I can't believe that one of the leading online markets for healthy food has these business practices.

You guys, I normally don’t write stuff like this, but I know this is the type of community that uses their services and I want to protect my readers.

I follow Michelle Tam on Nom Nom Paleo. Despite my general affinity for other people also named Michelle, I love her blog and her recipes (her chia pudding recipe is the best chia pudding I’ve ever had in my life and I hated chia pudding up until then). It was Michelle Tam who convinced me to join Thrive Market. I do not blame that blesséd angel at all, but I did unknowingly give her $25 in the process (affiliate fees kinda rock with Thrive).
I needed a lot of things that were difficult to find in grocery stores all at once and as a new member, I had some pretty sweet deals. I got a free bag of chia seeds (heaven) some coconut milk, ghee, and I forget what else – aloe, I think? For like $37. PRETTY SWEET DEAL.
So I think (and my memory could have served me wrong) that I cancelled my membership shortly afterwards since I realized it just wasn’t right for me. I preferred to shop in health food stores and buying stuff (for cheaper) on Amazon without having to pay an extra annual fee. Adobe Creative Cloud is a far more important purchase for me. I may have decided to stick with my membership until my year was up, for kicks.
So I got an email this morning (9/25) stating that my Thrive Market membership was about to expire and that it will automatically renew. Hmm. Okay. I scoured the website and made sure I would delete my membership before it renews on 29th.
On the website, it has no option for you to cancel your membership yourself, with the click of a button or otherwise. There’s a part of the website where it pretends you can cancel your membership via email, but this is what it looks like when you enter that page:
Screen Shot 2017-09-25 at 9.22.18 AM
So the only way to cancel your membership is to call that number during their business hours. I set my alarm for the next morning to read “Call Thrive.” When I called, they put me on hold and gave me the option to get called back. I accepted that option because the recorded message was super annoying, as they all are.
A few minutes later, a customer service rep calls me back and I explain that I want to cancel my membership. I questioned whether I had tried to cancel my membership before because I vaguely remember at least talking to someone on the phone. She became quite defensive and said that she would have seen a record of a phone conversation or email had I contacted them. Okay, that’s fine. I guess I didn’t try to cancel my membership before. No big deal…
She told me that she cancelled my membership and that I would receive an email confirmation in 2 minutes. Great! She asked me if I needed anything else and I asked to make a suggestion. I then explained that it hurts Thrive Market’s brand image to make it very difficult for members to cancel their membership. Not that it’s easy for me to trust a corporation in the first place, but calling a phone number during specific business hours as the only option to cancel your membership is very shady.
She again became defensive (not sure if she was customer service or the founder of Thrive Market because Jeez). She continued to defend Thrive Market and explained that I could have easily cancelled my membership via email. I told her I wasn’t going to be convinced of anything and then asked her to wait on the line while I checked my email to confirm I received her email. She hung up.
After the phone call, I checked my email and continued to refresh it. I received no email. So much for “their records.” I looked up “how to cancel Thrive Market membership email” on Google and couldn’t find anything. I couldn’t find any email on the Thrive Market website – not even a customer service email!
After awhile, I found Thrive Market on BBB with an “A” rating, but with 80% negative reviews about cancelling membership! I found reviews from people who had tried cancelling their membership only to be charged multiple times after cancelling and not receive their money back!
I decided to call back and request a confirmation email again. This time, a guy named “Jay” answered and he was helpful. He put me on hold in order to send a confirmation email again, which was a bit strange. He was also extremely defensive (why?) and requested that I don’t write anything negative about Thrive Market on my blog (I explained to him that I was a blogger and that I was concerned about this company hurting the community). However, Jay was helpful and I did finally receive a confirmation email. In addition, Thrive Market has an expired card of mine on file. I was ready to cancel my card manually through my bank and request a new one just in case. I had a really bad feeling about all of it.
Shady business practices are not cool, you guys. Please keep this in mind if you have a Thrive Market membership or were thinking about getting one. Thrive Market is a great resource for some people and if you’re a blogger, you can make some decent money off affiliate posts (and they make some decent money off you, too). I loved that they had a paleo filter option. I wish more websites had that option. Despite this, I am very concerned with the way customer service reps handled my situation and how difficult it was to cancel my membership. I should not have to call customer service twice and if they had an active card on file, they could have easily charged my card and claimed to have no record of our phone conversation…which according to BBB, they have already done!
I have been meaning to record phone conversations on my own for legal reasons. There are ways you can do this on a cell phone or apps you can use…just in case. Please be careful and aware of where you put your money and who you give your money to. Even if they claim to be a part of the nutrition and wellness blogger community, they may not have the best practices or best intentions in mind.
Thankfully, I did not get scammed, but regardless, I feel extremely uncomfortable with the poor business practices that I experienced today and I wanted to share with my community for heightened awareness. Has anyone had a similar experience? This came as a shock to me.

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Photo Credit: Thrive Market