- Bombas, a cult-favourite sock startup, is being flooded with complaints of incomplete or missing orders.
- The startup told Business Insider it was forced to turn off its phone line and its live-chat service to try to answer an “overwhelming number of customer messages” about problems with orders.
- Bombas said a fulfillment partner’s technology-related issues were to blame for incomplete and missing orders.
- The startup is offering full refunds and gift cards to affected shoppers.
- “At the end of the day, we can admit when we’ve made a mistake and are willing to do whatever it takes to gain our customers’ trust back and ensure their satisfaction, even if it means a loss of profit for our company,” Bombas CEO and cofounder Dave Heath said in a statement to Business Insider.
Bombas, a sock startup that took the internet by storm, is facing dozens of complaints of incomplete or missing orders this holiday season.
The number of complaints recently ballooned so much that the company was forced to turn off its phone line and its live-chat service, it said.
On Monday, Bombas’ CEO and cofounder, Dave Heath, told Business Insider the company was offering full refunds and gift cards to affected customers, “even if it means a loss of profit for our company.”
The startup, founded in 2013, has been celebrated for its comfortable socks and socially conscious mission. For every pair of socks sold, Bombas donates a pair to someone in need.
While Bombas has previously dealt with massive spikes in orders with minimal issues, dozens of customers have complained in December that the company failed to deliver their complete order.
According to Bombas, a fulfillment partner encountered technology-related issues that caused significant problems.
Bombas’ social-media pages have been flooded with complaints of incorrect or missing orders and about a lack of response.
@BOMBAS What's the problem with your shipping and customer service? I'll donate socks to homeless shelters without dealing with your crap service. Never buying or recommending your company.
— Lauri Nord (@LauriNord) December 16, 2018
Jack Tilpert ordered from Bombas for the first time on December 6, opting for three-to-five-day shipping. As of Monday – 11 days later – the socks still hadn’t arrived.
Tilpert told Business Insider he had emailed Bombas 10 times, called the company, and posted on Facebook and Instagram.
“I haven’t gotten any response to any of my messages,” Tilpert said. “Very frustrating.”
A common complaint from customers is that they received only part of their order, something that is especially problematic because Bombas socks cost more than many competitors; a pair of Bombas ankle socks costs $US12, a similar price as a six-pack of socks from Target.
@BOMBAS I reported the company to the BBB. After a month of an incomplete order and emails to customer service going unanswered, I didn't know what else to do to get the company's attention. Getting ads for a product I ordered and didn't receive has been incredibly infuriating
— Gelos (@Gelos1581) December 16, 2018
Okay, @BOMBAS, what gives? It's been two days since I contacted you (both by e-mail and on Twitter) about only receiving half of the order you were happy to charge me for in full, and all I've gotten is total radio silence. This is just unacceptable.
— (((Diplogeek))) (@diplogeek) December 15, 2018
@BOMBAS guys! What is happening!? Ordered more than $100 worth of socks from you, two pairs are missing. You don’t have a help line to call and you aren’t returning emails? It’s been 10 DAYS! Please help…
— Greer Barton (@GlassPepper) December 16, 2018
Many customers said the company failed to respond to their attempts to contact it about issues.
— Amanda L. Bury (@ciaogalchicago) December 17, 2018
@BOMBAS customer service not doing so great right now – can someone please tell me what is up with order #2481480, not getting any response via email
— Damon Williams (@damonw) December 16, 2018
Bombas’ customer-service phone number was unreachable for some because of heavy traffic on Sunday.
Heath said in a statement to Business Insider that every person in the company had been “working around the clock” to get caught up and address issues.
“This holiday season, due to a number of unanticipated technology-related issues with our fulfillment partner, we received an overwhelming number of customer messages,” Heath said. “Unfortunately, it’s been [taking] us longer than usual to respond to these customers, and and as a result we had to turn off our phones and live chat so we could focus on responding to emails, which is our most used support channel.”
Bombas is offering a full refund and gift card to anyone affected by the issues, saying customers can email [email protected] Bombas has pledged to resolve problems within 24 hours.
“At the end of the day, we can admit when we’ve made a mistake and are willing to do whatever it takes to gain our customers’ trust back and ensure their satisfaction, even if it means a loss of profit for our company,” Heath said. “We appreciate the patience and support of all of our customers and know that we would not have been able to donate more than 10 million pairs of socks without them.”
Heath emphasised that “giving back to the community and a positive customer experience are the core pillars of our business.” Bombas says on its website that it upholds a “no matter what, no questions asked, no holds barred, no ifs, no ands, no buts” happiness guarantee.
“If you have a problem, we will solve it. Refund it. Send you new socks. Whatever it takes,” the website says.
In January, Heath told Business Insider that the company had been profitable since 2016 and brought in “just under $US50 million” in revenue in 2017. Heath also said Bombas would scale its donations alongside its sales growth.
Email [email protected] if you have a story to share about Bombas or any other holiday shopping disappointment.
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