• Report: #284716

Complaint Review: Majestic Mountain Sage

  • Submitted: Tue, November 13, 2007
  • Updated: Fri, January 29, 2010

  • Reported By:Salt Lake County Utah
Majestic Mountain Sage
918 West 700 North, Ste 104 Logan, Utah U.S.A.

Majestic Mountain Sage When we complained about the poor quality of a product they sent, they tried to get me fired! Logan Utah

*General Comment: From a former MMS customer

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Rebuttal to MMS' response

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: The soap tested correctly and customer admitted to damaging the soap by placing it in the freezer

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We recieved a batch of soap base from them that we believe to be sub-par quality and it resulted in a poor quality product. The soap base in question was used to make soaps by Jr. High students as part of a lesson on business- how to design, manufacture and market a product. I have used this company's products for years with no problems. This time, I had a problem with the quality. I complained that the clarity of the soap was terrible compared to the base we have recieved from them in the past and provided photos etc. of the problem.

The owner of the company not only denied there was a problem and refused any sort of refund or replacement but also sent a nastogram to me AND MY EMPLOYER accusing me of being a cheat and a liar and defaming another local company. Exerpts from said e-mail are below, I have removed names:

"I am furious about the behavior of this publicly funded individual [refering to me, I am a teacher]. I am highly concerned that these are the values being taught in this school. [Principal] and [Vice Principal] are these the values you wish to be taught?"

"[My name], if these are the values you wish to operate under then I suggest you find another vendor. I can suggest one right in your county that has the same values. [owner of another company] owns [other company]. She registered our company name as adomain name in an attempt to hijack our customers for herself. She then claimed she had no knowledge of our company. She was a customer of ours 2 years prior to her actions. She is a liar and a cheat. Today I think the same of you that I do of [other company owner]."

"If I had not been concerned about this issue I would not have responded to the original email. I did respond and I continued to investigate your problem and went to great lengths to find the problem. In return I get a rude and dishonest individual...."

"These actions are our application of the Golden Rule. [Me], if you are not
familiar with the Golden Rule I would suggest you do a Google.com search."

"I am also requesting an apology."

This business owner then went on to call the front office at the school 3 times screaming and yelling and telling the secretary to F*off. She also threatened to call the district office.

I particularly like that she requested *I* apologize to her after she made false allegations TO MY EMPLOYER.

Name witheld for my pesonal safety
Salt Lake County, Utah

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/13/2007 11:12 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Majestic-Mountain-Sage/Logan-Utah-84312/Majestic-Mountain-Sage-When-we-complained-about-the-poor-quality-of-a-product-they-sent-t-284716. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

From a former MMS customer

AUTHOR: Lori - (United States of America)

When I placed an order with a competing company of Majestic Mountain Sage's and was completely ripped off I decided to more thoroughly research the companies from which I purchase my skincare-making ingredients.  I have to admit that I was very surprised to see that MMS has so many (similar) complaints, since I've ordered from them in the past and have had no problems.  However, I could never in good conscience patronize a company whose owner chooses to verbally abuse her customers when they dare to tell her she's made a mistake or sent an inferior product.  The final straw for me was when she admitted to sending a letter to the teacher's principal.  A child could see that this is not a case of fraud, and even if it was this type of diatribe is never appropriate.  I would be inclined to believe that the part about the owner telling the school's secretary to f*** off is an exaggeration, but after reading other people's complaints about her behavior I'll bet it's true.  After all, where there's smoke there's usually fire.  With a handful of companies out there who are truly good to their customers and will work with you if there's a problem, I see no need to give this despicable woman any more of my money.
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#2 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Rebuttal to MMS' response

AUTHOR: Utahteacher - (U.S.A.)

I have read the rebuttal from MMS and I appreciate the acknowledgment that their letter to me and my employer reflected poor judgment on their part. I agree.

Unfortunately, I'm disturbed by the selective perception of the company. They seem to want to amplify elements of the story that support their conclusion, and to completely dismiss those that don't.

Just to clarify the facts, the product was never frozen. It was placed in a freezer for 5 to 15 minutes as part of the standard cooling practice that I, and many other soap makers, use. I've done it for years with no poor results, as has my sister for the past decade. The company is aware of this fact, but has chosen to dismiss it in an effort to discredit me.

For those considering doing business with this company in the future, I think it is helpful to recognize that they perceive any dissatisfaction with their product as a personal attack and will respond in kind. This woman has never met me. But because I want a $20 refund for a product I bought with school funds, she thinks I'm trying to con her. With all the headache of sending the soap back, sending the e-mails back and forth, trying to determine the cause of the problem, and dealing with her venomous phone calls to my employers I can assure you there are easier ways to get $20, even for a teacher.

The reality is that over a hundred students were disappointed by the results of their first soap-making experience. I did nothing different than I have done every quarter for three years. The company owner can blame me all she wants, but it is not unreasonable for me to request a replacement batch or a refund of my school's money given that I did nothing different this time and my students' experience was ruined.

Questioning my motives, my character, my teaching abilities, and my principal's faith in me were all over the line. I didn't deserve to be treated this way by someone I chose to do business with. I consider the matter closed.
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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

The soap tested correctly and customer admitted to damaging the soap by placing it in the freezer

AUTHOR: Majestic Mountain Sage - (U.S.A.)

August 28, 2007: This customer ordered our melt and pour soap in white and clear.

