Purchasing Rope Online: A Sordid Tale of Disappointment with Rainbow Rope

So I like to grow and expand what I do when it comes to Lifestyle activities. A long time ago, I did a little rope work, learned most of the basics, then moved on. I still had my bag of rope, and drug it along with me when I went to play. But, I decided to get some new rope and push the limits of what I was doing.

I did some research, and tried to figure out what I wanted. I then decided to buy some bondage specific rope and try something new. I Googled bondage rope, and saw a familiar name as the first result. I had heard of Rainbow Rope and had seen them at most of the bigger conferences that I had been to, so I thought that they would be a good source for me to buy my next bondage gear from, instead of the Dom Depot or Wally World, where I normally buy my rope from. Little did I know the aggravation this decision would cause me.

I decided to purchase 3 ropes from Rainbow Rope. I ordered 100′ of white rope, 25′ of purple rope, and 25′ of red rope, all 1/4″ in diameter. I consulted with my girl, and got her opinions on this, and then on July 17th, 2009, I placed my order. I figured that would be plenty of time for them to ship me my rope before my girl was down here next, on August 1st, and I even paid for priority shipping (1-3 days). So, worst case, I expected my order to arrive in about a week.

A week came and went, but I was patient, and with my slave coming, frankly that wasn’t high on my list of priorities. I did keep an eye on my mail box though, and I did watch my email. August 1st came, and went, with no sign of the package. I was not pleased.

Still, with my girl here, I didn’t have time to go in and cancel my order. I preferred to spend my time with my girl. We even did a little bondage with some pretty pink and white rope we bought at Target.

On August 4th, the day that my girl was headed back, I got notice that they had shipped my rope. Well, that was annoying, but I was certain that I would get my rope in time for BlackBEAT. I could pull out the rope then, and lovingly bind my girl there.

On August 7th, the money for the order was removed from my account. But no rope on my door. On August 11th, I wrote them stating that my rope had not arrived, and asking what I should do about this. I was not happy that I paid extra for shipping. And BlackBEAT was fast approaching. On August 12th, I went by the post office, and checked to see if they had anything for me. In the past, I got larger packages there, and thought that maybe I had lost the notice. They found nothing.

On August 14th, I left for my BlackBEAT weekend. I was definitely not happy. My rope had not arrived yet. My girl would not be tied up by it until perhaps November. I was indeed pissed.

I returned from the event, there was still no rope present, so on August 18th, I wrote the folks at Rainbow Rope the following letter.

I have to say that I have been very dissatisfied with the level of service that you have provided. I originally ordered rope from you on July 17th. On August 4th I received notification of shipment (a long delay with no explanation that the order would not be immediately shipped). On August 7th, the charge on my card came through. It is now August 18th. More than a month since my order, over 7 days since I last emailed you. I have received nothing back. This is frankly no way to treat a customer. Where is my rope ? I ordered from you initially because of your reputation. I can frankly say I am very disappointed and cannot recommend you to any of my friends and kinksters at this time.

On August 20th, the rope arrived. Left at my front door by the postman. I examined the package carefully, It had its postage label paid for on the 10th of August, 6 days after they said my order had shipped.

Frankly I feel lied to by them, and had 2 weekends ruined by them. I have written them twice, and I have never heard from them. I am truly pissed at them, and I will never order from them again.

I will say, the rope is fine. The white is much softer and silkier than the colored rope, but my friends with more experience in these matters say that washing them a couple of times will fix that issue. I will let you know how it works out. So, if you see Rainbow Rope at a convention, I can say that the rope is fine. But never, ever order from them online.

My next order is coming up, I will keep you posted on how it works out. Hopefully it will be much better.

Have you ordered rope online? If so, share your experiences in the comments.


Published by Master Void

I am an over 50-year-old Lifestyle Master living near Charlotte, NC.

45 thoughts on “Purchasing Rope Online: A Sordid Tale of Disappointment with Rainbow Rope

  1. I am in the middle of a similar experience with Rainbow Rope. I placed an order on 18 September, and it is now 6 October, with no sign of my rope. They are also impossible to contact; I’ve tried the online form they have, with no reply, and have been calling daily (the voice mailbox is out of memory, probably from other unsatisfied customers wondering where their rope is!) with no answer. All I can say is that this rope had better be pretty damn good when it gets here.

    Even if it is, from now on I’m going to stick to ordering from Twisted Monk! It’s worth the extra cost for the excellent customer service… oh hell, his rope’s worth it no matter what!

