Reckitt Benckiser, the makers behind Veet, have really disappointed me with their product and customer service this month. I've been using Veet wax strips for many months now, being a relatively recent convert after many years of using epilators and up until this occasion I have been more than happy with Veet's effect on my legs. They are a swift way of removing hair and I haven't been suffering with ingrown hairs like I used to do.
Not this time though. A few weeks ago I bought a 40 pack of their Ready to Use wax strips for Short Hair from Bodycare, a beauty shop in the Metro Centre, Gateshead. I thought it strange that the box had an expired offer which ended in 2008 but I didn't think anymore of it. When I came to use the wax strips later on that week I couldn't believe how ineffective they were and far from their usual standard. The strips visibly had less wax on them and the strip itself felt odd. I rubbed the strips in my hands as usual which would normally warm up the wax and allow the strips to separate seamlessly, but these ones didn't. The wax pulled and felt tough, almost brittle. I applied the strip to my leg, smoothed it down a few times in the direction of the hair growth as the pack instructs, and I pulled it back. The wax had pulled only a few hairs, leaving sticky residue on the untouched hairs and an imprint on the strip. Normally I can apply the same strip several times without starting a new strip but not so with these ones. After the first application there was no second. I ended up using the entire 40 strip box for it only to do a poor job. By this time I was fuming.
I emailed Veet, telling the issues with the wax strips and I didn't hear anything for about a week. Then I received a call from customer services on my answer machine. I tried returning the call but could never get through. I ended up getting a second email from them saying if I didn't respond in the next 7 days then my complaint would be disregarded. I sent an email back saying how I couldn't get hold of them and gave all the information I could from the box. No response arrived but then Saturday morning I opened an envelope to find two £4 vouchers inside to redeem against any Veet product. At first I thought 'Yay! I got my money back' but when I went into town I realised I hadn't been given something as great as I'd first believed. To replace what I'd originally bought, which was a 40 strip pack, it'd set me back £11.99. A normal 20 strip pack costs between £5 and £6 depending on where you shop. Based on this, I could only really afford one pack of 20 with my £8 compensation, or 2 if I put a few quid of my own in. Not really getting my money back is it? With half an hour to go until shops closed I checked out the chemists and stores I thought would sell them. I was surprised even Wilkinsons sold Veet wax strips at the normal price, almost £6. Eventually I found Semichem selling them at £3.99 a box of 20, though admittedly even these were the strips before Veet brought out the new strip design and few months ago. Hmmm. Needless to say, I bought 2 packs of the £3.99 strips which both paid for by my vouchers and provided me with my 40 strips replacement, but I can't help but feel Veet have given me a half effort service. I shouldn't have had to traul the high street for the cheapest I could find, especially as it meant I bought the old design. Am I wrong for thinking Veet should really have given me a voucher to redeem against a 40 strip pack or provide me with vouchers for £12, which is what they cost?