Month Club Store vs BBQ Box
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Month Club Store vs BBQ Box
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Month Club Store is no stranger to the monthly club market. In business for more than ten years, this Nebraska-based company offers nearly 30 clubs, including Fruit, Pizza, and Flower of the Month.
Like most of the BBQ Sauce Clubs in our review, Month Club's BBQ of the Month products are selected for uniqueness and flavor, sourced from small, regional producers and discovered at food shows, restaurants, and cook-offs around the nation. When choosing Month Club for your BBQ Sauce deliveries, you'll need to choose between two packages: one that delivers two sauces each month, and another that includes one sauce and one rub.
Month Club does try to keep costs low. If you opt for a year-long membership, you'll only pay $17.92 per month, while the 3-month membership is still reasonably-priced at $19.67 per month. Shipping is included with all Month Club orders.
Month Club does offer quite a bit of flexibility with respect to scheduling deliveries. In the drop-down boxes on the order page, you'll see that you can opt for deliveries ranging from every month to every fourth month, and you can choose the month to start your deliveries. If your BBQ Sauce Club is meant as a gift, you can also choose to send a personalized gift greeting; be aware that there doesn't seem to be a way to specify when that greeting is sent, and no way of knowing if it is sent with the first delivery or at the time of your purchase. Also, if you prefer to send the greeting via regular mail, you'll be paying for the cost of the stamp - which struck us as a little cheap on Month Club's part.
Compared with the rest of the BBQ Sauce Clubs in our review, the shopping experience on the Month Club site was less than impressive. There was no information about what to expect in each month's shipments, only an image of some of the sauces they've sent out in the previous 11 years. We were confused by the information under the "Add to Cart" button too - there's a random "No" hanging out there, leaving us to wonder what exactly we were being denied. It was only when we clicked "yes" for the personalized gift greeting that we realized it was a summary of the options we had chosen in the drop-down boxes.
Although the Month Club Store claims to have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, at the time of our review we found their grade to be a slightly lower "A" with only two complaints registered and one as yet unresolved. The one complaint visible on the BBB site showed some issues with getting a response when trying to contact Month Club Store's customer service department directly, but they did respond professionally and pleasantly on the BBB site itself.
Also, when we called the toll-free number to ask if any of the sauces in their club contained an ingredient related to a food allergy, we were extremely impressed by the response. The representative with whom we spoke gave us her direct email address and asked us to send her a list of each allergen and the length of the subscription we desired. She then promised to personally look at each sauce's ingredient list and get back to us with the results, so that we wouldn't accidentally get something with that ingredient. That definitely bumped up Month Club in our eyes.
Despite the fact that Month Club Store doesn't have a specific satisfaction guarantee on their site, they do clearly state that memberships that are cancelled will receive a prorated amount for any unused portion of the subscription.
In short, while we would love to see more detailed information and a smoother look and feel on their website, Month Club deserves points for low prices and above-and-beyond customer service when contacted directly.
If you're a fan of competitive BBQ or the TLC reality TV show BBQ Pitmasters, you probably know the name Myron Mixon. Known as "the winningest man in barbecue" with more than 1700 contest wins, he knows his BBQ sauce. And, he shares his love of meat and sauce with customers through his monthly subscription, the aptly-named BBQ Box.
Unlike most of the BBQ Sauce Clubs in our review, Mixon's shipments include not just a sauce or marinade, but also some tasty extras: a snack, a rub or other spices, a small package of wood chips for the grill or smoker, and a recipe for getting your meats competition-perfect.
The BBQ Box costs $24.99 per month, plus shipping. With this club, your subscription is automatically month-to-month; there's no need to select a 3-, 6-, or 12-month plan as with most other club memberships.
According to the FAQ, every customer's first shipment is a Welcome Box, no matter what time of year you sign up. Given that it's the same box every time, we would have loved to see the exact details of what's included; in the Shop section, the only information provided was that the contents are for cooking pork and a recipe for Boston Butt is included. According to other customers, it looks like you can probably expect it to contain Myron's Meat Rub, Pork Barrel BBQ bacon jerky, Myron's Hog Sauce, and a small package of maple wood.
