A Note on Elfbeads

I created this blog as a way to express my passion for charm jewelry and as a place where fans can come to find the latest information on a variety of brands.  I’ve been blessed to have supportive readers and companies who have helped make Charms Addict into the site it is today.  While I haven’t ever discussed any of my personal dealings or the backend of running the blog, I feel compelled to share my experience with Paul Krans and Elfbeads recently.  As of today, I will no longer be posting about or featuring this brand as part of the Charms Addict family.

A bit of a background – when I first started the blog, all the jewelry I reviewed was purchased with my personal funds.  As the website grew, this became rather prohibitive and I was lucky enough to have some companies interested in sending me samples of charms which I post a disclaimer for in those posts.  However, even today I spend a lot of my own money on buying products especially when there’s a good deal or a rare item.

Recently, during the Elfbeads Launch Party, I participated in the bracelet promotion.  Understandably they are rather backordered and it’s been almost a month and I’ve yet to receive my order.  A reader posted on my Facebook page wall a few days ago asking if anyone else was waiting on their Elfbeads order; I replied I was too, to which she said they shouldn’t be this backed up, and I added that they had already charged my credit card.  In my experience when products are backordered, especially for a long time, the order is only charged when it is shipped.

I didn’t think anything of it, until I got an angry email from Paul on Friday not only accusing me of being “unprofessional and mean” for posting that response as I didn’t reassure customers that they would receive their beads from Great Lakes, but he also accused me of being hormonal because of my pregnancy.  And since Suzanne accused me of not including the entire email (in the comments), here it is in its entirety:

A little background information since you didn’t ask for it:

We changed our Launch Party Deal from in store only to online so everyone around the world would be able to get the beads they wanted. This after many requests of our fans and we do our very best to make them happy. Great Lakes clearly stated that by changing the deal into global availability, their stock would probably not be big enough for the demand and people would have to wait for their order. But reading your reply on a comment on your FB page, makes me think that either way, people will not be satisfied.
You (I am addressing to you as the Blogger) did not ask us why there is a delay or if there is any news regarding this. You also didn’t contact Great Lakes to ask them.
So your comment “I agree! They took the money fast enough” must be from your personal side as I can not imagine anyone making a comment like this as a professional blogger without trying to find out the story behind it. Actually, to me, it feels like an attack. Maybe not towards me directly, but the Great Lakes Team is the most wonderful team you can imagine and go above and beyond to make people happy and they really don’t deserve this!
So that comment to me is both unprofessional and mean. Not showing you care about Elfbeads at all! Maybe we did something wrong previously to you or maybe for you having to wait is “wrong enough” to justify comments like these. But it is not my cup of tea and I don’t understand it at all.

Instead of assuring people they will get their beads, you do the opposite. I hope your comment is based on hormones working against you or you just being too tired to keep personal and business separated. (not that I wish that for you, but I can imagine one or both of these happening to you at this stage of your pregnancy) But if this is “you” I really don’t see how we can have a great relationship between CA and Elf.

I tried to discuss my position with him but he was uninterested in justifying his email (although I think it says it all).  I have never been personally or unjustifiably attacked like this in all my blog dealings or my professional career.  I was incredibly upset by this inappropriate email and I wanted to explain why I will no longer be supporting or writing about Elfbeads, and I also canceled my order with Great Lakes.  I hope you, dear reader, will understand my position and decision to cut ties with this unprofessional company.  I do not do this lightly and it’s with a heavy heart that I decided to post this, but I feel very strongly about this person and brand.

  • Veronicaleah

    I hate that you had that experience, but I am glad that you reached the decision that you did. I can only imagine if you were treated this poorly how the average non blogger customer might be treated.

    • Leann

      Thanks, Veronica. I couldn’t believe it – I’ve always strived to give my honest opinion on my blog and I didn’t think my comment was an attack at all :/.

  • Pattie Hall

    wow!! follow your heart, you have always been fair to everyone.Guess since your having a baby that means you cant think any longer, he sounds like such a winner. we will always follow you. love and take care.

    • Leann

      Thank you, Pattie. I was aghast and so upset all weekend over this. I couldn’t believe he blamed my pregnancy for my comment.

      • Cilia

        Yeah totally out of line!!

  • Andie

    I’m so sorry Leann. Nothing was mean about your post. What kind of world would we live in, if we can’t voice our opinions. I don’t see anything wrong with what you said. I haven’t received my order yet either and was thinking the same thing….they shouldn’t charge until it ships. It’s very sad but I think you made the right decision. Surround yourself with positivity and thank you for all you do to keep us informed. 🙂

    • Leann

      Thanks, Andie. I completely understood that they would be backordered, but was rather irritated they charged the money up front. Yes, I don’t need the headache or drama right now! 🙂

      • Andie

        I have always appreciated your honest opinion on the blog. I only found out about Elf beads from you to begin with. I won’t be purchasing from them anymore. I wish I could cancel my order. He seriously dug himself into a hole. No loss on your end. 🙂

      • Leann

        Thanks, Andie. It’s not anything I wanted to have happen, but oh well. I hope you get your order soon!

    • Sharene

      Andie, you’re right. If bloggers can’t be honest and simply post things as they happen or whatever, then who would believe the blogger?? NO ONE. They would have a bad reputation to “fluff” over things and not write honestly. Thanks again, Leann.

  • jahndra

    You know what? I’m glad you’ve shared this with us. Too many things happen in the background and stuff happens and us as readers and loyal followers are sometimes left without knowing what happened and are left without closure. I appreciate you letting us know, and I for one support you. I’m not really a fan of elf beafs (although their beads are beautiful) bc I can’t afford pandora, trollbeads, x and elf beads, it’s too much lol. I don’t know what this guy’s problem is, but you don’t need this drama in your life!

    • Leann

      Thanks Jahndra. I debated back and forth whether to share my personal experience with this guy, but ultimately I thought people should know the owner’s true colors. I definitely don’t need this right now, haha.

  • maybelline

    That is so appalling! I’m so sorry for you Leann, and thanks for sharing this with us!

    I actually had been on the fence about continuing to purchase Elfbeads: I have 10+ of the glass beads and with 4 of them the glass has separated from the silver core (and this is when they were brand new). None of my Trollbeads glass (even the older ones) has had even the slightest separation. I was going to give them another chance since they are a new company and their glass designs are quite beautiful, but not if this is how they handle their customers! I’m done with Elfbeads: unliked and unfollowed!

    • Leann

      Yikes! I never had problems with their products but that is not good.

  • Liz

    So sorry Leann – thats a real shame they replied as they did. There are too many bead brands out there to do this to potential customers. This will just leave a sour taste in the mouth of bead-aholics (such as myself) and I never even bought their brand…

    • Leann

      Thanks, Liz! It’s not something I wanted to bring into the public but it seemed odd to just all of a sudden stop featuring them and taking all their posts down.

