Laurel's Adventures in Home Repair
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GoNanas

What NOT TO DO
When Dealing With Customers


May 27 - Jun 15, 2023


Let's talk about bananas.

More specifically... banana bread and a company that sells Banana Bread mixes.

I just had to share the interactions I had with the company GoNanas from May 27 - Jun 15, 2023.

The entire experience was so odd, so thoughtless, that it deserves a place on my web site where it will live on forever. (Yes, even after I die.)

Yep!.... GoNanas will love me as much as Tuff-Shed has the last several years.

Think of this as a lesson in customer service, if you own a small business. 

It is a shame that this company will probably not read this web page or fully comprehend what I am saying.....Sigh........

Why am I placing the interaction with this company on my home repair section of my web site?  It gets the most traffic and would seem out of place on my genealogical or yearbook images web sites.  Also, you bake banana bread ......in the home.

Some background history

I was first introduced to GoNanas on the ABC TV show Good Morning America. Their "Deals & Steals" segment frequently showcases items from companies with a jaw dropping sale price of 50% off. I am always on the look-out for this segment of GMA so I can try out new and interesting products. So far everything I have ordered that last couple of years, has lived up to its promises.

On Sep 27, 2022, GMA showcased GoNanas where a Holiday Banana Bread Mix Variety 5-Pack was offered at the price of $26.98 with free-shipping. Yay! The variety pack was shipped out by the company the next day via FedEx.

Throughout the rest of 2022 and in 2023 I cooked a batch of the banana bread whenever I had bananas that had become over-ripe.

My husband, who takes a variety of cancer meds, has frequent upset stomachs. He liked the banana bread because it helped to settle his stomach.

I finished the last batch of the banana bread mix May 2023.  I liked the bread and it was easy enough to prepare. Time to re-order some more mixes.

My Second Order

On May 27, 2023 I went online to place an order with GoNanas on their web site. They had a Memorial Day Sale for 30% off and free shipping, if the order was $45 and over. I ordered 6 packages of mix: 1 Chocolate Chip, 2 Blueberry Crumble, 1 Salted Caramel, 2 Original flavor, for a total of $50.35 after the 30% discount. I received an e-mail confirming my order.

Since I placed this order over a holiday weekend, I did not expect the order to be shipped as soon as Tuesday, May 30, 2023. I was hoping it would at least ship by the following week.

On Jun 8, 2023, I sent a brief e-mail attached to my order receipt with the order number asking when my order will be shipped:

“Hello -- When will this order be shipped??

Thank you -- Laurel”


I did not receive a response until June 12, 2013. For those keeping track, it has now been 16 days since I placed my order. This is the response I received from Sydney at GoNanas


Hmmm...Let’s break the above brief message down into two parts:

1) “Our warehouse ran out of blueberry mixes…..”

Does this mean their web site is not tied-in to the actual inventory at the warehouse? This is 2023, after all, and having your web site merchandise attached to real-time inventory is a thing most companies have. If the warehouse ran out of the blueberry mix, why the hell was it still being offered on the web site as an in-stock item?

Most companies inform you right away if an item in your order is out of stock and offer some options.

Why did I have to wait 16 days to even be informed about this? AFTER I made the inquiry. I am left wondering what would have happened if I never contacted this company.

2. “....but your order should have already been shipped with the replacements”
Excuse me, “should have?” They don’t know?? How can you NOT know if the order shipped? Your company’s computer software should tell you whether it has or not. This message, in itself is confusing. I can understand that the warehouse ran out of the blueberry mix. What are the replacements? The blueberry mix or something else?

It appears as if Sidney may have been at the beauty parlor getting her hair done and answered my e-mail with her phone. She obviously did not have access to her company’s shipping software or maybe she just doesn’t know how to use it.

I decided to wait a day to see if I would receive an automated e-mail letting me know the order had shipped. Instead, I received this e-mail on June 13, 2023:
This message told me a couple of things. This company is in over their heads.

Yes, this small little LCC run by a couple of college buddies, has become too much for them to handle. They are now forgetting that their web site still has customers waiting for orders to be sent to them.

Instead of taking care of the existing customers that have already paid, they are focusing on getting their products into Target. OK good for them. However, if they can’t handle the sales traffic on their own web site, they should just refer customers to where their items ARE being sold online, like Amazon and stop selling directly from their web site.
The other thing this message told me is that their GoNanas team does not communicate with each other very effectively. At the bottom of the message is the sentence:

“If you received your order or have been in communication with us separately, please ignore this email!”

Huh?!? They are still unable to tell if my order has been sent? OR…if I have been communicated with BEFORE this e-mail?

WOW. Really? This e-mail was sent out without much thought. Did someone actually think sending me a code for a 35% discount will somehow make me …happy???

Hey, I just wanted truthful information about where my existing order was!  Why would I place another order when I still have not received the order I placed 17 days ago?
So I responded to this e-mail with another one of my own:

On Wed, Jun 14, 2023 at 10:04 AM Laurel wrote:

Hello,

I still have not received my order #6----

I have NOT received ANY e-mails with a tracking number.

Back to my original question. When will this order ship?????

If it has shipped, what is the tracking number?

Was this order shipped in 2 parts???? One order without the blueberries and the other with????

