In the World of Subscription boxes Australia …

24 Jul , 2014 Food,Thoughts

In the World of Subscription boxes Australia …

What a funny week it’s starting out to be. With the arrival of just one email from Redpawpaw this week, has angered thousands of Australian consumers and subscribers of the grocery subscription box.

I actually heard of this incident from twitter, when @grumguy mentioned the angry thread on facebook. I quickly jumped over to the Redpawpaw facebook page and yes indeed, thousands of angry comments raging on about what a “scam” Redpawpaw is and this is all a “bait and switch” and the Managing Director, Sarah Costin, is “changing jobs like she’s changing jobs”. Ever-so-dramatic.

What are they angry over?

If you have watched my YouTube review for the June 2014 Redpawpaw subscription box, you will have seen my display of products received for just $5 (remember the video with the Adriano Zumbo macaron?) The Redpawpaw subscription box was initially $5 per month (including delivery) to trial the box and complete a product review and $10 per month if you wanted to just use the products without giving a review.

Initially, the $5 was to cover everything – packaging, product, postage (remember my other video- Marketing and The Subscription Box).

Here’s what happened:

At the end of June 2014, Redpawpaw sent out an emailing notifying that there will be no July 2014 box due to changes in product packaging as some people have commented that there was too much cardboard used. Think A4 paper that you buy at Officeworks and that paper box that it comes in. Recycleable…?

Then on Sunday 20th July 2014, Redpawpaw sent an email to its subscribers notifying of the new change in the box, that there are 9000 people on the waiting list wanting to subscribe and that there will be a delivery fee ranging from $7.50 to $18.00 to cater for a wider audience.

By now, it seems fair right?

I never subscribed to this box without thinking that one day the price will go up. Look at the value for what you are getting for $5! It’s unbelievably freaking awesome value, considering other food related subscription boxes charge you around $25 – $30 to get a box of 5 to 7 goodies. I received… like heaps of stuff for this box.

Look at all the products in my Redpawpaw box June 2014.

Look at all the products in my Redpawpaw box June 2014.

So my postage ended up being $7.50 which raises the value of the Redpawpaw box to $12.50 a month. Still pretty reasonable, I get double what I get from the notox box or native box and I pay HALF for the box.

Why the uproar?

Many people felt scammed. Many people not only expressed that they couldn’t afford an extra $100+ dollars upfront (as they had subscribed to the annual subscription and had to pay the annual delivery fee which was around the $100 to $200 depending on where they live). Some took it very personally and initiated a petition to what… bully redpawpaw into keeping the original value of the box. One person even went as far as bringing forward the details and LinkedIn of the Managing Director of Redpawpaw and making it seem like Sarah Costin is a bad person for changing jobs each 1 to 2 years. Looking at her LinkedIn, she looks like someone who has worked extensively in FMCG and groceries and surely it is because of her experience and relationships that is the reason why the Redpawpaw box would even work in the first place.

Why I’m even writing about it?

I find all this commotion really fascinating. How much as the internet changed the way we communicate with the brands or businesses that we use? Think about it, if this Redpawpaw incident happened, say 10 years ago, I think most people would write a letter of complaint, send angry emails and make hundreds of phone calls.

Today, we are able to jump on their social media site and blast them silly. AND have supporters rooting for more anger blasts. Only to then feed into the next set of people wanting to join in the argument. This is evident on many YouTube videos in the comment section. Trolls trolling, haters hating and sensitives sensitiving. When you have some really angry and egotistical people who think they have a case or basically “drama queen”, they start to attack other people online and some turn into name calling.

Scary, yet very entertaining to read. To some point. When you read a post that is mainly written by kids, you see that some aren’t thinking too clearly about anything and you can actually see how impressionable little kids are.

The Redpawpaw thread on the other hand are fully of adults commenting. To see where people are at and how they perceive the world. It’s kind of sad (yet if you like drama, it’s entertaining).

What is the world coming to?

If you do not like it, then just unsubscribe. Simple. Redpawpaw has never not given people an opportunity to unsubscribe and they will also happily refund you with the FULL subscription, which means that if you had received the May and June 2014 box, you will now have that for free.

A lot of people complained and said that they received 1 or 2 products that they were not going to use – Oh how little value is the Redpawpaw box because I don’t use 1 product. What about the other 12 products? Did you use it?

Other people have commented from the other side and have called this situation, GREED and some others have called it #FirstWorldProblems.


My thoughts:

If you want to give RedPawPaw a try now, unfortunately, you can only purchase the annual subscription (and must pay for the annual delivery fee).

I, on the other hand, am fortunate enough to continue my monthly subscription and will be keeping the subscription until I see just want Sarah as in store for us in the August box (claims to be the BEST BOX EVER).

Once I see what’s involved and what’s inside, I’ll make a decision then. Just like what I did with the Bellabox.

You can’t always win.


PS – OMG, I can’t believe I just found this out! Hello Fresh is Australian! This is an even more exciting grocery subscription box. I heard about this from AprilAthena7 from YouTube and can’t believe that it’s available to Australia. If you can’t wait for the next post, then check out the link below. Think get a fresh box of groceries, all individually wrapped and labelled, with simple recipes so you can create an awesome meal! Check it out!

Hello Fresh – Order, Deliver and Cook



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