The Smell of Bullshit, part 49: but what are they going to do about the complaints?

Someone has sent me a copy of an email relating to customer care, which Lush had sent out in error. They’re not really very good at emails, are they? The usual customer care emails are full of spin and talk about how wonderful everything is, but the unedited info in the email that went out paints quite a different picture.

Feb 2014 customer care email

Products causing blistering? Products containing what might be glass? Products going mouldy? All of these things have been raised with Lush via the forum over and over again, for years. But it’s obviously still happening. If you buy a product, and it’s mouldy, or filled with foreign objects, or it causes blistering on your skin, contact your local council’s Trading Standards department straight away.

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10 thoughts on “The Smell of Bullshit, part 49: but what are they going to do about the complaints?

  1. It is so sad that these things are continually happening and Lush choose to do nothing about it. These products are clearly unsafe so should be withdrawn immediately – but they wont be. They will just say that these are isolated cases and are ‘being investigated’ which basically means nothing is being done about it. I work at head office so I know this to be true. When discussed they simply say “well the customer was using it wrong.” Or, “they must have super sensitive skin then.” Yet again they take no responsibility for their mistakes – which hopefully, ultimately, will be their undoing.
    Henna is supposed to be the most natural thing, used for over 3000 years safely – so what does Lush do to it to make it blister the skin?
    Toothy tabs making the tongue swell and blisters appear? Well, something Lush don’t want to tell anyone is that the scrubbing agent they use was recently found to be industrial grade not cosmetic grade and therefore untested for human use. So, of course they immediately withdrew all toothy tabs didn’t they? No they didn’t. They have done nothing. They are still out there in shops, gift boxes and – if people are daft enough to buy them – in peoples bathrooms being used daily.
    It’s only a matter of time before someones tongue swells and blocks their airway and they die. The dental trials that went on were not actually official dental trials. They involved testers (members of staff) going to the dentist to get their teeth checked before and after using toothy tabs. Then when the dentist found no decay between visits that is what Lush called a dental trial. It’s all so wrong.
    Fun Pink melting? It will. It’s talc, cornflour and glycerine plus some sickly colour and some SLS. Of absolutely no use or benefit to the skin whatsoever. Any humidity at all and it will revert to a liquid. When it was launched Mo was interviewed and we all saw it on a live feed from the factory. The interviewer asked how long it would last and Mo actually said, “We don’t know yet really” Another untested product that they feel won’t do any harm to you as it contains nothing good. It will just melt in a nasty, gloopy puddle and stain your bath/grouting/soap dish/child. They don’t care. But of course 10p from all sales will go to charity. A whopping 2% of the sale when that’s probably all it cost them to make it in the first place, the rest is profit.
    Foreign bodies in ballistics? There is absolutely no excuse for this. Quality control should be exactly this. And there certainly shouldn’t be finger nails in items if gloves are being worn as they should be. It’s a health and safety disaster waiting to happen – yet again.
    Oh, and all the prices go up on 1st April again. Twice yearly price increases. I don’t know of many other retailers who raise their prices so frequently and by so much. Do the wages go up aswell? No, I didn’t think so.

  2. “Foreign Objects in ballistics are now becoming common occurrences” and then further down teh report “Customer found a fake nail in their bubbleroon “. Ugh.
    Interesting seeing that written down in a Lush report, when it’s something that has been frequently reported on the Lush Forum for years. And that list of adverse customer reactions is shocking. All the more so when the standard Lush spokesperson response on the forum has been “I’m sorry that happened. I had one of those and it was simply wonderful” (paraphrased).

  3. Some thoughts:

    1) ‘Self preserving products’. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Excuse me, I’m having a chuckle. The products that already have methyl & propyl parabens in them grow mould, and the supposed ‘solid’ products that need no preservative mould because (surprise surprise) they need water to activate, which encourages mould growth. How are they going to manage this one?

    2) Some companies actually withdraw products and let the customers know when they are dangerous. Recall how many times you have entered a supermarket with a sign on the door saying ‘customer recall: glass found in x product, do not use, return to store’. Why are Lush exempt from this? If it was my child in the bath with plastic or glass shards I would be livid. If it was my face being scrubbed with a vulgar charcoal face ‘wash’ (a wash that leaves your skin streaked in black) that had glass in it, I would be ringing a solicitor. They have got away with this shit for so long.

    3) Remember when Constantine used to be the darling of the press? Seems the worm has turned. British press do like to build people up only to knock them down. Well it can’t happen quick enough. I think he is a vile, nasty, cretinous dickhead.

    4) It is my opinion that they are a seedy little company and this leaked report proves it to some extent. Tissue layers of secrets and lies. Do they actually care about their customer? No, of course they can’t, because if they did, they would be recalling products PUBLICLY and ceasing production. But no, Constantine needs to keep buying chlorine for his pool, so fuck the customer, let’s just keep peddling ‘we care’ and ‘it’s hand made’ bollocks. No shit it’s hand made – pubes in ballistics tell us that a human has been involved somewhere, unless it’s a new ‘nourishing’ ‘ethically sourced’ ingredient.

    They are a bunch of fucking amateurs.

