Wednesday, October 16, 2013

CustomHer Service - Ipsy Edition

There is nothing I like more than giving Customer Service a piece of my mind. I love it. I crave the opportunity to give feedback, both helpful and spiteful. So I have decided to regularly bless you all with my wisdom. That's right. I'm going to relay my experience with Customer Service with different companies on a very regular basis because I am an expert and I want to help you all avoid the same nightmare companies I have battled (Comcast) and encourage you to work with companies I love (Zappos! Hooray! Gold standard!)

Listen, I have gotten married, moved, cancelled cable, and shopped out of spite, anger, depression, excitement and happiness lately. I've had a LOT of experience with the folks over at CS lately.

So yeah, I'm going to start regularly reporting on the good, bad and ugly side of dealing with the dreaded Customer Service.


Today's inaugural edition of CustomHer Service is focused on Ipsy is a monthly subscription deal that you pay $10 for and every month, you're supposed to get a bag full of beauty products you might never purchase but end up either tossing or loving. It started as pretty fun and a little confusing (what is "lip liner"? What am I supposed to do with this soy "hair wash"?) But I grew to love it.

Then August came. I was getting married and getting ready to move. Needless to say, I was not focused on whatever nail polish and body lotion I was supposed to get in the mail. So, I missed the fact that Ipsy had totally neglected to send me my bag o' pretty. In fact, I didn't realize it until like 3 days ago. My sister Padrin, who also subscribes to Ipsy, assured me that their CS rules and I'd receive an apology, a free package, AND a reimbursement for the month I missed. So I emailed Customer Service.

"Hi. I didn't get my August Glam Bag." (I know, I also hate the term "glam bag", but what can ya do?) "I know I should have realized this sooner, but I didn't because I'm an idiot. Can I get it resent to me?"

Response (paraphrased): Sorry, we have a 45-day return policy so there is nothing you can do. But hey, don't you just still LOOOOOVE ipsy?! Keep on not cancelling us!

I was unsatisfied with this response and centimeters away from straight-up cancelling. I was reading their email before I was about to get into bed. Geo looked at me with my glasses on, my lips pursed and my hip jutting out as I stood in our bedroom doorway, furiously typing on my phone. He was all "Uh oh, this can't be good."

See, I'm kind of known for letting CS have it when I'm displeased (but also when I'm thrilled!). When I feel cheated, I hurl the phrases "disappointed," "I expected better from you," and "You have no idea what I'm going through" like they are common salutations. I want what I want when I want it, and I don't want to overpay for it. So if and when I get pwnd, I get SUPER annoyed.

In this case, I gave ipsy the benefit of the doubt because I actually do LOVE their service (they send SUPER cute stuff and really fun products that I'd never even think to buy, but then decide that I simply can't live without...even though they've sent me 3 of the same nail polishes in a row. Bygones). Instead of launching a full-fledged "I'M NOT PAYING FOR YOUR CRAPPY SHIPPING PRACTICES" attack, like I would normally do, I instead opted for the "Well, I'm unhappy with that result. Can you reimburse me for the lost month of product?"

I waited about 5 hours before I was informed that they would, in fact, send me that $10 package that I pathetically wait for every month. I had won. It was a success, but it was not one I'm proud of. Ten bucks? That's what I was fighting for?

I'm annoyed that ipsy made me fight even relatively hard for the stuff I pay a tiny fee for every month. I want tiny eyeshadows and adorable shampoo samples as much as the next guy, but I don't want to have to get all dragon about it. I don't want to have to hip-jut my way into not being robbed of $10. That's just poor form.

So, I will end this first installment of CustomHer Service with this: ipsy is great, but their problem-solving is terrible. If your whole business relies on people giving you money every month to send them adorable things, and then you DON'T send those adorable things? Apologize, fix it and make it easier to recommend the service to others.

My Take: ipsy is okay, but may consider Birchbox.

1 comment:

Madeline Solien said...

hmmmm...this is a tough one...cause I just cancelled Birchbox after a year of monthly samples...not because they had crappy service (their service was great) but because their samples were largely stupid. "Thank you for sending me a sample of that shampoo that costs a million dollars to buy on its own. Now I know how rich people have super nice hair and that I won't be one of them." and "Good to know you think I have MAJOR eye wrinkle issues which is why you send me practically prescription level wrinkle cream every month. I don't." The dude Birchbox is super awesome but is also twice as expensive as the girls I want to know if Ipsy's samples are better than mine were??