I received a bag of Shea Butter from BioFinest. The package that it was shipped in was not damaged from what I could see. The outer pouch that the Shea Butter itself was packaged in was not damaged either. The outer layers had not sustained any damage, punctures and was not compromised from what I could tell. But when I opened the outer layer, I found that the shea butter was sealed in a plastic wrap. I'm not sure if it was supposed to be sealed and air tight inside the outer pouch but there was clear plastic surrounding the shea butter that was not actually sealed. So there was a mess of half melted, softened shea butter inside this pouch with clear plastic bag mixed up in the mess. I thought "ok this is really poor packaging" but big whoop, not such a huge deal. I inspected further. I found black and grayish residue on the shea butter itself. It looked like mold or mildew. As I said, the packaging was not damaged from what I could see and the package it was shipped it was not damaged so my first thought was that something contaminated this before it was packaged. Which is pretty gross! If you are not familiar with shea butter, it can be used like a moisturizing cream by itself or can be used in other products like homemade soaps, lip balm, deodorant. There are tons of uses! Lip balm, deodorant and soap is what I typically use it in. So I'm thinking there was no way I'm actually using this because I don't know what sort of bacteria or substance was causing this to look mildewed. I have never seen shea butter look like this and I have used a lot of shea butter and a lot of different brands so this seemed very out of the ordinary.
I immediately tossed this in the trash! Who knows what that came in contact with! I contacted the company because I do understand that well, sh*t happens. It could be a fluke. An isolated incident. Or it could be an entire batch that was contaminated with something and they need to know about it. But I let them know the issue, and let them know if they wanted to send a replacement sample, that would be fine. I do welcome the opportunity for companies to fix issues like this prior to posting reviews. It does give me a chance to review a company's customer service in an additional way. Its nice to know how companies handle issues like this and it can be helpful to include that in my reviews.
I got a response back pretty quickly but it sounded robotic. Like an auto-apology with my name pasted in. Either way, they did respond and apologized for the inconvenience regardless of how insincere it sounded. They also reassured that this is pure unrefined grade A shea butter from Africa. Ok......fine.....I never questioned whether it was authentic shea butter but reassuring me that its real shea butter doesn't mean I'm going to overlook the moldy mildew mess because hey, its real shea butter, and proceed to add it to my lip balm recipe! Yuck! I responded and let them know that this was already discarded. I'm not keeping something in my house with mold or mildew on it because I don't know what caused it or whether it could make my family sick. So I had chucked it and would not be using it even if it was real shea butter.
One thing about Tomoson is that there is a due date for when reviews must be completed and verified as completed. My due date was approaching so I let them know that if they planned on sending a different package of shea butter, then I needed a definitely update and would need them to extend the due date so that there will be time to inspect the new package and complete the review. I got this smart @** response that they were extending my due date even though its pretty last minute. Like what.....I'm supposed to be grateful that they were so gracious to extend it? Like it was a huge inconvenience for them? I was sent a moldy product! And instead of just immediately publishing an "Avoid This Disgusting Product At All Costs" type of review, I gave them a chance to correct it and make a good impression. So at that point, I was not impressed by their customer service at all. Never make a customer feel like an inconvenience when you made an error and sent an unsanitary product! Common sense!
So I wait a several days and a new package of shea butter arrives and as soon as I see the shipping package.....I'm livid! Because I get to pay the postage! Yep, USPS dropped off the package at my door with a bill on it! So now I have a balance due at my post office. I was ticked! Seriously ticked off! So I contacted them again to let them know that they needed to reimburse for this shipping charge that I was now being held responsible for. They responded immediately stating "