Places I Won't Shop at Again: High Voltage Cosmetics

*I imagine a lot of you have been linked to this page from the numerous bloggers who have decided to voice their concerns about High Voltage. I've kept everything the same including my screenshots for your convenience.

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I've gone back and forth about whether I should be writing this post/review, it is negative and I imagine I might get some crap about my reasons for it but I'm going to stick to my guns about it anyway. If you don't agree with me, that's fine.

I should reiterate that this is MY personal experience with the brand, yours might be different.

I had intended on emailing Jasmine the owner before I wrote this post but I'm now I'm blocked from liking or commenting on her page her page entirely and she deleted the facebook page so I don't feel so inclined to be polite. I asked the boyfriend to do an experiment to see if he was able to like or comment on the page and he was able to so it's not just me. *The page is back online and my privileges have been restored but prior to this I was blocked and had no privileges*

It's a little sad that I'm writing this when I only just got into the company. I had heard so much hype and so many good things and it's disappointing that my experience with them is ending on such a sour note.

It'd be best if I talked about events chronologically.

On Thursday they announced on their Facebook a Buy 10 Samples get 10 Free sale, no Limit. It's actually still on their Facebook but just a couple of posts down. The sale was awesome and the reason I wrote my "Things I want my boyfriend to get me" post. In the comments of the post, someone asked how long it would run, and Jasmine said a week. The store site was updated to reflect the sale but there was no end by date given on the site.

As you can see from the stream, she clearly announces that it's going to last a week and that she's going to post it on the front page.

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Tell me why I go on the next day to find a post about a 20% off sale for Fourth of July. Confused about it, I asked them if we could use that in conjunction with the other specials. She then said that there weren't any other specials going on. I thought I should have said sales instead of specials so I mentioned specifically the buy 10 get 10 samples. I was then told that there weren't any other sales going on and she said "sorry about that!" Unfortunately the post is gone from the Facebook page.

I have a lot of beef with that. If you’re going to announce a sale, and say that it’s going to run a week, then have it run a week. Don’t have it run a day and then change it because you want to have a 20% off 4th of July sale. That’s not cool in my opinion, it seems shady. I know, she doesn’t have to offer a sale at all, she does it for her customers, but why promise a sale if you’re not going to follow through with your terms?

Anyway, the next thing that happened on Friday is that she was having a sale on lip candies to get rid of the old containers. She had a limited supply so you had to email her to order. I emailed around 10pm and waited. At around midnight I posted a comment saying I hadn't gotten a paypal invoice or an email response yet and a couple people responded after me saying they didn’t too. Around 12pm today she commented saying she was taking a break to invoice, followed by a comment saying all previous invoices have been sent.

When I checked in the morning prior to her comments, I still had no email response or paypal invoice. First time being ignored. I went to hang out with the boyfriend and around 2pm decided to try to comment on the post to say that I still didn't get an invoice. That’s when I noticed that I couldn't. I couldn't like it or comment at all. I even had the boyfriend “like” the page to see if he could like or comment on the posts and he could. I tried unliking and reliking the page. I tried different computers, on my phone, etc. I even sent out an email asking her if I had been accidentally blocked. No response. So that's the second time I've been ignored. I know, it could have easily been a FB glitch but if it was, why didn't she just email me back saying it was? That could have been cleared up so fast.

So I'm blocked from liking or commenting on the fan page and I can't get in touch with her. Since the fan page has been reopened I can like and comment on posts. However it looks like the ability to share posts is not yet opened to anyone. I still have not had any contact with Jasmine.

Screenshots from my email indicating the communication I've had with her. If you can see, the first is on Friday at 10pm when she had the lip candies for sale. The second was yesterday when I asked about my Facebook privileges

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last email print screen 2


If you see, I'm liked on the page because on the left it gives me the option it unlike them. It however only gives me the option to "share" pictures, not comment or like.

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And again here, I've liked the page but there's no option given to like or comment on the post that High Voltage made.

revised last high voltage screen shot

What’s sad is that I was planning on posting about why I was planning on not shopping at High Voltage anymore BEFORE this all happened. Her business practices aren't the best in my opinion. I don’t like how she overly relies on the Facebook page for announcements, to the point where you have to check it for information you can't find elsewhere(like about how some of the Amp’d Up Glosses can act as stains) or how fickle she’s been about business decisions (discontinuing Amp’d Up Glosses, and then not, and then changing the packaging of her Lip Candies from pots to lipsticks and now back to slim tubes) and then discontinuing Amp’d Up Gloss samples BUT NOT announcing it on the store website. I already don’t like how two of my three lip samples weren't color inaccurate.

