What happens when a business doesn’t prepare for a promotion

So bargains. We all love ’em unless of course you are too rich or idiotic to care! In which case you wouldn’t be reading my blog on either count. So last Christmas I thought I’d buy some Body Shop stuff as presents. Get this! 16% off through Topcashback* (that is one of the cashback sites which give the most return) then a 50% off code. So off I went to buy lots of stuff!

Website Meltdown

Apparently though, it would appear that lots of other people had the same thought and the site went down. Not completely. One could waste one’s time putting items in their basket only to not be able to checkout. I took to Twitter and Facebook, as did many other people. I emailed. I was told that due to all the problems of course they were inundated and one had to wait days for a reply. I am The Complaining Cow, I don’t do waiting.

I told the social media team on Twitter that I would get a response quicker than they said. They argued that I would not. I emailed the CEO of the Body Shop. I got a reply within five hours. Actually I got a ‘phone call within hours but as you know I don’t do ‘phone calls regarding complaints either!

I wrote explaining that I had been inconvenienced and that now the Topcashback percentage had gone down and casting doubts on the legality of the site stating that one could purchase items online when one couldn’t.


The CEO (Jeremy another one on first name terms this early on!) apologised, told me he had assigned the issue to someone else and would follow up. I thanked him and pointed out that I had deliberately finished my Christmas shopping in stores to continue on line and that the site had been down for many days. I put in a plea for everyone else too saying that I noted his remark regarding that he too would be frustrated and annoyed in the same position but nothing was being done about everyone else in the same position and that having the website down for so many days was just ridiculous. So to anyone else who had problems with The Body Shop website last Christmas I did try and sort it out for you too!

(Incidentally you can use to find contact details for any CEO.)

Anyway I agreed to a ‘phone call to get my order in time and with all the discounts. Of course some of the items had gone out of stock in this time so I got a couple of upgrades for free a gift and a £10 voucher.

Excellent. Nope, look how it was delivered:

Stained carpetBody Shop oil leakage

As you can see the oil lid was not on properly. Oil leaked over everything including my carpet.

So obviously I complained! Surely you would? Surely people would complain about this? Tell me why if you wouldn’t!

So back I went to my mate Jeremy and Sonja who had been dealing with this. (The chappie she got to ‘phone me each time was very good has to be said). I pointed out their legal obligations and of course they offered to pay for the carpet to be cleaned.

I was gutted, the professional clean got the stain out. Could have done with a new hallway carpet.

I spoke about this on ITV News:

How to complain about deliveries

Simple lessons for consumer and business

So consumers, if you don’t get the response you want when using social media go higher. Consumer rights, remember you have them! Make sure you have your legal rights to hand and be assertive, but not rude there is a difference. As for business, look it isn’t rocket science. You offer good bargains that close to Christmas your website is likely to have problems. To not be prepared is short sighted and the trouble caused reflects badly on your company. To continue not sorting the problem, several days later is daft isn’t it? Really? Prepare for problems and make sure you have the technical support to deal with any issues as soon as they arise. It’s no good thinking that you are going to bring in more sales with great offers if you can’t deliver. In this case deliver service and products safely! Look at every part of the team which is going to be under pressure with increase in orders which will increase with a backlog. Ensure that your social media team are geared up to help and assist customers not just spout the same useless lines all the time. It isn’t their fault if they are not helping customers IF they have not been given the tools and resources to resolve problems.

So am I right? To me, it’s just common sense. It’s not rocket science to prepare for a promotion. Getting your website to work properly and putting in measures to deal with problems before they arise? Is it more complicated than I would suggest?

The Complaining Cow logo complaints, consultancy, speaker and more


If you are a business which needs some creative help with developing your business see The Complaining Cow Services.






If you suffer problems with goods and services and need to complain see the Tips for effective complaining and for even more information, advice guidance, consumer law and templates GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!


*refer a friend link so I’ll get a few pennies if you sign up and you’ll get some as a welcome



By Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow

Consultant | Author | Speaker | Blogger | Presenter | Journalist
Helping to make, prevent and deal with complaints

3 replies on “What happens when a business doesn’t prepare for a promotion”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.