• Report: #688548

Complaint Review: Majestic Mountain Sage

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  • Submitted: Sat, January 29, 2011
  • Updated: Sat, June 11, 2011

  • Reported By: thepinkerthinker — Woodland Hills California United States of America
Majestic Mountain Sage
Internet, Utah United States of America

Majestic Mountain Sage MMS,The Sage Majestic Mountain Sage -- nothing majestic about this dishonest company selling defective products Internet, Utah

*Consumer Comment: wow

*Author of original report: Caveat Emptor

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: The whole story and my offer of help

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Terrible experience with a terrible company. I have a lip balm business and buy my raw materials from several different companies. Most are honest,sell quality products and provide very good customer service. Not MMS. I bought some sweetening oil (8 oz)and also some black and pink lip balm tubes (100 each) for my business. The tubes are defective; they swivel up but won't swivel back down. No other company has EVER sold me something like this, ever!! At least half the tubes had this problem. I am an experienced businesswoman; I know how to make lip balm and make my own base. When I complained, Tina Howard said it was a "formulation problem". She said that the tubes will stick when higher amounts of wax are used. First of all, if she knew that, why was that not disclosed at the time of sale? Second, how can she sell a product that she KNOWS will be used for wax, when she also KNOWS the product has a problem with wax? That's like selling me a raincoat that can't get wet. Second, how come nobody else's tubes do this, just hers? The fact is, I only use as much wax as I have to to form a stick product and NO MORE. When I told her this the first time she wanted the percentage of wax. What difference does that make? I can't use less, it wouldn't be a stick then. Now the Sugar Baby (sweetening oil). After less than 2 weeks it turned into a horrible sour vinegary mess, totally unusable. When I complained this time, I got a "Taylor" who promised to call me right back and never did. She wanted the lot number. I provided it. The next day I got a nasty email from Tina Howard saying that the Sugar Baby was "fine"; basically calling me a liar. I have customers to serve, I don't have time to make up lies about some company's product, and I wouldn't lie anyway. The stuff was sour and not fit for anything other than proof in court of my claim. Howard refused to refund or replace. I'm going to small clains court. She will have to either come to California to represent herself or lose by default. People, don't let these companies do this!! Sue them in small claims!! It costs very little to file and you get thatback too when you win.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/29/2011 09:55 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Majestic-Mountain-Sage/Internet-Utah-/Majestic-Mountain-Sage-MMSThe-Sage-Majestic-Mountain-Sage-nothing-majestic-about-this-688548. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 1Consumer 1Employee/Owner
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#1 Consumer Comment

wow

AUTHOR: RoxyL - (USA)

Her comment "Often people, especially women, dont understand how to figure the math
and know the percentage of each ingredient in a formulation." is just priceless.

I'm so sorry you had to go through that yet I thank you for sharing your experience as I am quite sure you've saved me a lot of stress AND money. I made a single google search as I was considering using the services of this business and now am not. Also, with her above comment and the rest of her reply I can see right through this "business" and the person who "runs" it. Very childish, inappropriate and unprofessional.

Good luck.
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#2 Author of original report

Caveat Emptor

AUTHOR: thepinkerthinker - (United States of America)

I have a business to run and don't have time to deal with patronizing, officious and deceitful people like Tina Howard.  She doesn't care about what is right or fair and never even considers that SHE might be wrong.  There is not much I can do about that at this point except just not do business with this company.  I do find it interesting and also quite revealing that she even takes the time to troll sites such as this and also the Better Business Bureau for reports against her company, almost like she knows that she will find them!  And you will find them too -- she has 4 other reports against her on this site alone, plus a number more on the Better Business Bureau site as well.  People, where there is smoke, there is fire!! We can't all be wrong.  Shame on you, Tina Howard, for not treating people right.  And gee, thanks SO much for publishing private emails for ALL to see.  I did not give permission for that and it just goes to show again, how little you regard the rights of others. 
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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

The whole story and my offer of help

AUTHOR: Majestic mountain sage - (U.S.A.)

The dialog with Susan is telling.  I will let it tell the whole story:

At 11:26 PM 1/13/2011, Susan wrote:helloIs the butterscotch that you carry a clear liquid or does it have a brownish tint to it?Thank you. Vee and Susan

At 4:38 PM 1/17/2011, I wrote: Vee and Susan, This is a caramel color product.  I haven't found it to be detrimental in lip balms, but testing is the only way to know for sure. Best! Tina