  • Martha

    Absolutely all the big companies like Amazon and LL Bean charge a credit card only after a back ordered item has been shipped. I’d feel very uneasy if a startup business charged my card before shipping an item, perhaps before the item had been made! And way to insult women, who I would think make up a rather large percentage of bead buyers!

    • Leann

      Honestly, I didn’t have a problem with the charge and it was getting a bit more irritated as the weeks dragged by and still no beads or update.

  • Jess

    I am so sorry Leann! You did not deserve that at all. I have some choice names for people like Mr. Krans but I will not stoop down to their level. How dare he say that to you!?! I hope this goes viral and people see him for who he truly is. I just started falling in love with the brand but this is very disheartening. I wonder how Susan the glass maker feels about this? She should be very upset as well.

    • Leann

      Thank you, Jess! I was wondering the same thing but looks from her post (above) that she wholeheartedly supports his comments and position. Oh well, some people just need more business experience. 🙂

      • Mel Taylor

        So sorry to hear all this. I think ‘too much too soon and trying to run before they can walk’ sums up Elfbeads for me. I tried to order with them from day 1 and did not receive my order although did get a refund. They have tried too hard to give things away and build a customer base without being able to full fill things. They should be supporting and encourging feedback of all sorts from both customers and bloggers alike. I for one have decided to stay loyal to Troll and my lovely artisan glass artists who provide a personalised and truly unique service.

  • Meg

    Yikes! Guess I can save my money for other bead brands. It’s unfortunate too because there were several of their styles that I had on my list. Regardless of what he felt about your post, I think it’s obvious to everyone that there was a more professional way to approach the situation. And referring to your pregnancy & hormones? Ick. Thanks for saving me some money dude!

    • Leann

      That’s how I feel, Meg. It was clearly inappropriate and there’s no way that it could have come off well :/.

  • carol

    Wow, i think you are justified.

    • Leann

      Thanks, Carol.

  • Virginia

    There’s too many brands from which to choose to be treated like this. Bravo to you for standing up to this bully.

    • Leann

      Exactly, thanks Virginia!

  • Jen Purger

    Soo sorry Leann, we love you and I found this email horrid. Try to move on and we are all behind you one hundred per cent. I have no time for Paul any more.
    My daughter and I love your blog, we support you and always will. 🙂

    • Leann

      Thanks, Jen! It was incredibly upsetting especially since I didn’t feel like I did anything to deserve it.

  • Grisell Martinez

    Wow so sorry you were spoken to this way , if it was not for you and your blog I wouldn’t know what I know today about all these different brand . He must be going thru men-opause !

    • Leann

      Thanks, Grisell. It was completely inappropriate!

  • Sharene

    WOW …. who was running “hormonal” with that response! I’m surprised. So this Paul believes this is your business now and you are not allowed to post negatives of any kind. Oh boy. Too much. I do not blame you at ALL Leann. I would have most likely done the same. P.S.. I haven’t ordered from them either! What an unprofessional attitude he has.

    • Leann

      Yeah, pretty much right? I didn’t even think it was a negative comment. :/

      • Sharene

        I agree.

  • Sarah Anne Collins

    that is not a professional e-mail , very rude I would of done the same , Im a pandora adict myself anyway so no great lost to me , but really this guy needs to go back to school and learn some manners, you did the right thing Leanne , and congrats on the baby bump 🙂

    • Leann

      Thanks, Sarah. It was really unnecessary.

  • Ann

    There is never, ever any reason to resort to a sexist remark! Leann, clearly you are a very bright woman, providing an outstanding service writing this blog, not only for your readers, but for all the companies which benefit from the incredible exposure they get. While it would seem such ignorance is more to be pitied than scorned, I feel nothing but scorn toward Paul Krans based on the remarks that have revealed his true character.

    • Ann

      It has occurs to me that for Paul to attack you in the way he did, he knew that processing payments without shipping the orders, was wrong. I know of no reputable company that does that.

      • Leann

        What baffles me is that it wasn’t even his problem; the payment was taken from Great Lakes and I simply made a remark about that, not an “attack”. So for him to come back at me like this was truly shocking.

    • Leann

      Thanks, Ann. It was very difficult to understand why he would write such an email and make these accusations.

  • Daphne

    Oh Leann!! How UNPROFESSIONAL can you be ???? This guy is atotal JERK!!!! How could YOU “assure” ANYONE would get their order???? This is NOT your co ???? Dont loose a minuets worry over this. Concentrate on a happy healthy baby and other peaceful things. And remember , “vengance is thine sayeth The Lord”

    • Leann

      Thanks, Daphne! That’s exactly what I was thinking – why would I be reassuring their customers of anything? It certainly wasn’t an “attack”. You live and learn.

  • Courtney-Joy

    Woah! Do they realise that your blog brings them customers?? Not any more! Go Girl! Xx

    • Leann

      Thanks, Courtney-Joy.

  • Laura Summers

    How inappropriate and sexist….comments regarding a woman’s pregnancy are total sexual harassment! He could have expressed displeasure with your interactions (if that’s really his “cup of tea”, as he puts it) while maintaining professionalism. So glad you cut ties!! And I hope every reader of this blog does the same.

    • Leann

      Completely inappropriate! I can’t seem to figure out why he was so displeased with my comment, which is the baffling part. :/.

  • Coonedog 7

    Ok I will never ever buy a Elfbead!! So call me unprofessional so be it. To make a statment “someone is hormonal” that is unpofessional !! So I am HORMONAL!! Women are the #1 buryers of charms !!

    • Leann

      I don’t know why he thought saying that to someone would be okay. Thanks Sonja.

  • Demelza Guing

    WOW, What a d##k.

    Sorry elf beads but if those are your secret thoughts of the species who would have made you successful im afraid your s##t outta luck, my money will be better spent with brands who conduct a professional attitude towards their customers.

    Shame on you!

    • Julia

      Yeah!

    • Leann

      I still don’t understand what he was thinking. SMH

  • stargirl_82

    What a horrible thing to say. He had no right to refer to your pregnancy as having anything to do with your comments. Sometimes men are so clueless and sexist about ‘girl stuff’, they seem to think it’s ok to blame hormones. How unprofessional. Does he realise how many customers he may now lose? What an idiot. Chin up, Leann, everyone here is on your side 🙂

    • Leann

      Thanks. It’s really unbelievable :(.

  • Julie

    Oh my goodness I just saw ELFs post on my fb and decided to check it out, wow! As a mother I’m enraged and I unfollowed them immediately. As a bead lover I’m glad I found yourpage!! They have lost my support.

    • Jess

      What did elfbeads have to say about it? The post was taken down right as I clicked on it.

      • DLeach

        I am not good at verbatim but essentially he dug himself deeper on his stand on pregnancy hormones… In my opinion, he did not fail to insult all the people that participated in the launch party purchase as well. He stated it was originally meant to be exclusive to ONLY the people that went to the store. If I had spent the money to fly to this launch I would NOT have bought as many beads as I did. I’ve unfollowed him. He needs some lessons on branding, unless his wish is to alienate his brand!

