Back in early 2017, we reported that Stashbox, a new Denver startup, was promising to "make the 420 lifestyle more approachable" by sending customers a box of smoking accessories and hemp goodies every month. According to the Better Business Bureau of Denver, however, that 4/20 lifestyle wasn't as approachable as Stashbox claimed.
In a warning just issued against the company "following a pattern of consumer complaints alleging delivery and customer service issues with the business," the BBB says it's received ten consumer complaints related to Stashbox since the start of 2018 — although there are only five complaints and two reviews listed on the company's online BBB profile. All of the open grievances concern packages showing up over a month late or never being delivered at all, leading to a rating of F-.
"Signed up for monthly subscription starting in June for $29.95 a month. My card was charged but no box arrived. My card was charged a second time for a July box as well that never came. I contacted company someone by 'Natsha' apologized via email saying that they had a delay and my box would be...shipped shortly. On July 27 I get a email saying my box has shipped. Still no box...Ask to cancel my box and get a refund. Still no refund," reads one of the complaints on Stashbox's BBB profile.
According to the BBB, customers who attempted to contact Stashbox by telephone or email regarding missed orders were either displeased with the company's response or never received a response at all. "BBB has reached out to Stashbox as well, but has not received a response. Stashbox has not responded to a BBB complaint since September 2016," the BBB says in its warning.
Stashbox co-founder Natasha Irizarry says the company responds to customer complaints on a "case-by-case basis," adding that issues with partnering brands and fulfillment centers have put some boxes on back-order. "We work really hard to work with our subscribers to fix any problems," she adds."Over the last two months we've been transitioning into a new fulfillment center. It's helped and hurt us."
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According to Irizarry, some of her brand and processing partnerships were in flux back in December, owing to Stashbox's association with ancillary cannabis businesses (companies that provide services for the pot industry and its users but don't actually touch the plant), and that created issues. Any customers who haven't received a box on time should email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; those who've missed an entire order will receive a vaporizer valued at $150 with the next shipment, she says.
"Some people are super-pissed, which we totally understand," she explains. "It's really hard to appeal those [BBB complaints]. The BBB sends us a letter, and we respond, and that's about it."
Online shoppers should be aware of the risks, says the BBB, which found that online ventures had the highest rate of commercial fraud in 2017. Last June, the organization also warned consumers of two online cannabis retailers in the Denver area that were claiming to mail their products to purchasers — which is very, very illegal in Colorado.
Update: This article was updated at 11:45 a.m. April 5 to add comments from Stashbox co-owner Natasha Irizarry.