Monday, 25 June 2012

My new Remington Groom Innovation Touch Control Beard & Stubble Trimmer has self-sharpening, self-oiling, titanium coated blades. Its touch control technology offers the freedom to shave at 175 different shaving lengths. After just 90 minutes of charging, its lithium-ion battery lasts for up to 40 minutes.

It's a shame I'll never get to open it.

At 10.48am today, Monday, 25th June 2012, Babyliss came through for me.

They had been aware of my struggle. They were aware of the ridicule. They were aware of the taunts and of the bullying and of the hiding away from strangers. They were aware of the fact I'd been laughed at by over two different local beauty salons when I'd enquired as to whether or not they employed anyone with the expertise necessary to dye a two week old ginger beard. And at 10.48am today, they reacted.

In all honesty, as much as I was hoping Babyliss would have the heart to replace my beard trimmer, I never really thought it would happen. Because they were a business, and businesses exist to make a profit, and not to feel sorry for sad and unshaven immature annoyances with no girlfriends and too much time on their hands.

But at 10.48am today, they proved they did have a heart.

Their message read:

"Thank you for your email. If you would like to return this to us we will repair and replace this for you under the terms of the warranty"

Never before have I experienced such service. Never before had a product I'd bought over two years ago broken and been replaced, mainly because never before had a product I'd bought over two years ago still functioned two years down the line.

So thank you, Babyliss, for agreeing to replace my 7855U I-Trim Stubble All Over Hair and Beard Trimmer, which itself has a motorised digital control system and 30 ultra precise length settings to give you the exact stubble look you want, a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 30 minutes for total convenience and self oiling, 'auto-lube' blades.

OK, the blades aren't self-sharpening, but if they're a bit blunt a couple years down the line I'm sure you'll replace them.

Thank you, Babyliss, for your co-operation. Thank you, Beloved Reader, for staying with me til the end. And thank you, Joe Barritt, for when I was at my lowest, when I was forced to stay in for the 11th night in a row, when I was contemplating ending it all with an agonising and almost certainly rash-inducing blunt-bladed wet shave, I remembered that you too had a beard, and that your beard looked pretty damn sexy.

Wooooo! Xx

Sunday, 24 June 2012

After 16 days without shaving, my time as a bearded man is coming to an end.

I know this because Babyliss's direct email read:

"We are sorry to hear of the problems you have been experiencing with your I-Stubble, please can you advise when you purchased this and where it was purchased and if you still hold proof of purchase. Please can you also advise us of the Batch code which is embossed on the appliance and will look something like 1409sv."

So I replied. I let Babyliss know that sadly my Babyliss 7855U I-Trim Stubble All Over Hair and Beard Trimmer was a gift, and therefore I did not know when it was purchased or where it was purchased and I did not have proof of purchase.

I also let them know my batch code, which they would use to determine whether or not they were obligated to repair my beard trimmer.

My reply will be picked up tomorrow and, shortly after, the fate of my face will be revealed.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

After seven days, three tweets and one photo, Babyliss replied with:

@cjb4g08 Hi Chris! Would you be able to DM us your email address and we can past this onto Customer Service to get in contact with you?

That was it. I was stunned. They seemed to have completely overlooked the severity of the situation! Seven days worth of ginger fluff now hung from my face, following me around wherever I went. Acquaintances were beginning to ask questions. Meeting new people was unthinkable. Could they not see I was in need of urgent assistance?!

But this is Britain.

Hi! Thanks very much for your reply. Of course! My email address is Do you know when I can expect a response?

And I heard nothing for seven days. But I knew they'd be busy. So over the next week, I gave them as much assistance as I could,  keeping them constantly in the loop with all the latest developments:

Beard update: Day 8. I'm now more bearded than ever before. I hope the good people at @BaBylissUK reply re my broken beard trimmer soon!

@BaBylissUK got your msg re my broken beard trimmer! It has now been 11 days of growth (and 9 of ridicule!) so please keep me updated!

Beard update: day 13. I am now a bearded man. @BaBylissUK I wonder, have there been any updates re my broken beard trimmer just yet?

Day 13 was yesterday. Earlier today (Day 14) I got a direct email from customer services. It seemed they were eager to converse by methods other than Twitter...

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

But for the entire day following my initial tweet to Babyliss on Tuesday, 12th June (see previous post), I heard nothing! 

I was scared. 

I was scared Babyliss had overlooked my tweet, or misread it. I was scared because my beard had now gone five days without a trim. And I was scared because I'm a realist: I knew that once Babyliss realised my beard trimmer had been been kept in the precise conditions specified; once they realised I'd handled it with nothing but care and once they agreed it was their moral and ethical duty to send me an urgent replacement, it could still take 3-5 working days to arrive.

So I sent them a second tweet.

@BaBylissUK Hi! You seem to have accidently removed my previous tweet! As I said, my beard trimmer is broken! How do I resolve this?

But alas, nothing! If this was going to be given the attention it deserved, I needed to go visual.

@BaBylissUK Still awaiting a response re my faulty beard trimmer! Please help, I now look like this! 

Immediately, Babyliss replied...

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Come Monday, I looked in the mirror.

My face was now inappropriate for the workplace.

So I went to work armed with a plan. As I arrived and as was the case every Monday morning, my boss wished me good morning and asked me how my weekend was without looking up from his computer. I used this as my in.

"Good, but my bloody Babyliss 7855U I-Trim Stubble All Over Hair and Beard Trimmer broke, didn't it."

He looked up from his desk and almost fell off his chair.

I'd originally planned to go into town at lunch and buy another beard trimmer. But then a colleague mentioned something. He mentioned the power of Twitter. He mentioned that I'd kept my beard trimmer in the exact conditions specified, and mentioned that Babyliss should probably replace it.

I agreed.

So, at 2.03pm on Tuesday, 12th June, I tweeted the following:

@BaBylissUK Hi! For some reason my Babyliss 7855U I-Trim Stubble stopped working at the weekend, is there anyone that can help me with it??

And waited for a response.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

It is Saturday the 9th of June 2012, and my beard is in need of trimming.

I scaled it back to a cool & fashionable 0.5mm using my Babyliss 7855U I-Trim Stubble All Over Hair and Beard Trimmer on Thursday, but it's become coarse & unruly in the intervening days. It is fast approaching the length of Jonny Vegas's, and may even be over the dreaded 1mm mark!

However, there's a problem. I've just taken my beard trimmer from its dedicated drawer (in which it is kept in cool and dry conditions), plugged it in and hit on.

But nothing has happened! There's no illuminated LCD screen wishing me a comfortable shave, no whirring blades vibrating back and forth notifying me we're good to go and no shout from my housemate James telling me to make sure I clean the sink when I'm done.

Instead, I am met with a painful and harrowing dull silence. My beard trimmer has died.

Better get on to Babyliss to sort this out.