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Freebie Tip: Expect Customer Service for Freebies

by Freebies4Mom on September 21, 2009 4:37 pm

Did you know that many companies will offer you Customer Service assistance on the free samples that they send you? I’ve written why you may not get all of the freebies you request, but what about when you receive a free sample that arrives in your mailbox damaged or missing from the box? Companies that seek to exceed in the area of customer satisfaction will usually go above and beyond in responding to their customer’s requests, even for free samples. I have seen this happen first-hand myself, and I will never forget the companies that have exceeded my expectations. I have also learned that I must give these companies the opportunity to make me a satisfied customer, this means that I must contact them with my comment/complaint/request.

This happened to Jessica when she received her Clinique Happy sample box, minus the perfume it was supposed to contain. Jessica wrote to me “I was so sad to get my box from Clinique, that was supposed to have my free Valentine’s gift in it, but instead it was rubber banded closed and covered in stickers from the post office stating that it was received at my local post office, opened and without contents! How do you follow up on those sorts of things?

It appeared that the package that she received from Clinique was not sealed with tape, and therefore easily opened. Somehow her perfume was missing from the package. I encouraged Jessica to contact Clinique by phone, and they cheerfully responded by promising to send her new samples and said they would report the problem with the packaging. Jessica said “The woman I spoke to gave me the impression that there was something that could be done, and told me that they would take very good care of me. SHOCK!!! I thought for sure that they would just blow me off because it was a freebie!” Well, some companies will simply not respond to your request, but you have to give them the opportunity before you will know how they will respond.

Here are some steps that you can take when you want to follow-up on a free sample that you received that was damaged or missing from the package. Every company will respond differently, but most seek to achieve excellent customer satisfaction for anyone trying their products, even for free samples.

Step 1 – Save the package or damaged sample.

Step 2 – Find the contact information for Customer Service (phone and email). You may only find a general phone number, but you can usually get routed to the correct department by calling during normal business hours. If the phone number takes you to an automated “phone maze”, you can usually press “0” to speak to a live customer service representative.

Step 3 – Contact the company’s Customer Service by phone (preferred) or email to notify them of the problem, and to request that a new sample be sent to you.

Step 4 – Follow-up with the company if they send you a new sample to tell them that you received it and that you appreciate the quality of customer service you received.

Does anyone else have a similar experience to Jessica’s? Did you follow-up with the company?

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Image credit: Clinique

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

jamie September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm

thank you for talking about this. For a while there, all my good freebies would come empty (toilet paper, starbucks coffee) and I always felt it would be in bad taste to complain about it. Now I know-thanks again:)

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Kelly September 21, 2009 at 10:51 pm

This is a tiny but different but when Home Made Simple sent out my coupon booklet everything had been torn out leaving only the front and back covers. I was pretty bummed so I wrote them an email about it and they promptly wrote me back and with in a couple of weeks they mailed me another booklet inside a padded envelope. I thought that was very gracious!

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Anonymous September 21, 2009 at 11:04 pm

A toilet paper extender from Charmin came in pieces. I sent an e-mail to their customer service and in 3 days I received a new one.

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Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 3:23 am

I've done this before as a kid. I requested lip gloss samples, and they came, but the packs had been compressed so much in the envelope that they exploded! The company was super super nice about it and sent me new ones, along with a letter of apology. As long as you word your tons to be "I'm so sad that the product was missing/leaked everywhere" they are usually more than happy to help you out.

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Kristen September 22, 2009 at 8:34 am

this spring I had a coupon booklet (I think it was the home made simple one full of cleaning products) arrive as only the cover (minus all but 1 of the 30+ coupons) – it was pretty obvious that it had been damaged in transit, but I eamailed the company anyway expressing my anticipation of receiving the coupons for their products and my dissapointment when I found the damaged (empty) booklet in my mailbox. They were very prompt to respond to my email (I couldn't find a phone #) and I had a new book in the mail (this time packaged in a sturdy envelope for added protection) within a couple of weeks – It always helps to ask ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sheryl September 22, 2009 at 11:28 am

I got a sample from Bear Naked granola that was missing the sample. I called customer service and they apologized profusely and sent me a coupon for a free full size bag of granola, plus several dollar off coupons. I was really impressed.

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Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 1:11 pm

I received a free sample of head and shoulders shampoo from procter and gamble that came opened and had leaked out all over the package so I emailed them and told them and they sent me by mail two $2.00 coupons off a bottle of head and shoulders shampoo and when they went on sale for $2.99, I got 2 bottles for 99 cents each, I was satisfied with that.

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Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I wish I would have thought to do this!! I am signed up for Poptarts Sprinklings program and received a box a couple weeks ago. Inside was a letter telling me to enjoy the sample pop tart and coupon….only there was no pop tart OR coupon in the box! Just 2 empty cardboard inserts and then the letter…I was stunned ๐Ÿ™‚

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Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 4:38 pm

It's a good idea to let a comany know when you receive something that was poorly packaged. One time I bought a bottle of Poeme perfumed body creme. It comes in a glass jar. I bought it off ebay as an unboxed tester. Anyway, the seller on e-bay just stuck it in a yellow envelope and taped it shut with just one piece of tape. I really don't know how it arrived in my mailbox in one piece, but it did. I was stunned. She just stuck it without a box in a plain unpadded, un-bubblewrapped envelope!!!!I did e-mail her and let her know it was a miracle it arrived unshattered and did not leak out.And that I could not believe how she pakaged her item. Anyway she e-mailed me back stating that she really han't thought about the transit of the item and said she was not going to bubble wrap and box all glass items.Some poeple/companies just need it to be brought to their attention!!!!

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mscg18 September 25, 2009 at 7:44 am

I never received my samples of Sham Wow from a few months back. Well I emailed them and told them I didnt get mine. But that was about 2 weeks ago and still no response. I guess they are not a company that tries to really satisfy their customers. I am very disappointed because I was really looking forward to that sample.

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