  2. The first time I ordered from Rainbow Rope last spring, they ended up shutting down the site and canceling my order because, according to them, they could not handle the influx of orders their were receiving. They offered a discount coupon as penance for this mistake. Understanding that mistakes happen, and unsure of where else to find bondage rope, I decided to give them another try a few months later. I’m kicking myself for that now.
    Initially, my excitement of finally buying rope was dampened by the discount coupon being completely worthless, with a reply of “this coupon has expired” and no other explanation. However, I was still excited to finally be buying rope and submitted my order on September 11th, 2009. On October 1st, when my order was still “pending” as it had been when I first submitted it, I sent an email inquiring if there was a problem with my order. I have received no response. I tried calling the phone number, the voicemail was and has remained full. On October 7th, I emailed again requesting desperately for some communication. Nothing.

    On October 15, after looking for alternative vendors, I placed an order with http://ajarope.com. I received an email from ajarope confirming shipment the same day, and I received the package on October 17 (Only two days later!). [The rope (from ajarope) smelled slightly of smoke on arrival, but after a few coats of febreeze and a wash, it is wonderful.]

    Today October 22, I still have not received a single response from Rainbow Rope, and my order is still pending. I wrote another email asking them to ship my order to me in the next week or cancel it.

    I’m never buying from rainbow rope again. And I feel sorry for anyone who does.

  3. Drew, I am sorry to hear about your issues, hopefully more will hear about this. Given all the vendors that have great customer service, I am saddened that this place still ranks high on Google.


  4. Same awful experience here. Order placed November 2009, January 1st 2010 and nothing so much as a response to any of my e-mails. I really wish I had found this post earlier!

  5. Hello all —

    My name is Liz and I’m responding here as a representative of Rainbow Rope.

    First off, I apologize to anyone who had a problem.

    The company has had various issues over the past year or so that have definitely adversely affected many aspects of our operation. As much as we’d like, we can’t undo those mistakes. We do acknowledge them, we think we’ve fixed the underlying issues and we’re trying not to repeat any of them in the future.

    Do we expect those that were caught up in the mess we caused to easily forget the unnecessary frustration and aggravation so easily? No, we don’t, but we feel this public apology is necessary — so here it is.

    We’re sorry — I’M Sorry!

    We can perfectly understand if people who had a problem choose never to shop with us again, however I would like to send a gift to those of you that will accept it.

    If any of you email me at shop@rainbowrope.com with your order# I will send you 25′ of rope at our expense.

    Thank you and have a very HAPPY 2010!
    Rainbow Rope

  6. Liz,

    Thanks for stopping by and making your offer. I will not be taking you up on it, but I do hope that you have truly fixed your company’s business practices.

    Good luck,


  7. MV,

    I’m sorry to hear that you won’t let me send you something, I will however, take this opportunity to once again offer you my personal apology.

    Wishing all the best to you and yours.

    Be well —
    Rainbow Rope

  8. I came across this post earlier and I almost didn’t order from Rainbow Rope. I felt it fair to follow up and let people know I had a mostly positive experience with them. My only gripe is that I got a premature shipping notification on the day of my order, Feb 25th; it wasn’t actually shipped until March 2nd, as indicated by the real notification from USPS. My order arrived four days later exactly as described. Thanks Rainbow Rope!

  9. Ugh. I just ran into this problem myself – I bought a TENS unit from them at a con. They told me I’d have it Monday, April 12th. As of April 20th, I have no TENS unit, and can’t get them to reply to me or call me back. The $85 has already cleared from my bank account. So at this point, I’ve been robbed. /sigh

    They apparently make it to a lot of cons. Given their clear poor history, I am really wondering why con organizers continue to invite them.

  10. I placed an order with RainbowRope on 7/19. I had an item in the cart that was “backordered” so I removed it and thought everything was fine and dandy. Here it is nearly a month later and nothing. I’ve emailed RainbowRope through their website, I’ve also emailed RainbowRope-Liz via FetLife. I’ve received no responses thus far.

    I’ve seen RainbowRope at FetCon in Tampa, FL and SouthEast Leather Fest in Atlanta, Ga. Naturally, I assumed they were on the up and up due to vending at the cons. It appears I was quite wrong. Needless to say, I will never order from this website again.

  11. I wouldn’t say they weren’t legitimate, I did get my rope after all. What I would say is that in my experience their customer services is quite lacking. Despite their comments a while back, nothing really seems to have changed. That is disappointing.

    Please link to this post, so that more people can find out about this.


