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Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Plated and all the other meal kit delivery services

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I just tried Hello Fresh this week for the first time with a $19.94 introductory offer for 3 meals for two (or 6 meals for me since I live alone).  I figured I couldn't go wrong at roughly $3 per meal.  Box came with three individual boxes containing ingredients for the three separate meals, protein packaged separately.  Well, I couldn't be more pleased so far.

Meals aren't too exotic - crispy shrimp tacos, roasted chicken breast with root vegetables and pan gravy, and hamburgers with aioli and balsamic caramelized onions with roasted parmesan crusted cauliflower.  But the fact that I get all this variety without having to shop, buy a bunch of stuff I'll wind up throwing away half of, and pure convenience made this my best food week in a long time.  Everything was seriously tasty and all ingredients were locally sourced and fresh.  And the portions are substantial.

Next up for the same introductory price is Blue Apron.  Those meals look a little more interesting and ethnic (Indonesian salmon, Pork Pibil and Seared chicken with some ingredient I never heard of) , so I'm anxious to get my box and try them.

Anyone else tried this new trendy way to cook?  I don't know if I would pay full price, but I'm thinking of doing the trials for each service I can find.

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I know a young couple in their 30s who started using Blue Apron last year. He has his own business in IT and she is a school teacher and certified fitness instructor. Budget is not that much of a concern for them. They love it for the convenience. And this morning at 1:24 am she gave birth to their first child (after 32 hours of labor, yikes!), so I have a feeling Blue Apron is in their house to stay.

We're retired, I have plenty of time to shop and cook. I'm curious but not enough to try it. I want to have total control over portions and ingredients.

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We do Blue Apron about once a month. I got the first week free and seriously if you have a friend who does it ask because they give them out like crazy, so you can't pass up free. 

We haven't had a meal we hated, though some we loved and some we just liked but those are good odds. I keep the recipes for the ones we l like and make them when we don't have them. I do like that they will have diferrent ingredients that I might not go out of my way to try, hops for instance. They do have way too many catfish dishes.

I would suggest reading through the directions and see what they are looking for because some of their instructions are dumb, it always tell you to cut the lemon into four wedges even if you are going to use the entire lemon. 

The convenience factor is amazing.

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My sister, who lives alone, is trying Blue Apron for a month.  Neighbors were given a gift certificate for 3 months and weren't thrilled with the concept because she likes to do her own shopping/deciding on types of meals they'll have.  I wish that place where you can pick up entrees (Delish...I think it's called) were still around here.  I'm another one who wants control over portions and ingredients (but hey, if some place already made the dish for me?  I'd buy it!!)

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Interesting. I've been thinking about trying this, but I live alone and eat out 2-3'times a week so I wasn't sure if it's worth it as I would only do it about once a month (maybe two).

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On 1/15/2017 at 10:43 PM, callie lee 29 said:

Interesting. I've been thinking about trying this, but I live alone and eat out 2-3'times a week so I wasn't sure if it's worth it as I would only do it about once a month (maybe two).

Ditto.

I did not know that you could opt in for a week at a time.

I'm too used to seeing year-long contracts.

Could be fun.

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1 hour ago, NewDigs said:

Ditto.

I did not know that you could opt in for a week at a time.

I'm too used to seeing year-long contracts.

Could be fun.

I know! I think I'm so used to being to ghost after a few months because it's like they want your first born child (not that I have one) that I just assumed you were locked in. 

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Nope, you can opt in and out as you please.  I am getting Blue Apron this week and probably Home Chef next week, all while I have my Hello Fresh account on hold.  I figure why not give them all a try so I can find the one I like best.  Next up, either Plated, Sunbasket or Peach Dish.  They all have a slightly different way of doing things, so I'm anxious to see what comes in each box.

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What is the packaging like with food delivery services? I'm imagining layers of plastic wrap and bubble wrap and styrofoam coolers to keep the meat cool, etc. The reality is probably a lot less wasteful than my imagination, but as someone that took an embarrassingly long time to remember her reusable bags every time she shops, I don't want to start any new bad habits. It would be really nice to have a timesaver like this though, especially in the spring when our family life gets especially hectic.

