On X by Trollbeads and Peeling Rubber Links

X by Trollbeads is under one month old and I’ve been inundated with concerns centred on the durability of the rubber links. This X by Trollbeads blog article brings the news regarding X by Trollbeads and peeling rubber links.

I’ve not hidden my enthusiasm for X by Trollbeads. Critics have argued that neither the anchor chain that inspired the concept, nor the idea of removable links are new. While I agree with this, I also think the X by Trollbeads aesthetic is considerably removed from other products. Following my recent review of the X by Trollbeads All Saints link, I received a number of comments regarding the durability of the rubber links. Quite specifically some X by Trollbeads owners have experienced their rubber links peeling. My own rubber links have flecks of rubber attached to the surface. I’d always assumed these were merely left over rubber from the production process. As such I appealed to readers to send me pictures of their peeling rubber links and a few ladies have obliged. (On that note, a personal thanks to those people!)

This article highlights the issue of the peeling rubber links, an issue now acknowledged by Trollbeads.

X by Trollbeads Rubber Links

The X by Trollbeads rubber links offer both an economical entry point for the brand (a full rubber bracelet with one silver or bronze lock is incredibly cheap) and an edgier look. It’s matte effect and true black colour offers a real contrast to the silver, bronze or gold links. While some people are viewing the rubber links as placeholders until more expensive links can be purchased, this was never the actual intent of Trollbeads. While part of the appeal is undoubtedly the price point, these weren’t designed to be discarded at a later date, rather to offer a different option. The rubber links are neither soft nor do they stretch.

X by Trollbeads

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X by Trollbeads Rubber Links Peeling

As mentioned these images are courtesy of a number of readers so please don’t reproduce them.

X by Trollbeads

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X by Trollbeads

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X by Trollbeads

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X by Trollbeads

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This issue has now been acknowledged by Trollbeads who state it was a problem associated with the first batch of rubber links. Retailers are authorised to offer replacements for these peeling links if you return them to the store they were purchased from.

This is a known issue affecting the very first production run of the rubber links. We have identified and resolved the issue.

All existing links from the production run in question have been recalled, and we are offering to replace faulty rubber links free of charge for all affected customers.

X by Trollbeads Rubber Links Summary

The peeling issue doesn’t appear to be significant to the point that it’s hindering the use of the bracelets but obviously it’s an aesthetic problem that shouldn’t be occurring. Hopefully the problems has been rectified and these issues should stop once the earlier affected links are returned and replaced.

You can’t see the issue when the bracelet is worn, the links need to be examined quite carefully to catch the issue. Indeed most collectors become aware of it when flecks of rubber are left on their wrists.

While I appreciate the Trollbeads team acknowledging the issue and offering replacement links, I also feel they should be making a public statement regarding this via social media.

As always I love to hear from my readers. Have your X by Trollbeads rubber links had this problem? Have you had them replaced by your retailer? Hit the comments and let me know!

Comments
  1. Debra

    Hi Victoria,

    How do we know if the links we purchased were in that production run?

    My links are perfect, they don’t have any leftover pieces still attached, but I would still like to know if I got good ones or bad ones.

    I’ve only wore mine once and I think I took it off each time I washed my hands. At first I was every concerned that soap and water would be a problem. I posted a note on three different sites and everybody told me it would be ok. I haven’t worn it since because I’m waiting on a couple new pieces to arrive and thanks to Thoughts being backordered they were delayed, but have now been shipped.

    Please keep us updated if you hear any more information. I was planning on getting my daughter one of these for Christmas and I want to make sure I’m getting good links.

    Thanks
    Debra

    • endangeredtrolls

      Hi Debra 🙂

      I don’t think there’s any way to know unless the links start peeling. Trollbeads have known about this for a little time now and I think they recalled the afflicted links so any recent purchases should be okay I think.

      In regards to buying for your daughter – there should be NO problem with this. As mentioned from my understanding the first batch were recalled so stocks currently arriving with retailers will already be “new” and supposedly fixed links.

      I think that’s really all I can tell you though.

