Watsons Beauty Day Out

Filed Under (branding, cosmetics, events, haircare, nutrition, skincare) by rinnah on 08-10-2012

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Hands up those of you who know the Watsons brand!

Here’s a fact you might not know about Watsons – did you know that Watsons is the largest health & beauty retailer in Asia with over 2,000 stores and 1,200 pharmacies in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea and Indonesia?

I didn’t know that and now I do. :)

Recently, a bunch of beauty bloggers were invited to the first-ever Watsons Beauty Day Out where we were introduced to some of the brands that you can find in Watsons.

Watsons Beauty Day Out logo 02

I was a bit KO’ed that day because I’d just flown back in to Singapore from a business trip and then spent the entire day wrestling with work before heading for the event, but put a beauty blogger in a place with new brands to explore and products to play with and… I totally forgot my tiredness and even about the need to eat! LOL.

There are quite a number of photos so hit the jump and keep on reading.  Read the rest of this entry »

High Tea with Bella Box

Filed Under (bodycare, branding, cosmetics, events, online shopping, skincare) by rinnah on 03-04-2012

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(I am rather late with this post cos my Hong Kong trip and work came up, but better late than never!) :P

Last month, I was lucky enough to be Beetrice’s plus one at Bella Box’s High Tea for bloggers. We had no idea what was in store for us but I can tell you now that it was fun!

bellabox 01

The event was held at Arteastiq Tea Lounge @ Mandarin Gallery. It was my first time there and it would be a place I’d like to revisit – it seems very popular with the hip SG crowd, judging by the stream of people that came while we were there.

arteastiq tea lounge

I have quite a number of pictures from the event after the jump so keep on reading! Read the rest of this entry »

Bellabox November 2011

Filed Under (branding, conditioner, cosmetics, haircare, serum, shampoo, skincare) by rinnah on 30-11-2011

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I was uber excited at first to know that Singapore was getting a local version of the sample box trend that’s all the rage in US, UK and Australia.

Bellabox delivers the latest deluxe beauty products to your door, brand new and exclusive for you at SGD 15.00 a month. We handpick and deliver 5 of the most luxurious beauty products to hit the market. Discover new products you will love, and make new purchases with confidence.

I signed up for Bellabox about 3 months back during the preview before their official launching, but only received my first Bellabox this month after a long saga (I had multiple issues with ordering and the online payment via PayPal that resulted in my missing the cut-off date for the first edition Bellabox in October). I was pretty frustrated with the technical problems that put me on the sidelines watching other bloggers and Singapore beauty lovers tweet/blog/write about what they got last month so I guess my expectations were rather dampened by the time the November Bellabox arrived.

Nevertheless, there is always a thrill in receiving a package and opening presents. :)

Bellabox outer packaging

Your Bellabox experience starts when your pink Bellabox is delivered to the doorstep via Singapore registered post.

Bellabox within a box

Inside the pink Bellabox packaging sits another, smaller glossy box containing the sample products for the month, all nestled in confetti packaging. These products are custom selected for you based on the profile you fill up when you first register for the service.

What's in the November Bellabox

Here’s what I received in November’s Bellabox:

1. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Trollop
2. Duchess Marden Damascena Anti-Wrinkle Serum
3. Korres Guava Body Butter
4. Skin Factory Eye Dream Honey Patch
5. Davines Melu Mellow Anti-Breakage Lustrous Shampoo
6. Davines Melu Mellow Anti-Breakage Lustrous Conditioner

Of all the products, I’d say that OCC’s Lip Tar and the Davines shampoo/conditioner set seem most value for money. After all, considering that 1 tube of Lip Tar normally retails at SGD 18.90, you’ve already gotten back the price of your monthly subscription. I was a mite disappointed with the size of Korres’ body butter sample sachet though – just one sachet seems rather miserly to me. Surely they could have coughed up another sachet which would allow users to better decide whether or not it works for them in more than just one or two uses.

All in, the jury is still out as I’m rather ambivalent about Bellabox at this point of time and will wait to see what’s in next month’s Bellabox before making any judgement calls.

Read other blogger reviews here :
Beetrice – October Bellabox and November Bellabox

My Women Stuff Readers Choice Awards 2011

Filed Under (branding, contest, events) by rinnah on 01-11-2011

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In the words of Barney Stinson, it was LEGEN… wait for it… DARY!!!

