Well, well, well. After months of ignoring the valid complaints on the forum, Mark Constantine has appeared in a puff of smoke (and mirrors) and said
Over the next few weeks I’d like us all reach a few conclusions for the individuals here. Please may I ask that if you have a personal problem that lush has not resolved you write an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please mark it forum. I’m looking for dreadful reactions as in Jo-annes case, ex employees that are still bitter over the way they have been treated or any matter that is best dealt with one to one.
What’s brought this on? Perhaps it’s a genuine desire to sort things out and make things right. I’m tempted to bring out the O RLY owl again, but I don’t like to overuse him. Perhaps he’s realised that the number of people saying they will never shop at Lush again will make a significant dent in the Christmas market and the potential market for the new book about Cosmetics to Go. Perhaps he’s fielding enquiries from journalists who’ve heard that not all is rosy. Perhaps he’s realised that getting people to email their complaints privately is better for the business than having them visible to the public all over the forum. Perhaps he’s trying to ferret out the employees and ex-employees who have given information to this blog.
I don’t know which of those reasons, if any, it is, but I would bet my Origins mega-mushroom facial lotion that it’s more about damage control than any genuine desire to put things right and make amends. Why do I say that? Well, there’s no apology. There’s no apology at all for the breathtaking rudeness he has shown towards forum users on the forum, or the way he talked about customers in private. And there’s the reference to “bitter” ex-employees, which suggests to me that he still won’t accept any responsibility for how badly people have been treated and sees the people who are unhappy as having an attitude problem rather than a genuine grievance. And what is he going to do for ex-employees anyway? They are ex-employees. They’re not his employees any more. My advice to all of the employees and ex-employees who have complaints about the way Lush treats them is to ignore that post from Mark. I don’t believe he means well by it. If you still work for Lush and you have a problem, join USDAW and get help in dealing with it. If you’re an ex-employee and you feel there are still matters related to your Lush employment which could be resolved, do it properly with union and/or legal help. Don’t take Mark’s remarks today at face value; protect yourselves.
As for customer grumbles – Lush already have a customer care section, and a customer care section on the forum. If using those hasn’t made things better, what difference will emailing Steve make? It seems to me that this isn’t motivated by any real desire for change, it’s just about getting things out of the open and hidden from the world. If anyone does decide to email Lush as a result of this, you are welcome to copy the email to this blog (southside socialist at hotmail dot co dot uk) and you are welcome to copy us into any response you receive. We will publish unless you ask us not to, and of course we publish anonymously unless permission is given to use a name.
Further eye-opening reading – this thread, which includes this picture of the reaction one woman’s little boy had to a Lush product (picture used with the kind permission of his mother)
Further things to think about – why Noriko soap is back, when it’s never sold well in the UK.