What’s the recipe for a perfect juice cleanse? One part juice, one part willpower, and one heaping helping of customer service.
We investigated this last very important ingredient for this article. Focusing on the four leading New York City juice companies—BluePrint Cleanse, Cooler Cleanse, Organic Avenue, and Juice Press—we evaluated the level of support before, during, and after each cleanse by studying company resources—and by making a handful of calls to their hotlines.
After all, trying to navigate a busy New York lifestyle isn’t easy on 1,200 calories a day, but it sure helps when you’re only a phone call away from some sound and friendly advice.
How did customer-service reps handle our spate of anonymous help-desk queries? We tell you here… —Jenna Holt
Before: BluePrint’s preparatory email includes step-by-step instructions and specific information on cleansing safety. They amuse their audience with banter like “Think raw. Think vegan. Think fruits & veggies. Think hamburger — Just kidding.” And they make the transition from food to liquid much easier with a sample menu.
During: Top marks for the first day email, a perky reminder of just why you signed up for this restrictive diet. I personally loved the “Cheater-Cheater-eating-during-your-cleanse-eater” list that includes suggested “safe” foods for those dying to chew on something. (Though the recommended celery sticks probably wouldn’t curb my sweet tooth.)
BluePrint also did a great job fielding my phone questions about whether it was safe to go to spin class, urging me to “listen to my body” and “start incorporating more food” if I was feeling faint.
After: I almost wished I’d done the cleanse (two others here at Well+Good have): BluePrint’s final empowering email, patted me on the back for all my hard work and encouraged me to stick with my new diet. They also recommended a colonic to release the “toxins afloat in my body,” though this journalist decided not to heed that advice just yet.
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Before: While we only got a hold of the preparatory email, Cooler Cleanse claims to send out multiple messages to their customers specifying how to get the “maximum benefits.” The advice we saw is fairly generic (I’m fully aware that alcohol doesn’t mix well with cleanses), but the recommendation to “take a few minutes to think about what you want to achieve,” comes as a nice goal-setting intention in my inbox.
During: With customer service reps available from 7 a.m.–8 p.m., I had no trouble getting through to a genuine assistant who outright discouraged my heavy-duty workout plans to go to spin class. “We often recommend light to moderate exercise,” said one customer service agent, mentioning yoga and Pilates, “but go with how your body feels.”
After: Cooler Cleanse prides itself on receiving feedback and keeping an “open dialogue” with past customers. Although their quick and to-the-point emails left me feeling a bit underwhelmed, I suppose I can always turn to their extensive website, which details a lot of the information missing from their responses. Absent from their emails was important information on allergy and digestion concerns.
Before: For a company that advises juice cleanses up to 45 days in length, Juice Press doesn’t do much to help you out along the way. No cute (or even informative) emails, no sample menus or advice to prep me for the cleanse. In fact, other than in-store pick-ups, Juice Press has very little contact with customers at all.
Their website embodies the snarky attitude you encounter along the way: “we are not doctors or priests. but we are obsessed with raw organic juice.” Yes, the company’s mantra of eliminating bad foods and increasing raw whole ones is a tried-and-true method, but we didn’t appreciate being told this in a brusque, mocking manner.
During: As good as their word, Juice Press advertises zero assistance with the cleanse process and then follows through with no customer service, save for a recorded message. Although my pain was feigned, I can’t imagine someone with a real concern being reassured by the monotone voice enumerating the “positive effects of organic raw juice,” and how I couldn’t possibly be hungry because the average person doesn’t even need all six juices to make it through the day.
After: You’re completely on your own after you finish this cleanse, because as founder Mark Antebi says, “A juice cleanse is not mysterious at all.” Why then, am I left with all these questions about how to ease back into culinary society? Can I make that reservation at Parm and order fried calamari as a victory dinner?
Before: Similar to Cooler Cleanse, Organic Avenue invites you to tap into your deeper reasons for cleansing. “Write a list of intentions of what you would like to release from your life,” said my first email, written by a juice therapist, er, “resident holistic nutrition consultant.” I also got a thorough list of policies and procedures in the prep email that outlined a successful Juice Cleanse Eve. (Best tip: add sea salt, lemon juice, and olive oil to your dinner the night before for intestinal relief.)
During: Organic Avenue promotes their Love Support Program as filled with accessible “customer service angels.” And after a pleasant ten-minute chat with one, I guess I went to heaven. The system isn’t perfect: I was put on hold and led through an automated sales pitch. But then I got a sweet assistant who was extremely generous with her advice and time.
She offered up a list of suggested foods and drinks to curb my phantom digestive pains, citing “avocado, aloe, and ginger” as the best choices. When I consulted her on my workout plans, she cautioned against a spinning class but agreed it would be fine if I ate some solid foods beforehand. “Don’t deny it,” she said, referring to my hunger.
After: Organic Avenue’s positive affirmations and boundless information made me feel like I had a partner in the cleanse process. Now that it’s over, I like that I can stop into the Space of Love for their lifestyle programs, so I stand a better chance of staying on the healthy (no fried calamari) wagon. I know they’ve been stepping up their customer service, and finally it’s showing.
For the novice juicer, BluePrint Cleanse is the way to go. Their step-by-step instructions and hand-holding along the way make you feel full of can-do confidence. But make sure you get all your questions answered before 7 p.m., when your calls will go straight to voicemail.
For someone on a devout mission to cleanse her life and her diet, Organic Avenue holds all the cards. This company walks you through the process and even answers questions like, “What can I eat at my business dinner tonight?” when you’re desperate for answers at 8 p.m. on a Thursday.
For nonchalant cleansers (or Californians) who don’t need to devour gobs of facts about their detox, Cooler Cleanse is your ticket. The company is great for those prone to late-night snacking; we loved their response to our question about cravings: “Unavoidable is okay.” And we liked their recommendations to rest and get a massage.
If you prefer to fly solo, Juice Press is the brand for you. You won’t have to worry about feeling overwhelmed by material; the only literature they’ll send is a receipt. But for those of us who prefer a little face-time before we invest in a $200+ detox, we’re gonna pass on this sweet potato pie.