Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Horrible Bobbi Brown SA!

UPDATE: Bobbi Brown management compensates me!
Scroll down to read more......

I went to Mid Valley this morning to meet up with Chirlyne to exchange a scratched Bobbi Brown pouch I bought from her.(Thanks Chirl for the exchange!) And I bought another thing from her. I also stopped by the Gardens to buy another Marrakesh palette. They still have quite a few of this and the Montmartre (purplish) palette too. So hurry up if you haven't bought these 2 holiday palettes.

Then we (my little girl and I) went over to Mid Valley side to check out the promotions (Clinique, Kose) going on and I had wanted to buy the new limited edition Bobbi Brown Platinum Pink Shimmer Brick which I lemmed about this morning.

The BAD Bobbi Brown SA experience starts here:

Unfortunately that was not to be. We walked into the Bobbi Brown store which was directly opposite MPH. When we walked in, there was one SA at the cashier serving a customer. That's fine!

Then, another one, big-sized, old-looking one with her hair all tied up into a ponytail was sitting at the back of the store doing makeup - yes, she was doing her own makeup, putting on some 10ins thick of foundation for you know what.... As we walked in, she stared at me and my little girl. And went back to continue putting on her ICI paint. Then I checked out their cream liners/shadows. Still nobody came to greet me or offer any assistance. I looked several times at her and she just stared back through me, no smile, no acknowledgement. Back to her ICI painting again. At one point, I thought she was looking at the wall. At another point, I thought she was actually visually-impaired, that's why cannot see me interested in their products.

After another few minutes, I just left the store and went to the Clinique kiosk (which is directly in front of the stupid store) where they are having skincare promotion. There, the SAs were all so nice, and I spent RM270 just like that in less than 5 minutes. Oh yea, I couldn't afford Bobbi Brown products is it? I am very happy and satisfied with Clinique! Clinique purchases coming up next.

OK, now, I just don't understand why that old-looking SA couldn't stop putting on her ICI paint and come over to ask what I am interested in. I was very much interested to buy the new palette. Then, is it polite to just continue painting her ugly face while the customer is browsing through their products and was looking for a brush to test some products?

If they have double standard, FYI, I was holding an Isetan paper bag in my hand, yea, I shopped in Isetan earlier albeit dressed quite casually, and my little girl was dressed in Gap from top to bottom (not meant to show off). And she thought that I couldn't afford Bobbi Brown is it? That's why ignoring me and kept on painting her ugly face.

I'm writing this specifically on that old SA, not generalising here, as I've met very nice Bobbi Brown SAs at the counter in Isetan the Gardens and at their store in Pavilion KL.

So, to anyone from Bobbi Brown or Suria Meriang (importer of Bobbi Brown) reading this, I hope you will take the appropriate action against this SA. I don't know her name as she was not even wearing a name tag!! But I recognise her face.

On another note, I never had any bad experience with MAC SAs. Everytime I walk into MAC KLCC and in Mid Valley, there's always a SA coming to greet me and offering assistance. And when I don't buy, they'll just say thank you, no sour face. Well, these are from my own experiences, of course.

But at Bobbi Brown, don't talk about sour face, I WAS COMPLETELY IGNORED!!!!

(29 April 2009)

Yesterday, I was all angry at the treatment or rather, no treatment, I got from a Bobbi Brown staff at their store in Mid Valley.

Ok, I came home and blogged about the bad experience and my dear friend, Miu, suggested I write to Suria Meriang (importer of Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Estee Lauder and several other brands) to complain. But I took a more drastic step to call Suria Meriang, which turned out to be the right step.

I called the head office not knowing who to speak to. So I told the girl who picked up the phone that I wanted to speak to the person-in-charge of Bobbi Brown regarding a complaint on bad customer service. I was put through to Karina (or Carina, I am not sure of the spelling). She was very nice to speak with. So I told her what exactly happened and she told me that they just had a meeting in the morning discussing about rude staff and poor customer service and that the manager of the store in Mid Valley was also present at that meeting. Haha! What an irony!

Then I described how that person looked like to Karina because I couldn't get her name as she was not wearing a name tag. At first, she thought could it be a customer. But when I described further, she said she had an idea who she was. That person is a part-timer at the MV store.

She also explained that Bobbi Brown does not practise double standard and no matter how small the amount a customer spends at their store, they are always very much appreciated. OK, then I told her, I had not even spent one sen and I was already ignored.

She then sincerely apologised to me and promised to investigate the matter. She also offered to make appointment for a makeover for me to experience the whole Bobbi Brown experience, but this time I said I was not going back to Mid Valley, and proposed their store at Pavilion. She said no problem, she will arrange something for me at my convenience. Well, that was a very good first step to rectify the problem for an angry customer.

A couple hours later, I received a call from Karina again. This time she had spoken to the store manager and told me that the part-timer was not on duty today and wanted me to clarify the date and time I was at their store. And I told her I was there the very same morning between 11am to 12noon. They were baffled at first. But she said she'll investigate further.

