This gripe is influencing 3,222,644 people thru 8,995 friends and followers
About a year ago, the natural toy company, Franklin Goose, put out a promotion saying that anyone who wrote a product review on their website would get a $5 store credit. We were told that we would get $5 for every single product review that we wrote. It seemed too good to be true, but they were extremely positive about it & stating their reasons they were willing to do this sort of giveaway. There was a deadline for this promotion, and I found out very last minute. I also found out that they were getting so overwhelmed because they didn't expect such a huge response (and there would be a delay in getting your store credit because they had to get some manpower to go through all of the product reviews to make sure they were legit, as of course, some customers were abusing this). I spent hours going through every single item the store carried so that I could write an HONEST and good review on every item that I own and have used. I sat around patiently for weeks waiting for my store credit because they needed to make sure my reviews were legit (they were). I got my credit. I decided to wait to use it because I was saving up for something big for my son's 2nd birthday which was months away. Big mistake!
They were extremely overwhelmed by all of the orders they had to process on top of this. In October 2010, they emailed all of their customers who partcipated in this promotion saying, "the promotion was much more popular than we were honestly prepared for.", "In the last 6 months we have been depleting our inventory and resource with no foreseeable means of restoring these resources as our energy and time have been focused on fulfilling the promotion and not growing our business.", "we are placing a mandatory freeze on store credit sales (though we will fulfill all existing orders as inventory permits). We will also be banking all store credit for 6 months (with interest). ", and "In 6 months, we'll unbank the credits and be better prepared to fulfill your orders."
I emailed them several times in February/March 2011 to find out when they would be reinstating my store credit, and never heard back from anyone. Not one single response. And I know that they are active online, as they post to their facebook page nearly everyday.
In March 2011, us patient customers finally get an email (after we are excitedly waiting for our long overdue credits to be reinstated). Here are some quotes from the email. "Unfortunately, many of those who submitted reviews merely sought the promotion's benefits without providing a commensurate genuine, honest review. While we initially filled a large amount of orders, we simply do not have the resources to continue vetting the reviews to distinguish those that followed the rules from those that did not.", "In order to continue as a business, we must amend the promotion. This is not a step we take lightly, but one which is necessary for the health of our business. Accordingly, we have decided to take down and remove from the site all reviews which were written as part of the promotion. All open orders using store credit and partial store credit will be cancelled, as well as all remaining store credit. In their place, we are providing a one-time use coupon for 40% off of any purchase. The purchase can be as large or small as you wish, but only you can use the coupon code-it is not transferrable, refundable, or redeemable for cash and it can only be used on full price merchandise. The coupon will be good until September 15, 2011. In order to get your coupon code you must email us at
They also stated, "If you have constructive feedback, we look forward to hearing from you." Several customers did provide feedback. This feedback was led to them being immediately banned from the Franklin Goose Facebook page. They deleted all comments from customers complaining on their page, and took down their Discussions board.
I also read a comment online from a customer saying, "I had a pending order from last summer that I paid for with a cc and $5 in fg store credit that has now been apparently cancelled and not refunded. I'd forgotten about it completely and emailed them today after hearing about the credit cancellation... and an hour later my account was gone and they miraculously have no record of me ever being a customer. "
Some may say that everyone who is upset with them is overreacting. That we should just support them as a business because they are doing good things, trying to get a start in the natural toy company world, and didn't think ahead so I should just have a little sympathy. Yet, how on earth could they not have expected some people would completely take advantage of this promotion? And many of these customers immediately got their store credits and used them before the fiasco began, leaving the rest of us honest folks sitting around with nothing. Its not about the money. Its not about the toys. It is a disgusting business model, and the way they are trying to resolve it has been sketchy and dishonest, and quite frankly, unacceptable. A business that makes a promises to their customers will do well by keeping that promise. In the meantime we get a daily slap in the face with their "Daily Giveaways" on their Facebook page.
I also found this link that they posted a month before they put their promo out. Looks like we were all victims of their viral campaign! http://blog.ampagency.com/25000-reward-for-great-marketing-idea/
No one because not one single customer support person responded to my emails.
