Recently I began the journey to buy a new LED hoop. Something inexpensive, durable, pretty. You know, all the things you want in an LED. My friend owns a Hoop-Conscious LED that is all of these things, and pretty much exactly what I want, and I finally settle on one of those beautiful UV reactive LEDs from them. While I’m saving up money, I’m noticing the hype about Hoop-Conscious, and kind of paying attention to things like the recent call for Sponsor ships.
Flash forward, and someone starts a thread on our local hoop page about being dissatisfied with the company. Well, it is festival season, they’re busy right? Another hooper joins in and expresses dissatisfaction. Then a friend from out-of-town mentions that they aren’t happy either. Most of these complaints are for slow shipping times, which again, is understandable. Then they start getting their hoops. One gets the completely wrong item. One gets a hoop that doesn’t work, another gets a hoop that wasn’t packaged correctly and was ruined in transit. So I go to check their recent feedback on Etsy. Whoa Nelly, something is wrong here!
Now, trust me, this is NOT a post to badmouth Hoop-Conscious. Many many things could be the issue with this company that, up until honestly just a few weeks ago, has a more than stellar reputation for products as well as customer service. Illness, overwhelming work load (growing pains), moving (which I think they may have done), out-sourcing of labor. All of these could account for a brief spell of less-than-satisfactory work, which can easily be overcome by a company with such previous outstanding feedback.
I’m sitting at my computer today checking out the Book of Face and a thread from a dissatisfied customer comes across Unity of the Hula Hoopers. I go to direct my friend (another who is waiting on hoops) to the thread and click the little “get notifications” button on the thread so I can find it when she gets back online. “Bling! Bling Bling!” goes the computer as others join in. Then BAM! The thread disappears. Hmmm… Well it just so happens that the person who runs Unity has recently become a “Sponsee” of Hoop-Conscious (ETA: One of the moderators of Unity is also a Hoop-Conscious “Sponsee”). So what to think about this, eh?
It begs the question, is this ethical business practice? In a word, NO, it is not. Of course the page “belongs” to her and she can do whatever she pleases, but try going to Unity and asking if Electric Lifestylz is a good LED to buy. Watch the bad-mouthing that ensues on that company, and that doesn’t get erased. I’ve lately wondered why there is nothing but praise and promotion of Hoop-Concsious in the largest group of Hula hoopers on the planet while their ratings on etsy have lately plummeted. How many of the 11,311 hoopers on Unity know that they aren’t getting the full story when they ask which hoop company is best. Should there be full disclosure? Should Unity have a “SPONSORED BY:” banner? Should we be informed that only certain companies will be discussed in certain ways in the forum or risk moderation? I’d love to hear your thoughts, lovely bitchy hoopers.