When I shop with a company, I hope I never actually need to test their customer service skills. Once in awhile I do, and sometimes I walk away very impressed.

Sometimes I walk away feeling defeated.

A few months back I jumped on the chance to grab some discontinued Aromaleigh lip balms. A last batch had been made of my favorite flavor – key lime pie – and how could I pass it up? I placed an order for four balms, planning to keep them in the freezer to help them last longer.

When they arrived, I noted that they were much darker than they should be, but knowing that oils can change color and darken, I thought nothing of it.

Fast forward to May 11th, when I had worked through my current tube of balm and pulled one of the key limes out of the freezer.

It was not good.

I smelled chocolate. The lime was so faint, I mistook it for mint. It was absolutely nothing like the key lime pie I had previously known and fell in love with, and, being familiar with the balms, I knew that month-and-a-half in the freezer didn’t destroy them like this.

So, on May 12th, I opened up a help ticket, inquiring if the batch had possibly been mislabeled or something of that nature, noting how the balm smelled so distinctly of chocolate (and slightly minty).

After some messages back and forth, I opted to return the balms for a refund, and on May 17th I was given instructions for doing so. I was told that once they were received, I would get a refund for the balms returned, plus, and I quote, “the return shipping.”

I packed three of the balms up in a bubble mailer, with the thought that it wasn’t fair for me to return the fourth when I had used it. I put first class postage on it – $1.39 for an inch-thick, two ounce package to go to 29926 – and waited.

And I waited.

Today, two weeks later, I received a refund.

Not to the credit card I used, allegedly it was unavailable (though I was never contacted about this prior to the refund), but to the PayPal account I used on a more recent order. In fact, the refund was done as a partial refund of said recent order. Not so bad, right?

The refund was for the three balms, plus 40 cents.

According to the email I got, that 40 cents was for the shipping.

I don’t mind being jilted on the shipping so much. It’s rude to go back on your word, but I’ll deal.

I’m more concerned with the fact that a silly 40 cents is a slap in the face.

Ammendment (06/05/10): I do want everyone to know that I was contacted by Aromaleigh’s Steve in effort to resolve my complaint about how my refund was handled.

He made it clear to me that he welcomes people to contact their customer service regardless of past experiences with CS departments or expectations, because he wants customers to be happy. In light of that, if you have questions or concerns, please do consider opening a help ticket with them for assistance.


~ by shatteredshards on June 3, 2010.

5 Responses to “Disappointment”

  1. Hm, I’ve ordered 3 of the balms in the past and aside from the very first one, the other two were either not the correct scent or the texture was really off. My favorite was the Italian Blood Orange and when I bought my second tube, it smelled like a latte. :<

  2. I just got 3 lip balms too. All Licorice Twist and they smell more fruity. It really isn’t worth my $$ to send them in for a refund though…. shipping would be a killing >.> I guess I will just have to continue to search for the perfect black licorice lip balm. The new 3 are all funny, dark and apply wierdly :(

    • You might want to check Etsy, then cross-reference for blogger reviews of the companies.

      Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could try making it yourself, or getting some unscented/unflavored balm from a seller with good reviews, and then melt it down and add the oils to it yourself. LorAnn has a natural anise oil as well as a licorice flavor oil – see https://www.lorannoils.com/c-6-super-strength-flavors-candy-oils.aspx. (Just a note, LorAnn oils are great, my mom has used them in candymaking.)

  3. I’ve noticed this as well. I ordered A few balms when they were discontinued, and was pleased. Although when I ordered again (after they made the second batch I think) I got a balm that smelled like minty chocolate, when it should have smelled like mocca. And two of the others seemed to be mixed up as well. A bit strange, but I didn’t bother with returning them, as I’m an international customer, and fortuneately I like the scents.

    • This is starting to bother me. I’m hearing more comments of sub-par lip balms, and yet AL was okay with selling them without disclosing that the batches weren’t what they should be!

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