      Kind Regards
      Victoria

  2. Angela

    Hey Victoria,

    Hope all is well with you? Thsnks so much for this article. I had several concerns about X when I first saw the launch last month.My top one was if they had not solved their Trollbeads woes then it would stand to reason the same issues would plague this brand.There have been both production and distribution problems, doing a launch with no product, or back ordered product makes little sense. As X after its grand launch ends up loosing momentum and now with this some excitement.

    My favourite dealer had sent me a couple rubber links to get an idea about the scale and size. My first thoughts were smaller, stiffer but disposable.They may not have intended the rubber links to be disposable, but what else would and could they be when they are sold for $2. One could not even get a Coffee for that price.Plastic/Rubber no matter what it is called is still petroleum based and as such wether it is a toy flower pot or disposable gloves it will break down.

    What bothers me is Trollbeads knew that the first batch of links had a problem, why release them, why weren’t they scrapped, why were they sold and marketed as being non disposable when they knew this could be an issue?Now they have to deal with recalls and announcements. When this should have been dealt with back in June-July.Did they think it would be cheaper to release them and hope people would not notice the bits and pieces littering their wrists?

    Having to replace, apologize and rebuild trust will be more costly.On the other hand.Had they marketed the Rubber link as being a temporary place holder people would be excited to see how long they could have a link last.

    • Lizzie

      …. Angela, good thoughts and just brilliant that last bit ! Indeed, if they were marketed as disposable there would almost definitely be people taking it as a challenge to make them last, lol, and finding the bits and shavings to be quirky appeal. Funny…
      I am relieved that I did not find this line at all appealing. 🙂 I’m sure I will like a component here or there, but I think I’ve escaped the cost of yet another collection !

    • Debbie K

      Angela, I have your same concerns about this being marketed as a viable long term jewelry product, if it is essentially made out of plastic. I haven’t seen the links in person yet (have ordered one to see it and it hasn’t arrived yet), but wonder, like you, if it isn’t bound to break down over time. As you said, if this was expected, with the cheap price, then people would accept it when it happened. But if we are supposed to be wearing this with precious metals it degrades the whole line if the cheap parts start to show wear. It’s kind of an odd situation.

    • endangeredtrolls

      Hi Angela 🙂

      I’m well and I hope you are too 🙂

      Here’s my understanding 🙂 The rubber links aren’t intended in Trollbeads eyes as disposable or place holders. They consider them quite an integral part of X, both due to their affordability for entry level products and as an edgier more “urban” option for a younger crowd. Rubber and silicone jewellery is reappearing as a popular alternative due to both the colour and the matte texture it can bring to the market.

      They didn’t, however, know of the problem until customers started contacting both themselves and their retailers complaining about the peeling links. X was a very tightly kept secret as you know. No one at Trollbeads was even allowed to wear them in public. I guess the cost of this being that they weren’t tested for their durability and it’s only when it was out in the mass market that the issue came to light.

      For me the rubber links are definitely part of the appeal. I don’t ever see myself wearing a full silver bracelet – I like the contrast so unless they bring out a blackened silver option, I’m sticking with a heavy amount of rubber links I think 🙂

      /hugs

  3. rainey

    Thank you to Victoria and everyone who submitted pix so this issue could be understood and get addressed. I was able to send one of the earlier pix that Victoria put up to illustrate to my online retailer what I couldn’t accept so that they could do a bit of quality control on their end. They are lovely people. (Trollbeads at the Commons in Massachusetts if I can put in a plug for them) They understood that I am a certifiably anal person who would end up buggy with rough pieces hanging off and took care that I could be happy with what I got and not give up on the whole system prematurely.

    If TB is acknowledging the prob and offering replacement then I applaud them. A bit more quality control before the release would have been in order but I’m sure it will go a long way to reassure the early buyers that they can get what they thought they were buying with just a bit of trouble of returning to their seller and all will be well in the end.

    So thanks again everyone!

    PS How could anyone have let those examples above go out the door? A manufacturer, a TB distributor and a sales person all handled those things before they were delivered to a customer. In at least that case, I think it would be very appropriate customer relations if TB stuck a silver link in with the replacement rubber link/s.

