Today is a super sensitive topic that I debated for months about writing. But events have gone too far, and I feel the need to go public. I am here to inform people of a company that has been conducting less than professional business. I've gathered a year's worth of screenshots, email content, witness accounts and more to create this purely factual article to warn others about Cosbox. I bought my first box in December 2015, and my experience with them over the past year has been less than pleasant. I will recount the entire story, which will be long, so I encourage you to share this post and keep others informed.
I found cosbox on Instagram and thought it was the coolest idea ever. A subscription box - no, the ONLY subscription box for cosplayers. They had a Christmas promotion for 50% off your first box which promised to come gift wrapped, with a Christmas card and Christmas cosplay prints.
I was so excited and could not wait for my first cosbox to arrive.
December came and went. January came and went. Finally, early February, my first Cosbox arrived. I was immediately put off by the packaging. A brown, taped up envelope. I opened it and was not impressed with what I saw. Eyelashes were ripped open and bent, random products were added in, and tons of stuff was missing. Below is an email thread that spans from February 7, 2016 to October 14, 2016. Feel free to click and zoom in to read the whole thread, but I've paraphrased under the photo for convenience.
Me: "I'm upset, please send me a free box to review, or I'll review this one as is." (In hindsight this sounds so bitchy, but I'm not trying to seem like an angel in this recount)
Cosbox: "Sorry!! Give us more details and we'll help you out!"
Me: "More details and photos."
Cosbox: "Here's a free code for the next box of your choice, and we'll send a package right away with replacements."
Me: "Thanks so much!"
Me: (Used my code for the March Box) "Hey just wondering what happened to my replacement stuff, if you forgot to send it, you can include it with my March Box."
Cosbox: "Okay, we'll do that."
Me: "Finally got the March Box, but it didn't include my replacements from December. I've reached out to you three times about this, and this is becoming shitty customer service. I also got the March box extremely late and missed out on a valuable coupon in the book."
Cosbox: "Thank you for being so patient! We've been going through changes in shipping and customer service. I'm sorry you were promised December replacements, since it hasn't been in stock. Let me add a coupon code for 1 year free boxes to your account."
Me: "That sounds reasonable."
Cosbox: "We'll send those December items with April's box." (But I thought they were out of stock...)
Me: "Hey! You just announced you will not be shipping outside of USA anymore, what does this mean for me?"
Cosbox: "Current subscribers are not affected by this."
Me: "I never received my April box?"
Cosbox: "It looks like it was returned, saying it wasn't accepted on the package. I'll personally re-pack it with the last three month's of boxes and personally bring it to the post office and get a tracking number."
Me: "Just checking if you sent that box yet and got a tracking number?"
Me: "Hi, haven't heard from you in months now..."
I sent one more email on October 14th to an automated response that was a giant FAQ page that did not answer my questions. I have not heard anything from them since.
That was one email thread from the past year. I'd like to back track at this point and show more than my own perspective of this company.
I scanned through Cosbox's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram looking for anything valuable to add to this blog. They posted rarely, about twice a month about upcoming boxes and promos.
In January I found this post about having supplier and shipping issues. At this point they were still a very new business, not even 1 year in, so this is acceptable and boxes seem to still be on track, if a little late.
I did an extensive Google search on Cosbox and I found this cool site called My Subscription Addiction. Besides reading the reviews below for cosbox, I may have gotten a little side tracked on this site! Very helpful and fun.
The reviews below are from 2015, but I think they still speak to the value of the business and the effort they put into their product.
In fact, in all my research I found very few positive reviews, or happy posts of Cosbox.
The next thing chronologically, is the February box, which was all about wigs. You could buy a one time upgrade to receive a full wig and extra wig styling products. There seems to be a ton of confusion around this month. Click and zoom on individual photos to read the screenshots, or see the paraphrase below.
The promo photo promised products from Arda wigs and Got2b. The upgrade box would include 1 full wig, 1 Shaper Razor, and at least 10 other items.
Arda Wigs issued a newsletter / public announcement stating they are not in partnership with Cosobx.
Cosbox made two public posts regarding the announcement by Arda Wigs, defending themselves. It seems to be a communication error and a deceiving promo.
Nothing more was said publicly between the two companies, but I did find another public post about someone's experience with the entire scenario. They were told numerous times it would be sent, and reached out to Arda Wigs about the problem and felt lied to by Cosbox.
The public post also included 24 screenshots of their own personal messages with the companies.
Happening about the same time, was the launch of their GoFundMe campaign. It launched in March, and they did not reach their final goal when the campaign finished in April or May. They've since deleted their entire GoFundMe profile, so we can't see the official dates, or amount raised.
This is a huge red flag seeing as I still have not received my rewards from this campaign. If you read my long email thread above, you saw a few mentions of this. If you only read the paraphrase, I left it out so I could summarize it in this section.
They promised to send out emails with codes, but instead sent out a mass email asking people to email them back with the amount pledged, and of course, lost half the emails. They completely stopped replying to my emails in July, and I have not heard anything personally from them since.
They did release two statements on Twitter in early September saying GoFundMe Rewards were finally going out, but this only addresses the Duffel bags and other prizes, not the Free Box codes that I was still missing.