Facebook is a great way to inform your customers about what's going on with the store but it should not be a substitute for announcing things on your site. Your store site should be the first place to go to for information, why should I have to like a Facebook fan page to be kept up to date about the discontinuation of my favorite products?

I know that this is a lot of writing and I'm thankful if you stayed and read it all. You may not agree with me as to why I won't ever shop at High Voltage again, but that's your decision and I've kept to mine.

Do you guys have anything to add?

33 comments

  1. That is terrible! I feel like going to her FB fan page and tell her how unethical her practices are. I will never shop there either. It's so juvenile to block someone on FB!!!!! 

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  2. Yeah I'm really disappointed. Her colors are so gorgeous but everything that's gone on in the last couple of days have rubbed me the wrong way

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  3. Wow! Sounds pretty shady! Sorry you are having to deal with this. I can't believe you were actually blocked from the FB page. Thats pretty low. And we are all entitled to our opinions, so don't feel too bad about your rant or decision not to shop with HV again. Apparentely you business doesn't mean much to her.

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  4. Thanks for this, it's just hard when the company has such awesome colors.

    I hope your break does you good and you come back blogging strong :)

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  5. Lorraine ArndellJuly 3, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    Before people start complaining about how unethical Jasmine is, maybe they should hear both sides of the story? I have had excellent comms, great customer service, there aren't that many complaints about her CS skills, so maybe there is a reasonable reason behind it all. Remember, her facebook page is her own. If she feels your messages were inappropriate, then it's her right to delete you/ban you. If she wants to advertise her new lines on here, then she's allowed to (after all advertising through social networking is an excellent way to keep your clients up to date, and it saves them getting tons of emails from the hundreds of indie companies out there, and more ppl tend to be on FB than checking sites on a daily basis to see what offer is on- after all, ELF and other companies do it). And her fickleness is only due to her working very hard to please most or all of her customers (which in my eyes looks more like good CS than bad).
    I saw the post re the 10/10 sale. Didn't see anywhere it would run for a week. And even if she did say so, I would have taken it that 1- she might have not realised she was so close to the 4th July or 2 - that she wanted to give her customers a better discount and obviously didn't want to give them 10/10 AND 20% off (she's got to keep making profits or there's no point in her having a business) or 3 - that she simply has run out of samples and didn't want to up the TAT, because after all, loads of people are bound to jump on the offer.
    Now I don't know what was actually said in the emails/FB messages etc.
    TBH, as a business owner myself, if someone was harrassing me with emails, posting on my page, complained after waiting for 2 hours that she had no invoice (I have a life after all), etc etc, I probably would ban/delete messages. I don't know what you said in your messages, but most transactions that start with hassle always end with more hassle (from experience), so I would probably "protect" myself by NOT pursuing with the transaction.
    Remember people, on here we only have one side of the story... no screenshots... no proofs... I'll need more than that to take this post into account. And it somewhat saddens me that people are ready to jump at her throat from what you wrote on here and be so ready to condemn her after one bad review that is only based on your opinion of the situation. There probably isn't one company in the world that hasn't had one disappointed customer at some point. If we all went by that one disappointed customer there probably wouldn't be any companies left standing.
    I know you are entitled to your opinion, and if you see things this way, well I am really sorry. But in my experience of business, for someone to refuse your trade, there must be a pretty good reason behind it...

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  6. Aww that's not nice :( I've had nothing but good experiences with High Voltage Cosmetics, but I'm sorry to hear that you didn't. 

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  7. I couldn't agree more with this. 

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  8. I've added screenshots to show how she said in her own words that it was going to be lasting a week. 

    Yeah, I understand about not wanting to have sales that close to each other which is why I asked about whether it was going on with the other sales (the bit about it up there) and how she said no. However there was no official shop announcement about the first sale being null and void until I asked about it.

    And I asked because OTHER people had already gotten invoices, it wasn't just me being impatient. 

    I also added screenshots.

    and no, there was NO good reason behind it.

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  9. Lorraine ArndellJuly 3, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    I still haven't spoken to Jasmine to hear her side of the story, but from what I see now, okay, she said it would run for a week. She changed her mind. It's within her rights, and she obviously had a reason to do so. Part of me thinks it's got something to do with all the big deals going on with the rest of the companies, maybe she wanted to offer a big deal of her own without running the two together. It's not like she's not honouring the orders that have been placed. You just missed your chance by not placing an order there and then. Those things  happen, and TBH I've seen this kind of sales on before so there's nothing to say it won't happen again. It's no different to the offers from other companies that have offers "while stocks available" and all that.
    Now as for the emails, I believe from the chronological events on your post that there was an exchange with her, but the post is deleted. Then she decides not to reply to your emails. Probably because of that exchange. No one will know what was said. But I still think for her not to reply to you afterwards there must have been a reason, probably linked with that exchange, which was probably damaging enough for her to remove it from the page (guess it would probably still be there otherwise).
    I am sorry, I am still having trouble believing that Jasmine would just ban you on a whim. Especially as you are obviously a previous customer and not just someone who's just there to create trouble for the sake of it.
    Were a few samples really worth all the drama?