    • Debbie K

      Rainey, I agree with you, in these highly competitive times just replacing a defective product is not always enough to win a customer back. Because it doesn’t account for the trouble it caused that customer to discover the problem and have to return it. Replacing a product is a *minimal* response, and doesn’t inspire a huge amount of loyalty or faith. When a company goes above and beyond just replacing, it tells the customer that they care enough about what happened to be sure it doesn’t happen again. A silver link might be too much to ask, but they could come up with a more creative solution.

    • endangeredtrolls

      Hi rainey 🙂

      You may definitely plug Trollbeads at the Commons, particularly as they’re now being kind enough to advertise with me 😀 I’ve only known them for a short time and it’s Robin I primarily deal with but such lovely people!

      My gut feeling is that these products weren’t tested for wear and tear durability due to how secretive X was. I heard at the launch that people at Trollbeads were forbidden from wearing the product out and about, just as a precautionary measure I guess. Considering that, how much testing could they have done really? The down side then is that this happens.

      /hugs

      • rainey

        How wonderful for both you and them!

        I’ve been buying from them for a couple years. I deal with Mary but mostly by e-mail. Still, their readiness to take care of their customers has always been evident and I am happy to have connected with them.

        Isn’t this a coincidence?!

      • Rebecca

        Hi Victoria,

        I just wanted to add another plug for Trollbeads at the Commons and say that I’m so glad they are advertising with you now. I’ve always been very pleased with my beads from them and found them to be very helpful. Whether I contact them by email or by phone it always feels like I’m chatting with good friends. ~Rebecca Keene

        • endangeredtrolls

          Yay! Lots of people assume that I get excited about new retailers due to the financial perks and of course that’s part of it. On the other hand I love being able to work (albeit just a teeny bit) with some of the largest and most popular retailers within the community.

          Also, they have that beautiful doggy <3

          Kind Regards
          Victoria

  4. ggf

    I bought my links in internet store. If I will sent him a peeling link for 1,5 eu, post costs will be 3 eu 😀 It is cheaper for me just to buy new. Or to send back all rubber links, peeling and not… 😀

    • endangeredtrolls

      This I understand. Really you need to be sending back a bracelet or twos worth of links to make it worthwhile on postage 🙁

  5. Angela

    I understand the need for being secretive but I do not understand stupidity. If you are releasing a product that is not tested them say it is disposable. Rubber/plastic wearing against metal is disposable that is why rubber washers are never used on metal bearings. Garden hoses have rubber washers , they have to be replaced as they get worn out.
    Tests for the Rubber part could have been as simple as tying a bunch of them into a sock and washing them repeatedly either in a dish or clothes washer and detergent. In a controlled situation the water in washer is recycled into a drum, decreased cost of resources. Leave them exposed to sunlight in between washings.All this if they did not want them lab tested.

    Trollbeads please do not leave yourselves open to these problems.No matter what you thought or how you visioned the Rubber links they are disposable.. After the grand launch here you are being Pretzels trying to explain , apologize and satisfy customer fears of will I get one of the the rubber links that will peel or not.

    To make matters worst in some peoples eye Retailers are also on the same hook. The ones who did not agree to carry X ,in the first wave now see justification in not having X at all they don’t want the perceived future head aches.The one who agreed to carry the brand are probably worrying that they are going to have a host of other problems.
    Can anyone imagine how thrilled Pandora is about this?
    Like rainey I am very anal and had I bought these on line and had to be mailing them back and forth I would be so ticked off as each way shipping cost is $3.00

    • endangeredtrolls

      I also think something should have been said about this on social media. Okay so people can contact their retailers or Trollbeads directly to complain and they’ll be offered replacements but I prefer a proactive approach as I think the clarity just feels more genuine when a mistake has been made. Honestly the issue should have been mentioned on their Facebook page assuring those who have peeling links that the issue is now rectified and they were entitled to a replacement. Social media these days is so vital in allowing a brand to communicate directly with so many fans.

