Because I am a Debenhams Beauty Club member and follow them on Twitter, I've been "bombarded" with face tanners of brands they sell. Also I have been reading reviews on other beauty blogs about said products and was curious to try a few.
At the same time I am on the look out for a good face anti wrinkle cream that won't turn my face or neck into a massive volcano.
So like many of you I am always VERY wary of trying new products, especially if they are VERY expensive or they are self tanners/tinted moisturiser....because I'm always scared they'll turn me orange or give me rashes.
When I used to live in Italy, I'd just walk in one of my trusted beauty stores and ask if they had a sample of this or that cream, and if they did have it, they would be only too happy to hand it out(they are not stupid, they realise by giving out a sample they can gain one or multiple purchase which wouldn't happen without the person testing the product).
I though with Debenhams being such a massive international retailer, they won't have problems with handing out a few samples....
Well....I could not have been more wrong!!!!!
Yesterday I walked into one in Henry St here in Dublin and went straight to the Clarins counter and very politely asked if they had any facial self tanners or tinted moisturiser samples....only to be told "I'm sorry I'm not allowed to", and me trying to explain the situation didn't really change a thing. I thought "that's weird of such a big brand..." so I hopped on to the Urban Decay and asked if they had any samples of their uber famous tinted moisturiser. To my surprise the girl said exactly the samme thing as the one from Clarins.
Because I'm a very stubborn person I thought "I'll just try another one, maybe those 2 brands are the only ones". So on I walked to the Benefit counter and ...well well well "Sorry we don't give out samples".
I may be stubborn, but I'm not stupid so I realised it might just be the store policy not to give out samples and decided not to ask Clinique and Lancome for face cream samples.
I have to be honest I was VERY mad and disappointed walking home so once in I took to Twitter to vent.
The Debenhams Beauty department picked up on my tweet and informed me that "samples are a VIP perk for our Beauty Club Card members. We are sorry for your experience" (eeerr...I AM a Beauty Club Member.....), and then asked me which samples I was afte.
I replied to that and the response was "We are very sorry to read that you were unable to get samples, can you email us".
"Fair enough" I thought, I'll drop them an e-mail, see what's the story.
I explained again what had happened at the store, what samples I was after and why I NEED to test products(especially if expensive) before purchasing them.
They were very quick in answering this morning!
"We were very sorry to read your tweet, our samples are reserved for Beauty Club Members however they are managed by the brands themselves, unfortunately a lot of the time the brands only sample new products and those are usually fragrances so we think with your case they simply do not sample those products." (right...so no products samples...ok that means no purchase from me then. Funny though how none of the girls at the counters mentioned anything about Beauty Club Member reservation...).
"However we fully understand that you would need to try these products out with your skin sensitivity and need for trialling them out before spending money on them" (nice, thank you for understanding).
"We have had a little raid of our cupboard in the office and pulled out some products to send you so you can try them out before you buy something, if you send us back your address we can get this in the post to you today" (they are making an effort : browny points! Fact remains I didn't get the samples of stuff I was after. I'll wait and see what is in the parcel).
I think I will be dropping a line to some of these brands even though I probably will get the usual "we're aware of the matter and we are trying to find a solution" or something along those lines. That is if I get any response at all. I just think it's very unfair!
So watch this space and we'll see what happens...although my guess is: NOTHING!