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Northern Essence

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I placed an order with April on August 2nd. I sent my pmt through paypal. 2 weeks went by and I hadn't gotten anything yet. I emailed her on August 14th asking if my items were mailed Parcel post or Priority. She said eveything got mailed by Priority mail but because of the threat of a hurricane, things were delayed a week. So I waited...emailed her again on August 26th to let her know I still had not gotten my order. She resonded by telling me that she had to make more soaps and it was still curing and then it would be cut and mailed out Monday. Thanking her I waited. Sept 2nd sent her another email..still nothing and no response. I emailed her again on Sept. 16th and told her I understood about the weeks delay due to the storm and that but that I still hadn't gotten my order. After telling me it was sent. I emailed her 3 more times..on the 20th, 21st, and on the 25th. So I never did get my order or any other communication.
post #2 of 27
I also have only received half of the order that I had placed in the middle of August. I understood that it would be delayed due to the hurricane and was totally fine with however long it would take. At the beginning of September I received half of my order that had been shipped in a priority box with no other packing materials in it. So 2 of the 3 liquid item in there were opened and 2/3 gone. The box was soaked with lotion and baby oil. I haven't tried again to contact the owner and I'm just chalking it up as a charitable donation to a hurricane victim. I wish April and her family well. I just wish that since she had taken the time to mail me part of my order that she would have at least shoved some newspaper into the box to protect the items. Oh well.
post #3 of 27
I ordered 2 times from Northen Essence. The products are great! They smell delicious & the rash salve works like a peach! I can't belive she worried about getting out my orders when she had been evacuated from her home several times. What a dedicted WAHM! Even with part of her lab damaged she took the time to take care of my orders.

I got the first order lightning fast & the second one took a bit longer, but I am fine with that. Somethings are more important than soaps & diaper salves. I would definatly order again from her!!!
post #4 of 27
I placed an order on 8/06. Shortly after there was a note on the website saying orders would take about 2 weeks to ship because of the number of packages she had to ship & because of the hurricane. That was fine, I was ok with waiting. When the promised ship date had passed, I contacted the seller to inquire whether things had been shipped or not. At that point I was still fine with waiting if there was a problem, I just wanted to be kept up to date so I could know when the package would arrive. I live in las vegas, soaps and things cant really sit out on my front porch without melting, lol. I was told there was a delay and that my stuff would be shipping the next day as it was all packaged and ready to go. I waited til the following week and emailed again, just asking to be updated so I could make sure I was home to receive the package (this was the end of august I believe). She replied that she could hand deliver it as she would be in town that weekend I responded that I would just like her to ship it ASAP instead as I had other plans that weekend. I emailed again on the 2nd asking for the tracking number... received no response. However the package did arrive on the 4th of september. Unfortunately a few of my items were not in the box and there was no invoice or note saying where they were. I emailed asking about the status and was told they were back ordered and would be shipping right away. Its now the end of september and the back ordered items have not arrived tho they were supposed to have shipped 2 weeks ago.

I understand having other things to deal with and can completely understand the delay in shipping. I just wish I had been kept up to date and maybe given a choice to cancel the order if I wasnt ok with waiting or not receiving all of my items.
post #5 of 27
It took a while for me to get my order because she is in Florida and of course, had to be evacuated for the many hurricanes! But, I enjoyed my order when it arrived. The foaming diaper area wash seems a bit strong (too much essential oil?) but doesn't bother my baby's bottom. The foaming container is really cool and I think the foam cleans very well. The wool soap is great, works like a charm and smells nice. I would order from her again - after hurricane season is over!
post #6 of 27
I love these products! A big thumbs up for Northern Essence. I got my order just in time for our first full blown diaper rash ever! It is the best cream I have ever had (and I have had MANY).
Making these products is an art. There are so many things to take into consideration when making soaps/salves. It is not just something you stir up, pour and sell. Curing (even with perfect humidity levels) can take weeks. I have much respect for soap making mommas.
Good job NE! Bless your family in this time of choas! I hope to order again one day
post #7 of 27
I also ordered from Northern Essence. I ordered on August 2. I have not received any part of my order or an email updating me about it. I have emailed her and have not had any response to my email.

I have requested a refund. I am afraid that with her business for sale, that her outstanding debt will be absolved and not transferred to the new owner.
post #8 of 27
It is easy to say that things are more important than "soap" when you've already got your order and haven't lost any money.