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12 hours ago, coppersin said:

What is the packaging like with food delivery services? I'm imagining layers of plastic wrap and bubble wrap and styrofoam coolers to keep the meat cool, etc. The reality is probably a lot less wasteful than my imagination, but as someone that took an embarrassingly long time to remember her reusable bags every time she shops, I don't want to start any new bad habits. It would be really nice to have a timesaver like this though, especially in the spring when our family life gets especially hectic.

Blue Apron doesn't use styrofoam. You can ship back the materials for free to them for recycling but where I live most of it is recyclable and they have a function on their site that let's you search for how to recycle the items in your community. 

We also give away the ice packs to friends because we can't keep that many in the freezer but are handy to throw in a bag to keep food cool for work or a picnic.

Edited by biakbiak
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For those of us in the Toronto area, Today's Menu is great.  Unlike some services, food comes partially prepped and frozen.  All you have to do is heat (or in some cases, cook) and you're ready to go.  It's also a la carte, so you don't to pause services on weeks you don't want anything delivered. Since it's frozen, food usually good for two months and I order five or six meals (which I use weekly, usually on weekends) at a time. 

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Groupon sent me a deal for Blue Apron. Between the Groupon deal and a 1 day Groupon $10 discount I got 3 meals for 2 for $29. I'm looking forward to giving it a try.

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Blue Apron arrived today. A cheeseburger meal, chicken chili, and catfish. I cancelled the service after I unpacked it. For $29, not a bad deal. But since I cook, some of what they sent I have in-house - garlic, onions, carrot, rice, potato, lemon, can of garbanzo beans. I might see about Hello Fresh, but not for awhile.

 

 

 

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Since you cook and have basic ingredients on hand, you might want to try one of the more "exotic" (for lack of a better word) services.  Although when I've gotten Blue Apron, my meals weren't as basic as cheeseburgers and chili, they were a little more interesting, like Indonesian Salmon and Pork Pibil (loved that one).    

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I finished the last of my 3 Blue Apron meals tonight. Overall, I'm not impressed. My meals were cheeseburger (really?) with a salad (romaine lettuce with sliced carrots and a vinagerette, spicy chicken chili with baked pita chips, and catfish with Cajun rice and collard greens with mushrooms.

I could have lived without the cheeseburgers. I can make them and could have made a better salad to go with it. One nice note was the minced garlic added to the hamburger meat.

The catfish meal included collard greens with cooked mushrooms. I made this meal last, and the mushrooms had turned moldy despite me keeping them at room temp and opening the wrapper on the package. I've never had that problem with mushrooms from the store, same storage, so I think the mushrooms were not fresh. My husband, even being from Alabama, doesn't care for collards, and this Yankee doesn't either, so I ditched them for fresh steamed green beans I had in the fridge. I added freshly squeezed lemon to the catfish - they could have easily added this but didn't. The 3rd dish was spicy rice. This was good and something I'd likely not made from scratch. I can see how folks who work full time could find this type of service useful. But for someone who is retired and knows how to cook, keeps a well-stocked pantry. it's not worth it.

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My friend sent me a free week of Blue Apron. I ordered tangelo glazed salmon, Laotian Vegetable Laab and falfael pitas. The salmon was so good I'll totally make it again on my own. The Laab was interesting, something I've never had before and would order if I was out. The falfael was nasty and a huge pain to make. Overall I found the estimated times way off, and I can cook. I don't think this is an appropriate service for someone who isn't used to cooking multi-dish meals.

It's just me so I had dinner and lunch out of each meal. I cancelled as soon as I received my free week since I shop and cook on my own but will look for good deals to try the other services.

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Overall I found the estimated times way off,

It took me an hour to make something from a recipe that was supposed to take 25 minutes yesterday.  My knife skills suck and I frequently find myself sitting on the floor digging through cabinets to find that spice bottle I was sure was in the rack.

Topic?  My dentist spent an entire cleaning telling me how she liked Hello Fresh better than Blue Apron because the dishes weren't as complicated.

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I made the tangelo salmon from store bought ingredients. Took about the same amount of time but I was able to shave several hundred calories off it by cutting down on the oil.

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Before you subscribe to a new service, or take advantage of one of the "deals" floating around the internet, check Groupon! They have some killer first subscriber offers.

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I just tried Home Chef which is one of the few that offers low carb options.  The low carb options are generally relatively low in calories as well.  The meals were fish cakes with slaw, blackened chicken Caesar salad and parmesan crusted pork chops with cheesy fennel casserole and roasted zucchini.