I truly didn’t imagine that a random conversation on Twitter with Paris B would become the epic event (in Beetrice’s words) that was My Women Stuff Readers Choice Awards.

mwsawards stickers

There are more pictures of the event, so keep on reading after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Citibank Malaysia’s service is useless for me

Filed Under (branding, customer service, financial, services) by rinnah on 27-07-2011

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I am never banking with Citibank Malaysia ever again. EVER.

I have always had the opinion and expectation that the services of the financial industry are in a way lesser than their counterparts in say, the hotel and tourism industry or the food & beverage industry. I try to be a good customer and stay within the guidelines set out by the banks. However, this recent incident with Citibank Malaysia shows that they consider themselves to be almighty and that their customers are worth nothing to them.

I have been banking with Citibank Malaysia since 2007. First with a savings account and then in 2009, a credit card.

citibank shell visa
Image credit

For reasons only known to themselves, Citibank decides to terminate their existing Citibank Shell Silver Visa (the one above which I have) and forcibly upgrade all of their customers to a Citibank Shell Gold Visa.

I did not request for this upgrade. I was perfectly happy using my existing credit card.

The first inkling I had about this was when a customer service personnel called to ask if I had received my new upgraded credit card. I told her that I had not requested for any upgrade nor had I received any card (I assumed this was one of those things where the bank increases your credit limit and upgrades your card at the same time). She explained about the forced upgrade due to the termination of the Silver card program and the changeover to the Gold card program. I was not keen on this but she assured me that all of my auto-payments would be seamlessly transferred over to the new card. The termination of the Silver card program would take place beginning 30 June 2011.

Doesn’t seem like much problems, right? Here’s where the fun begins.

I repeated again during that same call that I had not received any new credit card. The customer service personnel did some checking and told me that the card had been sent to my address in Cheras. Immediately, I told her that that was not the correct address as I had moved to Kota Damansara in June 2010 and I had also informed Citibank of my change in address back then. Being concerned that the new credit card had been sent to the wrong address where it could be used for fraud, I told the customer service personnel to cancel that card and re-issue a new one using my Kota Damansara address.

Two weeks passed and still no new card was sent to me in Kota Damansara.

I received another call from a different customer service personnel, a guy this time, asking me why I had not yet activated my new credit card. I repeated the story of what had happened previously and he said he would look into the matter.

Fast forward another two weeks. Having received my existing credit card statement, I went to Citibank over the weekend to make my usual payment via my savings account. The existing credit card had been delinked from the savings account, thus I could not make any payment transfer.

So, today I made a call to Citibank’s customer hotline.

I explained the situation to the customer service representative in detail again, stressing that I had not received the new upgraded credit card and that I had asked for it to be re-issued to me at my existing address in Kota Damansara. I was informed that the old/existing credit card had been routinely terminated on 30 June 2011 and there was nothing shown in their system about any new credit card being issued. Apparently my earlier conversation with the first customer service personnel was recorded as ‘customer does not believe the call is genuinely from Citibank’ and the conversation with the second customer service personnel was not recorded at all. There was nothing recorded about the fact that I repeatedly stressed to the personnel who had called earlier on the wrong address and my request for the card to be reissued to my new address. And since the deadline for the termination and upgrade was on 30 June 2011, there was nothing else Citibank would do about this matter. Apparently, if I want to continue to be a Citibank customer, I need to reapply all over again for the credit card as a new customer. So, all the previous years with Citibank are not regarded as customer loyalty?

From my customer’s point of view :
1. I did not ask for this upgraded credit card.
2. I agreed to the upgraded credit card since I have auto-payments billed to the card and I do not want any disruptions to occur.
3. I informed the bank on my change in address way back in June/July 2010. It is not my problem that your system data is not updated and that you have sent the new credit card to the old address.
4. When I was told that the card was sent to the old address, I informed not one, but two different personnel that the address is wrong and for the card to be reissued to the new address.
5. Since I have already informed the bank of the mistake that has happened, I expect the bank to rectify this without further inconveniencing their customer.

