I have a bit of a thing about eyeshadow palettes, I just love them! My sister commented to me a few weeks ago that I can’t possibly need any more eyeshadow, and she’s probably right. I have amassed quite a collection of palettes from Urban Decay and Too Faced, and have a few from Chanel, Bobbi Brown and No7, but I have never been able to get my hands on the NARS NARSissist palette. It’s turned into one of those situations where the unavailability of the item has made it more desirable.
When I was idly looking at the Selfridges website on my way to work a couple of weeks ago, I saw that the NARSissist palette was back, and with trembling hands completed my purchase; there were a few heart stopping moments when I kept losing 3G, but it was okay, the order went through. When making beauty purchases I usually go for the express/ next day delivery option if the cost is a couple of pounds more, but on Selfridges the standard delivery cost is £4.95 and depending on the day you place the order, the next day delivery option can be up to £9.50! That’s the cost of another lipstick! So, in this case I decided to go for standard delivery, which is 3-5 working days, but to be honest, Selfridges normally deliver within a couple of days, so it’s not a problem. A few days went by and I still hadn’t received a dispatch order, then I received an email saying that unfortunately the picker had gone to dispatch the palette, but they were out of stock and wouldn’t be getting any more, so they had to cancel my order. I was a little bit (read extremely) upset about this, and suspected that if I had paid for next day delivery this wouldn’t have been an issue. I have long suspected that when shopping via the internet, there isn’t a magical little gnome that takes the item out of the stock room, and reserves it for you until it is ready to be dispatched, but with this being the age of technology, how difficult is it to keep track of what stock you actually have to sell? Grrrrr.
So after sending the lovely folks at Selfridges a little email, succinctly expressing my disappointment, I did a bit of browsing: Space Nk – nothing. Liberty of London – nope. NARS UK – In stock! Happy dance! So I placed my order and thought I’d better go with the express option, lest the same thing happened again. Express Delivery was £9 and the palette was £55, so it worked out as almost £10 more than the order via Selfridges, but by this point I had almost become desperate to possess it. I was a bit concerned that I couldn’t find any information on the site stating what the delivery timescales were, but I had received a confirmation email that the order was received so I took some comfort from that…until the next afternoon when I still hadn’t received a dispatch notification. I sent an email via the contact us form in the site and a customer service advisor contact me to explain that they were having a few issues whilst transitioning to a new website, but not to worry, my order had definitely been dispatched and should be with me soon, if it wasn’t on time I would have my delivery charge refunded. it didn’t arrive the next day, I sent another email, I was again told that it would be with me soon. the next day was a Sunday. Monday arrived, still no parcel. On the Tuesday still nothing, yet another email from customer service advising that express delivery takes 48 hours not including the weekend. I emailed back explaining that as my order was placed on a Thursday and it was now Tuesday, it should have arrived. I should point out that unless I went through the hassle of filling out another contact form my email responses were being ignored; I think they must have been stuck in the magical void with the stock checking gnome (I’ve named him Norman).
I was so annoyed that I tweeted about it, and magically within 24 hours I received my parcel, a refund on my delivery charge and a £10 voucher off my next purchase.
I tried to order more NARS things from Selfridges, it was agina out of stock, I placed the order with NARS and used my money off voucher, my order once again got lost in the void, and the same thing happened again. Why is it so hard to buy beauty products? They either taunt us with promos months before the launch and then the product goes live secretly, so you are stuck to your computer for hours (sometimes days) frantically refreshing the screen, or they limit the product run to ridiculously small volumes (Naked Vault anyone?) so you feel like you have battled mythical beings when you finally get your hands on the damn things. Also, what happened to customer service? I got responses from two different customer service teams at both NARS and Selfridges; the social media teams and the general teams. The general customer service responses were pretty much along the lines of ‘sorry, tough luck, deal with it’ and the social media teams could not be more helpful. Is this what the world had come to? Is ‘Brand Image’ damage control on social media more important than customer satisfaction? Because that certainly seems to be the case in my experience.
So, #badCS rant aside, the other products I bought were the Audacious lipstick in Charlotte (deep berry), and two matte lip pencils in Dragon Girl (red) and Train Bleu (dark purple). They are fabulous, and I especially get a kick out of the magnetic fastening on the Audacious lipstick, but in future I will not be going through the NARS website and will be using Selfridges to spend the ‘gesture of goodwill’ voucher, but after that? We shall see…