Saturday, April 30, 2011

GlitterSniffer Cosmetics and Facebook Terms of Service Followup

I recently posted about GlitterSniffer Cosmetics and proprietor Lela Warrens' seeming Facebook Terms of Service violations.

While it is not known if Facebook gave Ms. Warren access to her deactivated account or she simply created a new one after her previous practice of selling from her personal page it has become clear that a personal page can be reported for selling.

I was curios as to the types of reporting that could be done on a personal page so I accessed the landing page for Lela Warren's personal Facebook account, which is readily available in the Facebook search. I scrolled to the bottom on the left hand side and clicked the link for 'Report/Block This Person'.


I clicked the link and checked the options. After a careful  review I discovered this:


I chose 'This profile is pretending to be someone or is fake' and then selected 'Represents a business or an organization'. I then clicked Continue.

From what I could find in the Help Center Facebook may remove any content that violates their terms.

GlitterSniffer Cosmetics and Google Checkout Followup

GlitterSniffer Cosmetics has been using Google Checkout to process their payments since January when the company was refused access to and use of their Paypal accounts after an investigation. Recently there have been claims filed against GS via Google Checkout for nonreceipt of items.

Several claims have been successful, with GC refunding after a 5 day wait time and no response to the claims by the company.  The process for GC was to file the claim and wait 5 days for a response. According to an email received by a claimant that 5 day waiting period is no longer necessary.

The email from Google Checkout, edited only to remove the recipients identifying information:
Subject: Re: [redacted] I need a refund. I never received my order.
From: Google Checkout <checkout-support@google.com>
To: redacted
CC:

Hello,

Thank you for contacting us about Google Order #redacted. We no
longer allow Glittersniffer Cosmetics to process orders using Google
Checkout. As your account shows that you have already been charged for
this order, we have issued you a refund to the credit card used to place
this order.

Refunds can take up to an additional three business days to appear on your
credit card statement. If the refund does not appear, please contact your
bank for more information. To see which credit card was used in this
transaction, visit redacted.

If the refund is successful and the seller provides sufficient evidence
that your order was completed according to our Terms of Service and their
published policies, you may be recharged for this order. If you don't hear
from us within four weeks, please consider this refund final.

If you'd like to place a new order with this seller outside of Google
Checkout, please do so at your own risk. Alternatively, to view a
selection of other stores using Google Checkout, please visit
http://www.google.com/checkout/m.html

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this order may have caused
you.

Sincerely,

The Google Checkout Team
 A wonderful development for the claimants, but also a business affecting change for GS.





As per this email, confirmed by Google Checkout, GlitterSniffer Cosmetics may no longer process payments via this method. At this time Google Checkout is still listed at the payment processor on the GS Artfire, though the only thing listed is $1 Samples.


Thank you to the recipient for sharing. More information as it becomes available.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

GlitterSniffer Cosmetics and Facebook Terms of Service

Over the course of the past few months there has been much information published regarding GlitterSniffer Cosmetics and their various issues following certain sites Terms of Service. From Artfire to Paypal to Etsy to Google Checkout to Ebay the company and proprietor Lela Warren have shown a disregard for the rules agreed to for use of these sites.

While researching for the elusive Princess Peach tube announcement I ran across an interesting post on Facebook by GlitterSniffer Cosmetics.


Over a year ago GlitterSniffer Cosmetics ran a contest/promotion in an effort to gain fans for their new page. The company asked that people be referred and referrals post who sent them to the page. In exchange for every 10 referrals the referrer was to receive one free pot of pigment.

While this type of entrepreneurial spirit is commendable, it appears to also be a violation of Facebook Terms of Service.


In order to run such a promotion GlitterSniffer Cosmetics would have had to obtain written permission from Facebook prior to running it. Even given the benefit of the doubt that the company obtained such permission there are still the Promotions Guidelines.


From the Promotions Guidelines:

  1. You will include the following disclosures:
    1. Adjacent to any promotion entry field: "This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for [disclose any way that you plan to use the user's information]."
    2. In the promotion's rules:
      1. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
      2. Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
And
You may require that an entrant like a Page, check in to a Place, or connect to your Platform integration before providing their full entry information for a promotion.  You will not condition entry to the promotion upon taking any other action on Facebook, for example, liking a status update or photo, commenting on a Wall, or uploading a photo.
Nowhere in the GS promotion rules was the Facebook disclaimer disclosed. GS has run several contests and promotions, including a raffle in December, none of which provided this disclaimer as required by Facebook. Additionally, the promotion required a comment to the page in order to be counted, a request specifically restricted in the Facebook Promotions Guidelines.

There are various measures Facebook can take for the possible violation, including removing the material or disabling the page.

