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Old 06-23-2014, 05:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Unwarranted Customer Complaint

Now keep in mind, I'm in a town population 4700 with our next larger town about 40 minutes away. Everyone knows everyone in this town so what happened today has me very frustrated. Here's what happened.

I ran a large 1-week only lotion sale where customers could get anywhere from 30-40% off. A customer came in and purchased the JWOWW Black Bronzer (black bottle). Today she came in and told my employee that I sold her an expired lotion and she wanted a refund so she could purchase another one. My girl didn't know how to handle it so she called me. I ended up speaking with the customer. She told me that I'd sold her expired lotion and questioned why she thought it was expired she said it shows a 2013 date on the bottom. She went on to say that she got on the internet who told her that was an expiration date. I tried to convince her that her information was incorrect and if anything, it was a manufacture date because there is no way my distributor (Heartland) would sell me expired lotion. While she was looking at other lotions she found a few others that had, what she assumed were dates, on the bottom and continued to point out others she felt were discontinued. Just so happens another customer who had purchased a non-sale lotion last week looked at the bottom of her bottle and saw it had a "expiration date" on the bottom of it also and handed it back to my staff and she she didn't want it either. Well, she ended up taking it back.

So I called Heartland and spoke with Ryon. I'm also waiting to hear from Trena at Austrailian gold. I am so irritated right now.

Here's what Ryon told me. He said that Austrailian Gold will sometimes stamp the bottom of their bottles with information which is specific to them, them manufacturer, and is not a manufacturer or expiration. He told me that Austrailian Gold said that their lotions are good for 18 months once opened and used. Just cracking the lid to smell them does not count. So, if could have a bottle on my shelf for 2 years and the 18 month countdown doesn't start until the first time it is used.

I have been checking my FB page just waiting for her to write a bad review and say something negative. Because she basically accused me of selling expired lotions (that's why I was having my sale according to her), I refused to give her her money back. So she left ****** off. She already infected another customer with her theory. I'm not sure how or if I should say anything. I so want to post some info on my FB page but not sure if I should just keep quiet.
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Unwarranted Customer Complaint

In a nutshell, you felt better losing a customer rather than refunding her and selling her another product?
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Re: Unwarranted Customer Complaint

Well, I know, I said it to myself after I cooled off. But here's the deal. She didn't come in asking about expiration dates. She came in and told us that we sold her an expired lotion and we wanted to return it so she could purchase another one. With other customers in the area, she went lotion to lotion to lotion picking them up and saying, this one's expired, this one's expired and on and on. Then went on to say that is why I was having my huge sale was because I was trying to clear out expired lotions. Just so happens that one of the other customers had, 2 days ago, purchased one of the lotions that was said to be expired. That customer then came up to the counter and handed to my staff and told her she could keep it and didn't want it any more. Well, she did take it back so I will have to speak with her.

If she had came in and asked me about expirations dates, etc, I would have explained it to her and given her her money back, but that's not how she handled. She just knew we were trying to defraud her. So I wasn't about to give her her money back knowing that she was going to trash me regardless. She did stay and tan so we'll see what comes of it.
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Re: Unwarranted Customer Complaint

If you really felt you are not selling expired lotions...seems you should of simply told her, you would immediately look into it and let her know ASAP, that you surely do not order thinking they are expired. You let her run away with it.
Customers can get awfully rude when they don't get what they want. Sucks, I know.
I personally wouldn't sell expired product. Even close outs usually are not expired. But if it plainly states expiration date, not manufactured date, seems you in fact are, selling expired lotions?
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Re: Unwarranted Customer Complaint

Not sure if this will help:

On each bottle there is a symbol of a cosmetic jar with the number inside it. It's usually near the bar code. So, in your case it would say 18 inside the jar symbol. All cosmetics/lotions are required to have these for expiration purposes.

This may help you explain to customers.
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Re: Unwarranted Customer Complaint

Also, on how to handle the situation, I would:

Call her and the other customer she "tainted" and ask them come in so you can make the situation right since customer service is of the utmost of importance in your salon. Remember, this is what is supposed to set you apart from other salons.

When they come in, grab the bottle and show them that the 18 symbol on the bottle shows the bottle is clearly nit expired even if the date on the bottom is the manufactured date. Further explain that is why you go through a distributor, rather than on-line to ensure the quality of your product as they maintain proper expiration dates and temperature.

Let them know that you understand if they no longer want the bottle and that you would be more than happy to exchange the bottle for tans since you are unable to resell the bottle since it has been contaminated. I am assuming you have a no refund for lotions sign in place?

Do not post on facebook and create more drama for those that have no idea about this issue. This way you fix your word of mouth problem with these 2 other customers before it goes viral. If you do this they will understand that you really care about their patronage and become very loyal customers. After you explain the correct expiration on these bottles, they may even elect to keep them. In that event, just add a free tan for each for their trouble.

In business, it's not about being right, it's about negotiating terms that make them feel that you actually care and it will bring you more customers in the long run!
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Re: Unwarranted Customer Complaint

I spoke with the rep from Australian Gold again today and she added the information regarding the jar on the bottom of the bottle. I also was able to speak with the customer who was in at the same time. She told me that after she got to thinking about it she realized that her lotion wasn't expired. I hope I'm on shift with Misty when she comes in again. She didn't cancel her membership so I'm assuming she'll be back.

I did make a post on my FB page along with sending out an email to all my clients on how to know if their lotion is expired or not. It was very general and not finger pointing in any way. If you didn't know there was a situation, you wouldn't pick that up from the post/email. Today I added a picture of the back of a bottle of lotion and pointed to the jar on the bottom.

Frankly, she needs me more then I need her. There is only one other place in town to tan which is a hair salon with 25 y/o beds. You have to stomp on the floor when you're ready for them to turn the bed on. They are only open til 5:30. If she'd handled it differently, I would have but when she accused me of selling expired lotions--and wouldn't even listen to what I was trying to explain to her. She just knew that I was trying to defraud her because "she read it on the internet".

I don't and never will sell expired lotions. I also don't buy the close-outs because I want my folks to get the best and newest products. I get enough free sample lotions when I place my orders that in my small salon, that affords me some give-aways.
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Re: Unwarranted Customer Complaint

Quote:
Originally Posted by earthangels View Post
Frankly, she needs me more then I need her.
Actually, tanning is a luxury not a necessity. Everyone is expendable. The day you don't realize that is the day you've got a problem whether it be in business, or private employment. IMHO.
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Old 06-25-2014, 03:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Re: Unwarranted Customer Complaint

I would immediately go on to your fb page. WRite up an explanation, without mentioning the events above, what, according to both distributor and mfg have explained the info on the bottle indicates. Mention you are bringing it to your clients attention to clear up some confusion and concerns that have come to your attention
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Re: Unwarranted Customer Complaint

I already did that. I posted a nice explanation with no mention of the complaint. Just put it out there as a good reference to understand your lotions. She hasn't been back in and hasn't read the email I sent via constant contact.
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