The Better Business Bureau is alerting consumers to “be critical” of mail congratulating them on pregnancies and providing various gift cards and coupons to motherhood websites after connecting the letters — signed “Jenny B” — to a company called Mothers Lounge.
Thousands of women across America and Canada have reported receiving the seemingly handwritten cards which offer congratulations on expecting a baby.
“I’m so excited for you. I hope you like these,” the cards all read, with a signature from someone named Jenny B. But many of the recipients of the notes have taken to social media to share that they don’t know who Jenny B is, and aren’t even pregnant.
Sooo I come home to a letter written out to me with my address and everything and it’s a pregnancy congratulatory card with $300 worth of gift cards. Plot twist. I’m not pregnant 🤔— T. (@Tbabyyyy____) October 24, 2019
Just received a card in the mail from Utah congratulating me on my pregnancy with over $300 dollars worth of gift cards..... 1) thank god my dad didn’t open it 2) I’m not pregnant 3) do I buy the pregnancy pillow anyways?— Amanda Gallo ♕ (@amandagalloo) October 22, 2019
My parents received a card addressed to me at my parent’s house, with no return address, with $245 worth of gift cards and coupons, congratulating me on my pregnancy. Jenny B. from Salt Lake City: who are you?! Do you have the wrong Roya Shariat?? I’m not pregnant! pic.twitter.com/Mva7R7fXf2— Roya Shariat (@royashariat) October 21, 2019
Kadie Humphreys, a 26-year-old mother-of-two from Florida, is one of the latest recipients of the letter after receiving it on Saturday. She tells Yahoo Lifestyle that since she’s not expecting, she figured it might have been sent to her by mistake and took to Twitter to clarify.
officially the weirdest thing in the mail I’ve ever received lol... I’m not pregnant and idk you Jenny B.. if anyone wants these.. they are yours 😂 pic.twitter.com/wAOffu2NfB— Kadie Humphreys (@_kdp143) October 28, 2019
“There is a community called ‘mom twitter’ where I assumed other moms may have received the same mailing, maybe one of them sent to me, or maybe they wanted the coupons,” Humphreys writes via Twitter direct message. “Nobody I know has received it but some people replied to my tweet saying they saw an article posted on Facebook.”
According to the BBB’s alert, it has been notified of identical letters and gift cards that it warns are being sent out from a Utah-based company, Mothers Lounge LLC., owned by a woman named Jeanette Pierce, who is likely “Jenny B.”
“To date, BBB serving Northern Nevada and Utah has found fifteen affiliate businesses, including Thoughtful Gift Cards and Canopy Couture. These gift cards are sent all over the U.S. and Canada in an envelope which appears to have lost its return label when it never had one in the first place,” the BBB alert reads. “This is likely a marketing tactic meant to make the envelope look more like mail from a friend.”
Consumers have even complained that the $245 worth of gift cards provided in the mailing seem to only increase the shipping cost on orders that they’ve attempted to complete on any of the affiliate sites, nearly to the same price as the card itself. The many complaints — which date back to February 2019 — have led the BBB to give the Mother’s Lounge an F rating and even reach out to the company with concerns about their advertising practices.
“On March 7th, we reviewed their advertising practices and reached out to them,” Britta Clark, Director of Communications at the BBB Serving Northern Nevada and Utah, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Even though we have not yet heard back from Mother's Lounge regarding BBB's concerns with their mailed advertising, we still hope the business will resolve the issue and answer the people that have complained about their marketing strategies.”
Scott Anderson of the Mothers Lounge marketing team sent the following statement to Yahoo Lifestyle:
“We are a proud Utah company that has been in operation since 2005. Millions of families in the US have ordered from our brands throughout the years. Mothers Lounge has mailed a heartfelt note which includes gift cards with proof of activation, and coupons to new mothers. The qualified recipients for this mailer have, at one point, subscribed to an opt-in list for maternity deals and coupons through a third party marketing company. All information from third party companies is only used internally for Mothers Lounge and is not sold or used for anything else other than the direct marketing of Mothers Lounge. We are very grateful for all our customers! Thank you for your continued support!”
And although Anderson explained that “qualified recipients” had opted-in for maternity deals through a third party company “at one point,” Humphreys explains why the marketing tactic is insensitive.
“Even though I found it a bit funny, I’m fortunate to not have suffered infant loss or miscarriage. It wouldn’t be the same response if so,” Humphreys writes. “I feel for those who may have opened it and had a possibly heartbreaking reaction.”
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