  12. Same here, I placed an order on 29 June 2010. Its now 13 August 2010. My order has been pending all that time. I’ve not been able to make any contact with the company throughout that time. Calls go unaswered, emails go unanswered… not sure there is much more to say really.

  13. Rainbow Rope would receive much better reviews if they left a clear disclaimer on their site that orders would take 4-8 weeks to complete, and if they responded to calls and e-mails with a quick message to note their status and how long (realistically!) the order might take.

  14. I kinda wish I had found this entry before I had place my order. It’s been sitting there for two weeks “pending” and I haven’t gotten a response to my email. Now, it is the holiday, but what is the point in paying $21+ for priority shipping if the package isn’t going to be rent quickly? Hopefully it will get here quicker than some people have experienced.

  15. I also have the perpetual “pending” order. I placed an online order Nov 10, 2010. I sent a status inquiry on Nov 20, 2010. I finally canceled the order in disgust on Dec 5, 2010. It was for 125′ feet of rope, plus a rigger’s ring, so neither a worthless order nor an overwhelming one. I have yet to receive a SINGLE response from them, of ANY kind. The rope was to be a Christmas present so I’m very disappointed as their product quality has a great rep, but it sounds like any planned “improvements” for 2010 failed to materialize. I’ll never order from them online again, and I’ll never order anything from them at a con unless it’s in stock, on the table, in take-away condition.

  16. I placed my order October 30th, 2010 and as of December 11th I am also on an eternal “pending” status. I have called and sent emails with no response. Frankly I don’t see why it’s so hard just to send a reply saying the order is still acknowledged. Terrible.

  17. Master Void:

    Thanks. One bit of good news is that a few minutes I received an automated message from them saying my order had been updated from Pending to Processing, so at least *something* is being done. I’ll keep the trail here updated.

  18. A second update. I also just received an email from Liza apologizing for the delay, and offering a discount on my order. It has up my opinion somewhat, but I’ll withhold judgment until I actually get the rope.

  19. Final update, the rope arrive today. The funny things about it is that my order is still showing as “Processing” on their site.

  20. I placed an order with rainbowrope on 2/2/11, and then did some research after the fact (stupid me, I know..) and decided to email them that same day just to point on my concerns that I had heard some bad stuff about orders taking forever to get shipped. I heard back that same day letting me know it was already being packaged and should be shipped soon and I’d get another e-mail when it was shipped. I never received an email, so on 2/4 I decided to e-mail asking what happened and didn’t get a response until Monday 2/7. Apparently she couldn’t get USPS to print the shipping label for her on Wednesday before they left for an event early Thursday morning. As of 2/8 the order is already in USPS hands on its way to California. Couldn’t be happier, and my wife is relieved!

  21. thddstby – have you actually received your order?

    The reason I ask is because I placed an order on the same day as you 2/2/11. I contacted rainbow rope on 2/9/11 to check in since the order still stated that it was processing. I was contacted back by Liz and told that the item was being shipped out that day and would arrive at my house by the end of the week. It is now a week and a half after I was told the package would arrive. I have sent 3 follow up emails since and none of them have been replied to. On top of that, the website still states my order is pending. So either they did not ship the package when I was told or it has been lost and the company is unwilling to assist me in any way. This is not acceptable customer service. I can only hope that the package will eventually reach me.

  22. I have ordered from them before last year and had no problems. In fact, the shipping and processing was handled well. Their rope quality is great and I love it. However, I recently placed an order on 2/21/11. Its now 3/19/11 and the order status is still on “Pending!!” I have sent two emails and no reply. I am very dissatisfied in their customer service. I have checked with my bank and they have not charged anything but come on now. Answer your phone and get going already. It’s almost a month. This is ridiculous!

  23. Just another update from me (I posted above on 13 August 2010).

    How is this for a sordid tale?

    I placed an order with Rainbow Rope on 29 June 2010.
    $171.35 was taken from my credit card on 1 July 2010.
    The web site still claims my order is ‘pending’. Today is 13 April 2011, and I’ve still not received any rope – or a refund. This is otherwise known as theft…

    After many e-mails and attempted telephone calls, I got an e-mail from Liz on 4 October 2010 confirming payment had been taken and that the order was still showing as ‘pending’. She asked if I would still like the order shipping, to which I replied ‘yes’.

    Since 4 October 2010, I’ve heard nothing (despite lots more e-mails).

    Seriously, you need your head examining if you order with these guys… I’ve been waiting 288 days for some service!