    • Leann

      Thanks, Julie. There’s really no excuse for talking to someone like this.

  • Boricuadiva

    Leann,
    I am so sorry that you had to deal with this but happy you get to save $ by not dealing with Elfbeads. Never ordered from the and thanks to your information, I never will.

    Paul,
    WOW! The customer is always right. That’s rule #1 when dealing with customers.
    From us hormonal ladies to you: Enjoy the repercussion of your thoughtless comments Paul.

    • jahndra

      it already has, he’s lost some likers on fb and he posted about this, then had to remove the post because 90% of the commenters were hounding him LOL

    • Julia

      You go girl!

    • Leann

      Thanks, yes I have removed Elfbeads from the blog. I can’t support their brand anymore after this!

  • Tatiana touretsky

    I’am so sorry Leann… It is not professionaly, it is not good.
    And BRAVO to you!!!

    • Leann

      Thanks, Tatiana.

  • Nereida Ammari

    The law states that they cannot charge your card if they are not shipping within 30 days and must have your explicit permission if it will take longer. Does this man realize how insulting it is to call a woman hormonal when they disagree rather than deal with the disagreement. While your blog needs the manufacturers to be a blog, they need you much more than you need them, especially since they are not at the top of the food chain. I used to think of only Pandora and Trollbeads until I found your blog and got introduced to OHM. Now I have purchased lots of Ohm, and with the Winter 2014 will be buying much more, to the detriment of my Pandora list,(though my Pandora list owes its existence to your blog). Not being talked about in your blog will have a much more significant effect on them than on you. And as a woman, it is hard to forgive his comments. Having hormones doesn’t make us incapable of making rational choices. And keeping your customers updated about delays is just good business. All professional companies such as Amazon do. Also, you are not their employee to be assuring customers of anything. That would be biased. And what if the reassurance was wrong?

    • Julia

      That could have not been said better!

    • Leann

      Exactly my thoughts, Nereida! Thanks for your comment :).

  • Julia

    Leann, I am so ashamed that he had indecency to treat you like that, especially when it is not your fault! That man has no pride and you did not deserve that nasty commentary of his, but I believe what goes around comes around! Do not be put in low spirits because of him, you have our love and support to back you up!

    • Leann

      Thanks, Julia. It was very upsetting and I was incredibly offended, so I’m glad to get over it!

  • CarolinaWings

    So sorry this happened to you Leann. Your blog has always been so positive, helpful and fun and I hope you won’t let his clueless rudeness impact your wonderful spirit. Keep up the great work!

    • Leann

      Thanks, Carolina! I will get past this :).

  • Wronda

    Leann, I visit your site to find out about the beads and I enjoy your enthusiasm and your gracious opinions. I can appreciate that it takes an enormous amount of time and effort to keep all this information posted and up-to-date. I appreciate it and even the shop where I buy Pandora directs me to your site. If they offered you compensation for your work on their behalf, it would be just. It’s outrageous for Elfbeads to attack you, especially as you are not an employee or contracted representative of their company. I’m sorry you were treated so poorly and I completely support your decision to stop reporting on that brand.
    Thank you! Wronda

    • Leann

      Thanks, Wronda! It is a lot of work but also my passion so I love doing it. I won’t let people like this get me down :).

  • Rose

    All I can say is that Paul is a real jerk! Do not let him get you down! This is his loss.

    • Leann

      Thanks, Rose! I will get over it :).

  • Sharene

    I just discovered, when you PRE-ORDER with PayPal, it’s taken from your Credit Account right away. But that is a price I’m willing to pay. I use PayPal whenever possible. Even if I want to pay with my Credit Card because I don’t have to enter my Credit Card information on these various sites. I feel more secure with just having that information tucked away with PayPal and not all over different web sites. Soooo, what chya gonna do.

    • Leann

      Honestly, I didn’t have a huge problem with the payment – it only got more irritating as the weeks dragged past and there was still no updates on the delivery. I never even made a big deal of it (even considering my comment) until he sent me that nasty email.

  • Halle

    Very sorry to hear that you have been treated in this way, what a shame!

    • Leann

      Thanks Halle. It really is.

  • Cilia

    Good grief, that is so wrong. Credit cards should ONLY be charge once the order is ready for shipping!
    Wow and a personal attack instead of an apology as well! He basically says it’s you, not him, who did wrong. Doesn’t sound like he has much respect for women.
    I’m sure you (and the others who are appalled by this incident) will find something else to spend their money on.

    • Leann

      Thanks, Cilia. There is definitely other things I can spend my money on! 😉

  • Heather

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It will definitely make me think twice before spending any more of my money on EB. I’m still waiting on my order from GLB. I placed my order days before several of my friends and they got their orders weeks ago.

    • Leann

      I got two emails from Great Lakes each assuring me that the orders would be shipped within the week, and the last email was from 10/3. I hope you get your order soon!

      • Heather

        Still waiting. What’s very annoying is that there has been no followup to the email I received 10/4, which said it would be another week. I inquired last week and was told it would be another week.

      • Leann

        :/ I just went ahead and canceled my order since it didn’t seem like they really knew when they were going to get it. Good luck though, I hope you get it soon!

  • Judy

    What an awful thing to say! You are a journalist and a professional Leann, you are not Mr. Elfbead’s paid elfie-shill. If he would read his merchant agreement with Visa/MasterCard he would see that it requires him to ship merchandise within 48 hours after he charges a customer’s card. Otherwise he is in violation of his contract with the credit card companies.
    I am glad you brought this to the attention of your readers. I worked for a consumer magazine and certain vendors would frequently try to bully, harass, and threaten writers, product reviewers, and editors to coerce them to write about their products in a more favorable way. They would even try to get them fired. I always thought we did our readers a disservice by never informing them of some vendors’ boorish behavior. I applaud your speaking up!
    Thank you, Leann, for your integrity, honor and professionalism! Those are things which make your blog a joy to read.
    Count me among those whose bead money will not be going to Elfbeads in the future.

    • Leann

      Thanks Judy! I believe very strongly in maintaining my voice as an independent reviewer and blogger on these brands so it was out of blue that he would expect me to reassure his customers that they would get their orders. Maybe he doesn’t understand the difference between paid employees and independent writers.

  • http://delectablearts.wordpress.com/ Tia TL

    Oh my goodness, Leann… So sorry you had to read those terrible, misogynistic, and condescending remarks! That is just unacceptable and inappropriate! I didn’t even know about Elfbeads until I read your blog. You’re basically advertising their brand for free and this is how they treat you? Unbelievable! I hope they read this post, realize how many supporters you have, and regret the way they treated you.

    • Leann

      Thanks Tia. I am going to get over it! 🙂

  • Charmer

    Wow, I almost didn’t read this post because I have not been interested in Elfbeads thus far. And now that I have read it, I will NEVER be tempted by anything they sell. Thank you, Leann, for your honesty and integrity. You have provided consumers with an invaluable service. There is a lot of competition out there, and that competition allows consumers to make purchases not only based on the products themselves, but also on the ethics of the business owners. We now know what this “gentleman” is made of, and he appears to have disgusted us all. Relax and be happy Leann. We support you!

