Bath & Body Works Apologetically Delivers Discontinued Oil For Free

Kevin writes:

The other day my wife called up customer service at Bath & Body Works to ask about a scented oil she loves that they didn’t have at any local stores. Turns out it was discontinued and when they checked the computers they couldn’t find any in stock anywhere. They apologized and offered to send out a coupon which made my wife happy. She gave them our address and forgot about it. Yesterday, I went out to get the paper and found a box at our front door…

Inside were two bottles (~$20 each) of the discontinued oil and a really long apology saying how bad they felt that her favorite scent was discontinued and that they would pass on her disappointment to the people in charge of deciding what is sold. It was a a really friendly note, personal and genuine. The fact that they took the trouble to track down two bottles and send them for free (she had been happy to buy them) with such a nice note had us both feeling all warm and tingly the rest of the day (no easy task with the weather in Michigan these days). Anyhow, I thought that kind of service deserved a mention on your fine site.



That is super awesome customer service. Just a coupon would have been fine, but Bath & Body Works went the extra mile and tracked down the discontinued oil and sent it to them for free. They rewarded a loyal customer and cemented their bond. Good on ya, Bath and Body Works! Next time we think of slathering on overpriced oils, perhaps we shall think of your fine establishment!


Edit Your Comment

  1. meeroom says:

    I’ve always had great experiences at Bath and Body Works. Their website is awesome and always has great deals too.

  2. mrbiggsndatx says:

    my girlfriend loves it, which means that my wallet loves it……..i think.

  3. missdona says:

    Fedex lost a package of B&BW stuff I ordered back in Nov. They cheerfully resent the order (even though it totally was not their fault). Then, the original order showed up like 6 weeks later. I called them to send it back and they said I could keep it.

    I love B&BW.

    Also, I used to work for them years and years ago and they have a policy of not putting returned products back on the shelves. I guess this the mail-order version of it.

  4. marsneedsrabbits says:

    Ohhh! I never thought about them even having a website. Only stores. I <3 Moonlight Path and they have some cool stuff on their page :)

  5. annelise13 says:

    I guess I should’ve tried calling instead of emailing via the website when my fave lip gloss was discontinued. All I got was a “pat” response telling me to just try one of their lip glosses instead, which made me rather cranky since my note indicated none of their other offerings (at the time) contained something I particularly wanted (sun protection).

  6. boandmichele says:

    michele likes the iced tea stuff, and theyve discontinued it. so she called an outlet store 2 hours away, and they are shipping her about 10 total bottles, for 29 bucks total, including 6 in shipping.

  7. PermanentStar says:

    Also, for anybody who cares, they do have a 100% satisfaction guarantee – so if you have something, and you find you didn’t like something about it, even if there’s only a drop left in the bottle, they will at least let you exchange it (I think you need a receipt for returns, but if I remember correctly, from working there, they will exchange anything if you weren’t satisfied – it does take a few minutes, though)

  8. DeltaPurser says:

    I get all fuzzy inside when I read stuff like this… :-) Stuff like this turns buyers into life-long customers.

  9. silkyjumbo says:

    B&BW has been known to bring back a scent if the uproar is loud enough (welcome home, creamy coconut!).

  10. Dalinae says:

    When I worked for my previous company, BBW were always the hardest campaigns because they always pinpointed their customer preferences to the smallest detail and had us segment the mailed offers and coupons accordingly (and that was many, many, many different segments). They care about their customers’ experience a lot.

  11. @Dalinae: BBW = an unfortunate acronym for a store catering to women.

    Anyways, I’ve always like them because they put in coupons everytime I go. That makes it somehow OK in my book to spend 4 dollars on a little tube of hand sanitizer.

  12. latormenta says:

    I had a very pleasant experience with their customer care as well. I was having difficulty with a store manager who was rude and would not allow me to use a perfectly valid coupon. When I relayed this to the CC agent she was very sweet and apologetic and a week later I received a $25 gift card in the mail! I promptly used it with the grumpy manager.

  13. kevinhall says:

    Follow up: My wife and I forgot about the coupon they originally promised when the oils arrived. But then I checked the mail (after I sent the note to the Consumerist) and found a 20% off coupon. We couldn’t be happier about the whole thing. They are definitely getting more of our business.

  14. kelmeister says:

    They discontinued two hair care lines (biotanical nutrients and bio restorative) that I purchased obsessively, with nary a word except, “Here, you’ll like this one just as well.” Now I have a shelf in a closet loaded down with bottles I’ve gotten from eBay, and I never use them because I don’t ever want to run out.

  15. Imperialist says:

    Love B&BW.. had a package go missing around XMAS and called them to let them know, expecting a run around. The customer service rep was way nice and tried to set up a reorder, but the stuff were already out of stock. They immediately refunded my purchase with no hesitation.

