This past week, while I was busy driving cross-country with friends, a major breakthrough in the miracle berry mystery occurred: Miracle Connect sent a mass email to everyone who bought and PAID for berries from their “company” without receiving them. The response: overwhelming.
Let me preface this story by giving a recap of my long, “fruitless” quest for magic berries:
June 5th: Read articles in Times and on NyMag.com and subsequently place an order for 6 miracle berries from MiracleConnect.com (and pay for them on PayPal).
June 17th: Berry Sad, thinking my experiment will have to be put on hold.
June 20th: Berry Update 1: Seems that Miracle Connect got “slightly backed up” but the berries are coming soon, according to a tip from Erica. Berry Update 2: Neel emails me to confirm that my berries will arrive in 2 weeks: “They are coming! It’ll probably be two weeks–we’re still really backlogged.”
July 8th: Where for art thou magic berries? Starting to get annoyed, and also pissed. No new updates, beginning to think I have been scammed by Miracle Connect.
July 14th: Send email to Neel Shah asking for an update on whether the berries are still coming or not.
July 18th: Forge on in the quest for magic berries, still maintaining a small semblance of hope that the berries will come, though have heard nothing from Miracle Connect. Commenters on NyMag.com confirm that I am not the only one who is yet to receive my berries.
July 31st: Pissed off, angry and annoyed, I email Neel Shah again (who still has not responded to my last email) demanding a refund. Later that day, receive an apologetic email from Neel, reading:
I’m so, so sorry for the delay. This isn’t really an excuse, I know, but my mom passed away earlier this month and our entire operation has been put on hold right now.
Here’s where we are at: fresh berries are still weeks away (seriously.) We have tablets, though. They work the same way–better, actually, since you don’t actually have to keep them cold and eat them in a few days. We are offering 10 tabs for every six berries that were purchased.
If not, we will issue you a refund immediately. let me know, and again, I’m really sorry. I know how annoying this probably is.
Respond to Neel saying that yes, I’d like a refund and say that I am sorry about his mom. Am unsure whether his mom really died or not.
August 8th: Receive the below email from Miracle Connect (email includes the email addresses of all of the others who have bought berries from MC – well over 100 people. Maybe even more like 2-300, but am too lazy to count) The email reads:
Hi Miracle Connect Customer,
First and foremost, we’d like to apologize for the delay. The deluge of orders we received after Miracle Berries were written up in the New York Times far outstripped our capacity to provide them. (Our growers in Florida literally sold out of berries and now have waiting lists in excess of three months; buying more trees became impossible since they take years to mature.)
Rather than drag this out any longer, we’ve come up with a solution: we will send you (via mail) 10 Miracle Berry tablets for every 6 Miracle Fruits you ordered. The tablets work the same way, and last the same amount of time, with the added bonus that they don’t need to be preserved in the fridge. (They’re good for up to a month.) Each tablet is made from three actual Miracle Berries and, of course, makes things taste sweet.
If you’d like the tablets, just email MiracleConnect@gmail.com with your current address. (You may have changed your address, so this makes things easier.) If instead you’d like a refund, simply email us with REFUND in the
subject line. To those of you who have already gotten your berries, or gotten a refund, sorry for the email.
Again, sorry for the long delay and the inconvenience. But we’re excited to have a great solution.
August 8th/9th: Receive several pissed off reply-all’s to Miracle Connect’s email. Am delighted that others share my vexation. People complain about others replying all, others in turn make fun of those who have complained. One dude contacted the NYPD and Attorney General (fucking badass, and I like it). One chick responds, pointing out that Miracle Connect’s offer of tablets is actually unfair: she ordered 6 fruits (like me) and paid $45 dollars or so with shipping.MC is offering 10 tablets in return but anyone can buy 10 tablets for $11.99 + $3.00 shipping on a ton of websites.
Conclusion: Though I emailed to ask for a refund on July 12th, I never received one. I emailed again to ask for one and hopefully they’ll get their shit together and issue it soon. In the meantime, I ordered the tablets from another site, MiracleFruitWorld.com and received them. I’m going to try them this coming weekend.
But the question still remains: what about Miracle Connect? A commenter (and small business owner) on NyMag.com defended MC, saying that they probably were unprepared for the press they received (duh). But here is the problem: even if they were unprepared (and had personal things going on), is that really an excuse for a complete lack of communication to the MANY people who PAID them for berries they never received? I really don’t think so. This is the real world, and Miracle Connect received REAL money from customers who they chose to ignore for months. Ultimately, even their final effort to reach out to us and offer of tablets was both flawed and a disappointment. I guess only time will tell if Miracle Connect will face any real repercussions other than pissy emails…