I feel the need to share my experience with the Clinique cosmetics counter at Dillard’s. I (hope to) have developed a reputation for “outing” establishments for their lack of customer service skills and dependability– and this story will be no different.

Today is Monday, 2 October. The week of 28 August, I walked into the cosmetics department at Dillard’s and was lured over to the Clinique counter by signs saying “Free Gift Time”. Those of you who are familiar with Clinique Free Gift Time know that this is no joke– the gift gets better and better every time– and it is well worth waiting until Free Gift Time if you only make occasional purchases from the counter. I am one of those customers. I will buy something simply because I get something for free. So I pick out two colors of eyeshadow (that I originally discovered I like because it was part of last year’s free gift…) and am checking out when the girl reminds me to come back next week for free gift time. Oh no no no. This is my semi-annual Clinique purchase and I’m not wasting it on the week BEFORE Free Gift Time. I tell her I’ll wait until next week and come back.

But wait! She makes a very helpful suggestion. If I give her my name, address and credit card number– she will wait until the first day of Free Gift Time, charge my card, and send my makeup to my house- free of charge. Perfect! So I give her my information. She lets me know it could be up to a week until I receive my merchandise. Fine. Thank you and have a nice day!

So I watch my online bank statement. I am charged for the makeup on 7 September.  So I start checking my mail with increasing eagerness– hoping to get my goodies. As you can imagine, I have other things on my mind during that week (the wedding was the 16th) so I let it slip to the back burner. So here comes the week of the 18th. No makeup. I call Dillard’s. Apparently they are having a lot of trouble with this process and not only does it take 5-7 days for the order to leave Dillard’s processing, but then it goes to UPS and that adds another 6-10 days until I receive it. They are unable to track it. So the girl tells me to keep expecting it and if I don’t see anything by the end of the week– to call back.

So here comes the week of the 25th. I call back and get the same story. “We aren’t able to track your package… we are experiencing a lot of difficulty… if you don’t see something by the end of the week call us back…” I wait a day and decide this is ridiculous. I call back and explain to the girl at the counter that it will be a LONG time before I get desperate enough to go back to THAT counter. I have been more than patient and though I understand that things happen– you charged my credit card 3 weeks ago for merchandise I ordered a month ago– and “we can’t track it” is not acceptable. She lets me talk to the manager. So I explain the situation for the 17th time and he tells me that indeed the package IS trackable and he will look it up and call me back. He calls me back to tell me that the package was delivered and signed for by my “neighbor” on 11 September. Hmm. Interesting. Interesting that when the girl took my information BACK IN AUGUST I told her that the address on my drivers’ license was not only not accurate, but 3 years– not accurate! She didn’t listen and someone down in Carlson Terrace has a box full of MY Clinique makeup AND MY Free Gift! I explain to the Dillard’s manager that I have not lived at that address for some time and that I provided my correct address to the girl when I placed my original order. He tells me he will consult with the Clinique Manager and call me back.

At this point, I don’t really see any options. The only thing that makes sense is for them to send me my order and be done with me. He calls me back and offers to send me what I ordered AND a Free Gift AND not charge me– as if that were an option! That was Thursday, 28 September. We will see.

I am somewhat disappointed in myself that I did not know better than to think it could have been as convenient as the girl described. “You’ll give me a free gift? And send it to my door? For no extra charge?– Cool!” turned into.. “You’ll charge my credit card? Send the package to the wrong address? And let me wait over a month to discover this? And then act like you’re doing me a FAVOR by resending it to me?– the HELL you say!”

If it sounds too good to be true…

2 thoughts on “Monday October 2, 2006

  1. I think perhaps, given your current occupation, you should start an anti-Dillards/Clinique ad campaign.  Like instead of that happy little yellow dot bouncing around the Wal-Mart ads maybe you could have a sad looking blue dot getting kicked around by the old maniacal and very scary ladies at the makeup counter in Dillard’s. 

    Guinness in a bottle???


  2. Between you and Laura and Becky…!!!  Mean make-up ladies; noisy, rude neighbors; half-naked pizza eaters….!!!  TOO FUNNY…!!!

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