At 10:39 PM 1/26/2011, Susan wrote:I am not sure who to contact regarding this, so I am just using this email I sent regarding another issue.   I don't have the packing slip and I'm not sure what info you need to find the order, but a few weeks ago I bought 100 lip balm tubes in black and also 100 pink caps and used this email for that order.   I have also bought a number of other items and was very pleased with those.  Anyway, I have used about 10 of the 100 tubes for lip balm, and of those 10, 4 have been defective -- they will only swivel up, not back down.  I am very careful not to pour the balm too hot, so that's not it and besides, I have tubes from other sources and those tubes are not doing this.  I REALLY like the look of these black tubes and pink caps and don't want a refund;  I just want tubes that work properly.  Obviously I can't send them to my customers like this, and I am also wondering how many more of the tubes will have the same problem once I use them.  This is also wasting a lot of my base and supplies, as I have to re-pour another tube.  What do you suggest?  Thank you.Susan**************** (address deleted)

 At 4:26 PM 1/27/2011, I wrote:Could you tell me what lip balm base you are using? If you are making a recipe, please tell me what is in it. Tina

At 8:53 PM 1/27/2011, Susan wrote: Hi Tina,I make my own base from scratch:Mango butter, candelilla wax ,sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, natural sweetener (your "Sugar Baby"),vitamin E oil, and flavor oil.  Like I said, I am very careful about pouring too hot and also I have not once had this problem with other tubes.  Thanks.Susan   

 At 9:55 AM 1/28/2011, I wrote: Susan,I was worried I would see either candelilla wax or carnauba wax. This is generally a case of the lip balm is too firm.  It advances up and then when repelling down, the lip balm actually breaks from the pusher unit and stays in the tube at the level you see.  The key to fixing this is reducing your wax content.  Most often we see this when the wax content is around 18%.  Reducing this to 15% or even down to 12% is preferable and then making up the difference with brittle oils like palm kernel oil or cocoa butter. Tina

At 1:50 PM 1/28/2011, Susan wrote:PLEASE ENSURE THAT THIS EMAIL GETS THE ATTENTION OF A MANAGER/SUPERVISOR. Your answer is unacceptable and I'm getting really unhappy with this company too. First of all, if you KNOW that these waxes are a problem, why don't you tell us that when we buy the item?  Second of all, I use the least amount of wax I possibly can.  I cannot reduce it, if I do, it won't hold firm enough to be a stick.  Third, this has not been a problem with the tubes from other companies, just yours. It also does not happen with every tube, just some of them, even though the base is EXACTLY THE SAME.  How do you explain that?  Also the Chap Stick and other brands use far far FAR more wax and much stronger wax, i.e., PARAFFIN, and their tubes don't do this. Are you telling me that beeswax would be any different?  Because I don't see how -- you have to use twice as much.  How can you be selling a product that you KNOW will contain wax when you know that same wax will cause a problem?  If I did something like that I'd be out of business.  Now, on top of this. I had to call this morning because the 8-oz bottle of Sugar Baby I bought just a couple weeks ago has turned sour. This bottle cost nearly $20 AND it RUINED a whole batch of base for an order of 50-plus tubes. You know, I have a business to run here and I depend on my suppliers to sell me supposedly  quality items that I pay good money for.  This Sugar Baby that was perfectly good, excellent even, not 2 weeks ago now tastes like vinegar.  And don't start with "it's a problem with my base" either -- I tasted it with a new CLEAN pipette dropper directly out of the bottle.  It's disgustingly nasty and  SOUR -- like vinegar.  Shaking the bottle didn't help either. It has been stored on my workroom shelf under normal room conditions and in the original bottle it came in.  No, it has NOT been contaminated either.  I pour out small amounts, not touching any surfaces to each other,  into another bottle with a dropper top as needed.  I don't pour it back in either.  It's not any other flavoring either -- the base was unflavored at the time.  I make my base, sweeten it, in this case with Sugar Baby, and THEN start portioning out for the various flavors my customers have ordered. I am extremely aware of sanitary procedures here; I am selling lip balm after all.  NOW, not only have I PAID money for your products, they have COST me money and NOW I have to contact my customers and tell them there will be a delay.  AND NONE OF IT IS MY FAULT.  Does that seem fair to YOU?  (Begin red text) I want a full refund for both the tubes/caps and the Sugar Baby. IMMEDIATELY.  And I think it's only fair for you to reimburse me for the materials used to make the half-pound of base ruined by your defective Sugar Baby. I will be happy to return the items as long as you pay the postage. (End red text)Susan        

At 2:36 PM 1/28/2011, I wrote: Susan,What is the lot number of the Sugar Baby flavor oil? What is your percentage of candelilla wax? Tina

At 8:18 PM 1/28/2011, Susan wrote:I already gave that information (to Taylor -- get it fron her) and it's irrelevant anyway.  You shouldn't be selling an item that is going to be used for WAX products when you know that there's a problem with the item and WAX.   You answered NONE of the questions in my email either.  Just refund my money and I will buy my supplies elsewhere.

