Stinking Satsuma

I had been hankering to buy The Body Shop’s Satsuma Perfume Oil since I tested it last Saturday at Queensbay.
As I was in Gurney Plaza yesterday, I thought I could just drop by and buy the perfume oil which was selling at half price (The Body Shop is having a sale until 10 June).
The Satsuma Perfume Oil smelled great – I am after all partial to anything citrusy! I love bergamot, lemons, limes, as long as they’re refreshingly citrusy, I’ll buy them. Of course Nic thinks I am nuts to buy everything that smells like lemon.

So there I was, at Gurney Plaza’s Body Shop. All their perfume oils were selling at discounts, some at 50% off, some at lesser discounts.
It was stated that 4 types of perfume oils were at 50%: Satsuma, Coconut (don’t ask me what this smells like), Sandalwood and Patchouli.
But at the same time, they had this other packaged discount going on – any 2 of the above oils together went with a 70% discount. I thought this was a good buy until I started sniffing the Sandalwood and Patchouli. Euuuwww…. I don’t like the woody fragrances at all.
I asked if they could give me 2 Satsuma perfume oils instead of Satsuma with Sandalwood or Satsuma with Patchouli.
The girl with heavy eye makeup says no. I could either take one single Satsuma at 50% off or 2 bottles (Satsuma with either Sandalwood or Patchouli) at 70% off.
OK, I say, I just want 1 bottle of Satsuma. She smiles and places it on the check out counter as I go about looking at the aromatherapy oils.
At that moment, her shift replacement arrives and this girl happily goes off, probably glad that her work shift was over. The person who takes over is a shim – for want of a better word. Shim was clearly a “he” who made himself up to look like a “she”. I’ve no problems with shims or whatever.
Anyway, I decided to buy a bottle of aromatherapy oil too since it was 30% off. Then I told this shim that I want to pay for my 2 selections. Shim takes a look at the Satsuma bottle sitting on the counter and turns around to me and says “Oh you cannot buy a single bottle. You must buy together with another one, like what we’ve packaged.”
Nic points to the promo card. “It’s not stated here that we have to buy 2 bottles right? It just says 50% off for these 4 different perfume oils.”
Shim replies,”Yes, you buy 2 bottles and get 70% off.” I tell him/her that I knew that.
The girl before this told me that if I buy only one bottle, I only get 50% off the selling price. It was all right with me because I just wanted the Satsuma fragrance. I couldn’t tahan the Patchouli or Sandalwood. I understood the terms of the discount.
And you know what shim says?
“Oh this is a new promo that we just started today.”
Then I ask,” When does this promo end?”
Shim shrugs and says he/she doesn’t know.
You know what? I don’t like being told one thing by one person and then told another by another person. Within the same 30 minutes, I get 2 differing views on the products I want to buy. Heck, I am buying your products!
Of course I am upset. I didn’t want to argue with that shim, because he/she clearly was trying to pull a fast one on me. I didn’t want to buy 2 bottles when I had been told I could buy 1 bottle.
So you see, as much as I respect Anita Roddick and her values and her community fair trade, it just takes one awful Body Shop staff to ruin everything.
They lost a perfectly loyal customer too.
But this isn’t the first time I heard of buying problems at The Body Shop.
My sis once complained that she’d been ripped off too. She had bought a pack of 3 items during a sale. Upon reaching home, she’d opened the pack only to find that if she had bought each item separately she would have saved more money (the price tags were still stuck on the bottom of each bottle). When she went back to The Body Shop, they said sorry but that’s the price of the 3-in-1 pack. No exchanges allowed.
With trust eroded, I don’t think I could ever step into The Body Shop ever again without thinking of this incident! Hmmm!

8 thoughts on “Stinking Satsuma”

  1. Unfortunately, the founder is no longer with the Body Shop as it is now part of the L’Oréal Group which bought over the brand.

  2. I hope you did not buy any bottle, to me this is unacceptable and I would just walk away. I had a bad experience also over the weekend, but that happened at a food stall. Poorly treated by the stall people, we were very upset and left the stall with hungry stomach.

  3. HI Erina
    Exactly. They don’t know head or tail of what their promos are about. I’ll never step into The Body Shop at Gurney again!
    Ya maybe that’s why they’ve changed the way they treat their customers. I do hope that the L’Oreal people read this. My sis told me to write to Rampai Niaga to complain but I guess they probably won’t do anything.
    Hi Flying
    No, I walked out of that shop immediately. Didn’t even turn around to see the look on that shim’s face! My sis got conned at the Queensbay outlet so I don’t think I’ll be buying any Body Shop products from now on.

  4. Got some tales to tell about Body Shop too. A month back, I got the “All-in-one” pressed compact from Body Shop at The Curve. I was excited cos they finally changed the packing as the top portion of the compact is rather ‘fragile’ and after some use, tends to crack and dislocate from the entire compact. Since I still have quite a bit left in the old one, I left the unopened pack in the drawer. When I decided to use it, I found that the colour is changed slightly despite the similar colour code at the back indicating so. I went back to change and they told me that the refund policy is within 7 days only. Serves me right, it is indeed my fault. Next tale would involve getting a eye shadow at a discount of 30% and coming back to discover that IT was not the same that I have tried on. Heck, don’t I ever learn! The last was when I dropped by a Body Shop at 1Utama and saw the promotional items right at the door proclaiming the double packing of Shower and Bath Gel. They sealed the 2 bottles, one was a fruity smell and the other, White Musk. I totally dislike White Musk and it was a sales gimmick. The bottles looked old and worn-out and they loudly proclaimed that it was to be sold as such. They do not sell these alone. I gingerly asked the shop assistant if they do this to clear old stock. Though denying vehemently, I could see his sheepish grin. Naturally, I walked away without buying anything. Body Shop was much better many years back. And don’t know if anyone have noticed that Body Shop has a knack of employing ‘Shims’ and camouflaged as such by Body Shop cosmetics. Could they be sending a message of “You can be anything you want to be with Body Shop”????

  5. Hi Kate:
    So my sis and I have not been the only ones feeling cheated and disappointed with The Body Shop! I think they try to sell off last season’s products most times too – the Sandalwood and Patchouli oils were deep amber in colour. I don’t think that’s the natural colour of the oils anyway. Haha, yes, about the shims. I see many of them in Body Shop outlets too. Perhaps there’s an affirmative policy in hiring them? Whatever it is, it is wrong of the company to try to push old products on customers who are sincerely there to buy and support their business. Yes, I think maybe the Body Shop management has changed hands and no one is asking real customers if they like what they see in the shops now, especially their stinking customer service, or in this case, lack of!

  6. I think the people at the bottom of the food chain don’t really care so much about getting deals right. They just do what they think they know / can be bothered to do, and the rest they’re just not bothered about such as… good customer relations.
    That’s what happens when you have (what I suspect) a low paying job, little training and short breaks.
    And getting rid of old stock shouldn’t be such a surprise. Sales = cheaper after all. You just have to be careful with what you’re buying.
    (Additional – I saw so many Terry Prachett books at the Popular sale, outside Nike in Gurney Plaza, last night but I told myself to remain strong and not buy, not buy, not buy…)

  7. Hi D: Yup, you are so right! Speaking of Pratchett, yes, I saw his books at Gurney too. I was going to buy one until Nic dragged me upstairs to Popular (his logic “Sure they have some upstairs too!”). Turned out I forgot about it completely and went on to buy some business books instead at MPH. And for sure, the biz books cost me a whole lot more than Pratchett. Will return your Pratchett to you when I see you this end of this month.


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