Another cosmetics failure

16 Jun

You may recall that a couple of years ago I was trying to buy a foundation from Prescriptives. It turns out Prescriptives had gone out of business, but I was able to order the makeup through their website. The failure was in communication–no real advertising of the closure and misinformation at the counter.

Well, it has happened again. Clinique has discontinued my favorite mascara, without any notice. I went up to the counter, asked for the mascara by name, and was told they no longer carry it. That was it.  My friend and fellow WWPR board member Debbie Friez recommended calling the 1-800 number that the Estee Lauder cosmetics company has for discontinued items (you have to search really hard on the Clinique website for the “Gone but  Not Forgotten program”).

I called the Gone but not Forgotten program, and they said it could take up to two weeks to locate the product, and if they did, they would ship it out to me. After nearly two weeks, not a word. I called the program (and was on hold for 20 minutes) only to find out “that I contacted them before they could contact me” to tell me that the product is no longer available.

What a massive failure from Clinique. First, they discontinued a product just so they could introduce a substitute that is not as good. Second, they failed to inform their customers.  And third, their program for discontinued items is a joke–why would it take two weeks to locate inventory? Why would you not email as soon as you knew you couldn’t fulfill a customer’s request? Perhaps you could give the customer a voucher to try another product for free, etc.

Why should I buy from Clinique ever again? Why would I buy a cosmetic that I like only to have it discontinued? Why would I want to deal with a company that disregards its customers? Clinique has effectively forced me into the marketplace to find another mascara that I like.

A note to male readers: mascara is a product that should be replaced every three months. This made me visit the Clinique counter at least four times a year. And hey, if you are there four times a year, chances are good you will see something else you like.

In any case. the lessons here are as always: advertising alone will  not sell a product. Service will seal the deal. Personal experiences will also influence buying behavior, and in the social media world, may influence the behavior of other people too.

So, if you know of any good hypoallergenic, waterproof, non-flaking mascara, let me know. But please, make sure it is not a Clinique brand.



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