My Geek Box Review

Over the past few years there’s been a huge rise in the popularity of randomised subscription boxes. Most of you have probably heard of these things in one way or another, but let’s explain for the few that haven’t.

The idea is that you sign up for an ongoing subscription (which can usually be limited in length up front) then each month you get a box containing items that would be worth more than the subscription fee if you bought them up front. The items are usually built around a theme but you don’t know what you’re going to get until the box arrives. For some people it’s a little money going from their account in return for a surprise present through the door every month. Others use them to get cool exclusive items or only sign up for a single month subscription when the theme is something they’re interested in. There are now dozens, if not hundreds, of different boxes available throughout the world from premium shaving kits to healthy snacks to geeky socks (one I aim to sign up for later in the year because, seriously, do you know me at all?).

My Geek Box is a service in the UK that has been going for a while now. I’ve flirted with the service a little, taking advantage of the single Christmas box they make to add an extra joint gift under the tree, but never gotten around to testing it fully until February this year. When I received an offer in the post to sign up for a single box and get two Welcome boxes (identical boxes, with one to go to someone else who wants to see what the service is like) it seemed like the perfect time to try the service. I’d get two boxes for the price of one (as well as a box to give out) and be able to get a good idea of the overall quality of the service. Genius plan eh?

offer

Using the code supplied in that cheeky message, I signed up on the 17th of February this year, entered all the required details, and set up a one month subscription. It took me a while to get used to the layout of the site but I knew what these services were like so I persevered. Sure enough, hidden away in the options, I found that the subscription was set to automatically renew. As I wanted to trial the service first and not be signed up for months, I turned that off immediately setting the one month subscription to end after this first box was paid for.

The subscribed box arrived without the Welcome boxes and, to be honest, I was pretty impressed. Two nice retro gaming t-shirts alongside a couple of toys and some miscellaneous items. It seemed quite good value for money. The Welcome boxes hadn’t been sent yet and, upon investigation, I found that they weren’t due to be sent until the 15th of March. While I was there I noticed I’d saved my payment details on the website and, as I hate to do that (approximately ALL THE SITES are getting hacked for credit card details these days), I removed them.

Now, I keep a tight watch on my finances. At some point I’ll tell you guys about my budget and how everything is split between different accounts and funds that have given us a much better quality of life. So, when I noticed that £17.99 had been taken from my credit card on the 1st of March by My Geek Box, I immediately queried it. I went back through my statements, sure that I’d already paid them, and found they’d taken the money on the very day that I first signed up. Somehow, even with my payment details removed from the site, I’d been charged again.

I immediately went to the site and checked the subscription. Auto-renew was still turned off, so I knew I hadn’t been charged for that. I went through the orders and found that no new orders had been added, so it was obviously a mistake on their part. Sure of my facts, I got in touch with their customer support and explained my problem. What follows is their reply:

formreply

The guy had obviously misunderstood me so I carefully crafted a reply to point that out and reiterate my problem. That’s when I found he’d closed my communication down by setting the issue as resolved. I couldn’t reply. I started a new communication with the company, explaining I’d been misunderstood before, and going over how they’d charged me for something that didn’t exist. I told them that I had turned off auto-renew so, even if there was a box set aside for me (and my account said that there wasn’t), it was unacceptable and I wanted my money to be refunded. This was the reply to that.

formreply

Hmmm, that looks familiar. Oh, is it a form reply by any chance? Once again the issue had been set as resolved, and now it was clear that they were fobbing me off after taking money from my account without my consent. I started to wonder if this had happened to other people and how they’d handled it. That’s when I found this.

satisfiedcustomers

After a read through that post and the comments from even more people who were being fobbed off by this company, I double checked my payment details had been deleted from the site, took screenshot of my complaints and the replies given, took screenshots of the order pages, and then got in touch with my credit card company’s fraud team. Within twenty four hours the extra charge they’d taken had been refunded and all further payments that company took would be clawed back from them.

This was my experience of the My Geek Box service. Three items ordered, one received so far (I’ll update this post if the others ever arrive but I don’t hold out much hope). One payment authorised, two taken. Two issues raised, both closed with the same form letter that refused to deal with the quite serious problems occurring. One investigation that unearthed dozens of other people who’d experienced similar problems with this service.