At 11:05 AM 1/29/2011, I wrote: Susan, I am not refunding anything.  You have a formulation problem. I am trying to help you.  You are refusing my help. I can't do anything when you believe the error is in a natural product. I have checked the lot number from Taylor.  The flavor oil is just fine.  I would like to ask you some questions about the bottle of flavor.  When you are ready for some help to get to the bottom of this, let me know.  I don't want an exercise in futility and neither do you. Tina

At 11:26 PM 1/13/2011, Susan wrote:I don't have a "formulation problem". YOU have a defective item problem. and you refuse to answer my questions, for one, how come this problem only happens with YOUR tubes?  Huh?  Another questions you didn't answer -- you admit this product has a problem with "high wax formulas" and yet you don't disclose that -- WHY?  Why don't you warn customers ahead of time?  That's dishonest and just plain bad business. And you only give the information you want to give, not the information I need. And are you saying I'm lying about the Sugar Baby?  It's sour and anyway you wouldn't admit it anyway.  Why would I lie about something like that? Any reputable company would at least offer to replace the product.  I have customers to serve -- I don't have time to be writing untrue  emails about somebody's product.   For the last time, as I have TOLD you over and over, I use the least amount of wax I can.  IF I USED ANY LESS IT WOULD NOT HOLD TOGETHER AS A STICK and IT HAS NEVER BEEN A PROBLEM UNTIL NOW.   What part of that can't you understand?  On second thought, forget it.  You have lost a customer and also I do believe I will start a blog about MMS -- the company that rips people off and won't even replace a defective product.  I have never yet had a complaint about my product but if I ever do, I will replace or refund immediately because I know it's not worth the ill will to do otherwise.  This is something you don't yet understand, but you will.  Don't write to me with any more "advice" because you don't know what you're talking about.  You just want to take people's money and don't care about anything else.Susan ***** (deleted last name)

At 9:39 PM 1/29/2011, Susan wrote:To whomever represents this company: I have tried to resolve this issue but you are totally uncooperative so you leave me no other choice.  I did some research online to make a complaint against you and it seems that one has to get in line to make a complaint against MMS.  There are a number of reports, and every one of them are similar to each other and to mine.  (Strange, none of my other suppliers have a single complaint at all).  I did in fact make it known just what kind of dishonest company you are, but that won't be sufficient.  You have ripped off many others but I won't be joining that group.   You have done ticked me off for real and I am going to do more than just write about it.  If you want to know what is being said, log on to Rip-Off Report.  Of course, that's just one website.  I have not had time yet to look for the others that I am sure exist. (Begin red text) BE ADVISED:YOU HAVE UNTIL THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS ON MONDAY, JANUARY 31, TO ISSUE A FULL REFUND FOR THE BLACK LIP BALM TUBES, THE PINK CAPS, 100 OF EACH, AND AN 8-OZ BOTTLE OF SUGAR BABY, ALL OF WHICH ARE DEFECTIVE.  IF YOU WANT THE ITEMS BACK I WILL SEND THEM, BUT YOU WILL HAVE TO ARRANGE TO PAY THE POSTAGE.  IF YOU REFUSE TO COMPLY, I WILL BE SUING YOU IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT.  IN CALIFORNIA, THAT IS.  THE DAMAGE OCCURRED AND WAS DISCOVERED HERE, SO CALIFORNIA HAS JURISDICTION. (End red text) This means that you will have to appear in California court; if you don't, you will lose by default.  Under California law, attorneys are not allowed in small claims court. You will have to appear personally.  Once  I have my judgement against you I will use it to attach company assets to get every penny of my money back, plus whatever other damages I am legally entitled to.  You will also have to reimburse me for court costs and service costs.  California courts don't think much of companies who rip off the customers who paid threir good money and trusted them to send a good product.  With the evidence I have against you you are sure to lose.   I have numerous written emails from you wherein you admit that you knew that the tubes were defective and you did knowingly sell them anyway without disclosure of the defect.  And that "formula problem" is crap -- the tubes have no other use BUT lip balm -- of course they will be holding wax.  Selling defective lip balm tubes that cannot contain wax is like selling a raincoat that can't get wet.  It's ludicrous.  And I told you over and over and OVER -- I use no more wax than I have to, and no other company's tubes have EVER done this. It's illegal to knowingly sell a defective product.  It seems from the other complaints that you always blame the customers when there is a problem, but we can't all be wrong.  I will also be contacting those people to ask if they want to appear in court and/or submit written affidavits if they cannot attend personally.  And just what do you think THEY will say?  HUH? They are all angry, but I would expect to get very fast replies from the man whose work you contacted, or the woman who was told not to use shea butter "to entice her husband" when all she wanted was a replacement for a bad product.  As for the  Sugar Baby, it is sour.  Sour, rancid, unusable.  And you know it is.  If it's sour here, it's sour there at your company too.  You just are too crooked to admit it.  I'm not worried -- I have my bottle and it's the only one I have ever purchased, so it has to be the one you sold me.  The judge and anyone in that courtroom is more than welcome to taste it and they will see for themselves.  It's sour, and that's a fact. No way ANYONE will say it's sweet, and it's supposed to be a  SWEETENER.  And as for Ms. Howard's foul-mouthed epithets, I would like one, please.  (An epithet is an insult, so you don't have to look it up).  Not that I need it, but more evidence is always nice.  Five o'clock PM Monday, January 31,2011.  Or else I will see you in court. Regards, Susan ***** (deleted last name)

