So I’ve been getting into fragrances recently.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I’ve always been very particular about them, and I attribute it not only to a concious decision but also to the fact that I have a very keen sense of smell — trust me, when you can smell everything, how things smell becomes very important to you!

Anyhow, I sent Guerlain a short email asking if they had an Albertan retailer for Jicky and/or Mitsouko, or if they sold samples online — I’ve been told I “need” to smell them, and neither are sold in the province, according to the SA I spoke to the other day!

This is the response I recieved:

Subject line: Lodge a complaint about a product
Right off the start I have a problem with this. I wasn’t lodging a complaint, I was asking about product availability.

Dear Miss,

I acknowledge receipt of your mail from 11/9/2009 and I thank you for sending it.

I am sorry to inform you that Guerlain is not able to send samples by post. They are kept exclusively in our shops and given out depending on the availability of stocks. Moreover, Mitsouko and Jicky are not declined in samples and samples are not for sale.
Really? Because… that sentence does not make sense.

In order for you to become familiar with our products, I advise you to go at your Guerlain distributor to discover or rediscover the Guerlain lines of fragrances, skincare and make up.
“Go at your Guerlain distrubutor”? So not going to happen — I might just have to have a go at you, though.
Also, I started the email by
specifically stating that my distributor (the largest Guerlain counter in my city) told me that my province doesn’t carry what I’m looking for. Which is why I emailed Guerlain in the first place — to ask if she was wrong, by some slim chance.

You will find all the addresses of our boutiques, our institutes and our points of sale in France as well as the rest of the world in our website www.guerlain.com
How does that help me? I’m not going to travel to France, or anywhere else for that matter, to sniff a perfume and then come home. I’m not asking where I can find Guerlain in the world, I’m asking if there are any retailers in Alberta that my SA didn’t know about.

“Guerlain Boutique & Institut
110 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 2W7
Tel / Phone: 416-929-6114″

“Guerlain Boutique & Institut
1350 Greene Avenue, 2nd Floor
Westmount, Quebec
H3Z 2B1
Tel / Phone: 514-933-6114″

Thank you for your interest in our brand.

Yours faithfully,

Isabelle ROUSSEAU
Customer Relationship Department
irousseau@guerlain.fr

I have to say it, Guerlain: I’m a little bit ashamed for you. I wonder how Pierre-Fran├žois Pascal Guerlain, the original Guerlain, would feel if he knew his company was being run that way? The LVMH group really needs to knock their companies back into line – this isn’t the first time I’ve had issues emailing one of their companies. As they say… you’re only as good as your weakest link. And this link? It’s pretty damn weak.

If any of you have solutions or your own customer service stories to share, I would love to hear them in the comments! Confession: on a bad day, sometimes the best part is reading all of your comments and/or blogs. There are some pretty awful people on the internet, but there also some amazing ones.

(You guys are the awful ones.)

(I MEAN AMAZING! AMAZING! *shifty eyes*)

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28 Responses to “So I’ve been getting into fragrances recently.”

  1. simpleelegance, on November 9th, 2009 at 1:18 pm said:

    i think you should take their advice and move to france. that is the way forward. definitely.;)

  2. Rae // theNotice, on November 9th, 2009 at 1:27 pm said:

    simpleelegance: LOL! The best part? Doing that would probably actually make me ridiculously happy.=D

  3. lol. I bet their CR dept. have no idea where Alberta is :PAnyway, unhelpful response but hey, at least you got one!Fragrances are so fun, but it's a never-ending search; a hobby where it would really be nice to have lots of disposable income.I would suggest buying samples from the various e-tailers or web sites (although I'm sure Canadian customs is annoying about stuff ordered from commercial websites :P). I've ordered from BigDiscountFragrances.com and perfume bay and had no problems (dunno if they have Jicky or mitsouko though). Beautyhabit had really nice service.Luckyscent has a tempting samples offer and http://theperfumedcourt.com must have guerlain.

  4. simpleelegance, on November 9th, 2009 at 2:12 pm said:

    Lol i live in england…is all of canada as dead as a run over frog…? i went to toronto for a holiday and the only good part was pacific mall…

  5. Valerie, on November 9th, 2009 at 2:30 pm said:

    I could probably get you some samples if you want. No need for a swap or anything. I'm not even sure my counter in Toronto has it but I can check for you if you want. -Val

  6. Rae // theNotice, on November 9th, 2009 at 2:38 pm said:

    Kuri: lol! A comment is always better than no comment :P Especially one that makes me laugh!I've checked out the sites you've mentioned (thanks!) but I don't want to rely on that unless I absolutely have to — at about $3 per fragrance sample, plus god only knows how much shipping, it's kind of a rip-off x.x

  7. Glitterati, on November 9th, 2009 at 2:48 pm said:

    What a weird email! Sounds like it was severely and badly translated? You'd think, even if they were based in the Frenchest of French towns or something, that they could get someone who read and wrote English. It's Guerlain, for chrissake.

