This is odd...I thought the bad batch ordeal had been taken care of. Maybe Gabriel could chime in? I recieved one of the free offers of Exotica coals from Devil's Playground. I've been using it for the past few weeks, and I haven't experienced any of the negative things you mentioned. My Exotica's stay intact, heat properly, and perform great.
I was about to order a box of Exotica coals from hookah-shisha soon, but now that I've seen your post, I'm hesitant to buy. The last thing I want to do is pay $8.00 plus shipping, only to have a bad box of Exotica coals. That would suck.