It should go without saying, but we live in a TL;DR world where people regularly skip to the end, so I’ll say it anyway:

DO NOT USE THIS SERVICE.

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20 thoughts on “My Geek Box Review

    • “Computers need batteries?” he thinks, while typing on his laptop and knowing full well that magic doesn’t keep clocks running. There’s a chance I’m not that fast this morning.

  1. Just want to add a little bit of contrast here.

    Lootcrate is another subscription service that fills the same hole as My Geek Box. When I signed up with them a while ago with a similar special offer, it wasn’t showing on the account so I queried it with their customer support staff. Not only did they open a live chat and assure me that the extra items were coming to me, they apologised for the inconvenience of having to contact them, walked me through the process for skipping a month of their box if the theme didn’t suit me (which pushes everything back by a month and delays payments being taken), and showed me how to cancel the subscription from renewing at the end of its term.

    That is a service I’m happy to use again thanks to the way they take care of their customers. They understand that the service the customer pays for beyond throwing some stuff in a box and chucking it in the post.

  2. I am glad you posted this. I’ve heard of that service just recently; not that I was interested in getting something for myself, but I thought it might be interesting for someone else’s present or so… Now I know to stay away from it. Glad you’ve got your money back.
    I had a similar disappointing experience recently with London Drugs, a BC company with many retail shops in mostly western part of Canada. As you maybe know, it was a 5th marriage anniversary for San and me in December. So we wanted to make a photo album, printed with photographs we’ve taken in last 5 years. So, I downloaded a software from their web site, organized photographs in it, ordered album well in advance before Christmas madness started… and they were late for more than a week 😡
    Eventually, I sent an e-mail, complaining about them being late and not informing me about it. The following day I got a response that my order is waiting for me in a nearby shop. The didn’t explain why they didn’t contact me when it arrived. They didn’t even apologize for being late. Nor the employee in a shop gave any explanation for being late. At least they didn’t f**k the album up.
    I guess this are the times we live in. “Take the money and run” kind of times.

    • Oh that’s just ridiculous. At the tiniest cost to themselves they could add so much more to the customer experience and leave people satisfied to the point they’ll recommend to friends and choose that place for their future needs. A simple notifier email would sort all that out.

      Great idea for a present, by the way. I keep saying this is the year that Kim and I will start taking photos while we’re still young and beautiful. But we never do, and the youth is something that’s slipping away with each year. Maybe next year.

      Also, belated anniversary wishes to you both.

      • Thanks!
        We will make more albums, maybe one every year from now on, but I will never trust them to rely on certain date again. Or, we will find another company which does the same service. Word of mouth is powerful, but some still need to learn about that, it seems.

  3. My version of this is when Carphone Warehouse started taking £1.99 a month from my account, 3 years after I’d had anything to do with them and had closed my account. Reported as fraudulent, unsurprisingly.

    • I had trouble with them years ago. Forgot all about it until you mentioned yours. One of their dodgy salesmen misrepresenting something and I cancelled within hours because I found him out. They gave me a right run around and demanded a full term contract paid, even though that was exactly what had been misrepresented.

  4. Guys… guys.. where is everyone? What happened to MyOpera? Gosh I can’t believe I found you guys. It was so boring out there! 😆

      • Hi guys. I , yeah , I kinda realises my opera was gone and then I went on a crazy state and some pilgrimage through Scandinavia , it was crazy times man. And this last week , many memories and emotions coming back , I felt like saying hi.
        You guys are worth tracking down and saying hi. You are , well, you have always been so good and remarkable. Amazing dudes.

        Also , yesterday I downloaded opera browser at work so I remembered all of you. XD

        How ? Why ? Where is Espen ? Wtf why did opera close ? And Cois? Where is that cheeky Wolf?

        • Clint’s around. He’s on here under the username coisart (which my keyboard is determined to change to consort). He’s cried every night that you’ve been gone from his bed.

          Opera closed because the site was haemorrhaging money and they weren’t really doing anything with it. It fell behind other blogging platforms and social media experiences, while wasting money trying to keep up with both. You can’t be all things to all people and they weren’t managing managing being some things to some people.

  5. On topic, I’ve received one of the Welcome boxes now. Still waiting on the second. This will remain stickied for as long as it takes for them to hold up their end of the deal.

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