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Underarm deodorant stains on a dark shirt

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I need some help and opinions please. A rather new customer (second order) picked a dark burgandy poplin shirt as part of his order. A week After delivering the shirts I got a rather upsetting call from this customer. He wore the shirt once and there were white stains under the arms. He felt that he could not wear the shirt again with these stains. I explained that this was caused by the combination of his persperation and brand of deodorant. Question 1. Any suggestions on how to remove these stains. I tried spraying with shout and then washing normally. The stains did not completely disapear. Question 2. If you were this customer, what would you expect from me. A new replacement shirt, an acommadation on the next order. or nothing. Just the knowledge that you need to change deodorants. This fellow could be a decent customer, yet I don't feel responsible. If the shirt was damaged or if the fabric faded, then I would take care of him right away. Carl www.cego.com
post #2 of 18
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post #3 of 18
As a customer, I wouldn't expect anything from you. It wasn't your fault, and you explained how I could avoid the problem...it almost certainly was the anti-perpirant. However, if you decided to give me a free shirt, I would graciously accept it, and probably be a customer for life.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
I need some help and opinions please. A  rather new customer (second order) picked a dark burgandy poplin shirt as part of his order. A week After delivering the shirts I got a rather upsetting call from this customer. He wore the shirt once and there were white stains under the arms. He felt that he could not wear the shirt again with these stains. I explained that this was caused by the combination of his persperation and brand of deodorant. Question 1. Any suggestions on how to remove these stains. I tried spraying with shout and then washing normally. The stains did not completely disapear. Question 2. If you were this customer, what would you expect from me. A new replacement shirt, an acommadation on the next order. or nothing. Just the knowledge that you need to change deodorants. This fellow could be a decent customer, yet I don't feel responsible. If the shirt was damaged or if the fabric faded, then I would take care of him right away. Carl www.cego.com
Ahhh. I love Retail... Yesterday a woman came in with an Armani Jr. sweater that was snagged (the kid pulled it on something) and when I patiently explained top her that This is not a problem with the material and that Snaggs will occur when you hook it onto something and pull and that Armani would laugh at me for suggesting that this is their fault, she looked at me and said. Yeah. I guess you are right... That happens 1 time in 5 similar situations. Usually you get the person saying that "since you are selling it you should stand behind your product..." I have had other people say that since we have a big store with overhead we should absorb this as well... O-K. Have fun, but make sure you know what he is about, even if you appease this guy is it gonna happen again? (and again, and again...) JJF
post #5 of 18
Quote:
As a customer, I wouldn't expect anything from you.  It wasn't your fault, and you explained how I could avoid the problem...it almost certainly was the anti-perpirant.  However, if you decided to give me a free shirt, I would graciously accept it, and probably be a customer for life.
If that were only tru... Usually people that make unreasonable requests and demands "My Kid Ripped his pants on a nail...Why wont you replace it?" while never forgetting perceived bad service, rarely remember good service. Risky. JJF
post #6 of 18
One could maybe use the same deodorant/anti-persperant without causing underarm stains if he allows it to dry fully before putting on his undershirt and then his shirt. Maybe drying takes a little time, so get up a few minutes earlier and budget the precious little time you have before you have to get to work.
post #7 of 18
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post #8 of 18
In this heyday of vicious competitiveness, I think most any consumer's knee-jerk reaction is going to be: "Fine don't replace it; I'll just take my business elsewhere." How does he know that nobody else will fix it either? The key is: he doesn't. He just won't come back to you (matter of pride and all). And that's a lost sale, or incremental sales. As a customer, I would love it if a retailer gave me additional information, such as Manton posts, and STILL replaced the shirt. I would know that he was willing to go beyond the call of duty because he valued my patronage. I would also know he was doing it with the full knowledge that it wasn't his fault to begin with. Which would make me feel a teeny bit guilty and I'd probably patronize the store again. However, as a retailer, I would dole out the added info, replace the shirt (this time), and let the customer know you are doing him a favor by tactfully informing him you will not be able to replace it a second time for the same reason (which lets him know you are not a blowover retail wimp). You lose a shirt sale once; but you may gain (as Renault78law so wisely puts it) a customer for life. And everyone in business knows that loyal "house customers" are the meat and potatoes of any operation. If the guy never comes back, you wouldn't want him back anyway. You may also want to keep your own file of "special circumstance" customers in case the guy comes back a year or more later with some "other" situation. You can always reference by name this file (which probably won't be very big) to see if you're getting scammed. You've all heard the saying before: fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me .
