The Smell of Bullshit, part 30: as sooty as a sweep

As you know, I’ve stopped shopping in Lush other than for Dream Cream, so I’m not generally aware of their new products. Someone has emailed me this week about a Hallowe’en ballistic, Soot Ball (emails, as always, to southside socialist at hotmail dot co dot uk).

This is what they said


I wanted to let you know about a literally ‘dirty’ issue affecting Lush UK at the moment.

If you have seen the halloween products you will doubtless know that one of them is a black sprayed ‘sootball’ which is causing all sorts of problems for customers and staff alike.
Customers are complaining that it stains them and the bath a horrible black colour and even some staff have said on the staff facebook page that it has caused them problems.  Of course the more brainwashed staff say there’s no problem at all, which in fact may be true depending on which batch of product they have.  This is down to poor quality control at the factory but the greenwash spin is that ‘each batch is handmade so will differ slightly’.  What can’t be escaped is the fact that the product received inadequate testing at the factory before it was passed as a product, as usual.
What is interesting is that in North America the product has been withdrawn!  Due to it being inferior quality the North Americans are not letting it go on sale.  Even tho the whole halloween campaign is based around it they are not allowing it to reach customers.
This just goes to show a) the difference in Lush’s management styles; b) the North Americans desire to put the customer first and c) The Lush UK managements indifference to how customers feel about products and their ultimate desire to rake the money in at any cost.  One line of conversation on the staff facebook was that it only stained your bath if it wasn’t clean, so to say to customers who complained that they didn’t clean their baths enough!  Thanks Lush, you’re digging your own Halloween graves!
So then I had a look on the forum and I found this thread. For those who can’t or won’t click, it says
Two scrubs in, bathroom stinks of bleach, arms are killing me..
and there is a photo of a very dirty bath.
I am nicking the photo from that thread to post here – if the forumite in question would prefer me to remove it, please let me know and I will do so.
Photo of a bath after using soot ball

The afterbath of soot ball



5 thoughts on “The Smell of Bullshit, part 30: as sooty as a sweep

  1. Lush have never cared about products staining the bath have they. I remember when I first bought from Lush around 10 years ago and told a manager about having to spend about half an hour scrubbing the staining from a Lush ballistic from my brand new, spakling clean bath. The manager replied ‘Me too! I wasn’t very relaxed after doing all that’. 10 years ago and it’s still happening.

  2. Last Halloween Lush released The Enchanter Ballistic. It was Calacus/Day of the Dead/Lady Catrina scented. I loved that scent. It was also a shocking pink colour. I bought 4 from the Bolton store and used one that very Sunday night. It smelt lovely, for a change, and I was really enjoying the colour show, until I noticed that I WAS THE COLOUR SHOW!! Wherever the water had touched me, I was bright pink. I leapt out of that bath and drained the water. The pink had stained all of our rental property tub. I scrubbed and scrubbed that tub and used every nosebleed inducing product I could get my hands on. Nothing would shift it. I had to have several painful showers, each one with harsh exfoliating products (luckily I had several Sugar Scrubs to hand). Later that night I went on the forum to let others know and found a thread all about this ballistic. I wasn’t alone by any means. I decided to e-mail Customer Care and was shocked and disgusted to receive a reply that merely mentioned how I should clean my bath. It implied, heavily, that I had a bath that wasn’t fit for purpose and was scratched and stained beforehand. We rent a new build house. The tub is plastic and pristine!!!!
    Only after voicing my complaints on the forum was I approached and asked for my address so I could be sent complimentary products. A few weeks later they arrived. None of them (4 products in total) were bestsellers and the majority were coming up to their best before date. No refund for the 4 ballistics.
    The complaints continued on the forum about that ballistic and in the end it just disappeared into the ether. Just like the company did for me.

  3. That must be the natural colours and safe synthetics then! In other words the harsh Azo dyes which are unsafe and unnatural.

  4. This is the official line that Lush Customer Care have been giving customers who have been affected by the sootball staining:

    “Customer Care have had a small number of customers get in touch who have experienced some discolouration to their tubs, however we are positive that the colour will lift with the continuation of normal cleaning. That being said, should you have any customers who have similar experiences, you can recommend that they allow clear water to cover any colour whenever possible and if they wish, they can also add bicarbonate of soda (around 200g) to the water. Another good tip is to mix a solution of half water and half white vinegar, then use a cloth to wipe over the stain, leave for 5 minutes and rinse.

    Jiggly Paul has been in touch with Customer Services this morning, who are going to speak with the Ballistics Room, just to make sure that the product is receiving a light coating of the black, which should hopefully mean that all future batches will be problem free”

    That puts everyone’s minds at rest so they can use the ballistic with complete confidence. Just run your bath, drop the sootball in, have a glass of wine and candles, enjoy your bath then step out of the bath and grab your 3 pots of bicarb (costing about 3 quid) your white vinegar (which you always keep in the bathroom just in case) and re-run the bath and give it a good scrub. By which time you’ll probably need another bath as you’ll be sweating from all the exertion of continued cleaning, which suggests you may not get it all off in one go!

    As a member of staff I am so embarrassed to be still selling this product. 😦

  5. I have just used up my last lush bath ballistic. It was a think pink and I threw it down the loo where it flacidly collapsed into a heap of bicarb. I knew it wouldn’t fizz much as the water was cold but bicarb should react with water of any temperature.

    Anyway, non fizzing aside I used it’s bicarbiness to scrub the loo, then flushed. What a beautiful bright pink toilet bowl I then had! 3 lots of neat bleach, brushing and flushing and it is now white again.

    Thanks Lush for nothing. So glad to see the back of you and your shoddy second rate products.

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