You Might Not Get Your See’s Candies Advent Calendar This Year [Updated]

The beloved California chocolate company screwed up.

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Update, December 2, 2022: See’s appears to be in the process of righting the snafu that led to unfulfilled Advent calendar orders this season.

On Nov. 30, I received a phone call and email from Johnnie Woods, See’s director of customer experience. See’s had located an Advent calendar to fulfill my order; on Wednesday, I received a UPS package with two Advent calendars, another set of the treats I had previously purchased, and a gift card, all of which I’ll be sharing with friends and family this season. Though the company did not provide comment on what might have led to the issue of unfulfilled orders, the steps taken to resolve the issue demonstrate See’s dedication to maintaining its reputation for quality customer service.

Original post, November 25, 2022: Every fall, companies compete to offer the most intriguing advent calendars, which offer one treat per day for the 24 days leading up to Christmas. In the past, I’ve sprung for the Bonne Maman calendar, which comes filled with little jars of preserves. My friends often scramble to pick up an ALDI Advent calendar, which features tiny bottles of wine, beer, and cheese. The See’s Candies advent calendar is a particularly popular item this year—so much so, in fact, that customers who ordered one might not receive it at all.

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What’s in the See’s Candies advent calendar

My family have long been loyal See’s customers; boxes of peanut brittle are always a fixture on our coffee table on Christmas Day. My late sister-in-law loved See’s Bridge Mix, while I am partial to the dark chocolates. My mother even had me bring her boxes of See’s when she was in hospice.

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I momentarily hesitated at the advent calendar’s $45 price tag. It promised one pound of assorted chocolate, but that was almost a $20 premium atop the usual price of $27.50 per pound (a few dollars more gets you a custom mix with your choice of pieces). Still, it’s been a hectic year, and I decided to treat myself.

I placed my order on November 3, adding on two boxes of chocolate medallions and some Mint Krispies so I’d qualify for discounted shipping. On November 17, I received a notice that my order had been sent. The package arrived this week, and I eagerly sliced it open.

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There was no advent calendar inside. The small chocolates I had tacked onto my order were in the box, but not the main event. I thought it might have been shipped separately, but a search of my email inbox turned up no notification. Perplexed, I called See’s customer service department and was transferred to a representative.

As it turns out, I’m not going to receive my advent calendar, nor will an unspecified number of other people.

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Why See’s Candies customers aren’t receiving advent calendars

The See’s representative explained that the company was flooded with more orders than it could fill this year. The business is currently in the process of notifying unlucky customers that they will come up empty-handed—but customer service hadn’t yet reached my name in the list by the time I called, which means many customers could potentially receive paltry, calendar-less shipments before being made aware of the issue.

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This doesn’t solve the mystery of why I was told the calendar had been shipped when it had not been, and why I had been billed for it when it was never sent. Further, why did See’s keep taking orders it knew it couldn’t fulfill? Wouldn’t some kind of internal system block further orders once maximum capacity had been reached, as most online retailers do?

The See’s rep couldn’t give me answers, but apologized profusely and promised a swift refund, which hasn’t landed yet, presumably because of the Thanksgiving holiday. See’s public relations department has not yet responded to our request for comment.

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Even before my See’s mishap, something told me I’d better select a backup calendar. During my last-minute Thanksgiving shopping, I grabbed one from a giant stack at Trader Joe’s. It cost 99 cents. It might not be See’s quality, but it has chocolate and little doors, and that’s festive enough.