 
Just checking on when I should keep an eye out for the September box for review.

Than you,

Sept 4th 
Hi Ruby,
The winners products have been sent to her. We're currently not doing any reviews for September.
Team Spicy

So as you can guess I was steaming at this point. I wrote and erased my reply many times as I wanted to be professional but get across how upset I was at the same time.

Here is my reply:

Sept 4th
I'm sorry but When we first spoke of working together you sent:
Can we run a give-away of our 50 Shades of Grey themed box for your readers right now, and follow up with a review by yourself in the first week of September? We can offer your readers a 5% off coupon.
Now had I been told then there would not be a review I would have educated you on our pricing on running such an event and ran it differently.
Thank you,

I waited patiently for a reply wondering what was going to be said next. So already a Partnership that I was excited about in the beginning has turned into an utter nightmare.

Sept 9th
Since you no longer want to do the review we agreed upon before I
took the time to create an event and facilitate the giveaway then I
wanted to let you know our rates for a giveaway with no review. To run
a giveaway only my rate is $25 so if you would rather do the review
let me know if not please send my fee of $25 to (this has been removed)
via Paypal. I will wait 5 days for your response if you simply delete
this email and do not reply within 5 days I will be writing a post
detailing this situation and sharing it with my readers and fellow

Thank you,

Now I really hate writing this post but I informed them almost a month ago this would happen and The Only reply I got from the company was:

Sept 9th I don't know the exact amount of time it took but it was very quick for them to respond this time. 
Hi Ruby,

We typically don't work on the weekends which is why we're just replying. We just noticed that you had been promised a box for September, so you will receive one. Will you be doing a video review as well?
Please let us know your mailing address. The shipments are going out this week or early next week.
Team Spicy

I'm sorry but not working the weekends is not a valid excuse here. I waited 5 days and It took me getting to the point that I would share this with you all to get any response from them. I then sent my shipping information again which I sent originally in the first email.

Well thats why I am here today. It is now Oct 5th and I have yet to receive any review item or compensation for the work I have done or an apology for the run around. I no longer wish to review their product I simply want to be paid for the time I have had to supply to help Advertise Spicy Subscriptions. ADVERTISEMENT ISN'T FREE NO MATTER THE AVENUE. 


Take this post as you like but I wanted to warn all my readers out there and anyone who may stumble upon this post about the actions of this company. Warning to all bloggers don't do the review after the giveaway because I know I will never do that again in the future.

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