  24. I placed an order with RR back in January, and am in Pending status. I think. Stupid me, I figured it was a one-shot order so I didn’t register, just clicked the option for “just send me my rope already” basically.. Stupid stupid stupid. I can’t check my order status OR cancel my order, I’ve sent them an email and cannot leave a voicemail as the box is full, to no avail. Lucky for me, they have not taken my money yet, but I’m cautiously watching my bank account because at this point they could decide at any point to suddenly process my order. >.<

  25. Great. Wish I’d seen this thread before, of course. I ordered something from them about a week ago, and now have a feeling I’ll never see my order. Their site has been down since about 2 days after my order was placed, and I can’t get a hold of them.

    I’m just bummed because I can’t seem to find the items I ordered anywhere else online. Thankfully my order was only about $30.00, so if it never gets filled it’s not a huge loss, but still, annoying.

  26. I to wish I had seen this before I ordered. Had been told that rainbow rope shipped quickly… but having ordered 2 weeks ago and now getting zero response from them I am not to hopeful I will actually get the rope anytime soon.

  27. I also wish I saw this thread before ordering 210′ of rope for almost $100 with shipping. Have messaged them repeatedly through the website, via email, Fetlife, and voicemails. Nada. I finally started a dispute with my bank. Hopefully it is approved.

    I ordered 14 Nov, Money cleared out of my account 21 Nov. Order moved to “processing” on 23 Nov. It is now 12 Dec and still no reply to my bank, me, or my ordering updating any status. Severely mad, left a blog also myself about this to spread the word. Like I told the, with technology today there is ZERO excuse to not even acknowledge an email. Crappy company, don’t care how great the rope is. This is theft, plain and simple. I’m sure I’m not getting paid interest on my money that she is holding, which I would be accruing if I had kept it in my bank.

  28. I have had ordering/shipping problems from them as well. I do like their rope and I would like to find another source for the same rope. My virus protection program won’t even let me go to that site anymore because of viral infection warnings. Seems like they really need a site enema

  29. I found this thread right after I had placed an order and was filled with no small amount of dread. I had ordered 100 ft of 1/4 red MFP and 51 ft of 1/4 black MFP. However, I would like to say that my feelings were put to rest today. I placed my order on 3 Mar 2012, received a shipping notification email on 7 Mar 2012, and my order arrived on 12 Mar 2012. Not a terribly bad time for turnaround on an order that was placed on a Saturday afternoon, was shipped the following Friday and arrived the next Monday.

  30. James,

    I am happy you got good results. One can only hope that it continues. But I won’t hold my breath. Still, if others have good results, please let me know.

  31. I wanted to post something here to let folks know about my experience with buying online from Rainbow Ropes. Before placing the order I googled Rainbow Ropes to see what was out there, good, bad or indifferent. I found this blog; read it and second guessed my purchase. I then realized that the initial posts was from a couple of years ago and others had had better luck since then. I also figured the fact that Liz had personally taken the time to comment here was a good sign. Since I had a few questions about my order before placing it, I sent them an email and decided I’d see what kind of response I got.

    In less than 48 hours Liz responded to my questions (which included my concerns about past online ordering problems I read about here). She was friendly, helpful and was happy to explain that they had worked very hard to improve their ordering system. Based on the excellent customer she provided (IMO), I placed my order. As promised, I received updates throughout the order processing and despite most of the folks at Rainbow Ropes being at an event the weekend before I placed my order it arrived today, exactly one week after I placed it. When I opened the box, everything was exactly as I expected and there was a even a handy free surprise included.

    If my experience is any indication, they have definitely improved their ordering process and their customer service was excellent. I will happily order from them again and encourage anyone who has hesitated to give them a chance or another chance if you had trouble in the past.

  32. That is great to hear that things were so satisfactory in your case. I’m still reluctant to give them a second shot, given my story and those others have recounted here.

    I hope that I will hear many other tales of success.

  33. Most of the Hemp she is carrying now I some really high quality and some of the best colors I’ve seen to date on hemp. I found out she is buying from iLove-Rope.com, they were very helpful in answering all of my questions! I really loved how much communication was involved between myself and the team at iLove-Rope.com.

  34. Things haven’t changed in April of 2014 I’m afraid. I ordered a couple of weeks ago. Nothing. Sent e-mail, FB, Web forum, phone. No call back. Now the website is defunct and I’m out my $$$.

  35. I used to supply them rope. I ended up taking them to court to get payment. I got pennies on the dollar.

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