Every once in a while I email a company with a compliment or a complaint. Sometimes, I get a really nice response. I remember, during the pet food scare, emailing Purina because a can of Fancy Feast was full of scary black slime. I just thought they should know, in case it wasn’t a fluke. And they sent me coupons for 15 free cans. Other companies have included Lousianne tea, because I really liked their unsweetened tea flavors. I liked that I could control the amount of sugar or sweetener. Most coffee flavors are full of sugar. And sugar free, which generally comes in only vanilla or hazelnut, are cloyingly sweet. So, the unsweetened flavorings they made (no longer available) were great! I forget how many coupons they sent but what was nice was how appreciative they seemed to be for the compliment. I’ve sent notes to companies when I got really good service and a few times when I was really upset about something.
I got a sample of Thierry Mugler’s Angel perfume last year and I loved it. I don’t wear perfume every day and I only have a few bottles. I used to have a lot but I gave away all the ones I never wore – remember the Halston fad in the 80s? But oh, I really loved Angel and I splurged on an atomizer bottle for $70. That is a serious splurge for me. And now it’s gone. Not because I wore it every day but because the majority of the bottle evaporated. I have a similar atomizer bottle of Casmir that I bought when I was in college – a scary 20 years ago. And I have a bottle of Zen that is even older.
So I was feeling particularly miffed one morning when I got an email from the Thierry Mugler company suggesting I buy some more of their perfume. I was already annoyed at the evaporating bottle and I went to their website and emailed about my experience with it. I did not say that I wasn’t going to ever buy their perfume again, no matter that I liked it. But that’s what I was thinking.
The first response was …..unsatisfying. They suggested that a few samples would make it up to me. I wrote back – politely – to explain further. I had more space in an email than I did with the limited characters of their comment form. I told them that I was used to a higher standard in what I thought was a quality product. And now they’ve promised to replace the bottle – if I send them back the bottle I have so that they can determine what was wrong with it. And that seems fair. And rather unexpected, since I didn’t really expect them to do anything.
A company gains my brand loyalty when they stand up for what is right. A company loses my respect and custom when they blame me for their product failure or make it difficult to get the product replaced. Like that stupid computer company last spring. After what? Two? Three? computers that failed in under a week, they fought with me about getting my money refunded. Eventually, they made “special” arrangements for a refund. But they will never get my business again.
Thierry Mugler’s company is promising to make things right. I may have to spend more money with them. And I will let you know what happens.