I placed 2 orders on August 6 and 7. I never got any notice of shipment and never asked about it until well after both hurricanes because I wanted to be understanding of this WAHMs difficult situation. It is now the beginning of October and I have sent 3 or 4 emails and have never gotten a response. I have always been nice and just asked that she give me some sort of update. I realize she is in a hard situation right now and I do have compassion for that, however it does hurt me to just throw away $45 and not ever get even an email to let me know that she can't fulfill the order or refund my money. A little communication is all I ask for. I'd love to get my stuff or money back, but I don't expect either at this point. If something changes, I will update my review.
post #9 of 27
I am very sorry to say I have not had a good experience with Northern Essence. I placed my order on August 3. I know she had a ton of orders with her big sale, so I was understanding when she got a little behind on sending orders out. I was even MORE understanding when she had to deal with the hurricanes that made landfall in Florida. I trusted that eventually, my order would be sent out, so I let the 30-day Paypal deadline lapse. On Wednesday, September 15 I emailed April and asked when she expected to ship my order, and told her that I would accept a refund if that would be easier for her. She emailed me back and told me my order had been shipped. It is now October 2nd. I have not received my package, and April is ignoring my emails. I have heard many other mamas with the same story. I am very saddened by her apparent dishonesty. I can only hope that this situation will be rectified and I can update my review with more pleasant news. Thank you.

UPDATE: I have spoken with April and have learned more about her situation. Many packages that she shipped came back to her damaged. She has every intention of refunding people money and/or sending their orders as soon as she can. (Please see her website for more details.) However, she is having medical issues right now and per Dr.'s orders must be on rest. She is very stressed and sad and hurt. She is a very kind mama and wants only the best for everyone. Let's all be patient -- she will get to us! Thanks!
post #10 of 27
I placed an order on August 8th. April was very nice in responding to e-mails for the first day or so. I was aware that it would be 2-3 week wait for my order. Shortly after I placed my order she put a note on her website saying that they would be closed the month of September and she wouldn't be shipping in that time. I'm not sure if that was only for purchases made during September or those made prior to then, as well. I did not contact her from the day after I placed my order until a little over a week ago.

I feel very badly about the hurricanes and realized that she was having a hard time. I would have liked (after the hurricanes had passed) a quick e-mail telling me when my order would be shipped. I received nothing. I did e-mail her recently and haven't received anything back.

I would have liked her to be more upfront with me, as a customer. If she is going through personal problems and is overloaded with orders, she could keep in touch and let me know that. The only info I've received is through this message board. I think it would have been better if she could have sent out even a mass-email to everyone waiting on an order explaining her problems just to open the lines of communication.
post #11 of 27
I also ordered from Northern Essence during the 50% off sale. I ordered on August 3rd. I got no e-mail confirmation or shipping notice. I then began to hear stories on the board that she was hit by Hurricane Charley and was having shipping delays but that she was still trying to get the orders out. I gave her the benefit of the doubt due to the circumstances. I let the Paypal deadline lapse. I e-mailed her on September 15th and was told that my order had shipped and I should receive it any day. Today is October 3rd and I still have not received my order. People are saying mail is delayed because of the hurricanes, but my dad is a USPS worker in North Central Florida and he told me that mail is running on schedule. If the package was shipped parcel post I should have had it in 1 week tops. Obviously that is not the case.

I e-mailed the owner again today. I also contacted Paypal.

Even though it is past the 30 days, I want you to file a complaint so
that we have it on the sellers official record. If a pattern of
complaints do arise, we will shut them down till they resolve all of
them, including the ones we could not investigate.

****** I finally received my refund after Paypal investigated my claim. Refund was received on October 22nd. Order was placed August 3rd.********
post #12 of 27
I too have been waiting on an order from August.A few weeks ago I was told it was shipped out but still have not received it.Today I called April about it and thought I would pass on what is going on.

She has been stuck in Chicago , unable to return home because of the latest storm.She just got home last night to find tons of packages she sent out returned to her as damaged.She might be posting photos of them on her website so everyone can see what she is dealing with.She now has to go through all these boxes and redo the orders.She is also having problems getting into her email account.

