This is a VERY lengthy “review” of my experience with the Deep Sea Cosmetics/Dead Sea Products. If you’d like, you can skip down to the bold bit to get to the main point.
Last Friday, on of my rare days off from everything, I decided to go to the mall to walk around and maybe purchase something if it interested me. I stopped at a couple stores, and on my way out, I figured I’d check out the other side of the mall just to see if there were any sales. Of course, there are those kiosks set up in the center of the halls, with salesmen and saleswomen attempting to sell you something. I made it past all of them with no troubles…
Except one. The Deep Sea Cosmetics/Dead Sea kiosk.
"Miss! Come here! Let me show you something." He would not quit until I looked in his direction.
Here’s this tall, visually-appealing man that grabs me by the hand, leading me to his kiosk. He takes one of my fingers and begins buffing and shining my nails with this buffing block — I’m talking about those four-sided blocks that you can find just about anywhere and all do the exact same thing. He tells me this result will last for 2 weeks. Just to entertain him, I acted as though I were quite amazed and shocked.
He goes on to put their “magical mineral” cuticle oil on and says I will be cuticle-free for a week. The kit that he was selling included the block, file, cuticle oil, cuticle pusher (Ziv thinks they are cuticle cutters… didn’t want to get into that), and hand cream. This “Platinum Nail Kit” was priced at $99, but for their “40-Year Anniversary”, they were on sale for $69.99, and get a second one for 50% off. Not convinced.
He starts talking about how their products are all-natural (yet highly perfumed) and made from salts in the Dead Sea, and that they are a top-of-the-line, worldly-known company. I made the comment, “Wow. I’m a nail blogger, and I have NEVER heard of your products.”
Immediately, he was interested. He wanted to know what a “nail blogger” was and I explained what I did. Very surprised, he starts to look around and then looks at me.
"I cut you a deal. I charge you $59.99 (+ tax) for one, and the second one is a gift from me. Just as long as you promise to show your big beautiful smile and promote my product. My name is Ziv, I am the manager." I looked around and noticed there weren’t any "All sales are final" signs, so I figured I could take it back if I wasn’t satisfied.
At this point, he begins to heavily flirt with me (as all of these associates do), to somehow make me feel “special”. He makes all of these flattering comments about my physical appearance and even gives me his own “personal” 10-percent-off discount coupons. All the while, as he’s ringing me up, he didn’t scan barcodes or anything of the like — he simply just selected the product on his touch-screen monitor and punched in numbers for the price.
"Will you be paying in hugs? Diamonds? Gold?" "I don’t have any of those to give." "Well, I wish you could pay me in hugs." Very nicely, I reply, "My credit card will be just fine."
With that, Ziv swipes my card, and has me sign a slip verifying the amount. He shoves the receipt and discount coupons at the bottom of the bag, products on top of it, and hands it to me. He then has me “pinky promise” to promote his product, again.
Mr. Ziv whimsically takes me to the other side of the kiosk where they have skin products. He tests this “peeling gel” on my wrist, and I was actually quite impressed (although I think I was more impressed with the smell of the product rather than the Elmer’s glue/rubber cement effect — the product balls up, giving you the impression that it’s taken off all your dead skin). It was priced at $99. I said “You know, I wish you would’ve shown me this product first before we made the transaction. I’m more interested in this than these nail kits.” Now, he’s upset with me.
"I can’t refund you. Once it goes through the system, I can’t reverse it. I can exchange for equal value, but I can’t refund. You’re just so beautiful, and I feel really bad about it." I told him that he has no sign saying "All sales are final" and none of the products are marked as so. "I told you this before I swiped your card, and it’s on the bottom of the receipt." "You did not let me see my receipt and you did not mention final sales until just now. Besides, the receipt does not print until after the transaction is made."
He goes on this big spiel that he already wasn’t supposed to lower the price for me and give me a free gift, and that if I return or exchange it, that it’ll mess up his “numbers”. Ziv tries to guilt-trip me by saying he will get in trouble with his manager. If I wanted to get the peel, he’d have to charge me again. I said it’s unacceptable.
"The most I can do for you is act as if you never got the nail kits, and charge you $40 more, plus tax. That way it’ll equal the amount of the peel. You can still keep the kits for free." We had gone back and forth for 15 minutes over this issue and I was getting very tired. For the moment, I told him fine. He swiped my card again, and put the peel in the same bag.
Ziv tells me to ask for him if I decide to come back, as he wants to see me. He then mentions he’s opening another location in Columbus, 2.5 hours away. Mr. Ziv wanted me to bring some friends and drive all the way up to Columbus to give him hugs and “a kiss on the cheek.” Feeling irate, I just want to get out. Noticing how frustrated I was, he says he “has to go open the store in Columbus,” and hopes to see me there. He could not stop making a point that he wanted me to make a long drive “just to see him”, and I knew very well what he was hinting at. I was not flattered, I was now (and still am) disgusted.
I am one of those people that doesn’t get upset or angry about things until after they happen. I started to think that Ziv and his company were a bit sketchy, and quite the rip off. I then get outside to realize he didn’t even give me my second receipt. All the more incentive to demand my money.
