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Freebie Tip: Was Your Freebie Damaged or Missing?

by Freebies4Mom on June 3, 2011 9:30 am

Did you know that many companies will offer you Customer Service assistance on the free samples that they send you? Do you know what to do 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.

What if your freebie arrives damaged? I received this package from Febreze and my candle was broken even though they packed it in bubble wrap. So I looked at the paperwork that came with this freebie and called the marketing company that was handling the fulfillment. They told me they’d be happy to send me another candle to replace the broken one. I’m still waiting to receive the candle replacement, but I’m glad I followed-up on it so that they know there was a problem, and so that they can hopefully replace it.

What if your freebie package arrives minus the freebie it’s supposed to contain? 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.

Steps to Follow When Your Freebie is Damaged or Missing
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 or mine? Did you follow-up with the company?

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Image credit: Clinique

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Em June 30, 2011 at 9:32 pm

I emailed febreeze and got a “too bad, so sad” kind of response!  I was kinda ticked! 


Charlotte Varner June 6, 2011 at 5:37 am

I dropped my Febreze package in the floor as soon as I got it handed to me so I don’t know if it was my fault or not. I still was able to save the candle. I also sent off for lactaid sample but when I got my 4 samples they were all smashed. I emailed the comopany & they asked for the numbers on the back of the packets. They said they were sorry & they said they would send me new ones. They sent me $10 coupon for their product. PLus 6-$1 coupons, recipe book, paper to know if your laqatose, paper to save on medicine & apology letter.


Charlotte Varner June 6, 2011 at 5:41 am

Lactose* they were extremely awesome considering I only sent off for samples!! Also Country Bobs I had never received my free bottle. I couldn’t remember if I sent to my addy or fiance. They ended up sending me 2 coupons to each addy for free bottle of sauce so I got 4 free bottles instead of 1!! Also for everyone waiting on Febreze candles if you didn’t make it by a deadline about a week before Teacher Appreciation day then their not sending the candles because you were suppose to give one to your childs teacher.


JessNTexas June 6, 2011 at 2:25 am

There have been many instances where I thought “I never got that cookbook” or “I never got that freebie in the mail. What’s up with that?”  but have never followed thru. I figured maybe the post office lost it. 

But yes, once I did contact the company regarding a sample. It was a gummy vitamin sample. It had melted in my mailbox! I emailed them to just tell them that if heat affects the vitamin, they might consider mailing samples at a different time of year when it’s not so hot. They thanked me and mailed me yet another sample the next week. Luckily I got it out of the mailbox before it melted again.


Kndsoul4 June 5, 2011 at 1:54 am

I recieved a letter from hershey’s saying congratulations, and that i was a winner in the Reese’s perfect play sweepstakes and my prize was a coupon for a free bag of reese’s mini’s, and the coupon was supposed to be inclosed and it was but it was a completely blank coupon paper , has this happened to anyone else, and how would i complain about this?


LB June 4, 2011 at 1:07 am

Does anyone have the contact for the beauty bag from Target? Never received that one 🙁


Guest350 June 3, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I received a Dove shampoo/conditioner sample once, and the shampoo had leaked all over the package.  I called up the number I had, and asked to receive another sample. The only response I received was ‘go back online and try to ask for another one’, when I said that it was not being offered anymore, he said ‘sorry then’ (or equivilent).  No help at all..


Robkthyh June 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm

I also received a broken candle and threw out the paperwork.  Do you still have the phone number to call?


Laura Wales June 3, 2011 at 4:20 pm

I received a full-size bottle of Pantene from Vocalpoint last year. When I opened the box, I discovered that the shampoo had leaked out all over the inside of the box and the coupons. Even though I hadn’t requested the sample, Vocalpoint still sent me another full-size product with coupons after I let them know via email that it had arrived like this. Great customer service!


Brokeankle29 June 3, 2011 at 3:18 pm

You know that is how mines came but cann’t find my paperwork can you give me the number you called amybe that can help me out? Thank You


Crystal June 3, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Do you have the contact information for the Frebreeze, I did this promotion and never received it. 


Danielle Levins June 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm

My candle came broken as well! Shame to UPS perhaps? That’s who delivered mine, I’m sure Febreeze didn’t send out all broken candles on purpose, I’ve personally never had any good relations with UPS so I do what I can do avoid them.  I didn’t think the company would replace it, shame to me for not calling to see, but my wonderful husband took the candle from me and wrapped it with plastic grocery bags and got his hammer out and finished breaking it completely from the glass and after cleaning the glass free of the candle set it into another one of my candle holders and brought it back to me saying “here ya go hon” with that cheesy grin our hubby’s get when they do something that they’re proud of.  I was so happy, so now that candle in its new holder is sitting in our bedroom!  Thank you for telling us this, next time I’ll call the company and just see what they do, but I was very happy for my husband for solving my problem, we really hate throwing things away 🙂  (It seems I married a built in customer service!)


Miranda June 3, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I was supposed to get the candle and stuff! I filled out the info, said it was on it’s way but I never received it:(


Cari June 3, 2011 at 2:56 pm

My candle was broken as well!!


Love Our Military June 3, 2011 at 2:40 pm

I actually had the same thing happen to my febreeze candle. I called the company and she gave me an email address and told me to email them and they would ship me out a new candle. Problem is I lost that email address. Figures my luck lol.


Rumyboody June 3, 2011 at 2:39 pm

this happened to me recently regarding the July 4th flag Jello mold… it came broken. Who do I contact ?


Jennifer June 3, 2011 at 2:38 pm

My candle arrived broken too. It was about a month ago, I just had to throw it away. I didn’t even think they would send me another, I threw the paperwork away 🙁


Julia Smith Lobono June 3, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I always contact the company! Most of the time they make up for it with the same item and extras for my problem! Like Secret, my deodorant came empty, I contacted them and they sent full size product instead of a sample product, body sprays and coupons! They were all hand wrapped in tissue paper and had a handwritten note as well! It pays to contact whether it be a small or large problem, companies want to keep you as a customer not loose you!


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