We’ve all been there. We’ve all had that favorite product, the one we were so reliant on that we never even thought about what we would do without it. And then comes the day (and it’s always a day when we are especially in need of said favorite product), when a retail sales representative utters those terrible words: “I’m sorry, but that product has been discontinued.” And a little voice inside us screams, “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!”
Every failed product has one thing in common – there weren’t enough customers buying it. Another thing they seem to have in common is that often, I am one of the few consumers who DID buy the failed product.
My hair seems to be the primary victim of product failure. I have very thick, wavy, opinionated, and temperamental hair. It responds very poorly to most products (in addition to yelling and cursing). Whenever I happen to trip across a product that my hair actually LIKES, I stick with it. The first product to go was my Sunsilk Curl Crème. That was some pretty amazing stuff. When it was discontinued, my hair and I went through a three month rough patch until I managed to trip across a gel that seemed to work reasonably well. But that was NOTHING compared to what happened when my Herbal Essences leave-in conditioner was discontinued.
The loss of my leave-in conditioner (which I used daily, no matter what) sent my hair into a tailspin of craziness. I was desperate. At first, I thought Target must just be out, because they are always out of everything that I need. So I went to Walmart. And Kmart. And Safeway. And Fred Meyer. And every other Target within a 50 mile radius. I tried online shopping – no luck. At this point, I would have gladly paid $20 for a single bottle. Finally, my desperation drove me to the Herbal Essences website, where I found that the No-Frizz Leave In Crème Conditioner was no longer part of their product line. Being me, I e-mailed customer service asking if perhaps they had any stock left that they would be willing to sell to me. I even offered to buy a case full, if that was an option. Their response was to send me a coupon for Garnier Fructis.
Sadly, the loss of my beloved hair products was a sign of things to come. Since then, I have been informed by Macy’s that they no longer carry my favorite jeans (and an extensive internet search confirmed that no one else carries them any more, either). I have become very fond of two pomegranate flavored beverages, neither of which lasted more than six months in stores. And my beloved Excedrin has been pulled from shelves, so with every headache I have had to debate whether or not it is severe enough to warrant one my last few precious Excedrin pills.
But the icing on the cake came the other day, when I walked into Victoria’s Secret with money to burn, and every intention of leaving with some new (and nearly full-price) bras. “Excuse me,” I said to a sales associate, “Can you tell me where to find the Biofit Demi?”
The sales associate said, “We no longer carry that style,” and went back to folding underwear (clearly not noticing that I was going into a state of shock and on the verge of hyperventilating). I only wear one style of bra, and this is it. I don’t really know if I can adequately put into words how distressed I was at this news.
“Uh, excuse me. But what? Do you have them online?” I was feeling rather panicky. Long story short, the salesgirl was highly unknowledgeable about their online offerings. She was also highly unknowledgeable when I asked if they carried a similar bra that I might find acceptable.
Needless to say, all I left with was a free pair of underwear, but at checkout I was still upset enough that when the checkout girl asked if I found everything okay, I complained, “No, you discontinued my bra.” Luckily, the checkout girl was slightly more knowledgeable about her company and told me that they did discontinue it, but that I should come back in two weeks because they would be bringing the remaining discontinued Biofit Demis back for the semi-annual sale, and in the meantime they also still had some online.
So, I hope no one was expecting extravagant Christmas presents this year. Because in two weeks, I plan to spend all my extra money stocking up on as many bras as I can get my hands on.