Storming to the kiosk, I ask a younger man if my receipt was here. “Oh yeah yeah yeah, here it is.” I take it and tell him that I have a problem. I told him that I’m upset with how this business is ran, how Ziv was treating me (basically seeing me somewhat as a sexual object), and how I was told after the fact that I couldn’t get a refund. The man says he wasn’t there during the conversation and tells me to hold on. He calls Ziv, gets off the phone with him, and says “Ziv said that he can do an even exchange, but can’t refund. He told you this during the demonstration.” I’m annoyed, I’m frustrated, and then the guy starts questioning me about why I purchased the product, why I signed, and why I’m even bothering to come back there. He even began insulting me, personally. Now I’m angry. I told him that I just want my money and they can keep their products and coupons, or I will dispute this on my credit card and they’ll be out money and a product. He had no idea what “disputing” was.
Conveniently, a “supervisor” shows up and asks me what the issue is. I tell the story over, and she tells me that she can’t refund me. Now there’s a crowd of people around the kiosk. I exclaim that she has NO sign saying final sale, the products aren’t marked neither as final sale NOR with prices. She says they have a sign, she was asked to point it out, but she could not find it. She then says she doesn’t need a sign, and that it’s on my receipt. I got very angry with her, exclaiming “THE RECEIPT DOES NOT PRINT UNTIL AFTER MY CARD IS SWIPED AND MY MONEY IS WITHDRAWN!” I questioned how they could run a skin care and beauty company and not be able to get a refund. Suppose someone were to have an allergic reaction — why don’t they have the right to return the product and get a refund for something She did not have a response.
I asked if there was a main office number or a number to someone running these kiosks in the area and she says “no”. I tell her that there’s no way these little shops are running without someone coordinating it. The she admits there is someone that runs them, and I demanded their number. She fumbles around and pretends to not have it, and I told her that I didn’t have all day. She writes down a number with a North Carolina area code and a man’s name “Nadal”. I called and asked if he runs these kiosks, he replies yes. I explain to him the situation, how I was treated, how the business was running, and that I demand a refund. He asked me who the salesperson was and I told him Ziv, but I’m now on the third associate. He asked me if I would go back to the counter and let him know I’m standing here now. He hangs up the phone and immediately their phone rings. In less than 2 minutes, she learned how to refund money, credited the $100+ total charge back to my card, and I’m now waiting for the money to go back to my bank. I thanked her for her time, and told her she needs to get a sign up.
From my experience (and from others’ experiences that I’ve read about across the world), this Israeli-ran business has good-looking associates use their charm to reel people in to buy their products (which is all fine and good, if that’s how you have to sell a product). While it’s okay to flatter your customers and say nice things about them, please do not sexualize them or insult them.
I also did my research on these kiosks, and I’ve found a very large complaint-to-satisfaction ratio. Many reviews share the same experiences I did (except I haven’t found one that was able to get a refund). The “supervisor” says they’ve never had any complaints or problems except me, but it appears they’re mistaken.
Ziv wanted me to promote his product, and I am keeping my promise and keeping it honest. The nail kit consists of a basic 4-sided buffing block, a very basic emery board file, simple cuticle pusher, decent-quality cuticle oil, and highly-perfumed hand cream that can be overwhelming. This is not worth the $99/$69/$59 (whatever bogus price they make up) they charge you in the mall. The facial “peeling” gel is a simple placebo effect that balls up like Elmer’s glue after you rub it on your hands long enough, making you think that all of this dirt, oil, and dead skin is coming off of your face (also not worth $99). If you’re truly interested in the products, do not fall for those kiosks. I looked on Amazon and you can find the peel for $30 and the nail kit for $25. I want the best for you all, so don’t be fooled by these kiosk associates’ looks and charm, and never accept them sexualizing or belittling you. Also, take this as a lesson: do your research before you buy products, any product at that, so you know what you’re getting into.
There is my “product promotion” for Deep Sea Cosmetics/Dead Sea products. Have you experienced these salespeople at their kiosk? Was your experience more positive, negative, or the same?
Valentine’s Day Mix III.
Valentine’s Day Mix I.
I haven’t made any nail content because over half of my nails broke! I wasn’t following my own rules (they’re in a post on how to have strong nails) and it serves me right. Since the new year, I’ve been nurturing my nails and trying to get them back in shape, which has been going alright, so far! They’re still not in the best shape, some are still a bit short. I might give them a little more TLC before I start painting on them again.
I also remembered that I was doing glitter mixes some time ago, so I figured that I could do that while my nails are growing back! I’d hate to leave this blog without content like I did for most of 2013.
I hope everyone’s been doing well. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram @CindysNails, and you can now follow me on Pinterest @xcindyc!
Some random/geometric-ish-and-messy/ikat (?) design with Floss Gloss’s Con Limon and Glow Star! I never realized how great the two colors were together.
I was going to try out that abstract swirly design all over each nail, but I thought it looked better partially done. It looks like something was spilled on my nails. Halloween-ish?
Cute, summery, striped look with Floss Gloss’s Glow Star, Con Limon, Pony, and Bikini Coral! Can’t wait to have the rest of the Floss Gloss colors in my collection :)
Simple peach polka dots… China Glaze’s “Mimosa’s Before Mani’s” and FLOSS GLOSS’s “Pony”!
Just a cute little tropical/floral design :)
I did a vintage American flag design this time last year, and I’m obsessed with the color combination. Happy Fourth of July, fellow Americans!