Here I will end the email quoting.

I’m not really sure how to help Susan.  I have had her threaten and jump down my throat instead of letting me help her.  Our website says “When substituting Candelilla Wax for Beeswax in an existing recipe reduce the amount of wax by half since Candelilla Wax has twice the stiffening power of Beeswax.” Our website also says “When substituting Carnauba Wax for Beeswax in an existing recipe reduce the amount of wax by half since Carnauba Wax has twice the stiffening power of Beeswax.”Susan is having a problem with tubes that we sell hundreds of thousands every year.  The tubes rarely have a problem and when they do, it is not of the type she describes.  We sell lip balm tubes.  We sell natural waxes.  It would be impossible for us to know her formulation or to have tested her formulation without previous contact and request.  We can not test every formulation out there.

Our site says: All sales are final. We do not accept returns for any reason. We want to guarantee our product quality to all our customers, therefore a return is not acceptable.It is the sole responsibility of the customer to evaluate, test and determine the fitness and suitability of any product for use in the customer's products. Do NOT order great quantities before you test. Testing is the only way for you to determine which products are suitable in your final product. We feel bad when customers order 300 bottles only to find they are too tall for the box already purchased. If you need help with a product please contact our technical support staff at techsup@the-sage.com. You may contact our technical staff before, and after, the sale.

Susan needs some help.  Most often we see lip balm mixtures with 20% beeswax.  When converting to candelilla or carnauba wax, this amount must be reduced.  Often people, especially women, don’t understand how to figure the math and know the percentage of each ingredient in a formulation.  I regularly explain this to people and walk them through the math showing each step.  Susan obviously has an ability to learn and can easily grasp these concepts if she would allow me to help.  It isn’t fun to make a product that doesn’t work in a container.  It is even worse to feel like some how we formulators have failed.  Susan hasn’t failed yet.  She just needs some help to overcome the problems she has encountered. 

The key to the lip balm tubes is knowing the formulation before filling the tubes.  We highly recommend the plate test prior to filling the lip balm tubes.  This means making the lip balm mixture, in Susan’s case it will mean heating to at least 180°F to melt the difficult wax of carnauba, then dispensing a few drops from a pipette on to a plate made of stone or something like Corelle Ware.  The cool nature of the plate, even at regular room temperatures, will cause the lip balm mixture to set up instantly.  She can then test the spots of lip balm with her finger.  Hard rubbing to melt the lip balm will indicate a difficult product to apply and one that could potentially break away during propel/repel.

This is not the fault of the tube, just an incompatibility between the design of the tube and the formulation inside.  I regularly see products that are extra firm to extra soft in these tubes.  These same tubes are used by mass manufacturers.

One final note: when we have customers dealing with difficult issues it is common for us to get a formulation from the customer and duplicate the results in our facility.  This helps us “see” their problems and overcome any formulation or technique issues.  We ask for lot numbers from the customer to guarantee we are working with the same batches of materials.  This isn’t something that should be discarded or taken lightly.  This is our effort to help the customer in the best, most efficient way possible.  Withholding information or saying “go get it elsewhere” is a dead end for us.  It ties our hands when we want to help.

I am still willing to help Susan.  I just need some assistance from Susan to do this easily. 

The things I need to know are:

1- Is this formulation measured by weight or by volume?  A scale means weight, teaspoons and similar mean volume.

2- What is the percentage of the carnauba wax in the total formulation?  If unsure, please send the entire formulation and I will walk through the math explaining each step.  The formulation goes nowhere but my desk.  When we are finished with the troubleshooting the note goes in my trash to be shredded by a Class 5 document shredder.

3- Does the Sugar Baby have white crystals in the bottle?  Look near the bottom and use a flashlight since the product is in an amber glass bottle and it is difficult to see.

With data from these questions I can guide Susan to make her lip balm efforts rewarding.

With regards,
Tina Howard
President
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