They rate their meals on ease of preparation and the chops were listed as moderate, the other two easy.  I agree with their assessment as it took me twice as long to prepare the moderate meal although it was delicious.  I think I will continue with this one once a month to get variety in my diet while I'm trying to drop a few pounds. 

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I found a Hello Fresh code for 3 meals for $19.94. The meals were good, all three of them I'd replicate from scratch. Their estimated prep-times were much more accurate than Blue Apron's estimates.

My issue is with the Hello Fresh customer service. Apparently there are "premium means" that have a $5 / serving up-charge. For my standard box that was a surprise $10 charge that came a few days later. I didn't see anything when I ordered about this charge. I reached out via chat was was told there was nothing they could do. I reached out via email and received an incredibly condescending email so I took to Facebook. I finally received a $10 refund to my form of payment but the headache and hassle to receive it turned me off from Hello Fresh.

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1 minute ago, theredhead77 said:

I found a Hello Fresh code for 3 meals for $19.94. The meals were good, all three of them I'd replicate from scratch. Their estimated prep-times were much more accurate than Blue Apron's estimates.

My issue is with the Hello Fresh customer service. Apparently there are "premium means" that have a $5 / serving up-charge. For my standard box that was a surprise $10 charge that came a few days later. I didn't see anything when I ordered about this charge. I reached out via chat was was told there was nothing they could do. I reached out via email and received an incredibly condescending email so I took to Facebook. I finally received a $10 refund to my form of payment but the headache and hassle to receive it turned me off from Hello Fresh.

Thanks for the heads up. Being diligent on borderline internet fraud takes time and energy.

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20 minutes ago, theredhead77 said:

Facebook. I finally received a $10 refund to my form of payment but the headache and hassle to receive it turned me off from Hello Fresh.

I had to small issues with Blue Apron and had to contact CS and they were very prompt, nice and solved the issues I was having.

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25 minutes ago, chessiegal said:

Thanks for the heads up. Being diligent on borderline internet fraud takes time and energy.

The reps say it is noted when you order but I didn't see anything that said $5 up charge. FWIW, the meal wasn't worth an additional $10.

Creamy Bearnaise Strip Steak

Edited by theredhead77

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30 minutes ago, theredhead77 said:

The reps say it is noted when you order but I didn't see anything that said $5 up charge. FWIW, the meal wasn't worth an additional $10.

Creamy Bearnaise Strip Steak

I wonder if there is a glitch displaying it when you have a coupon code. Not that makes it right. 

That dish looks better than some of the others I have seen on Hello Fresh.

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10 minutes ago, biakbiak said:

I wonder if there is a glitch displaying it when you have a coupon code. Not that makes it right. 

That dish looks better than some of the others I have seen on Hello Fresh.

I have a feeling it says "premium meal" without note of the extra cost.

That meal was my least favorite. I also made wasabi lime salmon and summery lemon chicken. I'd make all three again, or use their recipe for inspiration. I'm looking for options for after I move, to try and avoid eating out all the time until I get back in the swing of things.

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The Schwan's man was at my neighbor's today and I bought a few things that he had in the truck. Usually you order online and they deliver. He gave her a catalogue too.

For lunch I ate the cod (wild caught from the Canadian waters) with their passion fruit sherbert for dessert. Both very good. I do love sherbert in the summer. He told her he would be back on Aug. 16th and I might order again.

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Curious if anyone is doing more of the meal subscription since (most) states have stay at home orders?  I'm in my second week and ended up subscribing to at least a couple of weeks of Every Plate.  For the most part I'm really enjoying the recipes, but just like Hello Fresh which I did a few years ago, it's simply too much food for one person. I just got my second week and haven't even cooked my third recipe from the first box yet. 

Edited by callie lee 29

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I restarted my Blue Apron subscription which will start May 8. I figure that's 3 meals a week I don't have to shop for. Plus I'm working through my 1st Omaha Steaks order, with a second to arrive around the 28th. My grocery store is restricting the number of people in the store and is doing one way aisles. I've only been once since that started. I was 3rd in line to get in the store when it opened at 6 am. The governor has mandated everyone wear masks in retail stores. My stepdaughter made 6 for us. We wear them once, then wash them.

