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The Estee Lauder Conference Call


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#1 Lisa

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 04:01 PM

The conference call took place today at 2:30. Present for the call were Woody, Ann, Roselyn Gerson and myself. For Estee Lauder there were several representatives, the primary speakers were Daniel Annese and Sue Grundfest. I'll refer to the Estee Lauder representatives simply as "Estee Lauder" or "EL" below.

The notification emails came the night before, somehow mine didn't arrive. I think my email address was incorrect, but after hearing the conference call maybe that's not the case!

It was asked about whether the Harrod's solids and compacts could be made available in the US after a certain amount of time. Estee Lauder said they would look into that.

Ann pointed out the huge variety of EL products from the warehouse sales being sold in large lots available on eBay. EL said they were unaware of such a large scale problem and they will look into it.

It was asked whether the Strongwater boxes should have more foam padding to protect the solids from breaking during shipping. Estee Lauder said they do a standard drop test on all their products, and that some of the Strongwater solids were a bit larger and heavier than most of their solids, but that they would look into this problem.

It was asked about the damaged solids coming out of Victoria Company and being sold on eBay. EL said they had contacted Victoria Co regarding this and they were working on it, but that they couldn't stop people from selling what they already had.

EL brought up the idea of putting authenticity cards inside new solids in the future. it was pointed out that these cards would have little efffect since the solids are not numbered and the cards can be put with any other solid. EL said they would look into other ways of certifying the solids as authentic.

It was asked about what would happen to the Strongwater solids which were damaged and being returned. there was no definitive anwser on the fate of these damaged returns.

It was asked why the solids could not be shipped via air within the US. EL said their policy was to ship via ground only in the US and that it was probably their contract with the carriers that prevented any exception.

It was asked whether extra stones could be included with solids like they are with the powder compacts. EL said this was a possibility with the more expensive solids.

It was asked if there was an "official" list of all the vintage solids. We were told EL's list of past solids and information on each is not public information and will not be released. EL is claiming that all solids ever officially released are in Roselyn Gerson's book and that is the last release of information they will give. There are obviously several solids that were officially released that are not included in the book, but EL maintains that's not the case. The other items were brought up in addition to a complete list which has been circulated for years. EL was obviously angry about this and one representative even raised her voice and was upset that this "proprietary information" was stolen from her computer.

We asked if there was a contact we could have at EL to give us information related to new solids. The company line was that EL does not have the manpower to give us any information. Estee Lauder talks to Roselyn Gerson alone and no one else. It was clear that they want nothing to do with me and/or this site. I think we were included in the call because Roselyn recommended us, but I highly doubt Estee Lauder even wanted us there.

I think it's interesting that Estee Lauder is refusing to release any information to our site, and that they are refusing to even give us a contact within their company. This site is visited EVERY DAY from within the Estee Lauder corporate network. (Yes, we see you Estee Lauder people!) Apparently we are interesting enough to look at, but for some reason we are on their information blackout list. They must really have a problem with us to want to give up free publicity and advertising.

One reason they gave for not giving us information was that they don't want us putting up inaccurate information, because things change with them. We asked if they would give us accurate, finalized information but they again refused and said we could get it from Roselyn after they gave it to her.

Estee Lauder said they will probably will schedule another call after the holidays. I would doubt we would be asked to be included on that call.

It was asked why it takes so long to receive the rewards certificates from EL. EL said they were being mailed soon.

It was asked whether the designers were aware of the previous designs, since some of the new solids have been done before. EL said the designers are going to be made more aware of this in the future, but that sometimes the designers design what they want to design.

Roselyn asked whether the new fragrance Beyond Paradise could be made into a bath oil. Estee Lauder said they would look into it.

#2 Ann and Ken

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 04:18 PM



I have to concur with Lisa .

Mr. Annise was nice to us in a great PR way but we wanted more. The
EL reps. were openly hostile to any suggestion or any question we had.
I had high hopes for this call even though I had been warned I am still disappointed.

I finally point blank asked if they would support Lisa site or not and the answer was "they didn't have the resourses " in other words -No.


I just gave up so I need to say I am sorry if I didn't get an answer to any of your questions.

Ann


#3 Michele

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 04:21 PM

Well, it's sort of a let-down, but I appreciate the effort you all put into it. At least you gave it your very best shot, asked fair, professional questions which deserved, from what it sounds, a little more diplomacy on EL's part.

More than this you cannot be expected to do.

Thanks to all of you for trying. unsure.gif

None of you have to apologize...they were aware well in advance that the call was to be held...the questions were pretty obvious to them...their answers could have been a tiny bit more to the point, and a little softer. Again, no apologies necessary from your end.

Edited by Michele, 04 August 2004 - 04:24 PM.


#4 Ron

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 04:25 PM

You know this call almost sounds like the story of Emperors New Clothes. They like to hear the ohhhh ahhhhhs but do not to hear any comments constructive or not.