    • Leann

      Thanks! I am getting over it. It was just such an unbelievable attack :/.

  • Tanya

    He’s accusing you of being unprofessional and then he goes ahead to do one of the MOST unprofessional things a man could possibly do. Imagine, women are like 99% of their business, and here he is insulting us with ignorant, insensitive and chauvinistic comments like that. Are they paying you to reassure THEIR customers? Unbelievable! I agree with you fully in your decision.

    • Leann

      Thanks, Tanya. I wonder why he thought referring to my hormones or pregnancy would ever be a good idea. I would have done and said the same thing even if I wasn’t pregnant!

  • Lozzie

    His response was unwarranted and unprofessional.

    Thank you for taking the time to inform the charm addict community.

    You have our support Leann.

    • Leann

      Thanks, Lozzie. I appreciate your support!

  • FairObjective

    I’m really sorry that you were subjected to such an unfair, callous (& irrelevant) statement about your wonderful pregnancy, Leann. I have to say, I’m really shocked and baffled by the response you got to a legitimate customer service issue. It’s not supposed to turn into such a personal encounter; it’s just business! It sounds like all the fast growth and demand for the product – while ultimately positive – is causing pressure and defensiveness at the top. That’s just my hunch. Regardless, you don’t deserve to be treated like that, as a valued customer, *or* as a woman. Men can say the most absurd things when a woman makes a legitimate point that cuts too close to the quick. Utter nonsense, and, again, it’s a bewildering response you received. Keep smiling, and try not to worry too much more about this. You’re always so nice and considerate to all of us (your readers), and with all the work you put into your fantastic blog…we all love you and fully support you. Thanks for being open and honest with your readers; nothing good comes of covering up attitudes that affect all of us – both as consumers, and as women. (Btw…men have significant hormone fluctuations themselves, especially as they leave their 30’s and approach middle age; medical science confirms this. How often does *that* get blamed for business-related issues? Not very. The more things change, the more they stay the same!). *Hugs-hugs-hugs* to you; get some rest, and take care…Kim

    • Leann

      Thank you, Kim. I completely agree with your assessment. I hope he gets a PR person or learns from this how not to speak to people!

  • Kim

    The comments he made are ignorant. It is unfortunate for that company that he communicates in that manner. Or that he communicates at all, as personal attacks are for the feeble minded. I choose to avoid dealings with ignorant people when possible, as well as companies that have uncomfortable practices. I respect people who voice facts, opinions, or constructive criticism about such practices. I respect companies that utilize constructive criticism. He is too ignorant to even fake it. Don’t take any comments to heart. Just walk away and stay away. Life is too short and you have way more important things (and superior bead brands) to tend to 🙂

    • Leann

      Thanks, Kim. I agree, there was no need to get personal especially since my comment didn’t even warrant it!

  • Elizabeth

    Leann

    I don’t normally comment but i wanted you to know you have my full support. I enjoy your website very much. I too had a few Elfbeads on my wishlist but will not buy from a company like that. HUGE congratulations on your pregnancy and enjoy every moment. Being a mum of four i know it goes by so fast 🙂 Hugs to you.

    • Leann

      Thanks so much, I’m having a good pregnancy so far :). I definitely don’t need this drama!

  • Maris

    I see that wall post only has comments from you and the person who asked, none from Paul or Elfbeads. So rather than reassuring the customer himself, he writes a rude email scolding you for not doing it for him? I’m surprised he didn’t tell you to take off your shoes and make him a sandwich. (Maybe that’s his next email)

    • Leann

      Yes, exactly! I didn’t think my comment deserved such a response :/. So bizarre.

  • Kerstin

    His behavoiur is unprofessional, there is no doubt. But yours is too, because that was part of a private conversation und you made it public without his consent. I don’t think that this is legal.

    • Leann

      You’re thinking of a wiretap, there’s nothing illegal about emails.

    • Mina

      Leann’s an attorney, something tells me she would know :p

    • Nereida Ammari

      I think it was very professional to share that conversation because it keeps us informed. I want to know if a company I may buy from is a misogynist. The purpose of this blog is to keep us informed. That email was a business email sent to a blogger and not of a personal nature.

  • Suzanne Slotboom

    Hi Everyone!

    Please don’t refer to me as “Poor Suzanne”! I am a
    strong and independent Mom and know how to take care of myself. 🙂 And because
    I know Paul better than most of you, I have to disagree. I will explain why: If
    you only read the part Paul wrote, you can hear his real voice, looking for an
    explanation for Leanns behavior. Leann is trying to blow up the hormonal
    factor, focusing on it, but that is so 90’s and totally not the real issue
    here! And I can personally say that Paul is actually the opposite of how she
    tries to depict him. He is very open and sees people for who they are, not how
    society looks and judges upon people. If you knew him personally, you would
    know that what he wrote was to figure out why Leann attacked Great Lakes like
    that. With this same openness he wondered if Leann was being influenced by her
    pregnancy or being very tired while writing her comments about her order. He
    wanted to know if there was more to it than just her being non supportive and
    mean to Great Lakes, a team we both came to love and cherish like family. She
    wrote to us that she didn’t feel any loyalty towards Great Lakes as they are
    not advertisers on her blog. Please read that last sentence until you get it.

    Next to that, this is just a small part of the actual email
    conversation they had. The real issue is something completely different. So
    think about why you only get to see this part and not the rest of it. Paul
    decided to quit working with CA, not the other way around. And based on the
    inside information we have and the way she handles this right now, I couldn’t
    agree more.

    Leann: Your should be ashamed to make a private email
    conversation between you and Paul public. By doing this, you clearly show that
    we were right all along and our values are far apart and one of the reasons why
    we don’t want to work with you. Secondly, you chose to only show a small part
    of the email conversation and then took it out of context and tried to make
    everyone believe it was you who chose to stop working with us.

    Paul is too nice to just put your dirty laundry out in
    public and hopes people will read the actual story and not what you try to make
    of it. So dear people, please think before you react. Ask for the other side
    and the complete story before you judge!

    And just to make sure: I hate sexists and love Paul. I hope
    that says enough!

    Now let me get back to the Christmas beads!

    Love,
    Suzanne

    • Elizabeth

      Suzanne can you clarify you work for Elfbeads!

    • Leann

      Suzanne,
      I was shocked myself when I read Paul’s email since our conversations have been nothing but nice before. I am still SO confused as to why he would think my comment is an “attack” on Great Lakes and Elfbeads, rather than a simple statement of fact. I posted the whole paragraph of his email so that people would know it was not taken out of context, however you’re trying to spin the line that Great Lakes doesn’t advertise with me into an ulterior motive so I’m happy to post my response email to him in its entirety:

      “I was speaking as a consumer, and since I haven’t worked with Great Lakes before I can’t really speak to their customer service. Since my order, I’ve received one email giving an update on the delay and it’s been several weeks already. I tried to call them before and no one answers their line. Usually if products are backordered the funds or credit card is not charged until the order is shipped, but they took the money already.

