Thursday, October 1

Can We Talk?


Something that happened about twelve years ago ran through my mind yesterday, as I contemplated using a coupon that was about to expire, to buy a new lipstick. I'm tired of the two colors I have, and I need a new and uplifting color for fall. (It's really sad when you look to lipstick to lift your spirits, isn't it?)

I used to use a brand of cosmetics that is sold in department stores and often has those "buy this and you get this free...." perks. I used to think it was a pretty good deal; back when their lipsticks retailed for $8.50 each and you could get 3-4-5 little samples of make-up, mascara or blush. At the time that I quit using that brand, their lipsticks were selling for around $24.50 each. (That's really ludicrous, isn't it?) The funny thing was that the more expensive their lipsticks got - the smaller the packets of samples got as well. I finally noticed.

The cost was not what made me decide to quit using it, though, it was two salesgirls. For years I had worn a shade of red they called British red. I went to a local mall to get another one and when I asked for it, one of them told me that that color had been discontinued. I was SO disappointed and said something like...."I can't believe it! Every time I find one I like, they discontinue it!"

I looked at them in time to see them roll their eyes and give a little snarky laugh. It was obvious that they thought I was being dramatic and they could not have cared less about my plight. I think the very least they could have done was to say they were sorry, and offer me a comparable substitute. But they didn't, and as I walked away, I heard them laugh again - even louder.

My first thought at that point was to find the store manager and tell him/her what happened, in the hopes that he/she would give them a lesson on how to respond to customers. But then I decided that the manager might not care any more than they did, so I left. Obviously, if this is still a viable memory with me it made a huge impression. And while I am usually a forgiving person, you may want to know that I never entered that Lord and Taylor again, and I never bought another thing from Estee Lauder Cosmetics.

21 comments:

Grannymar said...

I feel your pain Judy. I too use a discontinued colour and am eeking it out with a lipbrush.

The larger cosmetic companies are playing on the young who are willing to buy a new lipstick colour every other week.

I know that most of the cosmetic departments of Stores here in the UK are dependent on the December sales figures (Christmas) to fulfil targets for the year. Perhaps if they reduced prices to a more realistic level, the sales figures would be more evenly spread.

bobbie said...

I know how you feel. I have been given to the one-person-boycott myself from time to time. It may not have much effect on the place I will not frequent any more, but it makes me feel much better, whether it's because of a personal affront or perhaps because I don't like their politics (and large contributions to same).

Shiny Rod said...

It is a shame that customer service has fallen to it's lowest common denominator. When I worked in retail, we made every effort, sometimes in vain, to find want the customer wanted. I seldom see that any more. I mostly get rude comments or blank stares. I was in Krogers the other day and was buying a salad for my lunch. I scoured the almost empty basket for a package of dressing that I preferred. None to be found, I asked one of the deli clerks if they had more salad dressing available. One girl was getting ready to get me some when the other spoke up and told her we don't have any more dressing. She didn't even look. It just so happens that I know the store manager at the particular location. But knowing these are hard times and I didn't want the woman to be scolded or fired, I left it alone.

Pat said...

'It's really sad when you look to lipstick to lift your spirits, isn't it?)'
I do this regularly.
Those girls were very rude - to say the least - and deserved to be reported.

Arkansas Patti said...

I too am locked into a lipstick color that has been my signature so to speak. I look recently embalmed with out it.
I like to think I would have told management but like you I would have just taken a one way walk.
Like a bad restaurant, I don't complain, I just don't go back. I would like to think they miss us. Do ya think? Probably not.

Mar said...

Now I appreciate even more the young girl who helped me find a substitute for my discontinued C*linique lipstick. She was really nice, and that's a reason why I will be going back to that store...!

Granny Annie said...

My signature color was changed from time to time but just the name was changed. Thankfully the color was still my same signature color. I was told a million times that my color was out of style. Regardless it did something to my life to look at my hands with that color on my nails. I've been in an awful slump since the color has been lost forever. Believe me Judy, I feel your pain. Those poor clerks didn't have a clue.

kenju said...

That Lord and Taylor closed several years ago. Perhaps silly, stupid clerks were the reason for that, along with inflated prices.

lucylocket said...

Some years ago I was treated rudely by more than one employee of a nationally known "big box" store. Perhaps I shouldn't admit it, but I was thrilled when the whole chain collapsed.

When I was in high school, I bought a Revlon brand true red lipstick. I wore it only when wearing red because of my coloring. I finally threw it away a year or so ago. I hadn't used it in a long time. I should have kept it. It was only a little over 40 years old!

tiff said...

I'm totally committed to the drugstore brand cosmetics, being way too cheap to buy anything else. Back in the day though, when I had a zillion different cosmetics, I liked the Mary Kay stuff a lot. No more - that's too much to shel out to decorate this aging face! :)

Jamie Dawn said...

I love to look at all those gorgeous glass display counters in the department stores, but I never buy department store cosmetics. I order skin care products and some makeup products from Paula's Choice online, and the rest comes from Walmart. I buy some things from Jane which is a cheap brand, but their products are good, in my opinion.
The way those salesgirls treated you was unacceptable! That is horrible customer service!!!
No wonder you were (and still) are so mad!

Beverly said...

I had a similar experience with one of the office supply stores...too long to go into here, but I will never buy another paper clip there.

On the other hand, the other evening Sarah and I went to the Outback for dinner. The server got our order all mixed up. When the manager stopped by and asked about our meal, and I mentioned it to him, he offered us dessert. While we both would have liked it, I declined, and he took the price of the meal off my bill.

Having a bad expereience there one time will not make me not go back because we generally have good service and our problem was well resolved. Customer service is what it's all about.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I've heard of a company where if you can send them a tiny blob of the discontinued color, they can recreate it for you. Although I'm sure you don't have the old tube any more. I'm the type who likes to choose different shades when I run out.

Chancy said...

Well Kenju, I don't blame you one bit. There is nothing worse than rude sales people. Common courtesy should have led them to refrain from such behavior.

G in Berlin said...

I have had this happen to me several times. The last time, I actually went to the counter in Paris and begged the clerk to help me. He was very polite, but no go. Three different counters in three very high end stores and there were none left.I ordered 4 of them on-line. Just google the maker and color.:)

Mamacita (Mamacita) said...

Judy, I haven't been back to Estee Lauder in years for the very same reason! It's almost as if snarky superiority is a requirement for their salesclerks.

I leave you with these words: Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer. They're bloody AWESOME!

rosemary said...

That is exactly why I don't use MAC cosmetics....the twits that sell the stuff act like they are doing you a favor just waiting on you. I won't ever shop at Coldwater Creek again...a store that was born in Sandpoint....they hire girls that are still in high school and haven't got a brain between all of them. I dress very casually when I go out...clean, neat and looking OK. Once in CC the airhead said to me "You must be looking for our outlet. It's upstairs." I did tell her manager and I did get a 35% discount on everything I bought that day.

One Woman's Journey said...

as the years roll by - I am finding that all my favorites usually are discontinued. then I have to start over. i'm getting use to it.

colleen said...

I found the one I'm using on sale for $1.99 and I love it more than my other $12 dollar one. Problem is, I'll never find it again.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It seems so dumb for those salegirls to treat you with such disdain. Truthfully, you probably should have told the Manager. I am not sure I could give up the whole manufacturer for the stupidity of two salesgirls at a store...but that's me.

Pearl said...

good job. better to do without and vote with your wallet since money is all the voting that is heard in poor retail. I have done the same to retail chains myself over clerk attitude.