A previous e-mail from Sidney was unclear.

Just sign me ---- confused and still waiting for my order.

Laurel


The same day I received the following response:
 
After reading this e-mail I was rolling in laughter. I can only conclude at this point that this business is run by some of the most inexperienced and dimwitted girls e-v-e-r.

However, with this third e-mail one of my original questions was finally answered..... My order HAS NOT shipped.

Now they don’t know when they will have the blueberry mix.

Really? You call the factory where the mix is being prepared and ask them when the mix will be done. If there is a blueberry shortage or they are waiting on another ingredient, say so!

Why string someone along for almost 3 weeks?
The next sentence floored me. “We are more than happy to issue you a refund for the inconvenience and ship your order out no later than this Friday.”

Did I just read this right???  They will refund me for my inconvenience AND ship the order out no later than this Friday?? I am sure I am not alone when I read this but I interpret this to mean that they will refund me AND send my order anyways. In other words, I get a free order.

You know that saying…..”If it sounds too good to be true, it must be.........”

So I shot off another e-mail to the company let them know they don’t have to refund me as long as I get my order sometime soon.
On Wed, Jun 14, 2023 at 1:56 PM Laurel  wrote:

Hello --

What?......do my eyes deceive me????

Are you saying you will give me a refund AND still ship me this order? At no charge??? You mean a free order?

Obviously, you are having a logistical meltdown there. You are not going to make any money sending out free merchandise.

If you decide to send me a free order, I won't complain.....but it is not necessary as long as I receive my original order, sometime soon...... shipping by this Friday would be good.

If you want to throw in an extra bag or two in my order for my inconvenience, that would be nice. Surprise me on the flavor(s).

Thank you,

Laurel


The following day I received the following e-mail:
 
At almost the same moment I received the above e-mail on June 15, 2023, I received a separate notification from my credit card company that I had been refunded the full amount. 

I guess they got tired of me asking for something I paid for. 

I guess I was just a joke to them.

In this last e-mail, they were also still unable to answer a question directly.

For instance, an answer like “Yes, we will refund you the full amount and send you a free order as soon as we have the Blueberry mix.”, .......would have been refreshing.
Instead, I get the perky little response above that is still as unclear as muddy water, with no mention of a refund. I guess my credit card notification substitutes for actually having to tell me with words.

A month later, needless to say, I have not received the free order they said they would send for my inconvenience. Alas, it was too good to be true.

Why the hell would any company put a customer through this?????
What this company should have done:

After my first e-mail, the company should have:

1) sent me the items they DID have in their warehouse
2) refund me for the two blueberry mixes, and
3) give me the free shipping.

Problem solved. I would have had part of my order in a decent amount of time. The free shipping for an order under $45 would have been their concession to me for the inconvenience.

What GoNanas did instead

Played games with saccharine coated e-mails to drag things out as long as possible and torture the customer. 

They should stop doing direct-to-consumer sales from their web site because they are failing miserably at it. 

And again I ask.....

Why the hell would any company put a customer through this?????

Now, I will become the "inconvenience" with my web site.

One thing some of us old farts have is time and a little disposable income. In my case, I have my own domain name and the technical expertise to have and maintain my own web site.

A web site that is unconnected to any social media site.

A web site which is not a blog. ( Are these even still a thing???)

A web site where everything on it, is controlled by me.

Tip - If you want to buy from this company, wait until an Amazon Prime Day and stock up. This company offers a better selection of flavors and cheaper prices on Amazon than on their own web site. Go figure!  You will also receive your order in 2 days instead of wondering where your order is 2 weeks later.


July 13, 2023
GoNanas LLC <eatgonanas@gmail.com>

Thu, Jun 15 at 9:24 AM

Hi Laurel,

Free orders are not ideal for us, haha, but we understand that this kind of delay is incredibly frustrating for our customers and not what we promise when you order from us.

Your kindness and understanding are much appreciated!

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Warm regards,
Sydney

Morgan Lerner and Annie Slabotsky
Co-founders & Chief Banana Bread Officers


On Wednesday, June 14, 2023 at 12:00:40 PM CDT, GoNanas LLC <eatgonanas@gmail.com> wrote:


Hi Laurel,

We are working as quickly as possible to have your order shipped your way. With the blueberry mixes coming in later than expected and a mass influx of orders, your order has not been shipped yet.

We are more than happy to issue you a refund for the inconvenience and ship your order out no later than this Friday.

All the best,
The GoNanas Team

Morgan Lerner and Annie Slabotsky
Co-founders & Chief Banana Bread Officers

On Tuesday, June 13, 2023 at 10:36:22 PM CDT, GoNanas LLC <eatgonanas@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi There!

We are so sorry for the delay in getting the order to you as this is so unlike us and not what we promise to you all! We usually like to get orders out the same week, but we've been overwhelmed with our upcoming launch in TARGET!!! (don't spill the beans we don't announce until July!). The team has been working day in and day out, and we are doing our best to get these orders out as soon as possible - we hope to have your order out by Friday!

As a thank you for your patience, use code UDABEST for 35% off your next order bc you are the best.

If you received your order or have been in communication with us separately, please ignore this email!

the GoNanas Team
Morgan Lerner and Annie Slabotsky
Co-founders & Chief Banana Bread Officers

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