An hour after she called me, she called again and this time explained the whole situation and apologised for the 2nd time. Yes, that part-timer was indeed at the store using their products to make up even though she was off-duty. So that was clear indeed she was a staff and I didn't mistake a customer for their staff. Huh. However Carina said it was not right for any of their staff to use their products whether or not they are on duty in public, as in in front of customers and leaving the customers unattended. They could do so in their studio at the back of the store. Oh yeah, when I first called her, she did explain that none of their staff is supposed to put on any makeup at the store. The company requires all staff to come to work with at least minimal make up on and not come to work, then do their make up.

So, the part-timer not only ignored me (fine, they could argue that she was off-duty which Karina didn't, of course. I shall rationalise this later.), she even broke the company rule of putting on her own make up in front of the customers.

Finally, Carina thanked me for bringing this matter up to her attention, and that she could quickly rectify the matter before they lose their exisitng customers and potential ones like me and many of you too. She said if it had happened to other customers, they might just keep quiet and forget about it but might never come back to Bobbi Brown again.

OK, of course they didn't give me any monetary compensation which was not what I had wanted in the first place when I called up to complain. I just simply like their new limited edition Platinum Pink Shimmer Brick very much that I wanted to buy it. After finished talking to Karina, one girl from Bobbi Brown Pavilion called me. She also apologised and told me that I could come to the store anytime for a free makeover, and she'll personally see to it. So, I said fine and thanked her and now I'm looking forward to the makeover at the end of the week!!

Conclusion: I want to thank Karina (I forgot to ask what's her post, ;), my mistake) for taking up this matter seriously and spending her time to investigate this matter and dealt with it fairly, not taking sides with her staff.

To Karina, if there are more people like you in the retail industry in Malaysia, I'm sure the Malaysian consumers will speak up more and help you to improve your services better, hence improving sales too. Keep up the good work!

The rationale I want to make is even if that person is only a part-timer who happened to be off-duty, manners and conscience would tell that if you see your colleague on duty is busy, why can't you help your colleague by greeting and acknowledging the customer and said something like " 'Morning ma'am. My colleague is a bit busy now. Have a look first, she'll attend to you in a bit." She could say it in Chinese/Cantonese if her English is not good. Than just sitting there and staring at me then back to putting on her makeup. How rude is that? And her colleague lost her sale from me as a result of her action because I really wanted to buy the new Shimmer brick. If she had done a simple gesture as to greet me, I wouldn't be writing this.

I think it's just simple manners that every reasonable person would have.

To my dear readers and fellow consumers, please do not be afraid to complain when you receive any bad service. But please be reasonable with your complain and be constructive.


Jojoba said...

Now that's what I call consumer's right! Good for u for bringgin this matter up. I've experienced similar sour encounters with some SA (stila mostly!), but I was jus too lazy to do the right thing. But look at u, a free makeover! Wow...=)

Miu said...

i want to complain about not repying to my complaint letter to rebecca kong about canceling my YSL Workshop which I had paid and make SCHEDULE FOR.

What pisses me off is they think they can just tell the customer don't need to come coz CANCEL, but SQUUEEZEEE them into other time slots thinking it's OKAY.

GREAT, one girl called me earlier and said she will check if my workshop voucher can be extended for my convenience sake (SINCE I AM BEING FORCED TO GO ON SAT MORNING AND I HAVE APPOINTMENT ON THE SAME DAY). BUT when Rebecca called she wouldn't EXTEND MY VOUCHER (what the hell why not?) is SALES ALL TO U PEOPLE? MUST BE THAT DAY? U CANCEL MY WORKSHOP TIME, FORCE ME TO PICK ANOTHER DATE WHICH I CANT GO AND REFUSED TO EXTEND MY VOUCHER WHICH IS ONLY VALID ON THE WORKSHOP DAY? (what kind of stupid voucher is this? so if a customer can't buy on that very day, her money she paid for is WASTED?)

I wrote quite a nice letter asking to extend my voucher after speakin to Rebecca on the phone. My EMAIL WAS NEVER ENTERTAINED IGNORED UNTIL TODATE.

With this kind of service, I have ASKED FOR A REFUND FROM EMMAGEM which was only refunded to me after 3 weeks.




Tammy Lim

Miu said...
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shan said...

I believe many companies do not have double standard issues but the employees do (more often the SAs). Sometimes certain SAs look at people like who are they to judge their customers. And yes, I really dislike the fact that many SAs put on make up at the counters and ignore their customers like their looks are more important than duties. It's very un-professional. They can retouch the makeup during breaks or behind the counter but sometimes I see them using the products for themselves (the products could have been free gifts for customers or testers). That makes me feel "cheated" because all the money we pay for eventually leads to that.

Vonvon said...

Hi Jojoba,

The makeover idea was proposed by Karina at the very first time I complained. And yes, we Malaysians should make our voices heard when it comes to consumers' rights.

