Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Let's give a round of applause for e.l.f.! (Conclusion of issues!)

After my last post when things still had not been resolved, I received an email from Barbara Margolis, the Customer Relations Manager for e.l.f. US. Barbara was much more courteous than other representatives I spoke to from the company. You can read her email here:


Text of the email:
"Hi Wendy,
I am the customer relations manager at e.l.f. and was forwarded your email by my team. I am very sorry for the confusion and would like to clear up this issue. This appears to have been simple human error at our warehouse regarding not properly crediting you for which items were not shipped with your order, not a matter for federal agencies. We were overwhelmed with orders during our recent sale and receive thousands of emails every day. We do strive to give the highest level of customer service to each customer, however we do sign each email "the e.l.f. team." We are sorry that this was offensive to you - we certainly do not mean it to be!
Our company policy for the 70% off sale was to refund for any item that was not in stock at the time of shipment. My team has evidently already issued a refund on your credit card for the products. When I return to my office on Monday, I am going to personally see if we have those products in our showroom and see if I have them to send you, free of charge, since you your order was mismanaged.
Please feel free to contact me personally at any time.
Sincerely,
Barbara Margolis
Customer Relations Manager
e.l.f. Cosmetics
347.227.4629
bmargolis@eyeslipsface.com"

Wow, we have a human being here!  I responded with the following:

  
Text:
"Thank you for your response, Barbara. You seem a lot more eloquent than the person who last responded :)
Can I ask when the refund was issued? My bank doesn't have anything and have even checked with Visa to see if anything is pending, and they have nothing. They did tell me it can sometimes take up to 2 weeks to show properly, though. I will keep an eye on it and let you know if nothing develops next week.
Sorry if I seemed abrasive in my second email, I felt as thought my concerns had not been addressed and when there's an issue of charging someone for items that were not provided, it becomes a potential fraud situation. I run a beauty blog and I intended to do a large giveaway with most of the items, and I felt uncomfortable hosting a giveaway if I felt that your company was not being savvy in its practices.
I initially understood that items were supposed to be refunded at the time of shipment (that is a common practice, nothing unusual) but when I checked my bank account and did some math, I realized something was wrong. I wasn't necessarily content with just getting a refund, as my original email stated; I wanted the items (specifically the Radiance Enhancers) as I had offered to send them to some friends that were unable to make a purchase during the sale. As you can understand, I felt like I was letting them down if I just accepted the refund, especially when the items appeared to be in stock.
Again, thank you for your email and I will keep you abreast of the situation. I will also post your response on my blog and be sure to let everyone know that you've made the move to solve the issues at hand. I would like to inform you that I received a number of responses on my original post with people that had issues with your company not issuing refunds and with never receiving products that they paid for. I'm not sure if they attempted to contact you, however, but I thought I would make you aware of some other issues that may be lurking here as well.
Wendy Dunlap"

Her response again:
Text:
"I totally understand, Wendy, it can be frustrating dealing with a canned response from customer service.
I am not at the office today, but I think the refund was issued yesterday or today so it may not have posted yet.
If you would ask anyone on your blog to contact me directly, I would really appreciate it, I will see that they are taken care of. If we have the item(s) in stock, I can ship them (some are out of stock). Unfortunately our inventory system and warehouse just could not keep up with the insane amount of orders we got on our 70% off sale. It was not our intention to short-ship or not credit properly, just warehouse errors, and my  elves are doing the best they can to keep up with customer issues while fighting the heat wave in NYC at the same time. We are also in the process of moving to a larger warehouse so this is exacerbating the problems.  :(
Thank you for your understanding!!! Have a great weekend. I will definitely check for those enhancers on Monday and send them to you from our showroom, if I have them.
Barbara Margolis
Customer Relations Manager
e.l.f. Cosmetics
347.227.4629
bmargolis@eyeslipsface.com"

Wow, a manager working on her day off? Interesting. Just to save having to put more images up, she contacted me this past Monday and said that the Radiance Enhancers were on their way to me. I will let you guys know when they arrive. As of today's date, I still do not have a refund for the items, but considering Visa told me that it can take up to 14 business days for the refund to show in my account, I am not surprised.

As an overview, Barbara acknowledged that there were issues in the company's order processing and customer service system. I will probably write her an in-depth email on some things that I feel need to be corrected; but for now, I feel satisfied with their response. However, I shouldn't have had to go through all of that to get my items. She made herself available to me, but not every customer is afforded that luxury. No customer should fall through the cracks.

That being said, I will probably never order from e.l.f. again. The items I ordered are lovely and swatches will be up soon, and I will still host a giveaway with the items I purchased for that, but I don't feel comfortable giving my money to a company with poor service. I know that my issue got corrected but there are a lot of people who did not have the same outcome.

If you are reading this, and had problems with your order at any time, Barbara instructed me to have you contact her directly at bmargolis@eyeslipsface.com. Be sure to include your order number. If you are international, I'm sure she can refer you to someone from the appropriate branch for your country. I urge you to get these issues solved while the company is willing to help you!

I am glad that my issues were resolved and that the products I received have been good thus far. I hope you enjoy the swatches when they go up, but I would caution anyone before ordering from this company!

10 comments:

  1. Well, at least it's done with but as you said, it's a sorry thing when it has to come to that! I'd file that one under too little too late.

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  2. So glad it's been taken care of! I hope that refund comes to you soon.

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  3. Wow! Good for ELF to actually have a person respond to you! Hopefully they will re-evaluate their CS!

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  4. I hope you get your refund soon. Honestly, I'm not comfortable ordering from elf at all, because I do feel like your situation getting resolved this way is probably in the minority, but I'm glad things got set right.

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  5. She did a good thing by contacting you personally but sometimes it can be too little, too late. I know that I had little interest in their products from the beginning, and after hearing of recent issues I can confirm have zero interest in purchasing from e.l.f.

    I hate to be cynical, but I am wondering if when you mentioned that you would contact a federal agency and also when you acknowledged that you run a beauty blog, if it was that information which may have prompted your plight to go to her desk? I have a feeling those two items had a lot of weight. If that were the case, it makes me sad, because I am sure there are many consumers who are 1) not aware of federal agencies that regulate business practices, and 2) do not have a well-read beauty blog, and their issues may go unrecognized. :-(

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  6. Pretty much what Mandy said. Plus my own experience of their CS was less than satisfactory - I made a small order, waited about a month (which is long but not overly long for international shipping) and nothing. Then two months later I emailed them to ask if I could either get a refund or for my order to be re-shipped. I got a reply saying my payment "hadn't gone through" so they hadn't sent me anything. I couldn't see any payment history in my bank account but it's still a damn stupid way to run a business.

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  7. Ehhhhh. Oh, elf. Such a shame. I'll still order from elf as I'm ordering from the UK and it's not the same physical people dealing with things but it does upset me a wee bit - why can't we have cheap stuff with no hassle?! Aaaargh!

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  8. I agree with Mandy, though I'm glad the issue is somewhat resolved. It definitely feels a little like she stepped in to stop you going to the FDA or what not.

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