I liked the comment that the designers design what they want. True they can design what they want but no one is forcing EL to purchase that design. Maybe they have too little manpower to cross check with what has already been done?

Was there any mention about the discolored solids?

#5 Michele

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 04:35 PM

Can you tell us if you all felt they were on the "defensive" from the very beginning of the call, or did it just work it's way into the conversation with each question? It almost sounds as if they didn't even want the call to take place. blink.gif

#6 Petals

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 04:37 PM

Very interested to read your report and still trying to digest all that has been written.

Was surprised to read the request for the Harrods solids and compacts to be made available later in the States. This would increase the production, and we will be in the same situation as the general lines.

No mention of the discolouration of the solids? Wonder what the response will be in this case.

I am baffled also WHY the antithapy towards Lisa and Jack's site! I cannot for the life of me fathom this one out. Need more answers!

Thank you all for your involvement, and to Roselyn Gerson for making this possible.

Will be watching this space!

#7 Lisa

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 04:44 PM

Ron,

Sorry, yes we did bring up the discolored solids thing- I think the response was that EL did not have a "fix" yet.

I felt the hostility was directed toward me and the site. I was really floored that the repeated response was "we just don't have the resources". I then said "for one more person?????" and the response was well we already have one person and if we do it for you than we have to do it for everyone else.

Yeah... there are so many other Lauder solid perfume web sites out there, how could they possibly keep up?????

I mean someone may break their finger CCing me a message.

I cannot express my disappointment enough.

#8 Ann and Ken

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 05:10 PM



Lisa-- I have a headache --Do you also ???

Still stunned.

Ann


#9 Lisa

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 05:16 PM

A headache... no, but I am upset and yes still stunned!! I keep looking in the mirror for the red mark to appear on my face.

I did think this would be a whole new begining, I honestly felt as if they would come through. I do agree that Mr. Annise was very nice (unlike the other who I thought rude) but it was like they were listening but did not hear us.

#10 Ann and Ken

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 05:35 PM



They lost me when they yelled at Woody.

Ann


#11 Jack

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 05:56 PM

I'm just baffled by their witholding of their list of past solids. Obviously there are a good number that weren't mentioned at all in Roz's book. Why is that being kept as top secret proprietary information? We aren't asking to know how many they made or what their profit margins are.

Does Estee Lauder realize that they are not producing top secret nuclear weapons? These are collectible perfumes we are talking about. Why the secrecy? Bizarre that a company producing collectibles wouldn't want people to know a complete list of what they have made in the past. blink.gif

#12 Martha C

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 06:07 PM

Lisa, Ann and Woody, I know you are very disappointed, but I hope you know how much your efforts are appreciated. This was, in my opinion, just the first step ... so please don't get discouraged. My Mother has a favorite saying, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease," and believe me, you are squeaking. tongue.gif

I've been reading a lot lately about Aerin Lauder, Estee's 35-year old granddaughter who's the head of Marketing for EL. She is a talented, dynamic woman who is reportedly approachable and not arrogant in the least. And what about the Lauder who designed one the the Harrod's solids (the Crown?). He has to have a keen interest in the solids, and I bet Aerin does, too. Anyway, I just think there are other channels of communication with EL to be explored.

All of you have my thanks.




#13 Petals

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 06:36 PM

I still cannot fathom this one out, hard as I may try! What am I missing??
If they didn't want to speak with you, why arrange a Conference Call? And yes Jack, what is all the secrecy surrounding past solids? And another Conference Call to take place in due course??

Sounds like an Agatha Christie to me!






#14 Michele

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 06:53 PM

THEY YELLED AT WOODY?

Hello, Mrs. Gerson! smile.gif

Is it possible that, because cosmetic houses are notorious for their secrecy, the people you spoke to were possibly a little afraid to say anything too definite? There IS tons of competition in their industry...and they are not the only one's who read this site. Plus, I'm wondering if they were versed on what to say and what not to say, which put them all in a very uncomfortable position? (I'm not defending them here...just playing Devil's Advocate.) Just some random thoughts.... blink.gif

This does not, in any way, shape or form, excuse rudeness. mad.gif

I'm all done now. rolleyes.gif

#15 Sandra

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 07:37 PM

QUOTE(Ann and Ken @ Aug 4 2004, 10:48 PM)


They lost me when they yelled at Woody.


ohmy.gif Oh dear!! Not our favourite Woody!! ohmy.gif Must have been some damn hard question you put to them, Woody!!

Well, thank you SO MUCH, Lisa for passing on some of the contents and the overall outcome of the call . . . we do need to know what they are like . . . now there's a nasty taste left in my mouth from the reps from EL, don't know about yours!! mad.gif

Well - two words for the attitude of the EL management towards this site:

POWER PLAY

Amazing what happens when it all goes to your head!!

However, I have another word for them:

KARMA




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