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  10. I have no qualms with her offering sales but consider how fair it is to announce a sale for one week and only to delete it ONE day later. Is that fair to the other customers who may have been anticipating purchasing because of it?

    It's not the same as saying "while stocks available" because you're told ahead of time that it's limited to when you email.

    Obviously yeah it's her shop, but there's a right and wrong way of doing it. Had she made an announcement saying "oh I'm being overwhelmed, I'm going to cancel it early I'm sorry" then fine but she did not, she just announced the new sale.

    I'm not sure what you mean by exchange, do you mean when I asked her about whether the 20% sale was running along with the B10G10? The exchange consisted of what I just said, asking about the 20% sale and then seeing her reply saying that no the 20% sale voided the others. Did I curse her out or say she was a bad owner on her facebook page? No I didn't.

    Did I start the drama? No I did not. I didn't "start" anything until I was blocked. I have not done anything hostile enough to warrant being blocked and I even asked her about the blocking in the email!

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  11. Me, too. It always makes me sad when I recommend something highly and another person doesn't like it. I don't think I'll stop shopping with her, because Jasmine has never offered me anything but the best customer service, but I really do think it sucks that this happened to you. =\

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  12. yeah it's definitely your choice whether you want to shop with her or not, it's not my place to say that just because I didn't have a good experience that you shouldn't shop there.

    It's sad because I literally just got into her company, this basically happened in a span of like four days between receiving my products and this happening

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  13. Frankly I'm disgusted at how people are acting toward you and this post. Nowhere in this post are you being like OMGIHATETHATBITCH, this is your experience and you're pretty damn levelheaded about it. Just because Jasmine isn't here to offer her side of the story doesn't mean people should be mudslinging in her defence when *they* don't know her side of the story either. Maybe there was a FB glitch that blocked you, maybe there wasn't - the point is WE DONT KNOW because the FB page and Twitter are gone. Everybody is capable of mistakes, even someone as nice as Jasmine. I'm personally supporting your POV, but I'll have the balls to apologise if Jasmine does share her side of the story and I agree more with it. 

    Anyway, I have to say I agree about the over-reliance on FB: she's not selling on FB so she should at least post these announcements on the store website too.  FB just can't (and shouldn't!) replace the storefront. 

    I hope this drama clears up soon, and I think you've held yourself quite well (from the stalking I've done on Twitter :P). I know I probably would have either cried or imploded from all the nastiness. It's a shame that I had to find your blog as a result of such negativity, but I'm glad I found it nonetheless <3 

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  14. Thank you for your support <3 I don't mind the stalking haha. Taking the high (ish) road is hard but yeah I know people will choose sides and that's fine, their decision.

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  15. Glitter MisanthropeJuly 3, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    I've never had anything but wonderful interactions with High Voltage Cosmetics. Jasmine has always been professional and responsive to all communications. 
    It seems to me that you may have had unrealistic expectations regarding how soon you were going to be invoiced, and rather than being patient, you jumped to feeling ignored. Indie sellers aren't Amazon and can't instantly invoice. If this is your patter on behavior, I'm sure you'll be banned from most indie MMU companies for this type of behavior. It is a seller's option to refuse service to anyone, and, judging by your blog post, Jasmine had every reason to refuse you service. 

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  16. First of all I want to say I agree completely that the sale of the buy 10 get 10 samples and its subsequent withdrawal should have been announced or acknowledged by Jasmine. It's a sale she actually does quite often though, so it's not like you were never going to have a chance at it again.

    About the Lip Candy sale-this was posted by a member of a Facebook group I'm in almost immediately after HV announced it. I scrolled back and checked the timestamp. It was posted around 9:15 PM central time. I'm going to assume you emailed at around 10 PM pacific? It's quite possible that by the time you emailed the limited number was out. I remember going and looking at the post on the HV page myself and Jasmine apologized in the comments that not everyone would be able to take advantage because they were so limited. It may have been a case of being too late. We don't really know because you haven't posted a screenshot of that portion. I do think that expecting an immediate invoice is a bit much. I recently took advantage of a sale from a FB page by another seller and it took her 24 hours to invoice me. No biggie there. You have to expect that the turnaround time for what is essentially a 'one woman show' in the case of most indie sellers is going to be between 24-48 hours for replies, especially when the sale is something as good as the Lip Candy offer was.

