Ellie subscription box

Goodbye, Ellie, You Are Epically Expensive

Oh, the Ellie subscription box and service… I’m so incredibly sad to have had to do this, but I’ve parted ways with activewear company Ellie (which apparently reported me for a copyright violation for an image I was given permission to use). When I signed up for a membership in January 2013, the company was pv.body, and that was kind of a nightmare. But I thought the Ellie stuff was cute, and it certainly was reasonably priced, so I gave it a go and fell in love. I seriously loved everything. I even reviewed the company’s clothes and praised its social media and customer service practices on my small business blog. I met Mari, the amazing designer who was hitting it out of the park, design-wise, every month. Basically, I wrote a ton of complimentary reviews, was a brand ambassador, and was very happy with the company.

And then things started to change. Shipping was constantly delayed – and in March, when I ordered a tank at the beginning of the month, had to cancel because Ellie hadn’t shipped it by March 20; customer service wasn’t empowered to do much other than make apologies; the copy on the website steadily got worse, to the point where the word “booty” jumped out at me as every other word. Words were misspelled; grammar was horrendous. (My life’s work is about defending the English language; it’s okay to break some rules, but it has to be deliberate.) Even worse, Ellie raised its prices and basically changed its entire pricing and membership model without warning. A print pair of capris now costs $50 – and that’s WITH the Fit Fashionista Club membership. An entire outfit used to cost $50.

I don’t know if the quality is better, which is how the company is justifying the price increase. I can’t afford to buy any of the pieces, and I haven’t been sent any pieces do to an Ellie review on my blog in months. I actually know nothing about Ellie anymore – if it’s an Ellie subscription box or an individual pieces outfit or what. The Ambassador program used to at least provide us with preview videos to share with our circles; Ellie no longer does this. The ambassadors used to have URLs to track who was clicking on our Ellie links; we now have coupon codes with no way for us to track as Ambassadors. I don’t even know if there is an Ambassador program anymore.

I’ve emailed Ellie’s customer service a couple times about the copy, but I don’t think the staff cares. Last month I got pretty annoyed with the copy and with the pricing. And yesterday morning I got an email preview of the September collection. All three pairs of leggings have the word “booty” in the copy. The prices are still up there – the leggings start at $36 each, and the capris I liked were $50. I can’t, in all honesty, recommend Ellie to anyone anymore.

So I canceled yesterday. And rather than try to retain me, customer service was all, ho-hum, bye-bye. (In other words, no offers, no requests for feedback. I guess I’m a troublemaker.) I’m sad, I really am. I hope the company goes back to its roots, what attracted me to it in the first place (great activewear at great prices). But I don’t see that happening, which is why I’ve severed ties.

Updated: Mari Tibbetts is no longer at Ellie. 

Updated: This is how the new general manager at Ellie likes to reply when customers complain about the new pricing model. This thread and comments have since been deleted from the Ellie Facebook page.

But we cost less than Lululemon!

Updated, again!: Some other company bought the Ellie name and is now operating as the Ellie Subscription Box. Apparently, the buyer didn’t know how Ellie burned its bridges with customers.

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