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ROBB JEFFRIES: The silver lining behind the broken package

Working on a deadline can be tough, but I figured doing product reviews wouldn't be too tough. After all, as long as I remember to buy the product from a store and use it, I'll have enough time to write about it.


As it turns out, I ran into technical issues while doing my latest review. During my morning routine, I took my newly purchased Dove Men + Care Clinical Protection deodorant out of its attractive gray box. I removed the cap and peeled off the seal, and then turned the wheel to push the deodorant up. And I turned it. And turned it.

After about 50 turns, I realized I had a problem. Feeling a bit embarrassed -- at this point, it must be my fault I can't figure out this deodorant -- I flipped the package over and read the directions. There were two directions, in no particular order:

n "Apply to underarms only." OK, good. I hadn't tried to put it on my toes or anything, so that wasn't the problem.

- "Before bed, apply two clicks of product to each underarm." Well, the wheel clicked as I turned it, but nothing was coming out. That too could not have been my fault.

There was nothing left to do but call the company for further technical support... and break into my emergency deodorant stash to tide me over.

According to my phone records, I spent 18 minutes and 42 seconds on the phone with Unilever, Dove's parent company, trying to resolve my problem. The person on the other end of the phone, Lynn Beatteay, was kind and courteous, but even the combined might and brainpower of a journalist and a "consumer response representative" could not get this deodorant to work.

I felt slightly less dumb.

Lynn took down my address, and I received a coupon to get another stick of the deodorant for free. She also sent a postage-paid packing envelope to send the defective deodorant to their factory for analysis, and a note thanking me for my patience and apologizing for the inconvenience.

Turns out, the deodorant just isn't a good product. It failed miserably through the very basic testing I put it through.

At least Lynn and the folks at Unilever were able to give me something positive to take away from this review.

Call Jeffries at (701) 780-1126, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1126 or send email to

Robb Jeffries

Robb Jeffries is a news coordinator for Forum News Service. He is a graduate of the University of North Dakota and previously served as a reporter and copy editor for the Grand Forks Herald. Reach him at and follow him on Twitter at @robbjeffries.