Like many of you, I love trying out new skincare products. Especially those that come with rave reviews.
I recently ordered one such item from a great brand on Amazon. A skincare influencer I follow recommended this product, and I was eager to make it part of my regular 9-step AM & PM skin care routine (okay, it’s not quite 9 steps but let’s just say my Gen X skin has me super committed to my process). 🙂
This product was pictured in a lovely brown glass bottle, with all the trappings of elegance and effectiveness. And a pretty decent price, too.
When Elegance Meets Envelope
Picture my surprise (and not the good kind) when the package arrived and I found the bottle crushed, its contents spilled all over my other purchases. They had packed it in a small, lightly padded envelope inside a larger padded envelope.
No box. No extra bubble wrap. A glass bottle.
The image above gives you a glimpse of the mess (I’ve hidden the brand name, as I’m not trying to tarnish their reputation—I did receive a friction-free refund from Amazon, after all).
Disappointment doesn’t even begin to cover it. And yes, while Amazon promptly issued a refund, I felt compelled to write to the seller on their website.
My intent? To let them know about the inadequate packaging.
Were they aware that Amazon was sending the product out this way? I used to own an online shopping store, and when customers reached out to show me damaged items or packaging, I at least appreciated the opportunity to see how I could avoid that in the future.
Broken Bottle, Broken Connection
This brand’s response, while fairly prompt, lacked a fundamental human touch. Two things stood out:
- A Missing Apology: It wasn’t their goof, I get it. But at no point did they express regret for the mishap, or even acknowledge the fact that in my email I had let them know I’d been looking forward to trying their product. The “Great Crushing” had left me disappointed …er… crushed, that I hadn’t been able to make that product step #10 in my routine. It felt like they missed a beat in connecting with me, a potential repeat customer.
- Defending Without Empathy: Their email went on to justify their packaging choice, highlighting that out of half a million shipments, only a handful had met the same fate as mine. They explained that better packaging would increase costs, which, of course, would make the product more expensive. I couldn’t help but think, “Sooooo, I’m just one of the unlucky few, then?”
Imagine if they had simply acknowledged my disappointment and offered a gesture, like sending a free bottle, or at least a coupon. At a minimum that would have demonstrated their ability to get the product to me intact, just like the other 499,999+ customers.
I’m not trying to sound entitled because after my refund, quite frankly, they don’t owe me anything at all.
I understand that.
But that $20 bottle could have converted me into a loyal customer. I would be using it twice a day forever, you know?
Golden Age of Gas and Greetings
This experience got me thinking, especially about how service seems to be dwindling in many areas of our lives. We all like to complain about that now, don’t we?
Full-service gas stations were still a thing when I was a kid. So that’s my point of reference.
Just think about the last time you visited a fast-food restaurant. Have you noticed how often they get your order wrong? Or how the person at the counter is more engrossed in their phone than in ensuring you have a pleasant experience?
We exchange our time, energy, and hard-earned money for these services and products, yet more often than not, we’re now met with a mediocre experience.
And on some level, we’ve learned to be okay with that because… labor shortage, or disengaged employees, or just … reasons.
Obviously, this is not just about a bottle of skincare. And it’s not even about great customer service.
This was about me recognizing the value of my time and energy. At the end of the day, this was a $20 item, and, yes, I could have just re-ordered it and called it a day.
But I had to ask myself, is this the experience I really want?
Do I value my time and energy enough to keep looking for a skincare product that isn’t just effective, but is backed by a brand that honors the decisions I make with my wallet and attention?
Claiming Your Worth in a Checkout World
What are the things in your life that you’re just putting up with because it’s convenient and comfortable?
Where are you accepting the “lowest common denominator” instead of seeking what truly honors your worth and value?
Sometimes, to get what you truly desire, you have to be willing to say no to things that don’t represent what matters most to you.
You may have to give up convenience or cost, but in the end, aren’t you worth that?