Beta testers needed - Help us revolutionize the way you discover new teas!

202 Replies
Jill1 said

Are you all filled?

Hi Jill,

We’re still looking for people to try our service – we’re releasing invitations over time. Expect an invite in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks!
C.R.

I’d love one as well :)

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me please!

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Ellyn select said

Sign me up please! I just followed you! :)

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Azzrian said

Okay so here is my experience thus far.
You go to their site and make an account.
You pay a 5.00 deposit which becomes a “credit” to use toward future purchases.
If you decide you do not like the tea / program it says they will refund you 5.50.
So I have sampled and rated my first three samples.
You can see my reviews in my tea log or under Makers Tea
So I went to select and request my next three samples.
You see the idea is that they as a company need a little help to send all these free samples out yet we lose nothing as long as we either make an order OR ask for a refund.
Great idea and all except when I went to ask for my next three samples it wanted to charge me again.
So either this is a site glitch or the way it is.
If it is a site glitch I will find out soon (or not) as I have emailed them about it.
IF it is the way it is I have asked for a refund.
I don’t want to pay 5.00 each time I get three samples.
I won’t.
Even though some companies do not offer free samples at all there are plenty who do Also even though many companies may not offer samples they have more of a presence in the tea world already that I could take a gamble on, more reviews of steepsers that I know have the same taste in tea that I do etc.
So all in all I like the IDEA of the program, I am not in love with any of the teas yet although one came close (see review to see why it didn’t make the cut for me), but it seems either some issues need worked out OR I am going to be quite frustrated to learn that I have to keep loading money into an account if I want to keep trying samples.
Will continue this as I find out more.

So you can only request three samples with the $5? And how many cups did the samples actually make?

Azzrian said

Each sample is said to make 2 cups there are 2 tsp per sample HOWEVER we know that oolong for example takes 2 tsp for one cup.

Azzrian said

Oh and yes you can only get three samples at a time which I am okay with that really. I think it is reasonable what I am more concerned about is if I have to pay 5 bucks again and again or what.

Hi Azzrian,

The service requires the small credit each time you place a sample order. As I’m sure you can appreciate, there is time and cost involved in sending out even a sample, so the hope is that once you find a tea you like you can then spend your credit towards buying that actual tea in greater quantity.

Personally, when I find a tea worth adding to my rotation I will likely buy at least $10-15 worth of that tea, so the thinking is that your credits you accumulate will be put to good use when you place an actual order.

Does that make sense? Is there a better alternative approach you would suggest?

Thanks in advance, and let us know if you would like a refund on your initial order.

All the best,
C.R.

Azzrian said

A better approach is to make it clear that the cost is required each time.
Also I found only one of the three I may order but I wanted to try more to make one larger order rather than several small orders.
Also on that one I found it required two teaspoons of leaf (not one as instructed) for the flavor to be full and in order to accurately rate, review, and decide if I wanted to order any. Therefore I was not FULLY able to decide if I wanted that one of the three samples or not.
I decided to try another sample order to determine if I wanted to order or not – then found I would need to “deposit” another 5.00.
Yes I do appreciate it cost money to ship samples, absolutely, and perhaps there are more cost effective ways to send them.
While I appreciated that the cardboard packaging kept the samples from getting smashed in the mail which is a good thing, I am sure there are more cost effective ways to get this same result, perhaps not.
Also it was cute the way they were behind the card you insert with your company info on it, but labeling each tea itself is also a nice touch, that way if someone opens in a fury lol as tea drinkers often do – and the samples fly out of the package, they can still be identified.
Just a helpful suggestion. This did not happen to me but I could see it happening. Also I kept having to place the samples back into the packaging “just so” to keep track of each one.
Granted one could be a little astute and just look at the blend to identify but we are not familiar with your teas enough yet to do this without coming back to the computer to compare the tea in the plastic baggie to the picture on the site. So just labeling will make for more user friendly samples.
Regardless, I would like to opt out of the program at this time.
Unfortunately I was not impressed enough by my first three samples to keep putting money into the kitty.
Even though I respect that as a business you have to watch your costs, I don’t feel this is for me. I have emailed already asking for a refund if I was correct that we need to pay another 5.00 which you have validated here. I have yet to get a reply to that email.