There is an additional interesting disclosure of note in this page promotion.


Excerpt from the promotion:
Glittersniffer Cosmetics!
As some of you know (and for those that don't), my last fan base was deactivated by Facebook for violating terms. I was "selling" from a personal account and not a fan page like this one.
How does this apply to GS current situation? Facebook Terms of Use clearly state the following:

You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).
Proprietor Lela Warren is well aware of this fact as her previous personal account was apparently deactivated by Facebook, by her own admission, for selling from her personal page.

This screenshot shows several pictures of GlitterSniffer Cosmetics products uploaded to Lela GlitterSniffer Warren's personal page on Wednesday April 27, 2011.


Granted, it could be that Lela is proud of her product and wants to share it on her page.

Here is a business discussion from Lela's personal page from Monday April 25, 2011.


Really no discernible issue as we don't know with certainty what the person emailed Lela about, and the inquiry about the tracking number is probably about a previous order.

Also from Monday, April 25, 2011.
Ruh-Roh!
Offering goods in exchange for cash? That would be selling. This status update was on Lela GlitterSniffer Warren's personal account.

Again, Lela Warren appears to be aware of the Facebook Terms as she has purportedly been penalized by Facebook previously for the exact same behavior.

And what about that deactivation?  Facebook Terms also state:

 If we disable your account, you will not create another one without our permission.
It is not known at this time if Lela Warren obtained such permission or was given access by Facebook to her deactivated account, but it is clear that she understands the terms and conditions of keeping a Facebook account. Her actions in repeating the same behavior that caused, by her admission, the previous deactivation could possibly result in the same type of punitive action, should Facebook choose to pursue it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

All That "Glittermails" is Not Gold

Within the last month there have been various orders that have been received from customers of GlitterSniffer Cosmetics. While we know that some customers are still awaiting their "glittermail" perhaps there is a chance it will arrive, albeit not in as timely a manner as promised. One of the orders received was placed in December 2010.

It should be noted that there have been people who were pleased with what they received. There have also been some concerns.

From the customer who attempted to use her free gift card in December 2010. She finally received a package at the end of March, 2011:


The collection had opened and spilled all over the contents of the package.

Perhaps it was a fluke? An issue with this particular mailer? Let's compare.

GlitterSniffer Cosmetics recently released a Video Game Collection, comprised of pigments, glitter, bath items, and solid perfume. Here is what customers were expecting:

Note the 'pot' of perfume in the photo

The product listing tells a different story about the perfume packaging

Here are links and photos of what three customers actually received.

A former GS Admin who was an originator for the idea for the Video Game Collection:



GlitterSniffer Cosmetics does not use sifter stickers, FYI.
Advertised as a rhinestone encrusted twist up tube, the solid perfume arrived in a pot.
Broken Soap

"Filled" glass potion vials
 
It's a bath bomb, in case you were wondering.
Customer number two, whose package arrived in a similar state:


Broken Soap

Not so full

Well, on the upside, it is a pretty shade of blue.
Customer number three, whose package arrived intact:


Intact soap, unwrapped except for the outer packaging

Bath Bomb

Still not a tube

Maybe GS meant 'tube shaped solid perfume'?
Dictionary.com defines 'filled' as "to make full; put as much as can be held into".

As far as these three examples of the Video Game Collections go there were no ingredients included either on the cosmetic items (pigment, glitter, bath bomb, and perfume) or on the outer packaging as per FDA Guidelines, and the soap wasn't labeled as soap (a possible issue for the Consumer Product Safety Commission).

In four of five cases the product was either not as described, or arrived in virtually unusable condition.

Thank you to everyone who allowed their photos to be published.

*Please note, I am more than willing to present both sides, as evidenced by the link to the positive review, and if an order has been received in a timely, well packaged, FDA compliant manner I'd be happy to publish photographic evidence of that as well. Please feel free to send them to me, along with permission to publish. Thank you.

4/27/11 ETA: There have been numerous comments that stated the change to the perfume was announced on the GlitterSniffer Cosmetics Facebook page. I have found no evidence for this in numerous Google cache searches or in the @glitt3rsniff3r Twitter feed, but due to the overwhelming substantiation by several people, both supporters and others I felt I would be remiss if I did not include this information. I will continue to look for supporting documentation as to this matter. Please note that at least one of the customers published here expected the tubes and as such appears not to have been aware of any such announcement. It also begs the question as to why the photos in the listing show the pots but the listing states it will be in a tube. An oversight perhaps in regards to the listing, yet still a consumer issue as they were not sent specifically what was promised in the listing. More information as it becomes available. Thank you.

Party Time. Excellent.