      On that note.. anyone want to hazard a guess at why on earth the X by Trollbeads official Facebook page is in Danish?! This is something that really bugs me. If a brand is international and doesn’t launch individual pages for each market then surely it makes sense to make the updates in English? The official Trollbeads page is in English. I actually keep checking to see if I’ve somehow missed a global page opening up but it’s really irritating me! Imagine if Pandora updated their page in Danish…

  6. Kathrine

    Im not surprised if I owned one of these I would be swapping out the rubber rings ASAP what am I saying – I actually would not buy one as it comes off looking like the sort of cheap jewelry that you would buy your 3 year old when your grocery shopping to shut them up I understand it has been marketed like this to make it more affordable to start with and build on but if one of the rubber bits were to break you could loose your whole bracelet. For those people with this bracelet type I wish you well in the building of your collection it’s just not for me

    • endangeredtrolls

      Hi Kathrine,

      Undoubtedly it’s not for everyone. It’s taken me month to really start to get my head around the silicon jewellery trend – in fact with how slow I am deciding whether I love it, it will be out of fashion again.

      I like the rubber links and I admit I’ve not worried in the slightest about them breaking apart but like I said, I appreciate they aren’t going to suit everyone 🙂

      Kind Regards
      Victoria

  7. Marlies

    I just feel sad that the distribution was handled how it was. Trollbeads loyal shops (some of them here in Australia supported the brand for more than 10 years) did not get the first right to carry X – they weren’t even asked. I am still wondering why Trollbeads chose a different distributor again. Doesn’t seem to be fair to the existing Trollbeads distributor. I personally love the idea of X by Trollbeads, love the edginess and the artistic workmanship. Wish them all the best xox

    • endangeredtrolls

      Hi 🙂

      Firstly welcome to my blog and thank you for commenting. Certainly the distribution of X has been a contentious issue. There were many complaints when Diamonds4Ever were declined to sell X. I suppose I kind of understood stores that discounted their products being declined.. though I wish there had been some consideration for negotiation there. I don’t really get stores that “behave themselves” being declined. It feels like a real slap in the face when they’ve followed the rules for so many years 🙁

      Distribution aside though I agree with you. I find X exciting and new and I think it’s going to be amazing to sit back and watch what the first new collections reveal for the line 😀

      Kind Regards
      Victoria

      • Kim

        My own opinion about stores like D4E and Perlen not being offered X is that Trollbeads was cutting off their nose to spite their face. I’m sure there’s still some bad blood after the incident this summer (and my sympathies in that imbroglio were entirely with the stores), since no one likes being made to look like a fool, and that was entirely what Trollbeads looked like over that incident. But whether Trollbeads likes it or not, those are huge dealers which do a large volume of business. Since people already go there for Trollbeads, why cut off a lucrative customer base? Or put another way, why inconvenience customers by making them hunt high and low for the product? Convenience and ease of shopping matter a lot to people in these days of instant gratification and world-wide connectivity, after all. My, that sounded curmudgeonly, didn’t it? 🙂

  8. Tom

    Hi Vic…
    I love my X. Yessir! It is awesome. I have been a TB collector for a long time. Hundreds of beads later and several $$$$, I was thrilled that the company was launching this new line. I ordered and received the first week they were on the market. I have worn it at least 5 of 7 days each week and my X is as fantastic as the day it arrived. I wear it with a different TB bracelet or bangle that I make for the day. The two types of TB bracelets together make a wonderful combo. Compliments abound! As far as a pacifier for a crying child…well that is somewhat insulting to the collectors who have purchased these and love them. A $200.00 bracelet is a little excessive to shut up a three year old. With that being said, variety is the spice of life and to each of us our own.

    • endangeredtrolls

      You know what, I agree with you. I can’t really see if my links are peeling or not. I’ve not bothered picking at the odd rubber bits and they look fine without REALLY inspecting them. I don’t want people to feel I’m defending this “issue” as I understand why some are so furious about the quality concerns. However I can’t help but love my X bracelets dearly and the rubber are definitely part of that for me. I get it’s not a look that appeals to everyone. I know some think it looks cheap (and then the peeling issues merely reinforce this for them) but for me, I’m so happy with it.