October 15, 2007: After our company closed for the day the customer emailed us to state the soap was cloudy when poured into the molds. She sent a link to see the pictures of the soaps on the internet.

October 16, 2007: I responded to the customer and asked about her techniques and process of making the soaps. I also asked for the lot number placed on the label of each product and how she could find this information. She gave me the lot number of the soap and I checked our sales floor for another pail of the same material. Since the soaps seemed to be made in the correct fashion I made arrangements with the customer to bring back her pail of soap, at our expense.

October 23, 2007: Our shipping department sent a box to the customer along with a return label. It was my mistake in my written request to our shipping department that caused the delay. I was travelling and once they were able to discuss the matter with me they understood what needed to be done. The customer is close and would receive the box and return shipping label the very next day.

October 24, 2007: The customer receives the box and return shipping label.

November 5, 2007: The return box comes back to us. The shipping label service guarantees one day in transit. The package was not given to UPS until November 2nd to bring back to us.

I opened the pail to find the entire 25 lbs had been melted by the customer. My first concern was that the white soap had contaminated the transparent soap at the time of melting. I cut a portion of the soap out of the pail and melted it in a clean beaker with the aid of a microwave. I poured 2 soaps that are one inch thick. I sprayed one soap with alcohol which can help clear the soap of bubbles and a thickened skin which can cause translucency. The other soap was left without alcohol or anything to prevent a skin from forming.

One hour later I removed both soaps from the molds. The soap with the alcohol spray was just as clear as the soap without the alcohol spray. The only difference was the non-sprayed soap had some bubbles form at the surface when poured into the mold. Both soaps are so clear the newspaper can be read through 1 inch of soap.

I emailed the customer explaining what I had found. I further asked about her techiniques employed in the classroom.

November 6, 2007: I get an email from the customer stating - My reply is in the attached letter. I got a Word document from the customer. I emailed back explaining that I am on a Mac and can not open her file. She responded that it shouldn't matter because the file is a Word document.

November 7, 2007: I received her email and a PDF explaining what she had found.
The letter started out "I must admit I was surprised that you questioned me at all concerning this batch of soap. I feel that I was able to provide overwhelming evidence as the inferiority of this product, and had no doubt that you would take me at my word." The problem is I was not able to duplicate her results when using the exact same soap. There was not overwhelming evidence of this product being faulty.

The customer's letter continues: "I was also very surprised that you did not have the same result as I did when making soap. It just didn't make sense. I can (and will) provide example of after example of the difference between this batch the previous ones I have sent. In so doing, I began making a few bars out of what soap I have left to prove my point. And I think I discovered why this may be happening.

"I am not an amateur at making soap. Nor is this a new process for me. What my
students did this quarter is no different from what they have done any other quarter. I have followed the same procedure every time. I have warned them about the possibility of the old soap melting in the new when they make a bar. Occasionally this happens, but seeing such cloudiness in thirty bars certainly cannot be explained by every single group making the same mistake.

"I noticed that when the soap is poured, it is much more yellow and cloudy than it
usually is. I decided I would make a bar myself to show you how it turns out. This is the picture of what I got. INCREDIBLY cloudy. Beyond acceptable. I am certain, however, that you did not get this result for one reason. I put my soaps in the freezer when I am finished, so that they harden faster. This soap was relatively
clear (though not as clear as previous batches I have used) before I put it in the freezer. It got this cloudy after I took it out. I encourage you to try this yourself with the soap you got back from me and see if you get the same results."

The customer then goes on to request that we replace the soap. This soap is a natural product and can be slightly different shades of yellow during the year. This customer has purchased the soap many times and each time it will be different. The overwhelming consistency is the soap IS transparent. If reading the newspaper through 1 inch of soap is not considered transparent I do not know how to define transparent. Catherine Failor's book Making Transparent Soaps describes transparency on page 7 of her 2000 edition by Storey Books as "the ability to read 14 point typeface through a 1/4 inch sliver of soap." Newspapers are not printed in 14 point typeface, nor did we test with a 1/4 inch sliver of soap. We tested regular newsprint with a 1 inch bar, 4 times as thick as this popular author describes.

The customer further stated "I hope that this letter has been helpful. Keep in mind that I did not have to tell you about the freezer once I realized this was the problem I was tempted not to. But I want to be honest here and really try to get to the bottom of what is going on. It never occurred to me the day we made soap that the freezer was the problem, because this is what I have always done with no problems."

This customer's goal was not to get to the bottom but to have perfectly fine soap replaced with a new batch. I explained to the customer that in our dry climate we don't often have excess water in a batch of soap, it is more common to have the soap dry excessively. However, her soap was made during August when our humidity was higher and this has caused the problem while freezing the soap. I also explained to the customer that we do not advocate freezing melt and pour soap on our website or in any of our printed literature.

The customer has attacked us for selling a product which is normal and has been poorly treated. She has threatened us many times in her emails. While my email response to her was strong, and in poor judgement, I felt I needed to protect myself, my staff and our product from someone who was falsely accusing us of doing something improper.

I did not ever, in writing or by phone, ask for this person to be fired. I did feel the principal should know a teacher is claiming that she considered not telling the truth and would still claim the product was inferior. I did forward all emails this teacher wrote, as well as my responses, to this teacher's supervisor, the school principal.

I still believe this soap is fine and the teacher's resolution is to use more molds in her classroom and stop freezing the soap.
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