Friday, April 20, 2012

Charlotte v. Neighbor Kitty

Neighbor Kitty, in a demonstration of defiance, returned later and was certain to urinate in several strategic locations around the yard.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Gone But Not Forgotten?

When I lived in the United Kingdom, I did a lot of walking. If I really think about it, I probably walked about 2 to 3 miles a day to get to class, to the library, or to shop for necessities downtown. There were two notable consequences to all of this walking--first, I had to completely rethink my priorities when I shopped for shoes. Second, a regular build-up of sweat between my skin and my shirt led to a breakout of massive proportions on my upper back.

As with any other previous skin emergency, I immediately went to Clinique to find something to help. I already had nearly one of everything in their acne-fighting line. What I really needed was some kind of a treatment for the red, irritated skin that the prolific acne left in its wake. Fortunately, I found it--a cream called "Exceptionally Soothing Cream for Upset Skin" (not the most marketable or catchy choice). It was amazing--within days, most of the redness disappeared. It was such a good product that I, from that point forward, always made sure I had some on hand should a similar problem arise. When my mother was desperate to alleviate some stubborn redness after an injury, I gave her a jar, and it worked its magic and created another convert in the process.

Then, Clinique stopped selling the product.

I have never understood why companies either stop selling or change popular products. A quick websearch revealed that Clinique's now unavailable cream was equally indispensable to many other clients. I called Clinique. I came away from that phone call with two pieces of information--first, that Clinique always replaces a popular item with a similar item; and second, that I could call their "Gone But Not Forgotten" phone line if I was really interested in buying old products the company no longer manufactured.

I've been waiting four years now, and I have yet to see a similar product come up. In fact, I wonder about the logic of this strategy--why do I need to put all that effort into finding that new, replacement product? I was unwilling to make another phone call only to be told they didn't have what I was looking for after half an hour on hold. I used to buy Clinique products all the time. Now, I may invest in some moisturizer now and again, and sometimes I buy the company's cosmetics, but I do not spend nearly as much, nearly as often, at their boutique.

The Body Shop recently committed a similar crime. Their Monoi Moisture Balm was the only moisturizer I could find that did not leave a greasy residue that I needed to "wait out" before covering the affected skin with clothing every time I used it. I recently went into a store to find more of it, only to discover that this product had been replaced with yet another greasy moisturizer under the same name. RedKen, often noted for their fabulous hair care products, replaced their popular "All Soft" conditioner with a very watery version of their product that literally drips down your face while it is supposed to be sitting in your hair.

What gives?

Do companies ALWAYS need revamping or restructuring, or are we really overdoing it? This is yet another example of the alienation of customers in order to somehow bring in more customers...and, if they do that, they'll just need to restructure again.

Lesson never quite learned.