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I signed up for Every Plate about 6 weeks ago when I couldn't find any meat in any of my Instacart orders. I can't shop for myself (I have serious immune issues...  no one can leave the house and no one can come in) so I have to depend on what others can get for me. With meal delivery kits, I know my family is getting 3 decent meals a week. We started out with Every Plate but I have two teenage kids and Every Plate isn't enough food for us. We recently switched to Home Chef and found that it is a better fit for us. We get three meals a week and I cook 4 meals a week fingers crossed that I can get a decent Instacart (or Walmart) delivery. 

I am going to look into Schwans; I wonder if they still are around. I remember seeing the truck in my neighborhood a couple years ago. 

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13 hours ago, UniqueHandle said:

I am going to look into Schwans; I wonder if they still are around. I remember seeing the truck in my neighborhood a couple years ago. 

They are still around here.  I saw the truck last week, and my mother, in a different part of my state, got some stuff from them a couple of weeks ago.

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I started my Blue Apron subscription about 5 weeks ago, I used them once several years ago and wasn't impressed after the first week, so I cancelled. But I figured it was 3 meals a week I didn't have to shop for. Last week they sent a tofu stir-fry. We don't do tofu, so requested they never send tofu again. They comped the meal, and I made it with chicken. I was satisfied with that. This week I only got 2 meals instead of 3. A pork loin meal and recipe card were missing. They sent the ingredients for a chicken dish but no recipe card. Upshot of customer service is they credited me the missing meal, and promised to email me the pdf for the chicken meal "right away'. It's been over 3 hours and I have not received the email with pdf recipe card. I'm very unhappy and I let them know. Depending on how things go next week, I'm considering cancelling.

Anyone else have problems with Blue Apron? Any other service to recommend?

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5 hours ago, chessiegal said:

I started my Blue Apron subscription about 5 weeks ago, I used them once several years ago and wasn't impressed after the first week, so I cancelled. But I figured it was 3 meals a week I didn't have to shop for. Last week they sent a tofu stir-fry. We don't do tofu, so requested they never send tofu again. They comped the meal, and I made it with chicken. I was satisfied with that. This week I only got 2 meals instead of 3. A pork loin meal and recipe card were missing. They sent the ingredients for a chicken dish but no recipe card. Upshot of customer service is they credited me the missing meal, and promised to email me the pdf for the chicken meal "right away'. It's been over 3 hours and I have not received the email with pdf recipe card. I'm very unhappy and I let them know. Depending on how things go next week, I'm considering cancelling.

Anyone else have problems with Blue Apron? Any other service to recommend?

I like EveryPlate. They have different meals you can choose each week (there are the ones that are pre-selected, but you can change them by a certain date). There are also some of the meals you can change the protein on, chicken to beef, pork to chicken, etc, which I appreciate as I’m not a big chicken fan. Their  app is very user friendly as well.

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I was looking at my Blue Apron account - so tired of them sending some variation of a hamburger almost every week - and discovered something they sure don't advertise. The meals in my box for delivery this Friday are set (and yes, another hamburger), but I can go into the next week's delivery and swap out meals. I ditched yet another hamburger, and ordered shrimp, chicken, and pork chops for the meals.

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I've lost track of the number of times I've had to contact Blue Apron about a problem with my meals. The last box contained 2 meals that use zucchini, and they only sent one. One dish had red cabbage in it, and they sent two portions. No matter how hard I stare at that extra cabbage, I cannot get it to turn into a zucchini.  They credited my account $9.99. I'm going to the grocery store tomorrow, so not too much of a big deal, but still.
 

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I think I originally posted in the Pet Peeves thread how mostly none of the food delivery services deliver to my area. I was frustrated because often I had to go through the whole sign up process only to find they didn't deliver to my area.

There was some discussion of Hungryroot.  From the ads it looks like a lot if wasted packaging. I said  would never do that...well a few days ago on my Neighborhood App I saw they now  serve my area. So I bit the bullet and signed up for a single person service.  I really liked Imperfect Food better, but not available here. I'll see what the first shipment contains and decide if I want to continue. I'm afraid it is going to be more food than  I can deal with in a week. At least I can cancel a week or the service itself...

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Question for people getting home food kits. I recently signed up for HungryRoot. It includes fruit, veggies, raw meat and fish. My box has been on the road 4 days, if it arrives tomorrow.  Do the boxes arrive refrigerated? Will the raw meat be safe to eat? I am super wary of the possible contamination of the proteins.