In that same Shop section (found by clicking the link at the top of the page), you can see many of the different shipments for the year. Again, there are no specifics listing what each box will contain, but some of the photos showed actual items (like Cash Cow Beef Rub and BBQ Buddha Memphis BBQ Sauce). We also noticed that there was no listing for the current month, even though the month was more than half over.
If you're looking for a la carte BBQ items, you can also get 3-packs of various meat rubs and sauces, all of which are priced at $24.99. On the second page of the Shop, you will also be able to purchase a $25 BBQ Box gift card or an 8-pack of BBQ Chicken Bites.
As you begin the process of subscribing, you'll be asked to fill in a short survey to specify your gender, your favorite BBQ region, favorite meat/protein, and then how you heard about BBQ Sauce Club. Then, you'll have to click "I Agree" on the site's Terms and Conditions and Monthly Subscription Agreement before proceeding to the billing and shipping info page.
It felt a little strange to read through a long service contract when starting the ordering process. In that contract, we were left puzzled by the part that said that our credit card would be charged on the 5th of every month, but that our box wouldn't ship until the following month. Why should we be charged more than a month in advance for our BBQ Sauce box?
We were also confused to read in the contract that BBQ Box offers three different subscriptions, when we could only find one on the site.
Although there are very few customer reviews available for BBQ Box, many of those we found agreed on this point: what you get in subsequent boxes (after the Welcome selection) isn't worth what you pay. Adding up the cost of the individual items usually falls well short of the monthly cost. And, when you figure in the shipping costs - ranging from the low end of $7 to Florida, for example, and going all the way up to nearly $14 for delivery to Seattle - it makes BBQ Box seem like even less of a deal.
And, with no guarantee or return policy, BBQ Box leaves you hanging if you don't like what you get. Yes, you can cancel your subscription at any time; you're not committed to a certain length of subscription like most other BBQ Sauce Clubs, which is great. But, since you pay on the 5th for a box that doesn't ship out until the following month, you may still wind up with one paid-for shipment that you didn't want even if you've already cancelled.
On the other hand, we did like that you can log into your account and skip months, if you're going to be out of town or if you're able to see that a future box doesn't have what you're looking for.
Although Myron Mixon is well-known as a grillmaster, his BBQ Box subscription leaves us with a less-than-pleasant taste in our mouth. In the future, we hope that the site will include much more information about each shipment's contents and a satisfaction guarantee more like the other BBQ Sauce Clubs in our review.
BBQ Sauce Clubs
To help you find the Best BBQ Sauce Clubs, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Month Club Store and BBQ Box.
No BBQ meat is complete without the perfect sauce. What is the right sauce for your next grill-fest? The answer to that question likely depends on two things: the kind of meat you're preparing and your regional preference.
Maybe you're fan of a Kansas City BBQ blend that includes ground celery seeds and pickle juice for the distinctive flavor it lends to your pork ribs. Or perhaps you like to weigh in on the East-vs.-West debate in North Carolina - cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper on the East, or the same mix with the addition of ketchup and brown sugar in the West - all used when cooking the whole hog, of course.
Whether you like dark and tangy or sweet and spicy, joining a BBQ Sauce Club is one of the best ways to get world's best blends for your cooking. Every month, you - or the lucky person who gets a subscription as a gift from you - receive a delivery of delicious BBQ sauce, usually from boutique shops whose flavors can't be found on your local grocery store shelves. Some of these monthly shipments include extras like jerky, rubs, and even wood chips for your grill or smoker.
How do you know which BBQ Sauce Club is the right one for you or the person you're shopping for? Keep in mind these four things as you make your decision:
TopConsumerReviews has reviewed and ranked the best BBQ Sauce Clubs available today. We hope this information helps you find the club that will give your cooking a tasty, flavorful kick!
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