I have decided to continue to be patient and wait for my order as it seems April is going through a lot more then I had realized.
post #13 of 27
I placed an order (over $50 after the 50% off) with April of Northern essence on August 2nd. She called me on the 4th to answer some questions I had about my order. After the first hurricane, she called me to let me know her house had suffered serious damage, and that there would be a delay in getting my things to me. After about 1.5 weeks after hurricane #2, I had a brief conversation with her via email, with no mention of my order status. She has been very nice to work with under the circumstances, and I'm sad to see her close up shop.
post #14 of 27
I placed an order with NE on August 6th, during her 1/2 price sale. It is October 5th and I still don't have my order. I've e-mailed her a couple times but have never gotten a response. In my last e-mail I requested a refund, but that was a couple weeks ago, now. I am very disappointed, and hope that she'll refund all of us who are out money.
post #15 of 27
I had a long conversation with April tonight. We've been playing phone tag for a while, each of us leaving messages for the other.

My package (a fairly substantial one) had been mailed before Hurricane Jeanne hit. Unfortunately that post office was hit quite hard and the water-damaged package was sent back to April. They had evacuated before Jeanne (I believe it was that one...4 hurricanes have hit FL in the past couple months) hit and it was a while before they could return home and find my ruined package. So, she contacted one of the WAHMs she works with to get that part of my order replaced (a Doodlebottoms cover) and that leads to some time delay to get from WAHM to another, and then it will eventually get in the mail to me. I once again told April that I wasn't worried. I offered to send some extra money her direction to help split the cost of the hurricane damage that I feel is outside of her control. She would not accept any more money from me.

I do not believe customer service norms apply to this business at this time. I found April to be a very sweet and generous woman who has faced truly awful business and personal scenarios in the past couple of months. I have every confidence that I will receive my order and that it will be as I ordered it. Obviously I cannot speak to her customer service with others, nor can I speak for April. But from my perspective as a customer, I am pleased with her communication (both her repeated attempts to contact me as well as our conversation when we finally were able to talk) and her dedication to trying to make my order right. I have every expectation that I will enjoy her products as well.
post #16 of 27
April has been taking care of outstanding orders or offering refunds. Her records however are a mess after the hurricanes and her recent move. I am assisting her in getting all orders taken care of so if anyone has not already contacted me and you are still waiting on an order please do so right away! She hopes to have everyones orders complete by Tuesday the 9th. Please email me at Trisha@lilbunz.com.
post #17 of 27
I recently traded with April for some lotion. She replied to all of my emails promptly and sent the lotion out very quickly. It smells great! I'm very happy with the trade.
post #18 of 27
I ordered during the sale and my order took for ever to reach me but she was having some hurricane issues...... I loved every thing i bought .
post #19 of 27
I placed an order on August 3rd. I heard about all the difficulties April was going through so I was content to wait. Some emails were answered some weren't. I tried calling in October and no calls were returned. I read the apology on the boards and when she sent me an email on November 9 asking if I had gotten my refund or the goods I was pleasantly surprised. She offered to still send the goods and I took that offer in good faith, given her apology and publicly stated intentions to make good. The last I heard early December was that it was shipping "this week". It never got here. My subsequent emails were not answered. I PM'd her through this MDC board and I know it was read, however it wasn't answered. My credit card company allowed me to file a late complaint and recover my money that way. Such a shame because the products sounded good and I have heard such great things about them.
post #20 of 27
I placed an order on March 9th. April had made a big apology post on the forums, and I was impressed with her honesty, and that she admitted her mistakes. I had never heard of her business before, but decided to check it out. I needed some wool soap anyway, so I placed a small order, since her store had opened back up. I figured she deserved another chance, so I wanted to help her out.

Well, the wool soap that I ordered was supposedly instock. I received an automated order confirmation for my order, but thats it. My soap never came, I never received any email... nothing. I emailed her about it -- no response. I eventually checked back on her website -- only to find that she had sold her business (AFTER I placed my order!)!! I was never contacted about that.

Eventually, I set up a dispute with paypal, in order to get a refund. After 10 days with no response from April, the dispute was settled in my favour... HOWEVER, they told me that the funds could not be recovered from her account. SO... no refund, no product....!!!

The money wasn't a huge issue... it really wasn't a lot. But I'm so frustrated that this happened -- especially since I really should have known better!!
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