GlitterSniffer Cosmetics has been working on branching out as of late. Mineral Makeup classes, parties, and now business opportunities.

From the now temporarily defunct GS Facebook page:



And via Facebook message to another MMU seller, who, previous to this message, had never been contacted by Lela Warren before:

It's not clear what these business opportunities entail, whether it be wholesale or the exciting! opportunity! to hold your own GS Party as GlitterSniffer Cosmetics has not publicly released the details.

It would seem though that these opportunities would fall under the purview of the Federal Trade Commission.  According to the FTC Business Opportunity Rule a company must provide several things to any interested parties:



According to the FTC GlitterSniffer Cosmetics may be required to disclose the amount of money that can be made,  information about the company, including whether it has faced any lawsuits from previous purchasers or lawsuits alleging fraud, and, if a certain income claim is made, then it also must give the number and percentage of previous purchasers who achieved the earnings or it could possibly be in violation of the law. The FTC also suggests that everything be in writing.

It is unknown if anyone has taken advantage of these opportunities as yet.

Others Experiences- Google Checkout Refund

Recently there have been several posts to the GlitterSniffer Complaints Facebook page about newer customers recovering their funds for unreceived or incorrect product from GlitterSniffer Cosmetics.

Many people have had success disputing the charges with their banks or credit card companies. I posted previously about Google Checkout and their nonbinding mediation.

One poster, however, had a different experience. Here is her story:
All I did was file a claim with Google Checkout. I submitted the form and told them I wanted a refund because the item I received wasn't what I ordered. I had to wait 5 days for a response from the seller (of course, there was no response). After that 5 day period I had to contact them again using a link in the e-mail they sent me about my claim, and I just told them I still had no response from the seller. They had my money back in my account within 24 hours. People who received incorrect orders can do this, too. I still have the $8 grab bag she sent me (I ordered $40 worth of items) and due to FTC regulations I don't have to send it back. Consumers are not obligated to return incorrect orders to receive a refund.
The FTC regulation the poster is referring to is regarding Unordered Merchandise. In this case it may fall under the "honest shipping error" portion, which the FTC states should be handled by contacting the seller with an offer to return it at no expense to the consumer within a specified time frame. If the seller does not make arrangements to pick the merchandise up or have it shipped back within that time frame then the consumer has the right to keep it without being charged. I will verify that the poster was actively posting on the GlitterSniffer Cosmetics Facebook page inquiring about answers to emails and her replacement order so a good faith attempt was made to contact the company.

The poster filed her dispute with Google Checkout at this link and was refunded as she had purchased within the last 90 days.

Thank you to the poster for sharing.

Monday, April 25, 2011

GlitterSniffer Cosmetics Facebook Page

The GlitterSniffer Cosmetics Facebook page is no longer accessible and hasn't been for a couple of days. The page was taken down by proprietor Lela Warren for various reasons, including illness and the posts that were on the page. Lela Warren states that in her absence the page was being abused and things will be done "(her) way now".


Here are screenshots, dated from 4/20-4/22/11, of what resulted in the temporary removal of the page.




It would seem that only one of the variety of posts referenced any other companies. Though it has never been my personal practice to post to the GS fan page, it is understandable that those with previous issues would be concerned about current customers and their own issues with the business practices of GS. Given the company's track record this type of post to the page should not be a surprise. Had these customers had their issues addressed, either by an answer to their (sometimes multiple) emails, their products arriving in a timely manner, or the correct order being sent, the posts to the page would not be happening and the proprietor could deal with any life affecting issues without a need to worry. Instead, after committing to change on 4/10/11, there was nothing but radio silence.

The easiest way to not have to deal with these sorts of posts, other than ignoring the issues by taking down the page, would be for the company to simply do what it says it will do. When a customer pays for something in good faith they have every right to receive exactly what they ordered in the stated turnaround time. The Federal Trade Commission says so


The United States Postal Service says so



Google Checkout says so



and the Michigan Attorney General says so.


The plain fact of the matter is it is not up to the proprietor to say it must be done her way. GS' way it would seem is to dismiss the issues and continue on to new customers. I can state for a fact that my complaint to the Michigan Attorney General came with the suggestion of pursuing the matter in court because GS failed to respond to multiple attempts at contact by the AG. The Better Business Bureau has rated GlitterSniiffer Cosmetics an F. Of the 5 complaints filed with the BBB NONE of the complaints received a response.


If the company doesn't want these things on their page then there is a simple way to deter them from ever being posted. Follow through on all commitments in accordance with every regulation, guideline, and Terms of Service you agreed to the day you put your first item up for sale. If that doesn't happen then whatever public comment about your business results from that is a consequence of that choice.

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