    They’re an awesome and customer friendly company that I’ll always support.

  16. algormortis says:

    @missdona: The not restocking returned products part is indeed true. I worked for B&BW for a couple of holiday season insanity spells a few years back and it’ll either be used as a tester or alternately dropped in the back office.

    Then again, do you have any idea how rare returns were at B&BW, especially when placed in contrast with other retail places i’ve worked at?

    My favorite is when they have a coupon campaign and i admit i haven’t recently gotten coupons because i haven’t shopped recently, and they will usually give me the coupon offer. Awwh. Plus, i work with nasty cable runs all the time, so good non-drying hand sanitizer is awesome. the Artensia stuff they sell at Whole Paycheck is pretty good too.

  17. MiltyKiss says:

    @mrbiggsndatx: ditto here. (either a :(, :), or :/ goes afterwards, I think).

  18. mike says:

    I had a similar experience some 10-odd years ago…back when I had a girlfriend.

    The store people told me to call corporate, which gave me the number to their regional distributor, who sent me 4-5 bottles of soap, with a note saying pretty much the same thing.

    Me thinks they may save a few boxes on purpose to do this nice gesture.

    I guess I’d rather have them do that then coldly tell you that it’s discontinued so deal with it.

  19. seanSF says:

    Too bad I nearly pass out from the odor every time I come within 50 feet of one of their stores. :(

  20. corthepirate says:

    @missdona: I’m fairly certain that restocking opened returned products is illegal and that’s why they don’t do it. The Body Shop also has a similar policy.

  21. scarletvirtue says:

    @HRHKingFriday: It’s not as bad as the defunct, GAP-owned, “Forth and Towne” (FaT) stores. Their market/demographic was soccer moms and other middle-aged women.

    Needless to say, that lasted about 6 month, maybe a year, to be generous.

  22. cloudedice says:

    @missdona: Then what do they sell at their outlet stores?

  23. FDCPAGuy says:

    They do no sell returned product at their outlet locations either. They will sell overstock items and discontinued scents at outlet stores.

  24. chilled says:

    thats some good smelling stuff in that place..helps make my smoky house livable..

  25. forgottenpassword says:

    kudos to B&BW! That’s pretty cool!

    Too bad I have prettymuch no reason to shop there. :(

    Why cant walmart do stuff like this!

  26. chutch says:

    @seanmcleary: I agree. I have trouble being around extremely LOUD smells. This year I went shopping on the day after Thanksgiving sales at our local mall. I was walking down the mall at opening time for B&BW, when employees walked out spraying scents all over the place. I barely made it to the store I was trying to walk to without collapsing.

    Definitely seems like good customer service. I’ll remember this the next time someone in my family mentions a favorite scent isn’t available in store. It might be worth their time to see if Customer Service can track it down for them.

  27. TammyTones says:

    B&BW are AWESOME!! Over 10 years ago I had a similar situation. I sent them a letter about a perfume that I loved loved loved, and unfortunately for me, it was also discontinued. But they sent me a coupon in the mail.I think It was $25. And that was big in 1996, for a 16 year old me!! Even though I do not frequent them these days, I always remember the service the provided me for a discontinued product!

  28. stancey says:

    I looooove B&BW. I just wished they shipped to Canada so that I wouldn’t have to lug around so much whenever I go down to the States. =(

  29. spryte says:

    Love them too, great place to go for a quick gift (for a chick, or a gay/metro guy I guess…). Plus, I like that they have a wide variety of scents, not just vanilla and rose and pink grapefruit or whatever. Their Japanese Cherry Blossom fragrance is really nice, especially for a cheaper fragrance.

    Don’t think I could stand to work there though, I’d probably have to stick earplugs up my nose to keep from passing out…even nice smells can get overwhelming.

  30. Meikah Delid says:

    I get B&B products from friends and relatives in the U.S., and I love their products, too. Their scents are so good but not offensive to the nostrils. Quality products and exceptional customer service … now that’s what I call an excellent treat! Keep it up, B&B! And sure thing, Kevin, I will also post your story on my blog, and spread the word.

  31. NoWin says:

    @mrbiggsndatx: Ditto with my wife and my wallet….

  32. John Whorfin says:

    Thankfully my girlfriend doesn’t use B&BW!

  33. riverstyxxx says:

    Didn’t know Bath and Body Works was cool. Great success though! I’ll keep them in mind whenever I’m in need.

  34. twigg says:

    Their candle counter part, White Barn Candle Co., also has awesome sales once or twice a year. I got a whole bunch of great stuff (not stinky) for about 75% off, including Henri Bendel Home candles.

  35. LucyTuzy says:

    @TammyTones: Was it Gingham? My 16 year old self loved loved that stuff too.