Give customers what they promised---our store credit! Be honest, be open, answer our emails. The idea of deleting your customer fans from your facebook page is beyond juvenile, especially after you are welcoming our input (and you can't expect that many customers are not going to be frustrated).
I had $287 leftover credits – I ordered a book that I actually received, and paid $5 shipping out of pocket – initially I had a large order of diapers, accessories, and the book, which used up more than my credits, so I had to pay some out of pocket + shipping – They sent the book and the rest was back-ordered and they encouraged me to cancel and bank, and so I did, with the promise I would get 20% on my banking the credits. That would bring it to $344.40 after maturing, which would have happened in June. Now to find that they yanked all the credits from me when I was trying to be helpful to them is highly upsetting to me. It’s not even that I need it – but its the principle of the thing. I advertised for them – told all my friends to check them out – and they made a liar out of me and I am so upset for that too. Then they don’t pay me for my reviews and word of mouth advertising as promised. That to me is fraud. A total scam. Boo on them. Really looking into legal action.Mar 19 2011
I had $250 in credits that I banked with them too. I was also saving them for a special occasion (my husband is out on disability, so this was my only way to get my son xmas gifts) and lost out because I didn't use them right away like others did.Mar 19 2011
I lost $80 in credits that I was going to use for xmas gifts as well. All of my reviews were honest, and obvs I wasn't trying to take advantage of anything since I opted to bank my credits when they gave us the choice to. I figured I would give them a break since they were probably running out of inventory anyway, and I knew I would get the credits in Sept 2010 and be able to use them in time for xmas. Well, then they sent that email out about banking them until spring, w/o giving us an option. I waited patiently, b/c what else could I do. I emailed a few times and got a couple responses that basically said, "We don't know yet when the credits will be reinstated" and then an email that said, "sometime in march or april we will let you know what's going on". I emailed once more in March asking what was up. The next day I got the email about them deciding not to honor the credits. I am pissed. I wasted all that time doing reviews for them, and I also promoted them on my blog and FB page. SHAME.Mar 19 2011
i had almost 200 in credit and was planning on using for cloth diapers and some other items i needed for my 3 kids. all of my reviews were legit and I too figured I would just help them out by banking my credits and now I'm out of everything. If something isn't fixed I'm definitely not shopping there.Mar 20 2011
So with you on the gripe! You can see my blog post about the Franklin Goose fiasco here: http://thesavedquarter.com/2011/03/franklin-goose-you-suck/Mar 20 2011
This scam is beyond ridiculous. They cheated me out of hours of honest worthwhile reviews and got lots of publicity in the process, then totally screwed a huge proportion of the people out of their "paycheck." Here's to hoping they go under soon for all the headache and heartache they have caused the well-intentioned consumers.Mar 20 2011
supported you Gripe!Mar 21 2011
I support this! I have also filed with BBB. I am extremely disappointed. Less than a week ago, they made it sound like they were "still working on" our store credits. Liars!Mar 21 2011
Lot's of love and support here :-) I sincerely hope Franklin Goose is reconsidering their decision.Mar 21 2011
I contacted franklingoose.com and informed them of your gripe. Hopefully they'll be in touch soon. Best, Kim (Gripe Support Team)Mar 21 2011
Shared on Twitter - 4,000+ followersMar 23 2011
Heather, have you heard anything back from FG yet? I've been doing the occasional Google search to see if there is an official statement from them, but they've been very quiet about the whole issue despite the community backlash. Let's try to keep the ball rolling here…Mar 23 2011
Were your credits deleted by Franklin Goose? Sign up here (http://goo.gl/cXSKa) and show them that there are more than 40 “involved in the campaign against them.”Mar 23 2011
Hi all, I contacted Franklin Goose once again. I hope that they'll be in touch soon to address this issue, in the meantime, let's keep this gripe growing!Mar 23 2011
Franklin Goose's statements on this matter are completely self-contradictory. They stated that they do not have the resources to vet the reviews to ensure they merit credit, and therefore have to revoke the credits. However, according to http://thesavedquarter.com/more-than-40-screwed-by-franklin-goose/, they've been able to determine that the people campaigning against them were "the worst abusers of the terms." Was Franklin Goose overwhelmed by "fake" reviews or have they have been able to meticulously examine a small group of trouble makers? I guess the answer depends on whichever scenario suits them most at any given time.Mar 23 2011