    Also, it really needs to be updated in the post that you aren't blocked from seeing the page. The page isn't able to be seen by anyone right now because from the looks of it it has been taken down. A page owner can do that. It will show up in search, but when you click on it it takes you back to the main news feed.

    I'm sorry you had  a bad experience and that it's resulted in a rough time for both you and Jasmine. Sometimes companies just aren't the right fit.

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  17. at 10pm, she was still fairly active on her page (can't exactly show this but whatever) but either way I only felt ignored AFTER Jasmine herself posted on the thread I had posted on saying that she was taking a break and after that, another comment saying that all previous invoices were sent out (this was the morning after). I never sent an email asking about a paypal invoice, only a comment saying that I hadn't gotten one yet and I wasn't sure if that meant that they were already out. After that I went to sleep.

    There were several people who had also commented about the invoices after I did.

    I was obviously not invoiced but other people in the comment thread were.

    And of course when I emailed asking about possibly being accidentally blocked I had expected some sort of email back about it, but again I never got anything.

    I don't know why she blocked me because she has yet to say anything about it and obviously you'd only seen my side of the story. Will we talk about it? I don't know but I've presented things as clearly as I can.

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  18. No I was blocked from the page before it was deleted. You can see from my screenshots that I was not allowed to like or comment on the posts beforehand.

    Yeah I definitely understand if it was out, but why not email me back saying that it's out? I had asked "if we didn't get an email, does that mean that they're all sold out" comment on one of the threads while she was still active on the page. I don't know if there was a response.

    Either way, I went to sleep afterward and thought that maybe I'd see an invoice in the morning or afternoon. I instead saw that my comment in a thread I posted in was gone and comments from Jasmine saying that all previous invoices were sent out, not including me of course.

    Like I said, it's just sad more than anything else. It's not like I set out to have a bad experience with the company but it ended up this way.

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  19. Honestly, I'm glad you posted this because it was one of the companies I was planning on ordering from and now, I am not. I'm sorry. I don't care what your reasons are for pulling out of a sale without an announcement but there are many indie companies out there who do go through with a sale, keep contact with their customers, all without getting pissy and blocking them.

    The responses in defense of HV is what makes me even more disgusted about this entire ordeal and it's terrible you have to deal with it so mad hugs to you woman!

    To Lorraine- I think it's great that you can defend Jasmine so ardently even when all you bring up are possible excuses for her behavior. That's not what Mai, as a customer, is giving her money to HV for. She shouldn't have had to deal with that as a customer. I get store owners have 'lives' but they also decided to run a business it's also within a customer's right to complain about the CS when they find it lacking. Mai wasn't asking for much. Other indie companies do what she asked for from HV, why couldn't HV? Even if they had a reason for stopping the 10/10 sale, it is BAD BUSINESS to not at least let people know. In addition, where is Mai wrong in voicing her opinions about that? This is her blog. You DON'T have to read it. Again, she can write whatever she wants.

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  20. Thank you for this <3 You're too cool for me

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  21. I am baffled as to how some people can so easily have an excuse for how the changing sale prices were handled. Yes, technically it is Jasmine's right to back down on a sale and put up a different one instead, but

    1. Jasmine DID NOT handle it appropriately by pretending the buy 10 get 10 sale never happened/playing stupid on the matter, and

    2. Jasmine DID NOT handle it much differently than NYX handled their bait-and-switch illegal sale tactics a month ago, and nobody was making excuses for NYX.

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  22. Maybe I'm confused, but how is switching the advertised sales with no warning and no explanation good customer service?

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  23. I think it is easier to criticize a company that has no single face to represent it which makes me think that's why people have been feeling the way they do. Thank you for reading the post!

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  24. Oh dear. I had a similar experience with another company. It's sort of deflating, isn't it? I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. :(

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  25. Thank you, yeah it's really disappointing when I basically just got into the brand

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  26. You have every right to state your opinions and experiences on your blog.  The fact that you have been upfront and responded to all questions only proves to further the fact that there is no reason for your integrity to be questioned.  I do not see anywhere in this blog post where you were personally attacking Jasmine.  You presented your side of the story of what happened and your reasons for not feeling comfortable shopping there anymore.  Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I thought that is pretty much what a blog is for-to share experiences and opinions. It doesn't mean everyone has to agree with your feelings, but it also doesn't mean you don't have every right to state them.  For the record, in my opinion, the fact that you have been open to communication shows much more credibility than a business that closes down a Facebook account with no notice. That only serves to send the message to customers that there is instability within a company-whether it is true or not, that's the message it sends. 