Babble said

I personally feel like $5 for 3 very small samples is a bit much. I think they should either give you more tea or more flavors to pick with the $5 packaging.

Do you get a 5$ credit for each 5$ sample you try? So if I sample 3 and “pay” 5$ for it and don’t like them, I can then sample another 3 and pay another 5$ and if i then like one of the second 3 I can use the 10$ i spent on the two sets of samples?
I tend to drink half cups of oolongs. Whole cups resteeped 5+ times would be a bit much.

Azzrian – thanks for your feedback and for trying out the service!

Yappychappy – Yes, with every sample you will receive $5 in credit. Each sample is additive, so if you order a second sample you will have $10 in credit which you can use towards a full order at any time.

We appreciate the interest and engagement!
C.R.

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cuppaT said

Sign me up!

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cuppaT said

…or, um, not. (Next time, read to the end of the thread, Bonnie. Geesh!)

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Sorry, but my opinion is that this company really LACKS when it comes to communication. They certainly aren’t impressing me. That’s for sure.

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Sil select said

I’m going to have to passs on this as well, in light of Azzrian’s comments. I suspected as much when I received my invite and briefly looked at the site before vacation. While I can appreciate putting a deposit down for samples, this is also a Beta test. Most companies for which I’ve ever done beta testing, don’t ask for money upfront. The idea being that this is the pre-test before launch.

Secondly the website, as Azzrian pointed out, is not clear that you will be adding 5$ everytime you want a sample. There are also a number of companies that will provide samples for free OR at a better value (eg. Della Terra has their 10$ sample packs which have a ton of tea in them! Allowing you to have a few chances to taste the tea and form a good conclusion on whether you like it or not).

I’ll also be opting out because of the lack of communication throughout this process. In you’re testing something, you should ESPECIALLY be prepared to be responsive and communicate clearly and quickly. I have less faith in what this would be like once it’s live having watched this process.

Id also be curious to know how long it takes Azzrian to get a response and/or her money refunded – since this would be a key point for me especially given the additive nature of the sample prices.

I’m with you on this Sil. Transparency is key to good customer service, and based on the reviews I saw from this program… I am not willing to hedge $5 for some “free” samples. In fact, at this point I’d rather put that $5 towards a purchase from someplace else where I know my voice as a customer will be respected. I know it’s taking things personally but that is what it comes down to.
This company has alot of work to do if they wan’t to retain this community as customers.

Hi Sil,

Thanks for the heads up and feedback. Keep in mind we’re still in beta and open to suggestions and changes. Regarding communication, I would agree with you. For those people who received invites to the site we’ve been responsive in dealing with questions, concerns, and in Azzrian’s case a refund for her sample. We haven’t been posting a ton of information to this particular forum, as we’ve been focusing on the 1:1 conversations we’re having with people using the site.

Hope that helps clarify a little.

All the best,
C.R.

C.R… it was weeks before you responded to anyone initially, and nobody knew about the $5 fee until after the invite. This is not the behaviour we expected from a premium tea business.
It sounds like you’ve spread yourself a little thin and that is why things aren’t going as hoped. Perhaps you could retain some Steepster community members as ambassadors for your program to help you out? in exchange for some tea even!

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Azzrian said

For the record I did get my refund – plus the extra 50 cents as promised – the refund came pretty quickly as well.
I would have been happy with just my 5.00 I really didn’t feel right getting back an extra 50 cents but whatever.

Sil select said

glad to hear it! :)

Azzrian said

Thanks Sil :)

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seule771 said

Sign me up! Thank you!

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