Brian, that's crap. I spent days going through the entire website to ensure I only reviewed items I owned or had used. I didn't abuse anything! When I say days, I literally mean days. I didn't want to be one of the ones doing fake reviews. I wanted to give them honest opinions on products that would be helpful to others. Not all of my reviews were absolutely positive either. Ugh! I hate liars.Mar 28 2011
I too spent hours of my time giving thoughtful and honest reviews; I went through every product they have in their store. I did this to be able to get some birthday gifts or my daughter and so decided to save the credit t use this January. As a result my daughter received one small present, as I hadn't budgeted for birthday presents (she's only 2 so it wasn't all that big of a deal) but what is a big deal is that FG went back on their word - they took something from me and are not giving back in return as they promised they would. I agree they made a horrible business decision in running this marketing campaign - they should have put a cap on the number of reviews people could complete. But they didn't. I know people who had $300 in credits and of course spent it right away on big ticket items. It is so unfair that the responsible people, like all of us, are the ones who are losing out on this.Mar 28 2011
You know, if they didn't have the "resources" the vet all the reviews, I bet a ton of people would have volunteered to HELP, had they just asked. I for one would donate my time to read reviews and sort out the real from the fake in order to ensure that the people who actually DID the job got paid for it. I personally wrote a few valid reviews for them (And I'm an actual product reviewer, it's my "job" and I own a legitimate review site - Lovehatereviews.com) I got my $45.00 credit, and placed a $70 order, (Which contained ONE diaper, a bib, a stacking ring and a boon snack ball-for seventy dollars-but their insane prices are besides the point here). I used my credit card for the excess, and most of my items eventually came, except the snack ball, because I moved and, frankly, forgot about it until I got an email saying it was shipped to my old address SIX MONTHS after the order was placed. And they flat out refused to fix it. Of course. (Interesting side note-the same thing happened with Think Geek.com and they replaced an entire fifty dollar order that got shipped to my old address, and it was completely my fault for forgetting to change my saved address on my account. This is called "Customer Service" Franklin Goose, take notes.)
Anyway, they don't really owe me anything but I would absolutely help them weed out the good from the bad in order to pay those that earned it, and I'm sure many others would as well.
Of course, I'm sure that's not the actual reason for this fiasco and they have no intention of even trying to fix things.Mar 28 2011
I did apply to work with them, but then I also offered my time to help them. Was ignored both times.Mar 28 2011
So it seems that one of Franklin Goose's suppliers has suspended their account until further notice... Let's keep mounting the pressure!
http://www.sheposts.com/content/don’t-mess-mom-bloggers…or-elseMar 29 2011
OOh, which supplier??Mar 29 2011
GorVia diapers, you'll see the announcement on their Facebbok page if you follow the link above and scroll down! :-)Mar 29 2011
you can also see here http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=201966546489559Mar 29 2011
Nice, they are a great company.Mar 29 2011
If it's a U.S. company, federal "Truth in Advertising" laws may apply If they continue to ignore attempts to contact them with complaints and make no other reasonable efforts at providing a remedy to the issue, a formal complaint to the appropriate agencies should be the next step before going into civil proceedings. Makes you look better in court anyways. :)May 29 2011
Any updates on the Franklin Goose story?Jun 10 2011
Matt, nope...absolutely nothing has been done.Jun 11 2011
Everyone can lodge a complaint with the Va office of consumer affairs- they are now aware of the situation and if enough complaints are registered, it might eventually get handed over for investigation or review by the VA attorney general. PLEASE call or use their online form to register a complaint- you don't even have to put in all your gory details into the written complaint- just write that you were taken advantage of by the Franklin Goose promotion scam in March 2010, and how upset you are, offer to be contacted for further details if needed, just saves some time in filling out the form. Please Please do this asap while you are thinking about it! Here's a link to the form
http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/forms-pdf/cp/oca/complaint/oca1complaint.pdfSep 23 2011