Outrage

The Steel family has a predisposition for eczema. I am fortunate enough not to suffer from it, but Mark, Charlotte, and Penelope are all afflicted. Last winter was especially harsh. Penelope’s eczema was made worse by her unknown-at-the-time cow’s milk protein allergy, and I was constantly applying every anti-eczema cream I could find to try to combat the problem. She had been prescribed a number of different steroid creams for the condition, but I needed a non-steroid cream to use in between the steroid cream applications. I remembered using the Aveeno Baby Eczema cream on Charlotte in years past, and got some for Penelope. I was very happy with how well it worked. Mark even started using it to help with his terrible eczema. Last week, he finished up the bottle we had on hand and asked me to pick up some more. I headed over to Loblaws, and found it in the skin care section. Now, I usually find it in the baby section of the store, so I took this bottle over to the baby section to compare it. I did a side-by-side comparison of the two bottles, and couldn’t find any difference between them, other than one had “Baby” written on it. The ingredients were exactly the same, in the same order, and the bottles were the same size. And then I saw the price.

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The “Baby” cream was $1.50 more expensive. $1.50 more expensive for the exact same product. I asked a store employee about the price difference, and he claimed that Aveeno would have set the prices for this product. And so I went home and posted this photo to the Aveeno Facebook page (I first mistakenly posted it to the American Aveeno page, but they helpfully directed me to the Canadian page, and I reposted it there), and asked them to explain this price difference. It is now almost a week later, and I have had no response from them.

And so now I am taking my outrage here, to my blog. I find this price difference so galling. How can they possibly justify this? It is the exact same product! Why should the “Baby” cream cost 8% more? (Yes, I did the math; no, I won’t tell you how long it took me to get the answer). Honestly, I would be less offended if the “non-baby” cream cost more. I feel like Aveeno is taking advantage of parents who are desperate for something, anything to help with their baby’s eczema. This kind of blatant price-gouging has disappointed and disgusted me, and I never want to buy anything from Aveeno ever again. Which is a shame, because I like a lot of their products, but unless they can provide consumers with a reasonable explanation for this price difference, I want nothing to do with them.

Now, I know one little blog post and one family’s boycott isn’t going to do much to alter Aveeno’s practice here. So I am asking you- if you agree that this price difference for the exact same product is outrageous, then please like and share this post on Facebook or on Twitter and let Aveeno know that you think the way they are taking advantage of consumers is wrong. You can find the Aveeno Canada Facebook page here. Let’s see if we can harness the power of social media to effect some change, or at least to get some answers.

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3 thoughts on “Outrage

  1. Aveeno, at least here in the U.S., is owned by Johnson & Johnson, and it’s J&J customer service that handles all these inquiries. I have had no good experiences with Aveeno and J&J, and I have stopped using all of their products.

    Originally–and, several years ago–Aveeno had a fragrance free deep hydrating moisturiser that actually worked for me, and they discontinued it. I tried a few other fragrance-free products of theirs and they all made my skin worse. I called several times to complain about it all, and ultimately, the best they would do for me was was to give me a coupon for a free product worth an eight the cost of the money I spent testing alternative Aveeno options.

    I have no confidence in either Aveeno or J&J, and I won’t use or recommend their products to anyone any longer.

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