      Now Tom… what is the Christmas release going to be about?! Any ideas on links you’d like to see?

    • Lizzie

      It’s nice to see an enthusiastic adopter. I think some of the tone I’ve seen around the ‘net about the rubber is a bit much…. there has been rubber in fashion jewelry for decades at least. I’m glad it doesn’t appeal to me, as I have long been a regular bead collector, and just got into TB and the like recently, and so I already spend too much money on beads specifically, rather than jewelry overall. The look keeps making me think of SCUBA diving and other upscale outdoor sports, I don’t know why. (Of course, one should not wear shiny stuff while diving, but people do, lol.)
      It’s a new product, gotta get the bugs out, people need to chillax. Keep the lines of communication open, and chillax.

  9. ggf

    Now I think. Maybe rubber links are designed as a temporary solution, to help customers to wear one, two or few silver/bronze/gold links. But in their pages all photos of finished bracelets are WITH rubber links. Who saw nice, good looking, inspiring X bracelet without rubber links? I didn’t. All eye-catching designs of these bracelets are based on rubber – metal synthesis.

    So, why they are so bad quality, if they are NOT so temporary???

    I wrote them yesterday asking if I can change all my rubber links, peeling and not, at once? Ir the problem with the peeling is resolved already? I don’t want to pay post expenses few times, because the bad quality of rubber links is not my fault.

    Have no answer yet.

    • ggf

      As I said, I wrote to X-troll with a question. And they answered me:

      “Yes, we have recently become aware of this issue, affecting the very first production run of rubber links. We have since identified and resolved it. We will soon receive an entirely new batch of improved Rubber X links.

      All existing links from the production run in question have been recalled, and we are offering to replace faulty rubber links free of charge for all affected customers.

      Please send all your rubber links back to us by regular airmail and we will exchange the links for you and refund you for the postage used.

      We apologize for the inconvenience this matter has caused you.”

      So, there is not problem about it anymore???

      • endangeredtrolls

        Hi,

        No the problem only affected the very first batch of rubber links which as mentioned were already recalled. Those with that first batch are entitled to replacements. Anyone who’s purchased X rubber links in the last week or two should have received the new production and the issue in these has been corrected 🙂

        Kind Regards
        Victoria

        • ggf

          Yes! And they offers to change these peeling links immediately and refund all post costs. I think, that’s honest.

  10. janey

    Hi Victoria

    Well,well,well. l posted a while ago that l thought TB would surely have tested the rubber links for durability
    but it now looks as if they didn’t, which l find hard to believe of such a company. Tut tut tut TB. You have
    embarrassed yourselves yet again!

    What a farce having to return a brand new product like that but l am going to, rest assured. Not because
    the peeling shows BUT because l am rather worried about the possible breakage and loss
    of my entire bracelet while wearing it should any rubber link give way.

    Troll really should have made sure they didn’t release X until perfected and they had thoroughly tested the
    durability.

    Janey
    oxoxoxoxoxox

  11. Lesley

    Hi
    Please can you find out if anyone else has had the same problem with their X bracelet as I have. Yes, I have peeling rubber links, my retailer has ordered me some replacements and I will change the faulty links over as soon as I can get back to the store. The other problem I have experienced is the rubber inks coming apart whilst being worn. This has happened twice this week, resulting in the bracelet falling to the floor. I believed the chance of this happening was non-existent.
    It would be interesting to see if anyone else has experienced this. I bought the bracelet within the first week of it’s launch and I have been wearing it every day since then.

    Kind Regards
    Lesley

    • endangeredtrolls

      Hi Lesley,

      How dreadful for you! I haven’t had this problem myself, nor have I heard of it. However I’ve approved this comment in the hopes that anyone else reading who has experienced the same thing will reply to you 🙁

      Is it just the rubber links then? Do your links look like they have a larger than normal split where you connect them or anything? I absolutely can’t understand how this has happened to you 🙁 Oh my goodness I feel terrible for you as you can’t really enjoy the bracelet if you’re worried about it falling off!!

