Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Neutrogena: Skin ID

A while back, I saw a commercial for Neutrogena's product line called "Skin ID." I had been using a variety of expensive spa brand facial products, and I've had good luck with Neutrogena in the past, so I thought this was a great way to try a new "personalized" product.

I signed up, got my free sample, and started my "membership." This means that they send me refills of the products at the end of a time period I specify (for me, 75 days seemed like a good amount of time). I liked that, actually. Online, as long as you don't have any questions, this product line seemed like a good thing.

Well, turns out that this product isn't for me - I tried it for awhile, but found it to be too harsh and drying. Right now I'm looking for something more "natural," and also, cheaper (because if I could just buy whatever I wanted, price be damned, I'd be loading up on Repachage or Bioelements, but since that stuff is super expensive, I'm using "Yes To Cucumbers," which was recommended by a friend. It's fine; I'm not overly excited, but it seems to be working out).

Anyway, early last week I emailed the Neutrogena Skin ID people a question. I needed the answer to this question before I could decide whether or not to cancel my membership. Days passed, and all I received was an auto response:

Thank you for contacting Neutrogena skinID(r). We are experiencing higher than normal email volume at this time, therefore will make a best effort to respond to this request as soon as possible.

Honest... but not very helpful. Eventually I went elsewhere for my answer, and I decided that it's no longer appropriate for me to use their product, so I tried calling them to find out how to cancel. I was on hold for awhile, and I received the same message ("We are currently experiencing high call volume..."). So I gave up. There's no way that I can see to cancel my membership on the website, nor are there instructions for returning products (I received my second shipment last Wednesday). I had a little time this morning, so I decided to try again, and so now I'm on hold, attempting to speak to a live person. It's been about 20 minutes. My shoulder is starting to hurt. They claim that they'll be with me as soon as possible, but I'm starting to think that's just a line.

Right now their customer service isn't making me a fan. It might change how I feel about all their products, and it might make me a little vocal about my displeasure. Hey, don't mess with me, Neutrogena: I have readers*.

(30 minutes on hold:) Oh! Someone finally came on the line. I told her what I want to do, and now she's "working on getting my account open." It took her about 3 minutes. That seems like a long time. Now I've told her what I want, and she's reviewing my order history... I've explained my deal to her, and she's canceling my account... and I'm on hold. At least it's different music than the first time around, and minus the testimonials (some guy telling me how smooth his skin is, is kind of a turn off). Eventually she came back, though, and we finished up. 30 minutes on hold, and about 10 minutes of speaking to someone (including the second hold).

Okay, well, that was a longer than necessary wait time (seriously, how busy can they be?) but in the end, I got what I wanted, the woman I spoke to was polite (though, I think she might've been discreetly belching throughout the whole call? I wasn't sure. Maybe she had the hiccups) and did what I asked without begging me to stay (I hate it when they do that). As long as you don't need instant answers or even to ask a question, and you want a stronger facial product (more along the lines of Proactive than anything you might buy in the store), I guess Neutrogena Skin ID is for you. I think it's a little misleading of them to call it a "personalized" skin care line - I did all the work, and my interaction with them was plenty strained, but in the end I got what I wanted. It probably won't make them happy that what I wanted was to leave their club, but oh, well. 

*Apparently, nine of them. Though the totals on Google Analytics suggest that there are many more of you. Hello, readers! Thanks for stopping by!


  1. They personalize the agita and wrap it up in that minimalist packaging that makes them so high falutin' to begin with.
    I'm now at the point where dishwashing liquid (for cleansing) and bacon grease (moisturization) seem luxurious to me.

  2. Hey, if Dawn is good enough for an oil-covered penguin...

  3. How about this--I have been trying to get a hold of them for FOUR weeks through customer service and have actually waited on the phone for an hour, sometimes an hour and a half, just to see if anyone would ever answer- of course they never did. I did my laundry, cleaned the dishes and cooked dinner all while on hold. And I got the same response, "we are receiving higher than normal call volume"...blah blah blah.

    I've sent them two emails to no avail-not even an email acknowledging mine. What makes matters worse is that I'm trying to reach them because it turns they pay UPS for the basic service- meaning they can drop the product off in front of the customers door if they are not home. Well, I live in an apartment building and someone stole my product and left the empty box at my door. So now I have had no product for FOUR weeks yet they still charged my acct. UPS told me Skin ID should reimburse me or send another order b/c they pay for the service. Unfortunately for me, this is the best product I have used and I do not want to have to search for a new one, but if I have to I will. But even if I chose to do that, I doubt I'll be able to get anyone on the phone to cancel!

    Isn't there someone we can complain to? I've been trying to search for the name of the CEO or someone else with authority but have not had any luck.