      I do not appreciate you blaming my “unprofessionalism” on my pregnancy – that would be like if I ask you if this unwarranted email is because of your thyroid condition! Next time if you do not agree with my comments, I would appreciate you asking for the back story first before you start making accusations. I have been nothing but supportive of Elfbeads since the beginning but Great Lakes does not advertise with me and I have not had any interactions with them so I do not feel any loyalty towards them.”

      I had already decided to stop working with Elfbeads unless Paul offered an explanation or apology for his bizarre email. I was wondering if you supported his aggressive and unprofessional way to handle what was clearly an overreaction, and now I know that you do. Good luck to you, Paul, and Elfbeads in your endeavors.

    • Ponytude

      Don’t give me ,”That is so 90’s”! How demeaning! As a physician and mother of four, I see this kind of sexism all the time. Yes, in western culture we have it much better than most of the world. But if it’s so 90’s, then why are women paid less for equal work? Why are women with equal or better education not promoted at the same rate as their male counterparts? Why are women still expected to carry the majority of the work in “domestic” settings? It is because pervasive attitudes like the one that Paul expressed are still considered normal and acceptable. If we can’t do a better job than that in our culture, how can we ever expect to make progress in cultures where women are oppressed, trafficked and viewed as property?!

      I have been a fan of Elfbeads since they started. I have dozens and dozens of glass beads. I have most of the silver beads they have made and even one of the larger gold beads that just came out. EB has always had wonderful customer service, including adding free beads to orders on a regular basis. I too am waiting for most of my order from the launch at Great Lakes. I’m not concerned about it because I know it will eventually arrive. But I think it would have been good policy from the outset to inform customers that they would be charged, even though there would be a delay in fulfilling the orders. People are generally reasonable when they are informed.

      Leann was expressing her opinion in a blog. That is what you do with blogs. Elfbeads may not have liked her opinion, but you can be sure that many customers had the same opinion as Leann. EB could have done a lot to mitigate the frustration felt by customers with a little well handled PR. Instead, they have created a PR disaster by some unfortunate, unprofessional comments. I don’t have to see that comment “in context.” I recognize sexism when I see it.

      P.S. I will not be purchasing any more Elfbeads until I see an apology from Paul. Everyone makes mistakes and every day of our lives we can learn. He needs to learn to be part of the solution not part of the problem for me to want to support his company.

    • Kim

      Suzanne, there was no attack. Just a simple statement of truth/fact to a fellow collector that was experiencing the same issue. Why are you rehashing his statements or trying to spin this even more? You appear foolish too. I am primarily writing his response to state my opinion of YES, basically Leann does owe us readers an explanation as to why Elfbeads is dropping off the site radar, because she was once promoting it and was very supportive of it. I would question her actions and motives if they were done in silence. She is not the hypocrite here, as once again demonstrated.

    • jahndra

      I suggest Paul take your advice to think before he reacts.

    • CarolinaWings

      Just FYI Suzanne, sexism doesn’t go in and out of fashion, (“so 90’s”). It is not ever acceptable.

      • http://delectablearts.wordpress.com/ Tia TL

        High five!

    • Boricuadiva

      Suzanne,
      Clearly, both you and Paul need to take some lessons in customer service and PR. Remember to never bite the hand that feeds you… and in this case it’s your customers and not Paul.
      Best wishes to you both with the upcoming Christmas beads release. You have clearly made a mess out of this whole situation.

      Leann,
      Good riddance!

    • http://delectablearts.wordpress.com/ Tia TL

      Seriously, Suzanne? So what exactly are Elfbeads’ values then? Being demeaning to their loyal customers?
      Leann never “attacked” Great Lakes Boutique. I saw her Facebook post and she simply questioned why her order was taking a while to reach her hands. If you ordered something, paid for it, and then waited well over a month for it, would you not also wonder what the heck was going on? Your comments here do not help Elfbeads’ reputation at all; in fact it’s the total opposite!

    • Shinae Podosek

      Suzanne,

      Her pregnancy should have never been brought up by him, you, or anyone else. Even if she was “tired” while waiting for her order, it is none of your business as to why she was tired in the first place. You defending his actions make you look just as bad as he does. I don’t care what else was said between them, there is NO excuse for his words, and they are clear as day. There is no “context” in which what he said would be appropriate. We don’t care if you hate sexists and love Paul (therefore implying that we should rely on your judgement that’e in fact not a sexist), since we don’t know you and your words don’t hold much water. If you don’t like Leann then get off of her blog and go worry about the PR disaster you have running Elfbeads. Have you even been reading what others and Leann wrote? IF SO, do you have any degree of reading comprehension? She didn’t attack your company or Elfbeads. She simply stated that they charged her card without having the products in stock. As someone else stated, this is NOT common business practice and the law requires certain things for a customer to be charged ahead of time. The only person judging Leann in this whole situation was Paul ~ not society, so your remark about him being “open” seems almost futile at this point. Society didn’t ask if she was “hormonal” due to her pregnancy ~ he did. End of story.

  • jae

    Leann, I am so sorry you had to endure such comments at this happy time in your life-I have followed your site for several years and have never read anything I would consider negative-I enjoy being able to share my charm addiction here,and I value your opinions-Unfortunately, I personally was not pleased with my ELF beads-They seem much lighter (weight-wise) than Troll/Pandora and IMHO, didn’t look like their pictures(colours very bland) so I already had decided not to purchase again-I thought the whole point of a blog was to express personal opinions so what right does HE have to object to your opinions? So, just put this our of your mind and concentrate on the best Christmas present you will ever receive!!!

    • Leann

      Thank you, Jae! Yes, this is definitely a learning moment. I will get over it :).

  • Marisela

    Leann, I’m so sorry you had to deal with such horrible response! I can only add to everyone here who have shared their support to you. You made the right choice posting this. Don’t let this bother you anymore and keep sharing your passion for beads! There’s a whole lot out there to choose from! 🙂

    • Leann

      Thank you, Marisela. This one bad apple will not get me down :).

  • Lyn

    I’m all with you Leanne, what a chauvinist!!!

    • Leann

      Thanks Lyn :).

  • Michelle

    So sorry that you got treated like that Leann, I think it’s a disgrace. I too am waiting for my order, have been charged, never received an order confirmation and when I called, I was asked to remain patient. I guess Paul doesn’t know your influence over us followers… You are the Charm Guru!!!

    Will they let you cancel your order?

    Congrats on the pregnancy!
    Michelle

    • Leann

      Thanks Michelle! Yes, that was my experience as well – no order confirmation, and two emails saying that they will be receiving the products within the week. The last email was from 10/3, so I was getting a bit irritated that they had taken the money already but I never made a big deal of it.