    I am sorry that you were not given the same respect as far as not being personally attacked.  Some of the comments I saw made to you and about you on Twitter were mean, immature and downright hateful.  I am embarrassed for those grown women who acted no better than teenage girls on a middle school playground.  Through it all you handled yourself with the utmost dignity and in a very mature and ladylike fashion- and for that my dear, you have my utmost respect.

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  27. Thank you so much for your support <3

    As much as I wanted to know what everybody was saying, I had to stop at certain point because I knew that finding it out wasn't going to make me happier about being informed. Those people will feel the way they feel and I'm just going to ignore them

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  28. I have to agree with you Sandi. I caught this on Twitter as well.  

    As a business owner myself, I can agree that any business owner has the right to refuse service to someone (as long as they aren't discriminating). However, if that person is refused service, the business owner will almost always have to deal with backlash from that person. And they need to be prepared for that. 

    If you (in general) announce a sale to your customers then you need to honor that sale. Period. Overwhelmed or not.  You have to be prepared to explain why the sale was canceled. Otherwise, customers will get angry and wonder what happened. 

    This was an unfortunate experience that was handled poorly. 

    I am going to quote Sandi because her feelings sum up my own here: " I am embarrassed for those grown women who acted no better than teenage girls on a middle school playground.  Through it all you handled yourself with the utmost dignity and in a very mature and ladylike fashion- and for that my dear, you have my utmost respect."

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  29. Thank you for reading this and for your support <3!

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  30. Ok... I've been MIA for most of the weekend, and I'm pretty neutral about all this. I missed the entire thing over Twitter, this post, and only after questioning what happened was I provided the link to here. That being said... I see and understand both sides of the story. Both.

    Mai has written a very well thought out, carefully written post about what personally did not thrill her about HV. (great job btw Mai) She did not slander, called no names, pulled no punches... Only vented her frustration as a customer seemingly being ignored.  She expressed her own opinion- it's as simple as that. I see edits up there now where she's reworded her sentences so they're not so harsh. I understand why she became upset when she thought, and it appeared, she had been blocked from the page for asking about an invoice. It turns out it was simply the page being taken down or whatever.

    It would be wise to remember that we as individuals and bloggers have the *right* to our own opinion- products which may wow me, just might not be what tickles your fancy. Something that you adore might make me wrinkle my nose and say "never again". We all have the freedom of speech- and many who have commented here have exercised that right. I know I have, and I'm the first to throw my hand in the air and admit that I've been a victim of my temper getting the best of me and lashing out without regards to what the future consequences may be. Sometimes it works for me- sometimes it doesn't. I'll never apologize for my *opinions*, but if I've stated facts incorrectly or wrong, and it's brought to my attention by way of further research or a friend letting me know, I'll be the first to retract  my statements and apologize.... Profusely.

    I think  it's safe to establish at this point Jasmine has been up and down lately with a bunch of personal life things happening. We need not go into detail, other than to say real life sometimes gets the best of us, but she's been trying her best to deal with it all. While I agree it's probably not the wisest idea to start a sale, then realize crap- there's a holiday coming up and I should have offered a better one.... Ok. We're all human. What little I know of Jasmine is that she's usually on top of her game, and tries to stay competitive- and I'd expect no less around a holiday where she may have observed other companies offering better discounts.... Then making the decision then to offer a better one than she did. Could one call that irresponsible? Well, that's reaching a bit far. Flaky? Maybe. In the best interest of the customer- I think the higher reduction of the sale price point is great- but yes, inform your customers!

    While I haven't tried HV's products *yet*, it's good to see both positives and negatives about companies. We're human, the owners are too... And they certainly may have bad days and get flustered or behind from time to time. I don't read this review as "negative", only an experience that Mai was not impressed with. Perhaps in the future, she'll try out HV again... And maybe not.  That's Mai's personal decision, and one we should *not* crucify her over!

    Sorry about the novel :p

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  31. novels are good :) thank YOU for taking the time to read through my ramblings!

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  32. of coz owners have d right to change t&c but to ignore correspondence of clients? big no

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  33. Yes, it's in Jasmine's rights to change her mind about a sale, with no notice.  But don't expect customers to be happy about it.  Mai didn't just "miss her chance" on the sale.  The seller advertised a week-long sale, and then backed out on her promise and pretended like the sale never existed.  It's perfectly reasonable to be dissatisfied with this behavior and write a negative review.

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