Category: Bad Companies (Page 2 of 4)

Purity Mineral Science – Good foundation, slimy company

A few weeks ago I won an auction on listia.com for foundations and I have to say I’m quite pleased with what I got (specially because I paid the equivalent of $3 for quite for a bunch of foundations and blushes). So far, the foundation I like most is Purity Mineral Science in color “buff”. It’s a powder foundation and it seems to blend well to my face and cover the redness quite well. It also is easy to apply over sunscreen.
The problem with this makeup, however, is twofold. For one, it’s extremely expensive. A 2 gram container, which is not very much at all, retails for $25 at their website (though I saw it for $6.50 at e-bay).
For another, the company that sells it seems less than honest. If you go to their website, you see an offer for a foundation starter kit for $1 plus shipping & handling (which is $8), but it’s not until after you put the item on your shopping bag that you see a link to the “terms & conditions”. And these are that you are actually signing up for a “membership” that will oblige you to pay $80 for their supposedly “free” product. If you don’t want the product (and you have 3 weeks to make up your mind) you have to both call the company AND return the products, plus pay an $8 restocking fee (in addition to the price of shipping back the product). So, that $1 kit is basically costing you $24 for a 3-week supply. In addition, once you order this starter kit, you will automatically receive a 2-month supply of product for $36. And it seems they make it *very difficult* for you to cancel your membership, by not answering e-mails nor the phone – plus they make you agree to not dispute payments with your credit card. How slimy can a company be? And given how nice their products are, why do you they have to be that slimy?
Needless to say I won’t be shopping from them, though I’ll be sad when I run out of this foundation.

Of guns and babies

Today two stories came out that highlight the stupidity of people and how quick they are to overreact to every day situations.
In the first one, a man receives a kit for making a gun out of legos (to each their own) – puts it together in his office and next thing he knows has a SWAT team storming in and cuffing him against the door. A lego gun. Incredible.
In the second one, a mother breastfeeding her baby at Target is told that breastfeeding in public is against the law (not true) and that she must leave Target. WTF? Target later clarified that its policy (as well as the law of several states) allows for breastfeeding at its stores – but the damage was already done, the woman already humiliated, and the baby probably disturbed. I applaud the woman for standing up for her baby’s rights, and, of course, I’m disgusted at Target – but nor surprised. This is a company which, after all, has been accused of racial discrimination and which ‘‘sourced from countries with widespread, well-documented human and labor rights abuses.'” (see The Blue Pages, 2nd Edition: A Directory of Companies Rated by Their Politics and Practices).
I’m ashamed to say that I have shopped at Target not too long ago, but I will make sure to remember these instances when I go shopping again.

Oriental Trading – Bringing cancer to your home

A couple of weeks ago I placed my first order with Oriental Trading, a company which specializes in selling small toys and crafts in relatively large quantities. My moms get their catalogs, and I’ve often browsed through them, but I never had much interest in buying from them until I decided that I wanted to get the kids some self-adhesive “jewels” to decorate stuff with. I found them at their website and ordered them along with other stuff.
Well, I received them today and with them an invoice that noted that the jewels “contain a chemical known to the State of California to cause Cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm”. WTF? This in a product intended for children!? Of course, they don’t disclose such important fact on the product webpage – though they do warn about they being choking hazards. The invoice does not specify what the chemical is, so there is no way of ascertaining how high the danger is, or what other consequences exposure to such chemical might have.
I have no doubt that the company will allow me to return the product, but they don’t refund shipping charges so it’s impractical to actually mail it back. I will call them tomorrow and complain, but meanwhile you are warned against buying anything from Oriental Trading. I know I definitely won’t ever again.


Update
A costumer service representative from Oriental Trading contacted me after seeing this blog posting and I had a nice talk to her. Basically their position is that as only California requires that they state when a product they sell is cancerous or can lead to reproductive or birth defects, they don’t need to include the warning on their product pages. They seem to have little worry about the fact that regardless of the law, those products are potentially harmful. The representative tried to make the case that prop 65 is overly broad – which indeed may be – and told me how many products, including electric cables and hair irons have similar warnings. I responded that I don’t let my children play with those products.
Of greater importance is that she stated that many of their items include substances known to increase the risk of cancer or reproductive defects, something which they will only disclose on those invoices sent to California. So, indeed, it seems that it’s safer to stay away from their products in general.
The customer service representative could not tell me what substance in particular is in the self-adhesive jewels that can cause cancer. She will try to research it for me. That is important, as without knowing what the substance is there is no way of ascertaining its danger level.

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