      They did let me cancel my order, so at least I don’t have to wait any longer! 🙂

  • disqus_7xtfjMO3Ke

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t a blog (or facebook page) simply your own website where you post your personal thoughts and feelings and whatever else you care to share personally?? Companies came calling to you, wanting to exploit another marketing angle, I think. He acted like you are his paid employee (poor treatment of an employee or a customer, for that matter). Gee, that’s what anybody does in conversation…. “I’ve been charged but haven’t received…” “Me, too!” Leann, I know you can’t help but take this personally, since it was a very personal attack. Stay strong, I’m glad you separated from elf beads. And I’m extremely appreciative that you are real with us, and let us know this situation. Please don’t ever change that. Otherwise, you’d just another arm of a company that does business by deception. Thanks again!

    • Leann

      Yes, you’re absolutely right! I don’t think I said anything wrong or negative. :/

  • Mary Jean Smith

    Leann, this is the exception rather than the rule. It is par for the course to have a bad experience like this once and a while. Bravo to you for standing up and being honest. You gave the correct and honest reply to the blog question, and this email from Elfbeads was way out of line, and very un-businesslike. Unprofessional. I am sorry you had to deal with this, and
    you are correct.

    • Leann

      Thanks, Mary Jean. I think he completely overreacted. He definitely bit off more than he could chew with this promotion and maybe he’s feeling the heat too. Completely unnecessary to take it out on other people though, especially a supporter.

  • Monica Ruth Hucks

    How dare he even mention your pregnancy in a business email! He’s the one who can’t keep business and personal separate. Bravo to you for writing this and standing up for yourself!

    • Leann

      Thanks, Monica. Really inappropriate in any context.

  • Elizabeth

    Leann

    I have to say i have followed your website from the start and have never found you to be unprofessional in any way. All your comments are they to see on facebook. I somehow don’t see Paul’s ? You have my support 100% and i shall continue to enjoy your posts. And like a previous lovely comment the best christmas gift is to come! Hugs to you 🙂

    • Leann

      Thanks, Elizabeth! He never even commented on that Facebook wall post. I didn’t realize I had to reassure his customers of anything :P.

  • Xtal Feather

    Leann: Worked many years as the first female Geologist in a male dominated business. This was not an easy task from the early 70s until now. Males resented a woman in “their” work place and spoke negatively and discriminated against moving up the ladder or pregnancy leave. Paul may have been portrayed as a creative task master, after this line of merchandise appeared; but with his discriminatory communication and poor marketing skills and otherwise unprofessional remarks towards you, a woman and a mother to be, will result in a lack luster future for him karmic-ally. Paul wake up, this is 2014. The majority of people who purchase beads are woman and we should be treated with respect not chauvinism. Keep up the great work Leann.!! We are listening.

    • Leann

      Thanks! It was completely bizarre to me that my pregnancy would have even come up as an issue. I would have said the exact same thing even if I wasn’t expecting.

  • Debbie Beader

    OMG I am so sorry you received such an unbelievable rude and even sexist treatment! Being a blogger doesn’t mean unconditional loyalty to any brand, it is about being honest with your readers about what is going on, sharing your passion, educating. From the sounds of it your FB comments was reasonable given the circumstances, and even if it had been inappropriate for them to attack you in this way is completely unprofessional on their part. I am tempted to say sarcastically that if they think your unprofessionalism (which I don’t think it was) was due to pregnancy hormones, what is their excuse?! But I guess the only thing to do is walk away from the situation and don’t take it personally. They obviously have some issues of their own to deal with. As a side note, I waited a month for my package as well, only to receive a broken lock. Being ‘nice people’ (which I am now doubting even) is not an excuse for poor business practices. 🙁 Take care Leann!!

    • Leann

      Thanks, Debbie. I hope you’re able to get a new lock!

      • Debbie Beader

        Oh yes, Great Lakes was very nice about offering a replacement as soon as they get more in stock. I do think they are trying their best with the difficult situation they are in.

      • Leann

        That’s good, I hope you get your replacement soon then :).

  • GemGal

    I support you and your blog, Leann. You’re my daily cup of tea along with my charms. If it wasn’t for enthusiasts like you to share information and reviews about brands and their companies, I would be lost and confused! Be blessed and know that you are appreciated by so many. Everyone, Keep Calm…and Buy More Charms!

    • Leann

      Thanks! Amen – let’s buy more charms ;).

  • carol

    Interesting that he thinks its YOUR responsibility to contact Him and Great Lakes. If there were problems it was THEIR job to do that. I hope you can put this behind you and think happy thoughts for your little one. I wont be a customer of Elfbeads.

    • Leann

      That’s what really confused me too! I didn’t think the burden was on me to figure out what their manufacturing delays were :/.

    • Virginia Theobald

      I disagree. If you made the purchase and you’re unhappy with your customer service. It is most certainly the responsibility of the consumer to contact the retailer with whom they made their purchase to complain and ask for reassurance. It looks to me as though they already said it was going to take longer for everyone to get their orders.
      If I’m unhappy with an order from, lets say, UGG boots and I bought the boots at a retailer in London. I don’t call UGG and complain about their customer service. I call the retailer and get them to fix it. If they refused to…..THEN I would see it as appropriate to publicly slate them. 😉

      • carol

        Virginia this is an old thread and everyone has moved on. Disagree all you want. Dont care

      • Virginia Theobald

        LMAO! I wouldn’t have expected a response of anything less. If you had really moved on you wouldn’t have even bothered to reply.

  • Mina

    Wow…To be honnest, I think it is actually very unprofessional and rude of them to send you such an e-mail. I agree with many here, and my money will go elsewhere. They have to understand that without customers, they are nothing, so they’d better treat them decently at least.
    Take good care of yourself Leann and just ignore them, they’re not worth it ^-^

    • Leann

      Thanks Mina. I will get over this! 🙂

  • Tanya

    No matter what the whole email was, OR what you replied on FB, that chauvinist remark has no place in any type of relationship. I don’t think these “professionals” have any idea that whatever the matter, they should never have said something like that. Maybe you would have apologized and offered to post a reply or tell others about this problem with supply (even though you had no real reason to because you did nothing wrong), BUT they messed up that chance when they started insulting you. Now they should be apologizing profusely for the lack of business ethics and basic morals they have.

    • Leann

      I thought the comment was completely out of line and really expected an apology. My comment wasn’t even bad really :P.

      • Tanya

        No it wasn’t bad at all. It wasn’t even going to affect their business. It would have been done and forgotten. But now lol I say good for them! This Suzanne, whoever she is, should have started her very first sentence with “I am so sorry…” And I hope she reads this. I also hope that if she has a daughter, or even a son, she does not teach them her same crappy attitude towards sexism. She should ask herself if it would have been ok for Paul to comment on you having PMS or something. Its about the same thing and the answer is no, no it is not ok.