  8. Lisa Kate, on November 9th, 2009 at 2:51 pm said:

    "Moreover, Mitsouko and Jicky are not declined in samples and samples are not for sale."Dearest Isabelle, Canada is NOT in Europe. Moreover, I think you are a snooty bitch, who, instead of using the word "moreover" should make an actual comprehensible sentence instead. Thanks. Oh, and I also mentally gave her the middle finger, is that cool? Bah, I've had some awful experiences with indie mineral makeup companies…especially one, who called me a "dumb bitch" because I made a paypal dispute since she never sent me anything. Stupid LK for thinking you should get your money back if you didn't recieve anything!

  9. yeah, it all adds up :/

  10. soooo…i was filling up my grandma's car with gas today. i pushed "pay with cash" and then…the…pump….just…..stopped. so i push the "call attendant" button and tell her i need to pay inside but the pump's not working. "well then you need to come INSIDE and PAY." …..what? RUDE (in bon qui qui voice). thanks for the clarification.darn right we're amazing :)

  11. Rae // theNotice, on November 9th, 2009 at 3:36 pm said:

    simpleelegance: …is that a saying over in England, or are you just awesome on your own? (Note: I will TOTALLY be using that analogy sometime this week! Love it.)Canada's actually great, but we don't get the same variety :P You shouldn't have gone to Toronto! Everyone knows it's the ugliest Eastern Canadian city ;)

  12. Rae // theNotice, on November 9th, 2009 at 3:44 pm said:

    Val: Oh my gosh, that would be AMAZING. Email me? (My SA mentioned I should check Toronto and Montreal, so here's to hoping!)

  13. Rae // theNotice, on November 9th, 2009 at 3:45 pm said:

    Glitterati: Yep. Those were my thoughts exactly!! They have offices in Toronto; they should be USING them. Many Canadian companies have correspondents fluent in French, why doesn't it go the other way around?

  14. Rae // theNotice, on November 9th, 2009 at 3:56 pm said:

    Lisa Kate: I remember reading about that! Crazy, and VERY out of line — I honestly think you were 110% in the right, btw. Yours wasn't the first complaint I have heard about her! That's NO way to run a buisness.Grammar -> trumps words like "moreover" anyday.(And yah, that's cool. As long as you're not flipping your screen the bird :P )

  15. Rae // theNotice, on November 9th, 2009 at 3:56 pm said:

    kuri: =(

  16. /lachesis., on November 9th, 2009 at 5:09 pm said:

    Faaaiillll….. and I freaking love me some Guerlain. It sounds like the response was a standard form to fill in and person doing the fill had a regrettably poor grasp of english language comprehension, and or proof reading skills.

  17. Some companies really have a problem with their e-mail responses!I recently e-mailed head2toebeauty asking how much shipping would be for some China Glaze, Seche Vite and OPI polishes.The only response I got (I quote!):"Seche and China Glaze products are for sale in United States only."Well… How about telling me how much shipping would be for OPI then?And WHY is it that I can have SOME of your polishes shipped to Europe and not all?I've actually had similar experiences with a lot of different companies. I e-mail them to ask how/where I can get a certain product and the only response is "we don't ship outside US and Canada". It sucks :(

  18. Rae // theNotice, on November 9th, 2009 at 10:57 pm said:

    selecu: Aha! The angry gas attendant! Classic and relatable… we have all dealt with at least one! :P Honestly, I think that job would suck — you're all alone in that little gas kiosk, and most of the customers are in a rush to pay and go!

    You got that right :P

  19. simpleelegance, on November 9th, 2009 at 11:12 pm said:

    lol not an english saying… its just how i speak.

  20. Rae // theNotice, on November 9th, 2009 at 11:34 pm said:

    se: haha, that's awesome!

  21. Rae // theNotice, on November 10th, 2009 at 2:11 am said:

    Zoffe: That is a REALLY good point! I've had the same problem, with companies not shipping out of the US — and most of the time when I make an inquiry, I note that I'm in Canada and shipping to Canada would be preferable, BUT I have an address in the US I can use if I have to.And, y'know, you'd think that would make their lives pretty easy.Apparently not so x.x

  22. Rae // theNotice, on November 10th, 2009 at 9:10 am said:

    lachesis: Yah, pretty much =( Which sucks.

  23. Rae // theNotice, on November 11th, 2009 at 9:29 am said:

    Christy: I know =(

  24. kay. i'll go to my counter this weekend and i'll email you as soon as i can.:)

  25. Rae // theNotice, on November 11th, 2009 at 10:10 am said:

    Val: Yay!! Thanks girl =D

  26. Christy, on November 11th, 2009 at 3:50 pm said:

    Whoa, what a crazy email response. So not helpful and ridiculous. :(

  27. Rae // theNotice, on November 12th, 2009 at 11:02 am said:

    Meream: Most likely. I understand that they're much more efficient, but that doesn't excuse you from READING the incoming email! =shakes head at the stupidity=

  28. All Women Stalker, on November 12th, 2009 at 4:47 pm said:

    How annoying! Perhaps this was a template response. Boo to them.

    -meream

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