I have personally purchased thousands of dollars worth of product from Emergency Essentials and encouraged others to do the same. I also established a large group to place orders together for the bulk discounts and spent thousands more on collective orders. I have had to deal with customer service multiple times and never once felt they were willing to really look into solving problems, clearing confusion, or exert any effort into keeping me as a customer. They recently lost my business.
When I called after having site problems on the busy day after Thanksgiving--for the Black Friday specials--they fully admitted to having site problems throughout their day due to the overload. They had a time deadline, which I was pushing after many technical frustrations, but still I made according to my computer's clock. However, as I was checking out, the deal said it had expired and shot me back to full prices.
I called, certain they would take accountability for the problems and grant me the prices for the order I had tried to place. Though I placed my call just before the deadline to explain the problem, I was put on hold for 6 minutes before I had the chance to talk it through with the representative. After explaining my problems, she admitted they had been having site issues but regardless could not offer me the prices because, "Well, the deals ended 7 minutes ago!" When I could see that she continued to be unsympathetic and then quite rude, it was reconfirmed that in this company keeping a customer--even a longstanding, large spending one--is just not a priority.
If this had been my first bad customer service experience I may have eventually decided it was just her and gone back in the future, as I have before. But I have had many-- including the time that my group waited many months for a shipment of green peppers to arrive and after continuing to be told that it would just be a couple more weeks, I was finally told with some exasperation (like I just didn't get it) that "Well we have to wait for the pepper to grow!"
I can't feel good about supporting and drawing others to support a company that does NOT support its customer base in return.
I immediately started looking for other options and the next day I visited Family Storehouse for some of the things I wasn't able get from Emergency Essentials. What a drastic difference. It was small and not as well stocked, but the incredible personal attention, help and service I received left me determined to start supporting them as an alternative. And I'll do the same with others who treat me that well!
I researched many suppliers for emergency food. When I said many that is an understatement. Here are some of the reasons that I chose them.
*There is actually someone there to answer my questions. You call you talk to a real person not an answering machine. If there is a problem it doesn' help my confidence level to purchase from a company that I only get the opportunity to leave a message with or I get transfered to another extension to wait 15 minutes for an answer. It has been my experience that sometimes they never call back
* The customer service personnel didn't treat my questions with indifferenace or as if I was asking something stupid. They are friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.
* There prices for one years supply of grains when you include shipping blew the others away by a BIG amount( I live in Arkansas.) When I say BIG I mean really BIG. I actually got it at a better price than if I had purchased the grain locally in bulk,spent about $22.00 for proper packaging of each 6 gallon bucket which includes 90 mill food grade buckets, oxygen absorbing packets and mylar bags. This is the way they they package their grains. I think I saved myself a lot of work and I am not confident that sealing a mylar bag with an iron and a 2x4 will get me the results that a commercial sealing tool will. I did purchase some buckets, mylar bags and oxygen abosobers for items like sugar.
* I checked them out with the BBB which archives files for 36 months and they had 0 complaints.
* They also carry the grain mill that I had decided on if there is no electrical power. I selected the Wondermill Jr. which I consider a far better mill than the Family grinder which has plastic gears and bushings instead of ball bearings and which actually grinds wheat berries to a fineness that can be used for flour with one grinding instead of two. I couldn't see buying The Country Living grinder for nearly $400.00.
Please do your own research, but I have a very high confidence level in this company, their products, their personnel, and their reliablity.
NOTE: This comment is posted on 8/24/10.
My last name happens to be the same as their company president. I have no relationship to him, I don't know him and was surprised to make this discovery. Believe me when I say that his name had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with my decision.
Knowledgable staff. This store has a ton of emergency supplies for 72 hour kits, food storage, water storage, etc. They sell #10 cans of food for food storage as well. After hurricane katrina their shelves were nearly empty though. I guess we weren't the only thinking about emergency rpeparedness. Cheapest source for the LED, no battery flashights.