  • Rosalind

    Sorry to hear about the stress he caused you, try not to feel hurt, very unprofessional the way he lashed out at you, perhaps he’s having cashflow (hence charging the credit cards prematurely) or manufacturing problems that have made him irrational. You’ve done the right thing and can hold your head high with integrity. A shame for him as the products were lovely but plenty more beads to choose from from other companies who provide excellent customer service, thanks for all your independent blogging I really enjoy reading it and huge congrats on your pregnancy enjoy dreaming up the design for a celebration baby braclet

    • Leann

      Thank you, Rosalind. I will be happy to get back to playing with my beads ;).

  • Camille Johannsen

    It’s too bad they are not looking on this post. They would see all your loyal fans & supporters. From the start Elfbeads tried to do too much too soon. If anyone was feeling pressure it was them. And if anyone succumbed to the pressure by not thinking before speaking it was Paul.

    I wish them luck, but if you want to swim in the big pool with the big kids ( pandora Trolls Chamilia) you have to first have the massive inventory, second the IT infrastructure, & third, the business savvy to know when to admit your mistakes and offer something in restitution.

    A better approach instead of lashing out would have been to offer a merchandise credit on a future purchas for the inconvenience.

    Rock on Leann, love your work!

    Enjoy your pregnancy too!

    • Leann

      Thanks Camille! I don’t think I could have said it better. I think you hit the nail on the head with your analysis.

  • marie

    He should be sacked as he should not be looking down on us women and saying we are not capable of sound judgement because of pregnancy or hormones! The brand is aimed at women yet it has no respect for them. I certainly won’t buy from them now!

    • Leann

      I was appalled reading his email, it’s just so inappropriate for him to bring up.

  • Leslie

    I’m one of those people who think “political correctness” is a bit out of control and a lot of people are much too easily offended. Something that does bother me, however, is unprofessional behavior by people in a customer service position. Your job, Leann, as far as charms go, is to tell us your honest opinions and experiences (which you do beautifully). Paul, on the other hand, is clearly representing a business and a brand, and should keep personal comments out of that arena. I’m grateful that you shared your experience with us and showed us a clear picture of what any of us might have to deal with someday if we chose to do business with with him…which,obviously, many of us will NOT, based solely on his behavior toward a fellow customer and collector. Rock on, girl! ; )

    • Leann

      Thanks, Leslie. I agree with you about the world being a bit too politically correct nowadays, but there’s no need to get personal about something so inconsequential.

  • Chloe

    Just to be clear, what position does this person hold in the company? Clearly not one of relevance judging by the way in which he wrote. Just stupid. Glad you let this be known in the way you did. Their loss, not yours. And, by the way, is he also a research endocrinologist? Please.

    • Leann

      He’s actually the owner, if you can believe it.

      • Chloe

        How pathetic. I thought you may have been dealing with some low level, ignorant, customer service employee in need of training. But the owner???
        He deserves what he’ll get after all of this is over…
        The one good thing about this though: You have loyal followers that wish you the best and respect what you do. C’est la vie, good for you. Next!

  • Janet Malyon

    Wow I make a point of reading your blog everyday and thank you for all the help you have given me indirectly since I have started collecting Trollbeads a year ago. I have been looking at the Elfbeads since you started talking about them but now I would never buy from such a company. I do hope you have not been too upset by all of this. Keep up all the interesting information you post and I eagerly await reading. Thanks Leann

    • Leann

      Thank you, Janet! I’m ready to get past this and back to playing with my beads, lol.

  • Andrea

    Unbelievable. If anyone is hormonal it’s certainly him! Blogger or not you were justified in everything you said, I have never known any company to charge before back ordered items are shipped.

    • Leann

      Thanks, Andrea. I never made a big deal of it until he did.

  • Maryll

    What Paul said was out of line and rude. That much I agree. But two wrongs don’t make a right. To use your forum to publicly try to hurt a brand is also unprofessional, I’m sorry to say. You should have sorted out your differences privately, in my opinion. It’s the equivalent of forwarding someone’s private email to a bunch of people without that person’s permission. It’s a misuse of your forum and your position as a supposedly neutral blogger. As offensive as his comment was — and I agree with you there it was — I very much doubt that Paul and Suzanne are horrible people that deserve to be publicly crucified and held up to ridicule.

    • Leann

      Maryll, it is not my intention to damage their company. I simply want my readers to know why I will no longer be supporting Elfbeads. If I had not posted his email to me, I would have been accused of taking things out of context and misinterpreting his comments. It was a choice I made, and if it makes people think twice about sending emails out when they’re upset and in a temper, then I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all.

    • Leslie

      Leann clearly states that the information and opinions on her blog are her own. She does not claim neutrality, although she usually presents things in a very diplomatic and tactful way. Most of us read her blog to get information that we might not otherwise have, which is the same reason we use this forum to share with each other. We also respect her opinions while realizing they are just that–HER opinions. Paul could easily have joined us here or on FB and probably put some people’s minds at ease. He certainly shouldn’t expect anyone not in his employ to know what’s going on in his business or to blindly defend his business for him. And I could be wrong, but I don’t think Suzanne was mentioned until she chose to join the discussion, to offer HER opinions. I think this post was totally appropriate, and Leann knows that her readers share a common passion but can each come to their own conclusions about what to make of the information she chose to share.

  • Lorie

    Kudos to you for sharing this! I will never deal with this company. I think they are just a big Trollbeads rip off anyway, right down to the name. The email you shared is just beyond the pale. Why should it be your job to assure people that they will get their beads? That is what the company should do by filling orders quickly, rather than to over promote and not ship. They should be apologizing to you for the delay. Also, most companies do not charge until they ship, unless it is a pre-order or unless they state clearly that it will be 6-8 weeks out.
    I cannot believe the arrogance and rudeness. And to accuse you of being “hormonal”???!!!!! Don’t even get me started. I’ll keep buying from the good guys, I.E. Trollbeads, Redbalifrog and the lovely Kathy Perras. No elfbeads here, no way.

    • Leann

      Thanks, Lorie. The whole situation is rather surreal to me :/. Back to playing with beads, eh? 🙂

  • Francine

    Leann,

    1st let me say I love you blog. I have been reading it daily for over 2 years. I check in on your blog several times a day to see what’s new.

    I started out with Pandora and because of your blog I developed a love for Troll and have bought many beads and accessories that I would not have ordinarily purchased. I even bought the jewerly tumbler after reading your review on it, and I love it.

    Now about Paul. I am in the minority here but I think that you should not have used your blog to condemn him. Whatever Issues you have with him should have been kept private between you and him. I know you were offended by his email to you , and it did sound sexist but I think you could have handled it differently without taking this public.

    I love his work, I was not able to attend the Launch party so I ordered on line and was ecstatic that he decided to extended the promotion to non attendees. Because of this generous offer the people that did not attend benefited. I expected because of this offer that some customers would possibly have a long wait (up to 6 weeks) to get their order in the event that they ran out. I was totally prepared to wait but I was one on the lucky ones because I received my order fairly quickly. Now about the CC thing, I really dont know how Paypal works, some of your posters states Paypal charges your card right away. Maybe that should have been handled differently by GLB. Let’s hope this has been a learning lesson for all concerned.