  4. The pay is the biggest kick in the teeth for all staff members.
    We used to do two parties a day in busy store times and sometimes be so understaffed you would have to jump on the till half way through a party to serve a queue of customers! And you don’t get paid a penny extra for all the hard work that gets put into these parties! Not to mention the fact that nobody who does the parties is CRB checked. Lush think that it’s perfectly fine though to be taking children to our skanky toilet out back without the parents, and for the parents to leave them in store to go and get coffee. Anything could happen and anyone could be doing the parties! And the ones in store times are at our busiest periods sometimes I can’t even keep track of which ones are the party kids and which are customers! Anybody could walk out with a child!! But Lush dont care as long as we keep selling their over priced shop tour parties and up selling the ballistic kits.
    I’m not even sure if there is actually a different wage for the different roles in store.. Or even if the roles exist? I started as a key holder and somehow became a supervisor over night when they realised they had understaffed themselves one week. I now open and close the store and run the day’s at least three times a week and haven’t seen a penny extra for what I do! I often do the orders and have to deal with situations that I feel have nothing to do with me considering I’m on the same wage as everyone else! Why should I be submitting pay roll and sending important emails?!
    And we dint get paid anything extra for bank holidays, Xmas eve, boxing day, new years or Easter. Yet we get told we have to work them it’s compulsory!
    Everyone is on the minimum hour contract but again us expected to work at least 20 hours a week. Which means you dint get it back when you take holiday. If your storeHas enough staff to allow you to take holiday that is! If not tough luck, on calling helping hands to ask for advice we where told “lots of stores are also feeling under staffed so holiday is managers discretion” I couldn’t give a crap about other stores, ours is understaffed what are you going to do?! We are entitled to our holiday!
    In smaller stores the manager gets paid less than an angel role in a London store. Despite the fact that they actually do more!
    In my long run of working fir Lush I can’t even begin to tell you how many dodgy things we have found in products!! The shards of plastic in ballistics we where told was due to the company making the moulds changing the plastic and nit telling us. But that was well over a year ago and we still find them all the time! And the amount of hair in products also is a joke!!! The facial cleansers are gross I would never buy them, we pot up the ones that have been on display and poked and prodded which I’m sure there must be a health and safety law against? Seeing as lush have no guidelines fir anything God knows if everyone even wears gloves when potting it up?!
    There is just no care for anything. We should be recalling things with problems but Lush make so much money they just dint care!
    I hAbe seen tonnes of people be bullied out of our store alone and it’s so sad. They need a human resources department to deal with problems because the three persons team is a load of rubbish!! They make you feel like you are in the wrong or over exaggerating! I could literally write a book on all the goings on in our store alone but eeveryone is just past caring now. It’s easier fir us to keep our heads down and do the minimum we need to than to complain and moan every day!! It’s not going to get better cos as long as Mark and mo can afford to be prancing round in Vivienne Westwood and flying here there and everywhere hosting their ridiculous staff meetings which they plough so much money into, they couldn’t give a shit. I used to think so much if the company but now it’s just a job. If your malicious and get off on making people un happy and miserable you seem to do fairly well in this company! It’s full of bitterness and bitching and I have been managed by some really awful people who like I mentioned earlier, bullied people out their jobs!
    It’s sad that when reading these posts and other comments I wonder if so many of them are from our store!! But actually it’s the same problems just reoccurring everywhere. Lush suck and the sooner this page is discovered and latched into by a big news paper the better! For the sake of all the hard workers the truth deserves to be revealed!

    • There is a salaried supervisor role and always had been but no managers dare mention it as it would use up more staffing budget and, instead of the hourly paid staff bonus, the supervisor would get a share of the huge management bonus so the manager wouldn’t get as much bonus which is why they don’t mention it.

  5. Yes, re: unions. If every Lush employee joined Usdaw they would have so much more power. And why? Because as soon as Lush start the “We don’t think you’re happy here” bullshit, or they scapegoat people, or someone gets a random “We’re restructuring” message, or suddenly have hours cut or work/projects taken, then all it takes is a call to the union and they give advice and support. Lush don’t like that because they do not understand employment law or procedure and unions do. Unions also care about members and treat them like human beings, which Lush do not. Lush see staff as hired help. Yes, even the staff currently in favour and promoted as ‘minor celebrities’ are merely hired help; Constantine will tire of them at some point. And why don’t they understand employment law? Because they think it doesn’t apply them them. “Manage them out of the business!” they say with glee, each time the family gets bored of someone. And that’s what they do. They bully out, they fight dirty. Believe me, I’ve seen it. But it’s so important to join a union before anything even happens, knowing you have the power of a union behind you. And the more people who join, the greater the power. And no, you don’t have to tell Lush and they cannot discriminate based on T.U. membership. They like ‘fair trade’ right? So they should have no beef with it then. (I would say ‘tofu’ but we all know that the ‘vegetarian owners’ is bollocks, don’t we?)

    And a good second reason to join a Union is that Constantine has stated at several meetings in the past that he strongly dislikes them for myriad wishy washy reasons. I believe he doesn’t like them because it dilutes his megalomaniac hold on the company. He did say at one managers’ meeting “I won’t stop you joining a union” (in January 2013 if I recall correctly) when he was going off on some old meaningless diatribe, and damned right he won’t because he can’t. Even if you just join to spite the old talentless bastard, then that’s as good a reason as any. But just join!

    • 3 new members of the brand new digital team have had the ‘we don’t think you’re happy here’ talk already this week. All done while little big man Jack Constantine suns himself on holiday. He probably left instructions to ‘get rid’ as he usually does. The Digital company has been formed less than 3 months and the cracks are already starting to appear. And there is customer revolt over the Lush Kitchen which is an extortion racket of postage costs, data issues (no surprise there) and major cock ups in general. This too is Jack’s baby, which just proves he can’t get anything right.

  6. hi, i know this was quite a few years ago now but i’m just getting through this series of posts and was thinking you might copy and paste or screenshot this document instead of having it as an attachment for people to download. i personally can’t read it as acrobat reader nor notepad can support the file type. of course, if you aren’t really getting hits on these posts anymore, please disregard 🙂
    (again i don’t make this comment to say i don’t believe the contents are real – i definitely do – but rather that i’m just nosy and if lots of people are still reading these posts the content may not be accessible to most.)

    http://i0.poll.fm/js/rating/rating.js

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