I was like you too.....just ignored the matters in the past. Came home and started complaining to my Hubby. But my Hubby taught me and supported me to voice out my dissatisfaction when I was not treated right. There had been many times I complained, but to the small fries, but nothing was done. So now I always bring the matter up to the top, not even the supervisor. I always go to the manager or manager-on-duty at the very least.

Vonvon said...

Hi Miu,

Calm down.....well, ok, I wouldn't have been able to calm down in your situation either.

Just boycott YSL and Luxasia lor....but then RMK is also under Luxasia.......sigh...

Vonvon said...

Hi Shan,

You are so right about the SAs using 'testers' which could be free gifts for customers! I always wonder how come in Malaysia, we never get to try samples of makeup(cosmetics) but in the US and HK, there are makeup samples to be given out. Most probably the SAs themselves take all the makeup samples meant to be given to customers. Here, we only get miserable little packets of skincare...duhh!!

I agree that most of the times the management doesn't know how their employees, esp SAs, behave (such as ignoring certain customers and putting on makeup in front of customers). That's why we should always go to the management to complain. Like Karina said, it's good thing I brought the matter up to her. If customers don't go to her, some rude staff will continue with their bad behaviour thus tarnishing the image of Bobbi Brown and that of other good SAs.

shan said...

Well, I believe there are nice and honest SAs too...I met generous SAs who gave me lots of freebies although I'm not their regular customer. I think it all depends on the person's attitude.
Just hope that the unhealthy culture will end some day.

Vonvon said...

Heya Shan,

Of course there are still nice SAs out there too. I have personally met a few from Bobbi Brown itself at their Pavilion store and Isetan the Gardens. I just dug out a bag from mystash containing the LE Issey Miyake perfume that was out in March and with it there are so many goodies and freebies that came with the purchase of the perfume. And that was my 1st time purchasing from Issey Miyake. I agree with you on that.

IMO, to change the unhealthy culture, we the consumers must be brave and voice out our dissatisfaction and also practise our rights to get some product samples before doing any purchasing. If your request is refused, then, there are so many cosmetic brands out there too happy to serve customers like us!

jules said...

You did the right thing by complaining. I should hv done the same. I had a bad experience from Jusco, BU Bobbi Brown last year. Unfortunately, that SA was on duty. Maybe I didn't "dressed" to shop like I could afford BB.

The 1st time I went, I really needed lip gloss so I bought even with lack of service by a particular young SA.

The 2nd time had a free make up lesson, but the same SA wasn't quite in the mood again. Gave me her sour face. She didn't say much and just applied make up on me. Even with enquiry, she was barely interested to show me the products.

I have decided I will never purchase from her. Why give her the commision? I rather travel to Isetan MV, Gardens even though it is further - pay extra petrol & parking. I bought lots and rewarded the SA for good service.

Vonvon said...

Hi Jules,

Thanks for coming by. It seems bad customer service from BB SAs are quite common, I can say. That's the 'problem' with BB. They have very good and nice products esp the LE ones but quite a number of their SAs in Malaysia do not live up to the image of Bobbi Brown.

It doesn't matter how we 'dressed'. Do they expect their customers to dress in branded designer clothes, only then will they serve us? Take me for example, I always dress casual when I go out shopping, carrying a diaper bag and most of the time, will be carrying my little girl. Is it practical to dress like I'm going to the ball to buy BB? But dressing casual doesn't mean I cannot afford BB. The problem doesn't lie with us, the customers/consumers. It's the ugly attitude of some of the SAs!

I have heard that there's one SA at BB counter in Isetan the Gardens who is very good. May be it's the same girl we are talking about? :) But I just read from another blog, there was no one at the BB counter in Isetan the Gardens yesterday.

Thank you for sharing your experience, Jules. I shall try to speak to Karina again and invite her to read this post and all its comments.

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LEE said...


hi all, i was introduce by a fren to ur blog, she told me its all deal with beauty products. i feel so interesting to read ur blog here. i am a fans of Bobbi Brown too. Let me share with all of u about my very 1st experince with BB makeup artist.
my 1st step in to BB store was also in mid valley. that day i'm actually waiting for an movie which start another an hour later, so me n my bf were do a little shopping but no intense to buy anything. I was passed by BB shop, so i got attracted by the limited products which display at the front of the shop,i think i am the "lucky" one bcoz i got approached by the make up artist in just few minutes time. i had forgotten wut's her name anyway , she is very friendly to be frank, but wut amazed me was she offer me for the product trying n she showed me step by step (or this is wut they suppose to do so), she almost did a complete makeup for me eventhough i'm not really show so much of interested to buy. i remembered the whole "process" is about half an hr time, my bf was started to show me impatient face so i leave the shop without doing any purchasing ,wut impressed me was the makeup artist never show sour face however she offered me a foundation sample to try! Perhaps i'm the lucky one becoz i didnt met a pushy one. After that experince, i have visited to several Bobbi Brown store ,sometimes i bought sometimes didn't. these experince also consider "so far so good". No doubt, there's good sales person n bad sales person too, this is very individual cases. hopefully in malaysia market, we can get better services no matter in which line.
this is my a little sharing. wishing all of u have a good day.