    In summary, all I am saying is I love you blog and I love Elfbeads. I will continue to read your blog every day as I have for the past 2-3 years and will also continue to buy Elfbeads because I love the brand so. I am sorry this has happened but hopefully you and Paul will both be willing to work this out one day.

  • Shinae Podosek

    Although I replied to Suzanne’s response, I also wanted to add another comment. Why in the world would it be your responsibility to figure out why Great Lakes charged their customers and had such a delay in shipping? Paul seems to imply that since you’re a professional blogger that you should have figured this out for them. Since when is it a customer’s responsibility to figure out what is the delay behind a company having their product in stock or shipping their orders??? If Great Lakes had been upfront about possibly delays or at least contacted customers when they became aware that delays were occurring then it would have stopped this situation from happening in the first place! A business needs to operate like a business, and this is part of the whole process of selling merchandise. Any customer is going to be concerned after they have been charged but things have not shipped. I have found that people tend to be very reasonable and understanding as long as they are kept informed by a company as to what is going on. Your small comment on facebook did not warrant his email.

    • Leann

      Thanks, Shinae. That’s exactly my position.

  • Benji Payne

    Well done Leann and we all appreciate how hard it must be to take that stand! and we totally support you xx

    • Leann

      Thanks, Benji :).

  • Callahan

    Awwww, Leann. I tend to lurk on your blog and not post comments, but I am a huge fan, reading at least once a week. Your blog is So warm and friendly, SO enthusiastic about beads and jewelry and above all…honest. Nobody would read if you were not honest. You are never mean or tacky. I have never seen anything that raised my eyebrows (and I am a bit of a judgmental jerk-face). I LOVE your blog because it feels like a real person with a real brain is writing it, not a salesperson spouting the company message of the week. This man should have thicker skin as a professional and use your blog comments as a resource to understand how he is doing in the marketplace. This info from the customer should be like a goldmine to his brand and help him to identify and fix problems. What he said was exceedingly out of line. Like WOAH. I think he might be hormonal 🙂 Big hugs. You are awesome, classy as heck too. I love how you handled the situation.

    • Leann

      Thanks for your support, Callahan. It was completely inappropriate in a business email and I could not believe he would think it was okay to talk to a customer like that. :/

    • Virginia Theobald

      Classy? Oh yeah! Real classy to post private emails on a public forum.

  • imrainey

    I don’t have any Elfbeads. I’ve never dealt with Great Lakes. And I enjoy your blog very much. Consequently, I have no dog in this fight and it all makes me very sad.

    I have followed this from the beginning but on reading the entire e-mail several things seem more clear.

    1) The tone is really quite different than it was represented. He expresses how stunned he is to have taken on a much bigger load so as not to leave anyone disappointed and ending up being discredited for his effort to meet all needs.

    2) He defends Great Lakes. He doesn’t point it out but, as the vendor you and other consumers were dealing with, it was Great Lakes that charged credit cards not Paul. And yet he’s been tarred with the entire error. Quite unfair, in my opinion.

    3) Only at the very end and quite briefly does he mention the offending sentences. It seems to me, however, that he is not making a charge or attempting to insult. He seems to be trying to understand your motivation and justify it in some way. It may have been awkward and could be interpreted, if one cared to, to be inflammatory but it doesn’t seem malicious in its intent to me after all.

    4) No one seems yet to have acknowledged that both Paul and Suzanne are writing e-mail and on Facebook in a second language. The quality of their communication may make it easy enough for us to forget that. I wonder, though, how many of us could cover some basic rudiments in another language much less steer our way through nuance, cultural differences and social mores like political correctness.

    It seems to me mistakes have been made here and conclusions have been jumped to. It would be wonderful if there were some way of establishing some line of communication and backing away from this highly emotional disagreement which is probably doing some profound damage to one or more party who doesn’t really deserve it when much of it resulted from dwelling overmuch on one passage and quoting a partial private communication on a very public venue.

    With all due respect and wishes that relationships can be repaired.

    • Virginia Theobald

      VERY well said!

      And after I re-read the offending email over a few times myself, I agree with your thoughts on this. I was thinking the same thing myself. Writing in a language that is not your first is difficult enough and unfortunately emails are so easily open to misinterpretation because you can’t hear the tone. Knowing many Dutch people and many other nationalities I can easily see how his comment may have come across badly but I genuinely think he was actually just trying to understand why the blogger would make such a public accusation which is potentially damaging to his business. And as you put it…. it wasn’t him that took the money!

      And if I’m going to be honest. The bloggers comment was publicly posted whereas his email was private. I actually think it’s very unprofessional of her to have posted his private email to her publicly. Bad taste. I’m not entirely surprised he didn’t want to respond to her. If she was going to post and air all her dirty laundry in public then I wouldn’t either.
      No where in her statement do I see her taking any responsibility for her side of this situation.
      Yes, maybe he went to far but it doesn’t look to me like it was directed as an insult so much as a desperate desire to understand and rationalize why someone would so publicly attack his companies reputation. There is blame on both sides of this equation.

      I would encourage everyone on here making the same snap decisions to also re-read this email again and maybe try and see it from another angle.

      Oh! and before anyone wants to jump to the conclusion that I’m a male chauvinist pig. I’m a mother of two little boys and I’ve had my fair share of the hormonal roller coaster to know that sometimes when we women are pregnant… we do have our little meltdown moments. I am sympathetic to them, but I’m not a saint that never does or says anything wrong.

  • Justine Pearson-Vickers

    OMG… .. I’m not one to get offended easily but the email you received was condescending to say the least. I honestly don’t blame you Leann, I would struggle to stay objective when treated like that.

    • Leann

      Thanks, Justine.

  • Jennifer

    Wow! I have never heard of this company but I completely agree with your stance. Good on you!

    • Leann

      Thanks, Jennifer :).

  • Christin

    you are AMAZING, leann! the work you do for us, your passion for beads, and the lovely person you are all speaks for itself! so sorry you had to go through this and now i admire you even more! xoxo to you and baby!

    • Leann

      Thanks, Christin! <3

  • Jackie88624

    I wonder why he thinks it’s YOUR job to reassure people about their orders. This guy sound very unprofessional, and the remark about hormones was just idiotic.

    • Leann

      I agree! Thanks Jackie :).

  • Raf

    Hi Leann,
    I read this post with dismay, as I too haven’t had a good experience with Elfbeads. I placed an order with them way back in early April and never received my beads – apparently the package was lost in the mail. I’ve been promised replacement beads and more but have not received anything at all so far. It is now November. My money has long been taken. I’m now trying to get a refund and I really hope it will happen soon. I think I’ve been very patient and accommodating and I know that they are busy, but I really feel like they aren’t serious about resolving my issue.

    • Leann

      Wow! That is an incredibly long time!! I’ve heard similar problems with their weekly giveaways :/. I hope you get your refund, it’s not a good way of doing business.