      Kind Regards
      Victoria

      • Lesley

        Hi Victoria,
        It has come apart by two different rubber links. I don’t have any decorative links yet, but do have some bronze single and double plain links. So far these have been OK. I am reluctant to buy any more expensive links until I change all the peeling rubber links, wear it for some time, and check whether it comes apart again. I would be really upset if I had spent even more money on it to find out it falls off. It’s such a shame, I really love the look of the bracelet, but it just wouldn’t have the same appeal if all the links were metal.
        Thank you for displaying my post and I look forward to hearing from anyone else who has experienced the same problem.
        Kind Regards
        Lesley

    • Bean Boston

      Yes! I’ve had the same problem — my X bracelet has become unlinked and my bracelet was lost. I was so lucky that it fell of at home and I found it a week later. Mine came apart between the silver star and a rubber link. I do believe that the slits in the rubber links are much too wide. They need to re-design the slits to be as tight as possible with still the ability to be linkable. I’ve noticed that the metal/decorative links are much harder to link together so I believe a bracelet made of entirely metal links (no rubber links) would be secure, but it is so expensive to have an entire bracelet of metal links. Perhaps this is was the plan to encourage customers to buy the pricey metal links.

  12. MaryKaye

    Hello All,

    I wear my XbyTrollbeads bracelet everyday. I have not experienced the peeling issue and certainly have not had my bracelet unlink and fall off. I did not think it was a possibility. I have a store in Lake Placid, NY and none of my customers have had this issue. I also checked other blogs just incase and nothing. I do change my bracelets out. Today’s is the LOVE one. Tomorrow will be the Karma one. I really love this concept of changeable jewelry. I wear my XbyTrollbeads surrounded by 2 Trollbead bracelets. They look great together.

    • endangeredtrolls

      Hi 🙂

      I can’t say I’ve had many issues either and mine have been worn extensively since they arrived. A few readers pointed out that my rubber links were peeling in some of the close up pictures but it really doesn’t bother me if that’s what they’re doing. I have a couple of links with “bits” stuck to them – that’s the best way I can describe them. To my it looks like excess rubber from the molds. I haven’t picked at them to see if they do indeed peel. I’ve just left them be. You can’t see it without very close inspection so it just doesn’t bother me.

      I was very alarmed to hear from the lady who’s bracelet was repeatedly falling off because I myself have answered numerous queries stating that I thought this would be close to impossible. I just have no idea why that issue is happening to her (not that I’m doubting her of course.) Unfortunately, I don’t really know what to suggest either. Like you, I haven’t heard of bracelets falling off 🙁

      Not long now until the Christmas links either! 🙂

      Kind Regards
      Victoria

  13. Lesley Stevenson

    Hi MaryKaye & Victoria
    I have been wearing my bracelet with one less rubber link since the two occasions of it coming undone. So far it has stayed in place. I am wondering whether by wearing it tighter, there will be less chance of the links lining up and coming apart. Of course, I will update you further should it happen again. I live in the UK and to date, don’t know anyone else who has bought the X by Trollbeads bracelet so thought this was the ideal place to share my experience.

  14. Bean Boston

    I have an X bracelet but I’m afraid to wear it now. It fell off somehow and I thought it was gone but LUCKILY I found it a week later. Somehow it must have matched up in just the right way and it came apart between the silver star and a rubber link.

    I’m wondering if anyone else has had this problem before or if this was just a freak thing.

    I did email Trollbeads but got somewhat of a cold response. They said the bracelets were tested before being released to market. I really love Trollbeads, much more than Pandora, but the response I got was such a turn off.

    • endangeredtrolls

      This is horrible 🙁 Another person who has had an X drop off 🙁 You are right about the gap in the rubber links being a shade larger than the silver links though. I have an upcoming article that shows a couple of Trollbeads dangles on the X rubber – I couldn’t do it with the silver.

      I’m so sorry that you had such a poor response from their customer service team too 🙁 There’s never an excuse for that 🙁 It doesn’t seem this is a widespread issue but it’s not YOUR fault that it happened :((

      Kind Regards
      Victoria

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