Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Heart Wrencher: A True Life Story


I get all kinds of wonderful communications from readers. Many of them are from people who will ask me about ingredients or general skin care input, or more serious skin and hair care challenges. Some are from folks wanting to sign up as testers, and a few are from bloggers looking to review my products.

Today's post is about a particularly heart-wrenching letter.


The Order
This was an unusually long communication that came through the order form on my website. The woman described her skin problem in detail and asked for recommendations on which products would be best for her. She requested help in 'translating' the (Danish) prices on my website as she did not understand them. She continued and described an additional problem she had been struggling with for years  – hair loss. Her combination of skin and hair problems had brought her mood down to the point where she was constantly depressed.

My heart went out to her. Anyone having to struggle with so many issues at once couldn't help but feel low. The fact that she had taken the time to share so much of her personal life in such detail indicated to me that she was at the end of her rope.

The Reply
I spent well over 2 hours answering her in detail. Realizing full well that she would be looking at a small fortune if she ordered the amount of my products she had shown interest in, I drew up a 'less is more' skin care regimen for her that consisted of several DIY solutions that would not break her budget.

Links to how-to's and detailed explanations were included so she had something to start with immediately. I gave her price examples on a few of my products and assured her I would do my utmost to help her find a solution that would get her skin, hair, and mood back on track.

The next day I received her reply. It was quite short.

The Rude Awakening
"I'm sorry, I think you misunderstood. I am interested in reviewing your products for my beauty blog. I already have a strong online presence...."

She went on to explain that she was a professional writer and offered her writing services to others.

Hmmm.

I went back to re-read her initial communication. Maybe I had missed something.

Nope. There was no mention of reviewing products, blogs or anything else of that nature. Her communication read just like an order from a customer who was at her wits end and wanted advice and guidance.

Be Civil, Lise
I wrote her back, keeping a polite tone:
"Thanks for your quick reply. There definitely does seem to be some kind of misunderstanding here. 
Could you give me a link to your beauty blog?
Meantime, please visit the info page on my blog and check out the section about bloggers looking to review my products.


The Ultimate Slap in The Face
Later that day, I got her reply. 
"The beauty blog isn't up yet. I am starting it this week. I already have one other person who is going to send me some of her products so I thought I would review hers and possibly yours and go from there."

Ok. Now we can react.

EXCUSE ME??!!


Pulled The Wool, She Did....
I feel cheated by this person. She deliberately mislead me and in doing so, stole not only a chunk of my time, but my compassion. A professional writer? Absolutely. She knew exactly what she was doing from the get go. 

I didn't answer her back. Instead, I wrote this blog post. 

And, a few words from now, she will be utterly and completely 'blog-posted' out of my system.

Going. 

Going. 

Gone.

Ahhhh. 

Do Tell
Have you ever been deliberately mislead by someone? What did you do?

16 comments:

Foster Marine said...

I've read about similiar situations that took place in 'polish Internet'. It's quite common that girls are using their blogs only to get free cosmetics. What's funny for me, they are extremely unhappy when a company sends them for example only samples. L'Occitane did so maybe last month and lots of polish beauty bloggers wrote that this company is not fair and so on. I've also read about situation that owner of a shop with ecocosmetics replied to one girl that maybe in some time she will be able to give a blogger some products to test. A month later she got a respond that she is cheeky, because she hadn't send those cosmetics... People are soo strange sometimes;)

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Foster, Thanks for your comment. As always a pleasure to read your input!

I know it's not uncommon for people to try and get things for free, but most of the people who approach me for samples are very straightforward about it. Fair enough.

What really threw me for a loop with this person was her deliberate deceit. In my book, that's just downright rotten.

Rikke said...

Hej Lise. Jeg har ikke oplevet noget lignende. Måske er jeg bare tungnem, men jeg fatter slet ikke, hvad denne kvinde har gang i. Hvordan kan man være så udspekuleret, egoistisk og selvcentreret??? Ingen opdragelse overhovedet? Ja, jeg er virkelig vred på dine vegne. Ikke i orden at holde dig for nar på denne måde og spilde din tid. Kh Rikke

Lise M Andersen said...

Tak Rikke, Ja jeg ved præcis hvad du mener.. hvordan kan man være så udspekuleret over for et andet menneske.. hun var temmelig kold i enden hende her. Det er heldigvis laaaaaang tid siden jeg er løbet på en lignende
person...

Jana said...

OMG that's just wrong! And you were so nice to her.. There are too many bloggers who just want free stuff, i think that's not the way to be really successful..oh well :) Thanks for sharing :) xx

Lise M Andersen said...

Thank you Jana. It is luckily not often at all I meet this type of person. :)

alicyn said...

lise, i'm sorry this woman took advantage of your time! most people would not share their time and expertise so generously.

i can't think of a time where i've been deliberately misled, but this kind of reminds me of being the nice girl with a car in college. sometimes people just don't realize that a burrito (or other cheap meal) may cover gas, but probably doesn't cover the driver's time.

Tina Rasmussen, CPH said...

That's so rude! I cannot belive people think it's OK to take so much of your time and have you provide so much help knowing all along that they are just trying to get free products!
Good on you for not letting it get to you, I personally would have a hard time with that and would have told her off with big words I'm afraid :-o

Generally, I dont get the "I'm a blogger so give me free stuff and I'll write a review". Yeah right, most of the time what's written is not a review but a description you could find on the product website. I don't understand why companies find it necessary to send their products to so many so-called beauty bloggers.

Let me end by thanking you for the information you provide for all of us - free of charge - your blog is one of the few I check regulary.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi Alicyn, Thanks so much for your input! Always a pleasure!

I know what you mean about ending up as the driver for people because you are the only one in the crowd with a car. Part of you thinks 'well, i have a car and they don't. It would be rude of me to say no' and another part thinks 'SometimesI wish I didn't have this dang car'-

Lise M Andersen said...

Tina - I really appreciate your kind words and will now carry them with me throughout the entire weekend.
Stor knus fra mig!

Olivia J said...

I don't get it really, to ask for stuff to review yet not have a blog up. I also don't get people who start a blog just to get free stuff.

I have trouble blogging with just what I have! LOL Time and effort is what it takes to blog. Getting "free" stuff which isn't free since it is mandatory to make time and effort is work.

I guess some people use blogging as an excuse to get free stuff. I think I use blogging as an excuse to buy stuff! ;-)

Lise M Andersen said...

Thanks Olivia - Happily you express the view of most of the bloggers I have met. I really do think most bloggers are serious about what they do and not just in it for freebies. :)

LeKenda said...

I understand your disgust! I quite frequently get requests for free items, even as recently as last week. That particular person was rather rude in her request- so I will not even begin to consider it. I always laugh when they try to convince me on how large their audience is- which almost always is quite dismal in comparison to my current following. In the end- I am always courteous in explaining why I do not give away products without it being a campaign of some sort. If I have a current campaign running I direct them to that so that they can enter and have a CHANCE to win.
Don't let one person discourage you from caring about the plight of others.

Lise M Andersen said...

Thanks LaKenda - I do love your campaign idea and will definitely keep that one in mind for future. I must admit I have rarely experienced people be rude when asking for products. So, that's one thing I can thank my lucky stars for! :)
Leave a link to your blog? I'd love to check it out.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lise,

I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience. If that ever happen to me, maybe I would turn into an Incredible Hulk, LOL! It is frustrating to have to spend some time to answer the request, etc. and in the end the only thing that they want is free stuff. I'm impressed at how you handle things like that. Thumbs up! :)

Sincerely,
Zan.

Lise M Andersen said...

Thank you Zan. :)