Doing right by the customer is of the utmost importance to the BarkBox team—even a minor communication slip-up can permanently damage a relationship. Because of this, BarkBox has invested heavily in their customer service team—the “Happy Team”, as they call it—to proactively manage issues and keep every customer satisfied, even when logistical hiccups arise.
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KitNipBox is a monthly subscription box just for cats. Each month, expect a themed selection of toys and treats for your kitty! None of the food products in the box are made in China, though some of the toys may be. There is a “no treat” option for cats with allergies and food sensitivities, too. All KitNip Box toys are thoroughly assessed for quality and safety by the KitNip Box team.
The first BarkPark is scheduled to open on September 8 in Nashville, Tenn. It will be open daily between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. through November. The BarkPark will encompass a landscaped green space designed for dogs to run around as well as access to plenty of Bark-branded toys and treats. (Bark currently produces more than 430 new toys each year.) The park is promised to be cleaned regularly, and there will be BarkPark “hosts” who are also trained professionals to monitor dog play and ensure safety for all attendees.
The first time I ordered from BarkBox I had a bad experience. They lost my order, and I had to contact them several times to receive my order. I thought I would give them a second chance and I placed an order on 8/22 for my granddog's birthday on 8/29. I received an email stating the order would be received in 2-5 days. It is now the 29th, her birthday, and my order has not even left the warehouse yet! I will not be giving them a third try. From now on I will be ordering from Amazon. They are much more reliable.
While the Nashville BarkPark is initially only a pop-up venture for now, BarkBox has ambitions to open more locations nationwide in the future. BarkPark also serves as an experimental retail channel for Bark. It follows the brand’s launch in more than 1,800 Target stores nationwide last August, followed up by Urban Outfitters earlier this month. Bark plans to announce more retail partners soon.
The Sprong feels soft and bounces and squeaks, and it’s one of the only toys that have consistently kept the attention of my dogs (Ziggy and Lily, Chihuahua mixes, 11 and 12 pounds, 2 and 7 years, respectively). Other toys get shredded or elicit only a mild wag after a few weeks, but because the Sprong has no enticing stuffing to rip out and bounces in an irregular manner, it keeps the little pups on their toes. My toddler also steals the Sprong—all doggie toys are toddler toys. But big dogs, beware: The Sprong’s individual nubs are Chihuahua resistant (our pups have had the same Sprong for five years now), but they may not stand up to the stronger jaws of larger dogs.
I've always wanted to try a subscription for my pups but I'm a bit ashamed that this was my first experience. BarkBox was good but had major hits and misses. I have giant, playful, strong dogs and though this was indicated, I don't feel as though any size consideration is evaluated when selecting toys for the boxes. I do like that they always came with two toys because it meant each dog had 15 minutes of play time before I had to wrestle their jaws open to dig out the stuffing and bits of squeakers they were about to ingest. The treats have been great! They especially loved the apple cider treats that started to ferment when left in a cookie jar and made all their other treats reek of beer. As a consumer that willingly signed up for the box and entered my debit card information freely, I should have read more in-depth. I did not know that when you terminate your subscription that you will continue to be charged until you reach the year mark of signing up. For me it meant 9 more months of money that was to be taken out of my account had I not caught it. I like true month to month boxes where a cancellation is immediate and I wish they had made their rather off-kilter ways of charging and processing more visible. I can think of some major changes that they could make but ultimately some of the blame rests on me for not reading better. I know my pups will be sad as they've grown accustomed to their box but I can buy more durable and healthy big dog treats for just a little more money and I know it would be more worth it.
What comes each month seems to be tied into a holiday or time of year. For example, the BarkBox my dog received last week related to the Chinese New Year and contained treats like "Chompsticks" and a squeaker toy of a stuffed dragon. There are usually at least 2 themed toys, 2 themed smaller packages of treats, and at least 1 generic treat like a chew bone. The treats are marketed as "healthy snacks" like fruit chews and dried salmon. (If you get dried salmon, watch out. It smells! My dog loved it, however.) In addition to treats and toys, dog-related items may be included. We received a small treat jar and a water bottle to use when out walking.
“The Bark & Co support team always strives to deepen customer relationships through social. However, with the sheer volume of direct messages coming in every day, it’s sometimes a challenge to maintain the levity and respond to customers promptly. Fortunately, with Zendesk Message and the use of a chatbot, we are able to escalate high priority conversations to our agents. This ensures that our support team can handle the more complex queries, leaving customers happier.”