Tuesday, July 26, 2011

face it cosmetics: a follow up

Like most normal people, I don't enjoy confrontations and negativity. I thought hard before I posted my review of Face It Cosmetics, and before I left negative feedback on Etsy. I would normally leave it there, but my experience with Heather and FIC has been so unpleasant that I feel the need to write about it again.

As you may remember from my review (you can go here to read it before you carry on) I found that the products I purchased were of middling to poor quality. As well as that, one of the products (Sparrow eyeshadow) was very different to the product photo, and one (gold gel eyeliner) was misrepresented by its name and description.

I wrote my review, and left the following feedback:





Now, let me make this clear: I take feedback very seriously. There have been a couple of occasions on which the wrong item was accidentally sent, or an item had gone bad during travel. I contacted the seller and allowed them to rectify the problem, and then gave good feedback.

However, the Face It Cosmetics order wasn't a mistake. These were sub-par products, and some of them were actually misleading. I left 2 negative feedback reviews and one neutral feedback review as a service to my fellow Etsy buyers, who deserve an honest review. Buying make-up over the net is risky, and I personally rely on reviews to help me decide what to buy. I feel that not posting honest feedback would have been unethical.

After I posted my feedback, I received a message from Heather:



I was a surprised by her tone and felt uncomfortable, but tried to respond in a respectful but honest way.



She responded:



Now I was really unimpressed. It is very unprofessional to a) take a customer to task for being honest about your products and b) ignore the actual criticism and instead make up excuses unrelated to the actual problems. Once again, I tried to answer politely and explain my position:



She did not respond to this email. I assumed this was the end of the matter, until I saw that my feedback rating on Etsy had dropped from 100% positive to 98%. Heather had left me negative feedback (even giving me three negative reviews when I had given her two negative and one neutral):



I was flabbergasted. As a buyer, my responsibility is to a) pay promptly and b) leave honest feedback. I am not obligated to contact a seller before I leave feedback, although Etsy suggests that buyers should do this (and under other circumstances, I do).

I am particularly disgusted by the note that "If she was unsure of the color then you [sic] should have asked." It is in no way my responsibility to contact a seller to ask if her product photo is accurate! In fact, here is feedback from another unhappy buyer:




(Indeed, there is a growing number of negative comments on the FIC feedback page, although sadly some people are leaving neutral feedback although they have had a very negative experience.) This buyer mentions the very same product (Sparrow eyeshadow) which I had a problem with. And if that wasn't damning enough, Heather has changed the product photo.

Before:


Now:


I don't think that my long, carefully thought-out messages to Heather can be called "poor communication." What she means is, "I tried to get her to change her feedback by offering her free products, and she refused, so I am giving her back feedback out of spite."

Normally I wouldn't care less about this, but I have an Etsy store. And now customers of my store will see a lower feedback score.

This experience has made me wary of buying from indie companies. From now on, I will be sticking to companies for whom I have read good reviews, like Linnaeus or Shiro, rather than trying out new ones. And it has definitely made me wary of Heartsy. (Speaking of which, Face It Cosmetics just had a second Heartsy sale, about a month after the first one. I have no idea why this would be a good move for a business.)

Ah well. I've learnt my lesson!

13 comments:

Ki said...

Not cool. I don't like when indie companies make excuses about their personal lives to make up for poor CS. If you are that busy, please take a break and sort things out, instead of continuing to sell stuff!

Although in this case, it just seems like the owner didn't listen to a single word that you said. And behaved quite badly. Companies like these are the reason I stopped shopping with Heartsy.

Suzanne said...

That's some bad bidness right there. Colossally unprofessional and very childish. There's SO many good indies companies out there, there's just no excuse to waste your time on people who aren't completely excellent.

dempss01 said...

Wow, that's bad. I buy a lot of stuff on Etsy, and I have never some across such a lack of professionalism. Blaming the client for a lack of quality and negative feedback is really poor. Good on you for speaking your mind. I would have done so much less diplomatically!

Yami said...

I am glad to see that you have remained honest to what you believe in. As a business owner, she should be ready to receive criticism. Thank you for your honest review and follow up :D

Suzanne said...

The other moral in this story is that we should all buy things from Jess's store, leave positive feedback, and shrink the damage FaceIt-Lady's negative feedback has done. mmnyes.

lisamax said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lisamax said...

Good product photos are THE most important aspect of an online sale, ESPECIALLY with something like make-up, and should be taken by a professional or at least edited afterwards to resemble the actual colour.

I know from my own experience with my average photography and lighting skills how much photoshopping is needed to make a product photo resemble the actual product in terms of colour... i don't think I ever completely succeed.

Even though FIC seems to have edited the photo to get rid of the two-tone impression, it's still blurry and deceptive, as i take it the colour was grey rather than the blue in the picture.

Michelle said...

Oh dear. What a horror story. It's unfair that you have to deal with poor customer service and sub-par products,let alone have your own business negatively impacted upon, even more so if it's all in the name of an honest review.

Sad face.

David Ano said...

Well, that sucks. How petty.

If it matters, the people who shop at your store do not care about your ratings. You name alone is a measure of quality.

Anne said...

I didn't realize that this situation had continued this on, I posted a response on the original post.

That is my Etsy feedback that you referenced and I agree with you 110%. I did contact her ahead of time and she didn't take responsibility for her poor product with me either.

I first contacted her on July 9th, advising that I was unhappy with the purchase. She replied on July 12, telling me that she was surprised and that she hadn't had any other complaints.

I am not a seller, but if she left me negative feedback, I would be taking her to task.

I, like you, insist on being 100% honest, there must be honest reviews in order to sort out the repackagers, poor products and those who really create their own product lines.

If an indie company messages me privately and gives me additional information, updates or clarification - I will keep my original comments but add the updated info - ie products not on labels- but my original review still stands.

-Anne

Anne said...

not products on labels, lol, but ingredients! Boy, what a day.

Anne said...

No idea why these are out of order, operator error probably.

I didn't realize that this situation had continued this on, I posted a response on the original post.

That is my Etsy feedback that you referenced and I agree with you 110%. I did contact her ahead of time and she didn't take responsibility for her poor product with me either.

I first contacted her on July 9th, advising that I was unhappy with the purchase. She replied on July 12, telling me that she was surprised and that she hadn't had any other complaints.

I am not a seller, but if she left me negative feedback, I would be taking her to task.

I, like you, insist on being 100% honest, there must be honest reviews in order to sort out the repackagers, poor products and those who really create their own product lines.

If an indie company messages me privately and gives me additional information, updates or clarification - I will keep my original comments but add the updated info - ie products not on labels- but my original review still stands.

-Anne

Anonymous said...

it's a pity that your selling rating should be the same as your customer rating.

also ugh.

George