Chinese New Year 2009 Edition - January   21      

The Macys, Dillard's, Et Al Diabolical Mess; Denied Your Free Product?

Although I make my own quality skin care products now, I loved my Clinique, Lancôme, and Estee Lauder days.  When a friend called and said there was a Class Action against The Department of Federation Stores and they had to give out one free full sized product to anyone across the United States who bought any of the products 2004-2006 I could not believe it!

She reported she already went down and got a full sized Vera Wang Princess Body Wash and Lancôme mascara-worth about $80.  This off started right after Martin Luther King Day and was supposed to last to the following Monday.  Since it was only Thursday I ran down to my Macy's and Dillard's and was told the supplies only lasted one day, two max.  And at least 20 women were turned away the 20 minutes I was standing there.  Good women, who came just for the offer.

Because that was not a fair or reasonable time to be "out of supplies" I suspect the court will create a second award to those rejected.  If you showed up-demand to sign the manifest and add your info you were denied product.  The same manifest former consumers signed to get the free product.  I knew I had that right and the manager let me do it. Additionally I also bought two products that were supposed to be free to prove they DID have the products and were not "out of supply."

The ones who did get free product simply signed a statement they did buy something during 2004-2006.  Consumers did not need proof.  Ironically teh whole thing started because of deceptive ads during those years! So they made a bad problem worse and could have used this as a way to get droves of people into the stores and have other offers to spur sales.  Most opted not to do that and treat this whole thing as a "head ache."  The sales staff wanted it to be over so bad they gave away several products the first day-instead of one to each-to be done with it. 

Stores included in the Cosmetics Lawsuit? 

  • Bergdorf Goodman, Bergner’s, Bloomingdale’s, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Dillard’s,  Gottschalks, Herberger’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Parisian, Saks Fifth Avenue,  and Younkers.  So theoretically you could go to all and get a full sized product.

Product Lines included in the Cosmetics Lawsuit? 

  • Boucheron (USA) Ltd, Chanel, Inc., Clinique, Christian Dior Perfumes, Inc., Clarins U.S.A., Inc.,  Conopco, Inc, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc  Guerlain, Inc, L’Oréal USA, Inc, Parfums Givenchy, Inc. 

Full Item List supposed to he handed out totaling $1.75 Million? is an extensive list and a general guideline of the award to us.  I was in hot pursuit of the Lancôme Cils Design Pro Mascara, or any of the three Lancôme mascaras, Vera Wang Princess Body Polish (5 oz), or even the  Lovely Sarah Jessica Parker Shower Gel (6.7 oz).  History of why suit startedIf you were declined let the lead attorney Guido Saveri know on this form and start with Declined Product, what say and so forth.  Enough clear complaints and named victims he may be able to petition the court for a pile of declined people.   Expect a surge of e-mails to him and no fast reply-but they will probably print and hold them.

So What Happened?

(1)  Department Stores were not equipped to handle it, (2) Never offered enough to be "reasonable" and running out of supplies is not "reasonable" in 2 days out of 7 (3) Many Department stores handed the same people several items to be "done with it" which deprived those turn away later (4) Free items they claimed to be "out of" supply were still for sale at a high price, (5) They offered this on a Tuesday and ran out before more probable buyers who "work" got off work this weekend of January 23, 2009.  (6) There was a huge disparity in what cities were sent what supplies and it was not determined by store size, but best store incomes-who were sent the most supplies. (7) What the Defendants decided to do was to send their high profit-yet highest priced items to meet the $1.75 million so people who were given anything were most likely given Clinique Moisture Surge.

In re Cosmetics Cases (Azizian, et al. v. Federated Department Stores, Inc., et al.,
Docket No. 4:03-CV-03359-SBA) (updated as of December 1, 2008)
I suspect will have problems with this and if you do go for the offer and are declined demand to write all of your contact info on the manifest where consumers did get free items.  Cosmetic managers DO have a manifest to return to the courts.  I hope anyone declined gets one of EACH and every item offered because the offer was so interpreted by teh Defendants in an unreasonable manner and in bad faith. That is just my opinion.

Marketing and PR

As I said this could have been a remarkable way to draw people into the stores [which it did on mass droves] and show good will, as well as spur retail goods.  I bought something there even though I was ticked.  They are about to insult their real customers over the weekend and we will see what happens.  What will happen is the reverse.  The general public will have an unfavorable opinion of all these stores-I know I do now!  And not rush for any offer.  Ironically the entire reason they had to give away product is false and deceptive advertising in 2004-2006!  Do not feel bad for the Federated Department Stores as they own everything and their profits are in the billions despite what we hear on TV.

Ladies we can make our own higher quality products without a 600% mark up! So let's indulge our own selves!!!

Top     Be a Mabel Club Member!     Craft Supply Store   Mabel Archives  Subscribe  Castile Soap Distributor

A Model Consumer Complaint Letter to  Bank

This 86-year old lady's letter is an actual letter that  was sent to a bank. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published:

Dear Sir:

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which  I endeavored to pay my plumber last month. By my  calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it.

I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank. 

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways.  I noticed that whereas I personally answer your telephone calls and letters, but when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person. My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must  nominate.

Be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope. Please find attached an Application Contact which I require your chosen employee  to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the liabilities must be accompanied  by documented proof.

In due course, at MY convenience, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press buttons as follows:



 #1. To make an appointment to see me.

 #2. To query a missing payment.

 # 3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am  there.

 # 4. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am  sleeping

 # 5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am  attending to nature.

 # 6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home

 #7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access  my computer is required. Password will be communicated to you at a later date to that Authorized Contact mentioned earlier.

# 8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.

# 9. To make a general complaint or inquiry. The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.

# 10. This is a second reminder to press* for English.

 While this may, on occasion,  involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement. May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year?

Your Humble Client

  Top     Be a Mabel Club Member!     Craft Supply Store   Mabel Archives  Subscribe  Castile Soap Distributor

Read about Ringo a dog flown in from Katrina.  Official Bio of his owner and short Bio RSS Syndicated Feeds on the environment.  How Twitter is best used.  Deborah Dolen Books on Amazon.   Review of her books on Open Library,  Paperback Swap, Good Reads and ReviewScout.  You can also read Google Profile.    Deborah Dolen on MySpace Facebook, and Flickr.  This is our favorite blogspot.   See Deborah Dolen on YouTube and her last book written London Apothecary and book.  For more environmental articles on water and oil.


Visit Deborah on Facebook MySpace Twitter or BlogSpot   Buy Natural Liquid Soap!  It is much safer than commercial brands.  Natural Liquid Soap for People or Natural Liquid Soap for pets.