complaint department

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.

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12 thoughts on “complaint department”

    1. Compliments in particular are fun. I make it a point when I get helpful tech support to always compliment it. Too often, tech support people are bored and act like users are stupid. I went through a dozen back and forths with the makers of Rift before we found the problem – which turned out to be on my end after all. I was so sure it was their fault! They were kind and helpful the entire time even if I suspect they were referring to me as the crazy lady behind my back and I made sure they knew I appreciated it.

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  1. I had a brilliant experience with Gap a few months ago when two parcels seemed to have gone missing (they hadn’t, they had just been thrown under a shelf at my husband’s work and not passed on), but Gap couldn’t have been more helpful. They just kept sending me the parcels and even refunded my shipping cost. I felt very sheepish when the parcels came to light, but just sent them back and there was never a murmur from Gap. They are based in California and are so, so much more helpful than anything I’ve experienced that’s based in the UK. Top people. I told them so, but they were very relaxed about it. I imagine they get a lot of British people telling them the same thing!

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    1. I had that happen with Pottery Barn with a Christmas gift. It had been a month and it hadn’t come and I needed it, you know, by Christmas. So they sent out another and the very next day, the first one arrived. I called them and they told me just to keep them both! That’s good customer relations.

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  2. I was visiting Hawaii and went to Macys when they had a night of stars event, and there was a guy dressed as an angel handing out samples. It smelled sooo good, I bought a bottle and it came with shower gel and body lotion and a few other things.

    I’ve used it every day since returning back to Australia in December, and I still have a lot of the bottle left. So clearly something went wrong there with the bottle. I’m glad they are replacing it for you.

    People always comment on how great I smell even if they stumble upon me several hours after I left home and I never use more than 2 sprays of the bottle which if you think about it is quite a big achievement when it comes to a perfume. So many of them today are gone within an hour or so.

    Somewhat sadly to buy it over here is a lot more costly than it was in the US and it doesn’t come with any samples or shower gel or other awesomeness. And just quietly the shower gel is brilliant, would highly recommend it if you like the fragrance, the scent stays on the skin for what seems like an incredibly long time. And you can use it as a shampoo too!

    I like to write compliments as well as complaints and oddly it seems a lot of companies don’t know how to deal with a compliment – much of the time they do not even reply. You’ve inspired me – I’ll write a compliment to the makers of Angel and see what happens. 🙂

    BTW I read your blog in my google reader, love your writing and look forward to your posts.

    Cheers,
    Snoskred

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    1. Hi Snoskred! I read a lot more than I comment, I’m afraid. Actually, Angel is so lasting that I often spritz it on a wool ball and use that to apply it. I liked their body lotion but my finances don’t often allow me to indulge. But – since I’m feeling fond toward the company I may have to try the shower gel when I get a little extra money.

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      1. This is not meant to burst your bubble but I found out that depending on the price of the item it is sometimes more expensive for the company to have you ship it back than to just let you keep it.

        I’ve had a few senior Apple tech advisors who went out of their way to be polite and helpful and asked for and got their bosses email and sent them praise for the support I got. Never got a response from Apple but as we know that is Apple. (No Sweets I am not trying to start another argument)

        I tend to complain about things that are really wrong. IBM had an ad once that stereotyped black people so badly that I went on line and found where to send them an email complaining about it and I only saw it once after.

        There was/is an ad by TD Ameritrade where they were saying save your money just in case the Mayan calendar was wrong and were making horribly incorrect statements that if the Earth stopped we would all go flying off into space. I found their website and sent them an email saying they we teaching people the wrong information with that ad because we won’t fly into space as we will not lose gravity and anybody who knows Newton’s laws should know that and that their ad was one of the reasons people are so dumb now days and that they were teaching children misinformation. I actually got a reply to that email saying they take their ads seriously and that they were going to bump my complaint/comment up to the proper department and I have not seen that ad sense.

        My mother bought a chicken pot pie once and there was no chicken in it but she found the companies address and wrote them and got a lot of coupons for her effort and this was before the internet. She also got into a fight with Macy’s about some interest they said she owed them even though she had paid the bill on time and she finally wrote them and said she didn’t need them but they needed her and they sent her a statement saying she owed them nothing and were sorry for the trouble they had cause her.

        It pays to play the game for the most part because companies want your business. That is one of the reasons Wards went out of business because they thought wrongly that they were beholden to their board of directors and stock holders and that doing right by people was not the way to make money. Ha were they ever wrong.

        Be well Sweets and I hope the work on Zoe tomorrow fixes the problem, no pun intended.

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        1. It doesn’t burst my bubble Tom. I’ve had companies insist on a return before they’d refund or replace an item that I know had to cost me/them more to return than it was worth. Some of them, I think, do it just to make it not worth your while to return it. Like rebates. I have heard that most people never send in those rebate forms we think are giving us a great deal. I will give my loyalty to companies that don’t play those games.

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        2. I have heard about the rebates thing too and I am one of the few who is willing to play the game and send them in. Heck for a little time and a stamp and a check for 50$ it is worth it to me.

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  3. Oops, should have proof read my comments. A few words were not complete. There is a we that should have been a were and a cause that should have be a caused. Oh well I was on a roll. Be well Sweets.

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    1. I used to like Charlie! I remember smelling it some time ago and it seemed pretty awful to me. I guess our tastes change.

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