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11 hours ago, Gramto6 said:

Question for people getting home food kits. I recently signed up for HungryRoot. It includes fruit, veggies, raw meat and fish. My box has been on the road 4 days, if it arrives tomorrow.  Do the boxes arrive refrigerated? Will the raw meat be safe to eat? I am super wary of the possible contamination of the proteins.

On the road for 4 days? My Blue Apron leaves the warehouse early on Thursday morning, and arrives usually by mid-afternoon Friday, but guaranteed by 9 pm. If it doesn't arrive by 9 pm they refund the cost and recommend you toss it. I had 1 arrive at 11 pm, and it was just fine. The proteins are packed between 2 ice bags (a frozen material that can be safely washed down the drain once it melts) the width and length of the box. The proteins are always cold. I can track the progress of the box. If that's available with HungryRoot, I'd check it. 4 days sounds way too long. I know you're in the boonies, but that still sounds too long.

ETA: All the contents of the box are in a sealed insulated bag.

Edited by chessiegal

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Thanks @chessiegal! Well my box now traces as "Pending" but it shows close to here. I'll accept it and check the contents and decide what to do from there. One thing for sure, I am going to cancel the service this delivery is not acceptable for perishable items.

The thing is it went from Stockton, CA to Oakland, CA from there it could easily have gone to Missoula,MT and been here in 2 days at most. But no, it went from Oakland to Memphis,TN where it sat a full day, then to Great Falls, MT yesterday and finally today to Missoula. It should, I hope, be delivered today... Not worth the aggravation.

Edited by Gramto6
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I'm so sorry @Gramto6. That's terrible service. I see ads for HungryRoot every day. In addition to canceling, I'd ask for a refund.

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Well box finally arrived. The ice packs were all melted and I had to trash all the protein items and several other perishables. 10 items out of 20 in the trash! I left a message with HungryRoot and they emailed me they would contact me within 72 hours.  Not really impressed with the items sent so as soon as I hear back to insure I get at least a partial refund, I'm going to cancel.

They sent the box 2 day. The FedEx guy said it should have been sent overnight. (He also delivers Blue Apron.) The Memphis issue is that all FedEx packages going overnight or 2 day go through Memphis. I don't think that is going to work for delivery to me here in MT.

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Good grief. They'll get back to you in 72 hours?!? Blue Apron has a live chat function. I get resolution immediately. Sounds like HungryRoots is a terrible option/company.

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On 8/12/2021 at 11:12 PM, Gramto6 said:

I think I originally posted in the Pet Peeves thread how mostly none of the food delivery services deliver to my area. I was frustrated because often I had to go through the whole sign up process only to find they didn't deliver to my area.

I could've written these two sentences verbatim. Also the restaurant delivery services like DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, and shopping services like Instacart. But they make you go through the whole information-gathering signup process before they deliver the bad news (the one thing they do deliver in our area) that they can't help you.

I hope you can find another meal service that'll do a better job. I know how frustrating it is.

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1 hour ago, chessiegal said:

Good grief. They'll get back to you in 72 hours?!? Blue Apron has a live chat function. I get resolution immediately. Sounds like HungryRoots is a terrible option/company.

I wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy!

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So sorry about your delivery issues @Gramto6...

HungryRoot must be using most of their money for the annoying as hell commercial they have running on StartTV and other networks they can afford to advertise on. It's so obnoxious that I'm somehow not surprised to learn that the service stinks. There's a line in it where a woman sings ♪Hungry Root came through...♪ which is what really drives me up a wall.
 

 

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The one thing that impresses me about Blue Apron is their customer service. Besides the food being really tasty, if there is a problem, they address it immediately with their live chat feature. I've had a few times where an ingredient is missing - they credit my account with $10, one time for a missing zucchini. I had ordered a quiche dish, and one of the eggs was cracked - they comped the entire meal. It wasn't that I couldn't make the dish, I always have eggs.

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Finally heard back from Hungryroot this afternoon. They apologized and said would talk to FedEx too. Will credit me for the full cost of the box and marked my account cancelled. BUT then they said I still have a delivery scheduled for the 25th. Carp they got me one more time!! I swear if it comes after that date, I'm not going to accept it!! 

A friend of mine that is on Facebook said she looked around and there were lots of complaints re delivery and customer service. And these people were all around the country not just in the boonies like me.

Edited by Gramto6 · Reason: added on to post

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