With no communication since July, no boxes in the mail since March (well, the March box, which I received in May...) and no GoFundMe Rewards in sight, let's do a quick recap of all the boxes I've been missing while they've been operating month to month.
December Replacement Products
April theme, Ninja
May theme, My Little Pony
June theme, (not pictured) Crossplay
July theme, Thermoplastics
August theme, Pokemon Go
September theme, Overwatch
October theme, I can't find any posts about this month's theme, but through a friend's email conversation, the theme appears to be called simply Halloween.
GoFundMe Rewards, my pledge was $25, which gets me 2 free boxes? 4? I don't remember. And I can't check the campaign page because it doesn't exist anymore.
So to summarize the summary, I have been missing the past SEVEN MONTHS of boxes, PLUS promised content from last year, PLUS my GoFundMe rewards - which is simply a code for ?? free months of boxes.
Monthly promo photos:
While I was doing my research I noticed a distinct lack of unboxing videos and posts. So as curious as I am, I did searches using hashtags, tagged photos, anything it could possibly fall under on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube.
The most recent I could find was on Youtube of the May box, which was My Little Pony themed. (Personal Note: I'm mostly upset about not getting this box yet) Seeing as it's harder to blur faces for privacy etc, I contacted the youtuber for permission and she was more than happy.
The review wasn't a 5 Star to say the least. I did find a few photos posted of boxes. The first one is from Magical March, which is the last box I received, and they seem pleased with the contents.
The second one was an image posted to the Cosbox Facebook page under visitor posts titled June box. Cosbox even replied with: Thanks for sharing! I'll quickly remind you that the box costs $20. I cannot confirm if there is a shipping cost, or what it would be on top of this.
So we can confirm that SOME people are getting boxes. Or something like that. But the value has severely depreciated.
Since we're on the topic of visitor posts, I want to share a few of the latest, including, a few comments that have actually since been deleted by Cosbox (or the owner - I can't confirm, but the contents of the message implies that Cosbox would have deleted it) Plus a personal rant I found on a public search.
Note: I'm not a spy or capable of crazy hacks like Sombra, so everything in this post is public content, or was sent to me for the purpose of this article.
Click the photos to zoom or see the full image in a new window.
And, because I am only human, I also want to share this particularly mean message I sent to Cosbox. I am not proud of what I said, and I do regret it, but I was really hurt and frustrated with this business. I put all of my trust in them. I shared them with friends, friends who are now in the same situation as me. I feel responsible for some of these people. And I truly feel victimized. So yes, I am human, and I was mean, but I'm sharing this screenshot to show you that I'm sharing EVERYTHING. I'm not trying to hide, or paint them to be the bad guys. I'm simply sharing the proof.
Another thing I did in my research was reach out to individual team members as displayed on their website, plus known suppliers of the company. Most ignored me, few wished to not take part at this time, and one replied.
Because of the potentially sensitive nature of the subject, the full conversation won't be posted, and the speaker will remain anonymous, but to quote,
...one day I found myself no longer part of that team. I don't feel like this ended on bad terms by any means, I just feel I was removed from the situation because I was asking too many questions. I don't think the Owner wanted me to know what was going on at headquarters and was removed from the process entirely... I would like to hope that Cosbox is doing well and doing right by its customers.
Another past associate came forward shortly after this article and cosbox's latest statement was released and had this to say:
I don't think she meant to be malicious or a scam by any means. I think this started out as a dream and a great idea, but I think even despite her best efforts, she needed more help and really got in over her head... I think she's finally realizing that it's not working out and I hope she comes to a prompt, and fair resolution to make it up to those who have been affected.
This past weekend has been long and tedious gathering information and seeing new posts come to light. Drisana, another customer pleading with Cosbox for her boxes, shared a message thread directly with the owner of Cosbox from Thursday, November 17th.
It sadly sounds like the same thing they've said every month. My fingers are crossed that Drisana actually gets her boxes this week.
On Thursday, Cosbox also sent out a public announcement via Facebook stating that subscriptions were on hold until they could catch up on August and September boxes. They also acknowledged being called a scam, saying they would help expose themselves. Yet they give no valuable information, only loose problems they've been having.
Customers came back with more comments seemingly getting angrier. I would like to avoid the anger and hate. All I want is tangible answers. No more vague solutions.
Sadly, it is simple; send the boxes or issue refunds. I honestly don't know what could be holding up seven months of boxes. They say they're being open and honest, but there's still so many unanswered questions. Problems happen, but usually solutions follow the problems; not more problems.
I look at it this way; if Patreon creators can send out monthly packages in varying varieties on time and with no problem, then so should Cosbox. Especially with the content of recent boxes.
I've been fighting with this company for almost one year now. And in that time I have supported them, and truly hoped that they could make a come back. It's definitely not for my lack of being patient and understanding.
So I leave you with this, and I'll leave you to your own questions. If you have been affected by Cosbox with no valuable response from them, I encourage you to seek a refund from your PayPal or Credit Card company. If you feel victimized, you can report them through Cratejoy, as well as GoFundMe, or even as far as the Better Business Beureau.
If you are currently NOT a subscriber of Cosbox, I would consider waiting until a recent review or unboxing video is posted with positive encouragement. Otherwise, please don't waste your money.
With a heavy heart,