The word “dumping” comes to mind.
It describes the way a business person might dump a customer’s product into a landfill, or simply dump a product that they don’t really want.
It’s the same concept that comes to light in some of the worst hair and beauty disasters we’ve seen in Australia’s history.
In this case, the company, Bedders Hair Salon in Alice Springs, was trying to sell its shampoo, conditioner and conditioner remover for $99 to customers who were not familiar with the products.
A few weeks later, the customer, who asked not to be named, was told he had made a mistake.
“It’s like saying, ‘Well, that’s rubbish, there’s no need to use it, but you can use it as a conditioner for the shower’,” he said.
He didn’t realize that Bedder’s conditioner was not safe for use in the shower, or that it contained ingredients like aluminium oxide and titanium dioxide.
The customer was not happy with the response from the company.
This was the final straw for him.
He took matters into his own hands.
With the help of the ABC’s Victoria Tracey, he contacted the company’s customer support line and demanded an apology.
It was a very, very difficult conversation.
I’m a young person who’s used to being told, ‘Oh, it’s okay, it won’t affect your hair.
It’ll just work fine, you just need to make sure you’re not using it in the water, in the dishwasher, in your washing machine’.
I was in shock,” he said of his experience with Beddergs.
I said, ‘What if it did?’
They said, Well, it wouldn’t work, and that was the end of that conversation.
Within a couple of days, he received a call from a Beddgers spokesperson, who told him he was in breach of the company policy.
What do you do when your product is contaminated with a dangerous ingredient?
That was the next thing I learned, which was they had a strict policy about using the product, and it’s strictly prohibited to use products like this in the kitchen or in the bathroom.
After receiving that call, he immediately went to the customer service centre and contacted Bedderers customer support.
They immediately came to the man’s defence and said that the products were safe.
At that point, I was like, ‘Okay, it wasn’t me that got hurt.
It was the whole company.’
What if my shampoo was contaminated with asbestos?
The response was simple.
The company would take the product back, which the customer could then wash and use as they wanted.
Asbestos is an organic compound that is not allowed to be used in any product, including shampoo.
How can you use a product safely without putting your life at risk?
Well, it was actually the end result of that that really upset me, because it was a product I didn’t have any concern for.
To this day, I still have the shampoo.
And I still use it in a lot of my own work.
But it’s definitely not something I want to use again.
It just doesn’t make any sense.
Why do you think Bedding’s was allowed to continue selling their products for so long?
It’s because they didn’t want customers to be aware of what they were doing.
We’re still selling the shampoo because the people that use it think it’s a really good product.
You don’t have to look hard to see the contamination.
When people see it, they don, too.
People think that we’re just recycling the stuff that’s already there.
Because it’s still sold to people, it just doesn.
Do you feel it’s important to keep an eye on products that contain chemicals?
We’ve got to make it safe.
The beauty industry is very, much like the hair industry.
Everyone’s trying to be environmentally responsible.
So, we have to be vigilant, and we have an obligation to make the products that we sell safe.