My daughters and I tried Hungryroot in an effort to simplify one aspect of life during an incredible busy season. We were really excited to try Hungryroot after reading all about them and their service. But reality and what we read on their website did not match at all! Not even close. The first week was an epic failure…the second delivery was a repeat epic failure.
I am going to share our experience in great detail below but first I will share the bullet point version right up front for those who want the short version.
- Food shipped a day late both weeks.
- Food arrived at Danger Zone temperatures as defined by the USDA both weeks. I brought the delivery inside within 10 minutes of the shipment being delivered both times.
- Boxes were too large for the quantity of food inside. One week that allowed the inside cooler to open up and on the second week that caused the box to be crushed exposing the food inside.
- We ordered food for 3 people with meals and snacks included. Meals were enough for 3 people but only 3 meals worth (we asked for more including lunches and dinners) in the first week. Snacks were sent as one single item. So, for example, we got one meat stick. I guess we were expected to divide up each snack into 3 pieces?
- Customer services is an epic failure at Hungryroot. There is no option to speak to a human or have a live chat. It looks like you can on their site but when you have an actual problem you cannot reach anyone. Messages are all automatized whether you contact them via live chat, email, or text. If you call the phone number on their Facebook page you get a message to email or text them. Once you message them you get an automatic message that someone will contact you in 72 hours. Six days later I had to reach back out. I will go into further detail below because it gets even worse, but I want to be brief in the bullet points.
- Refunds are processed in 5-110 days. Sure hoping that last number was a typo on their part! (UPDATE: When I complained about the 110 days another person told me that it was a typo.)
I have had a food handlers license at different times in my life so I am hyper aware of food temperatures. When the first weeks food arrived everything was cool to the touch but I was concerned because I could see some danger signs. I pulled out my food thermometer to check everything before putting anything away. But what if someone wasn’t aware of food dangers zones and just put the food away? And then later ate it!
One of the dangers signs I saw on the first week was that the bag of spinach had exploded. Sure, air can get trapped if it went on a plane, but spoiled food can cause a package to explode. Also the meat was cool to the touch and I expected it to be frozen. I order meat from Northstar Bison and it always arrives frozen. The moisture in the box made me suspect that it was frozen when the box left but had defrosted.
We immediately contacted Hungryroot. Our urgency was met with a thorough lack of returned urgency. We received the same automatized message show below back this week and last week. The key part of the message is that it will take up to 72 hours to hear back and that writing multiple messages could put you at the back of the queue. I didn’t want to be even further delayed so I didn’t attempt to reach via any other means on day one.
When I hadn’t heard back 72 hours later I assumed that they didn’t include the weekend in those 72 hours. I was busy and assumed I’d be hearing from them soon. When an email finally came from Hungryroot I opened it up expecting some answers. Nope. It was a message saying that our next order was on the way. What?! I had not canceled yet because I wanted to talk to customer service and get some answers. Now more food was on the way!
I then tried contacting Hungryroot again. I used what appeared to be Live Chat but only got automated messages back. None of the automatic messages remotely matched what I wrote to them. I tried several questions. I then switched to sending an email. And again I got a message that I’d hear back within 72 hours. To their credit I actually got a message back that day to tell me that I would be getting a refund. But here is the catch, that refund would be coming in 5-110 days. What? 110 days?
I included a screenshot of the email back stating 5-110 days until I am refunded because it sounds so outrageous that I wanted to be sure I shared it in their actual words and not my interpretation.
So let’s talk about food temperature. According to the USDA, “Leaving food out too long at room temperature can cause bacteria (such as Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella Enteritidis, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Campylobacter) to grow to dangerous levels that can cause illness. Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F, doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes. This range of temperatures is often called the ‘Danger Zone.'” -from USDA “”Danger Zone” (40 °F – 140 °F)
Week One Food Temperatures
Check out this slideshow to see what temperatures the first week of food arrived at. Meat and eggs at dangerous temperatures!
Week Two Food Temperatures
After the first weeks results I decided to take photos as I unboxed.
I am not alone in my exasperation the lack of customer service at with Hungryroot. My friend found this thread on Reddit when I was texting her about my experience.
I too wonder if anyone works at Hungryroot. Anyone, anyone?
I give Hungryroot a rating of NEGATIVE 5 Stars. If there was actually any customer service I would give them a 0 or 1 star but now that they have $292.14 worth of my money held hostage I have to drop that rating into the subzero range. I am anxiously awaiting my full and complete refund within 10 days because there is not a single reasonable reason for them to hold my money for up 110 days.
Donna Maria says
This is unacceptable on so many levels. I am so tired of companies saying that there will be a delay in responding to you because they are experience higher than normal customer service inquiries, or worse, blaming it on COVID-19. EVERYONE is busy. EVERYONE is experiencing a higher number of life issues these days.
A food delivery service is supposed to remove some of your stress, not add to it. It’s a shame that you have to call a million times, and get cut and paste automated emails that show clearly that they are not paying any attention to you after they get your hard earned money.
I have been tempted to order from them because their commercials and videos are enticing — anything can be made to look worthwhile on a commercial though. I hope they make good on their promises and make this up to you. Please let us know if they do — and if other customers who don’t have a platform like yours also get the attention they deserve.