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Quote:
(Renault78law @ 22 Oct. 2004, 2:13) As a customer, I wouldn't expect anything from you.  It wasn't your fault, and you explained how I could avoid the problem...it almost certainly was the anti-perpirant.  However, if you decided to give me a free shirt, I would graciously accept it, and probably be a customer for life.
If that were only tru... Usually people that make unreasonable requests and demands "My Kid Ripped his pants on a nail...Why wont you replace it?" while never forgetting perceived bad service, rarely remember good service. Risky. JJF
Of course, I yield respectfully to those in the daily trenches, like FIHTies, who has more experience in this vein than I. I think you can sense the difference between a customer who's irate or one who's mildly upset, and who is likely to come back, or who is just a jerk that wants a freebie at every turn. Maybe it's a judgement call in each case. I just bemoan the lack of good customer service these days, and if treated well, I'll go out of my way to support such a business...and avoid those who have no understanding of what "business" means.
post #10 of 18
Maybe inform your customers ahead of time that using aluminum-based anti-perspirants tends to leave (possibly permanent) underarm stains? Alex Kabbaz may know some way of removing underarm stains - he has been making shirts for quite some time now. Alex, I swear I'm not calling you old.
post #11 of 18
On the flip side, as FIHTies said, you do have to be careful with the customer who demands a free replacement because of something stupid he did, or something accidental which was not in any way due to a defect of the product.
post #12 of 18
I agree with banksmiranda's suggestion of "preemptive" action. If a shop owner tells me potential pitfalls when I buy his product, I'll think, "Geez, this guy really knows his stuff." I guess it's a live and learn experience, and I don't mean to preach to those retailers on this Forum who know much better than I what's involved here.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I had reluctantly planned on making him another shirt at no charge. I hope he send all his friends. Carl www.cego.com
post #14 of 18
First, the easy part: Manton is exactly right about the culprit being the aluminum chlorhydrate. Using a deoderant rather than an anti-perspirant solves the problem of permanent stains, but perpetuates the problem of temporary ones. Deoderants are badly outnumbered on store shelves. One deoderant that is widely available is the original Right Guard spray. On the second question, of how to treat the customer, I'm inclined toward Quill. Diplomatically educate the customer about the cause of his problem. Offer, in this one instance, to help him out by replacing the shirt. Watch out for him abusing your generosity down the road. Call him in a couple of weeks to ask if he has followed your advice. Sell him a navy blue or grey sweater to wear over the shirt.
post #15 of 18
Quill's first post is emminently correct. Replace the shirt once - just once - and explain the problem to him. I've got clients with the same problem for whom I care for their shirts. I've tried every chemical known to the laundry industry - and the stains will not come out under any circumstances. From experience, the worst offender is Right Guard (ugh.) On the other hand, you might offer some helpful suggestions. Tom's of Maine, for example, manufactures a completely natural deodorant which contains nothing that will damage a shirt. I've used it for about 15 years and can vouch for its performance under this circumstance. As the problem is always worst on dark shirts, you could always sew in those damn protector pads (again, ugh.). But they do work and can be replaced when worn out. Or you might let him know that Zimmerli now adds an antibacterial capacity to one of their lines (Business Class, fabric #220) which impedes the formation of odor. This could permit the use of a much less agressive deodorant - such as Tom's - and do away with the stain problem. And where, he might ask, can I get this marvelous undershirt. Oops - that would be me. PLUG Oh, well, here comes Steve with the edit button. And now for you, Mr. BanksMiranda. When I was your age and clients walked into the showroom, they would invariably look over my shoulder and ask, "Where's the shirtmaker?" Damn right I'm old ... but they don't look over my shoulder any more. In about 25 years you'll be able to say the same thing. That is, if you make it that long without shooting one of them who ruins his brand new hand-made shirt with a cheap deodorant ... young whippersnapper.
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