Citibank, your customer service personnel (I will not name names since all of your staff seem to be trained along the same lines) are the most self-righteous I have ever met. Every single one of them insincerely parroted the line, “Miss, I am so sorry for your experience, BUT (insert reason why it is not Citibank’s fault this incident has occurred)…” They did not even listen to what I was trying to tell them about the chronology of events above. Instead, they kept on interrupting me with the same parroted line above.

Frustrated, I asked each one of them what they are going to do to rectify this matter. All gave the same canned response that nothing can be done already since the deadline for the forced upgrade has passed. None of them were interested in helping me solve this matter. They only wanted to make sure that they recorded this incident as ‘not my (Citibank’s) fault’.

The end result of 6 different phone calls with 4 different staff are :
1. Citibank did not update their system data when I changed my address in June/July 2010 as my primary address is still shown to be the Cheras address.
2. Citibank already issued the notification on the Silver card termination on multiple occasions (in February 2011, May 2011 and the new credit card in June 2011) to the wrong address.
3. Since the termination deadline expired on 30 June 2011, there is nothing else they can do in the system to reissue the credit card.
4. If I want to continue using Citibank, I will need to reapply all over again for a new credit card and undergo the normal waiting and approval process.

Note that nowhere during all the multiple calls with Citibank’s staff did they offer to update my address even after I told them repeatedly it is the wrong address as I no longer live in Cheras.

How’s that for customer service?

Needless to say, I will be closing my accounts with Citibank Malaysia at the earliest possible date I can return to Malaysia and do so. I’d rather have the inconvenience of switching around all my auto-billing than to continue with this bank that does not do anything for me.

I’ll take my business elsewhere – where hopefully it will be appreciated better and with less hassle.

A tale of two Fullertons

Filed Under (branding, customer service, hotels) by rinnah on 01-06-2011

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Did you know that there are two Fullerton Hotels in Singapore? I didn’t.

First there’s The Fullerton Hotel.

Fullerton_Hotel_sunset
Image credit

And then there’s The Fullerton Bay Hotel.

fullerton_bay_hotel_front
Image credit

And while they look nothing like each other, both hotels are run by the same group and are situated near to each other, just a 5 minute walk either way.

My learning adventure took place last night when I arranged to meet up with a friend for drinks around 9.30pm. While I was on the way, I called up The Fullerton Hotel and asked to be put through to my friend’s room. As luck would have had it, she had already left her room and was waiting for me in the lobby downstairs.

Now, as I left Raffles Place MRT station, I followed the signs to The Fullerton Hotel (note that I did not spot any signs for The Fullerton Bay Hotel then). When I exited, I got disoriented as there were no more signs to follow, so I headed out in the general direction of where I assumed The Fullerton Hotel would be.

Instead of The Fullerton Hotel, I saw The Fullerton Bay Hotel ahead of me. I naturally assumed that the name Fullerton Bay was a recent name change and that the signs had yet to be updated. So confidently, I walked straight into The Fullerton Bay Hotel and asked the concierge to ring up my friend’s room.

You can imagine the shock I had when the concierge told me that the room was listed in the system as unoccupied!

I’ll admit that the concierge did do her best to help me track down my friend by checking for her name in their database only to tell me in the end that there was no guest registered under my friend’s name.

Long waiting story short, I managed to get through to my friend and we soon sorted out that I was waiting for her at the wrong hotel.

However, in hindsight I found it very ironic that the concierge at The Fullerton Bay Hotel did not gently suggest to me that I might have ended up at the wrong hotel. Surely I’m not the first guest to mistake The Fullerton Hotel and The Fullerton Bay Hotel based on their names alone?

It also added to my confusion that the concierge welcomed me to the hotel by saying ‘The Fullerton Hotel’ rather than ‘The Fullerton Bay Hotel’ which was where I was actually at.

I also found out from my friend later that night that guests at either hotel are welcome to patronize the F&B outlets at both places and can have it charged to their room bills, which suggests an integrated database or at the very least the ability to access the other hotel’s guest database. Now how come the concierge did not take the initiative to check with the other side to see if I had accidentally gotten the wrong hotel?

I can easily imagine taxi drivers and foreign guests running into the same confusing scenario that I found myself in last night.

Would I go back to either Fullerton based on this experience? I’m afraid not.

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