Tuesday, January 16, 2007

This Customer is Complaining : The L'Oreal Lineur Intense Disaster!

Recently, I made a comment about complaining to companies when you are not satisfied with the quality of their products that you spent your hard-earned money on.

I have spent many years working in retail. Sadly, too many years! In these challenging years being a department store associate/makeup counter artist/beauty salon coordinator, I have learned the vast difference between good customer service and bad. As well, I have learned that the customer is not always right as your bosses will often tell you. There are one too many people out there looking for a deal or to make your life sheer hell by their silly demands. Hell, once I had a customer return an old bath mat that had a decade old sanitary napkin rolled up inside it. But hey, according to my manager - the customer is always right and we gave her money back despite purchasing the damned bath mat ten years ago. Not to mention, the old sanitary napkin. Eww.

The other day, I received my vouchers in the mail from Colgate-Palmolive. You see, I complained about one of their products not being up to my standards. To put it bluntly, their anti-perspirant promised 24 hour protection but in a matter of two hours at work I was stinking up like a dirty hippy. At first, I thought I had acquired suddenly pungent pits overnight somehow. Then I spoke to my mother who just so happened to purchase the same product. The results were the same. She was stinking it up like a dirty hippy too!

I love to complain, don't get me wrong. I simply do not like complaining when it's about something that I purchased on my own. I don't want to seem like I am just another annoying customer looking for a bargain or a discount. I dealt with enough of those people in my days of retail and salon coordinating. I guess you can never honestly tell who is being honest when they write a letter or complain through e-mail, let alone to your face. That's why I feel tremendously guilty this week, even though I am being honest.

This week, I wrote a letter to L'Oreal Canada to complain about the packaging of their liquid eyeliner (Lineur Intense). I have been using this particular products for at least a decade and never had one single problem. One morning, I opened up the bottle of liner and it broke. I was crushed. Yes, there are bigger problems in the world but all hell breaks loose when you mess with my L'Oreal liquid liner and me!

I'm attached to this product. I could be spending my money on cheaper liquid liners(or even more expensive ones) but I choose L'Oreal because I am faithful. I cannot cheat on Lineur Intense with a knockoff, a cheap imitator. And then it breaks! Liquid liner is all over my hands. There is a gaping hole in the bottle. It is impossible to use precisely. It blobs up. It's a bloody mess, to say the least. I have to wrap the bottle up in plastic wrap and prop it up in the corner of my bathroom counter so it won't fall over and spill. I can no longer throw it in my purse with confidence and convenience. And this makes me sad, as a typically satisfied and long time user of L'Oreal Cosmetics.

Should I feel guilty about complaining to the company? I've spent a lot of money on them over the past decade or more. I didn't force the bottle open. I'm a weak vegetarian with weak vegetarian arms, for crying out loud.

I'm curious...
Has anyone else out there have any customer complaint stories with cosmetics companies? Any weird customer returns at your work? If so, do post a comment and share them with me!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have tons of years of retail experience as well and I do not feel bad complaining, or complimenting. I have written a company to tell them how much I just adore their product, and also how disgusted I am with a formula change/new product/new marketing that isn't very good. I bought a L'Oreal mascara in college and opened it up and the wand was broken off inside. I returned it to the drug store, but still wrote to complain because I felt they should know about the lacking quality.

My favorite customer return was when I worked at Express back when "no sale is final." End of the summer, woman returned several pairs of washed, worn, pilled and bloodstained shorts. Still had the receipt, so got her full money back, but not before holding them up in front of the whole crowd and loudly asking "did these have blood stains in the crotch when they were purchased? Is that the reason for the return???"

When I worked for The Body Shop I had a woman who would buy a product, scoop out 90% of the product (could see it was done with a spoon) and then return it, always claiming the product was "too caustic" for her skin. After a couple of these visits I told her I could no longer sell her product from my store because I feared for her skin and that maybe if all these products are so darn "caustic" she should consider not using so much before returning, and maybe just shopping elsewhere. Gosh that felt good!

7:08 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Ah! I'm glad to know that I am not the only one who feels the same way! I don't feel that guilty anymore about complaining(and complimenting) about my liquid liner.

Ages ago, I bought a Max Factor waterproof mascara that would NOT wash off. I regret not complaining about it now when I think about it. I even called their customer complaint line and they treated me like I was a complete moron who did not know how to remove makeup. I'm a girl who wears makeup - of course I know how to remove it! I pretty much had to let it wear off on its own - needless to say, it wasn't pretty. I woke up looking like Tammy Faye.

Anyway, kudos for you for standing up to the sneaky customer at The Body Shop. If I knew now what I knew then, I would have been a lot more lippier with customers when I worked retail! :)

Thanks for the comment!

7:36 PM  

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