Apr 15, 2010

Open Forum: Companies Not Responding to E-Mail

These days the most frequent way to communicate with a company is via e-mail. It is usually fast and to the point. So, it is quite frustrating when a company doesn't respond.

A good example is Mastey de Paris, they rarely, if ever, respond to e-mails. A recent e-mail was sent to them inquiring when their skin care line would again be available, specifically regarding Mastey Moiste Facial Moisturizer. No response. E-mail should be answered promptly, especially when there is so much competition for consumer interest.

An e-mail was sent to Alterna regarding a product they offer requesting further information. Again, no response. This e-mail was sent to them seeking information on how to use a product as a potential new customer and they didn't make the effort to respond.

Have you had similar difficulty get an e-mail answered? Did it deter you from doing business with them?

Apr 1, 2010

Mastey de Paris Revamps Skin Care Line

As anyone who has read this blog or my twitter account knows, I love Mastey de Paris, especially Mastey de Paris Moiste Facial Moisturizer. So, imagine my surprise to find the skin care link removed from their website. I was told Mastey has halted sales of their skin care line while they repackage it. Meanwhile, since no one was told beforehand, those of us who loyally use it could not stock up on it and are left to find a substitute until they begin selling it again. They also do not indicate when they will make it available again for purchase.

Most companies will introduce new products while still selling the previous version. An example being Estee Lauder who recently reformulated and repacked Advanced Night Repair, they sold both the old and new product side by side; this allows customers to stock up. Mastey, as they are doing it, are forcing customers who run out of their favorite skin care products to find something else to use, and possibly like better, since they are not currently able to repurchase from them. If someone tries a new product that is easier to obtain and cheaper, why would they switch back to Mastey? Mastey products are not easy to find locally and thus must be ordered from the company via their website or by telephone.

In addition, when products are repackaged it often times also indicates it is being reformulated which is not always the best solution. It seems more than likely Mastey is reformulating their products to remove the parabens, as they did with their hair care line previously, which is great depending on what ingredient they use as a substitute. With Mastey, their products are wonderful, but the formulas might be considered dated when compared to newer products with peptides and various other new ingredients (which many times are nothing more than new industry buzz words to sell more products). However, one of the main reasons I love Mastey products so much is they do not use any silicone, mineral oil, petroleum jelly, talc, mica, zinc, titanium, or propylene glycol. They use ingredients proven to work such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, the natural moisturizing factor, and pseudocollagen, and not the latest beauty buzz word ingredient. They also avoid use of strong fragrances, unlike so many other brands. So, it will be interesting to see what they do, if anything, with the formula.

It will also be interesting to see if they continue selling the same amount of product for the same price. Some companies use repackaging as an excuse to sell less product for the same price, in essence raising the price. Mastey was selling a 3.38 ounce tube of their Moiste Facial Moisturizer for $28.00. If, for example, when it is repackaged they begin selling a lesser amount for the same price or the same amount for the a higher price, they are raising the price which is not ideal in this economic climate. Estee Lauder relaunched Advanced Night Repair for $1 more than what it sold for before it was reformulated.

Additionally, Mastey has raised the cost of their shipping and handling. Yves Rocher ships from Canada and only charges $4.95. Estee Lauder, Clinique, and many others frequently offer free shipping if the purchase is over a certain amount and include free samples of other products. They are also extremely slow to ship orders out forcing a wait of up to two weeks according Google Checkout reviews.

Mastey is also a bit difficult to communicate with via email. Their website is not frequently updated so information must be obtained either by email or telephone. Emails to them can go days unanswered, if they bother to answer them at all. Communication and customer support are extremely important when selling consumer goods. Mastey is a smaller company, however, it is important that they, at the very least, answer emails promptly and keep their customers updated on product changes and offerings. Consumers like building relationships with brands and if communication is lacking they will look elsewhere.

I have said numerous times Mastey de Paris is, in my opinion, one of the very best product lines available. Their products are thoughtfully formulated and the prices, while not cheap, are less expensive than many drug store and department store brands. However, with high shipping and handling, long shipping delays, little to no communication with customers, and halting sales of their skin care line while they repackage it, they are making it difficult for customers like me to stay loyal to their brand.