Russia: Agent Provocateur Caught with its “Pants Down”?

Pants Down

“Pants Down”?

It appears that the sexy frilly lingerie brand Agent Provocateur has provoked its Russian fans. While launching a whole new site for Russia, Agent Provocateur has blocked access to its international sites from Russia. Allegedly the prices for its products on its Russian site is 50% to 100 % higher than on its international sites. Effectively it has significantly increased its product price for its Russian fans by way of modern internet censorship. While baring in mind their products cannot be said to have a lot of “substance” anyway, I would say this, when true, is a big Internet Marketing #FAIL.

Update

Take for instance the brand’s Mazzy Bikini
Mazzy-Bikini-on-pret-a-porter-com
On Pret a Porter dot com it costs UK pnd 171,-
Mazzy Bikini on Agent Provocateur dot RU
On Agent Provocateur dot RU it costs UK pnd 259,-

Last edited by GJE on March 9, 2012 at 11:15 pm

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3 Responses to Russia: Agent Provocateur Caught with its “Pants Down”?

  1. Julia Oso. says:

    Haaa, Guido, you’re awesome! Thank you for posting this! :)

    I feel I need to offer more insight: the prices are almost twice the price, they’re noticeably higher as seen from the image above, but not always necessarily twice the price exactly. And the reason they are this way is because everything is always more expensive in Moscow and in Russia, so they have been this way here ever since the first AP store opened (and we have a few in Moscow). BUT those who were friends with online shopping at international websites could easily buy the lingerie at their international UK based website. Not any more! You are redirected to you the dot ru and there’s no way of you to go to the UK website until you change your IP address to trick them into letting you there. And even then, some say they got rid of delivery to Russia option on there.

    What is more, I personally used to shop with them. And I had my account on the UK website with all my info, saved items and purchase history, which I cannot access any longer! Tell me I need to sign up for the Russian one.

    There was an official reply from AP on their intl. Facebook page when some of the Russian fans expressed their dissatisfaction (screenshot of it here http://i44.tinypic.com/n21yxh.png):

    “We’re sorry to hear you’re not as excited as we are about the launch of agentprovocateur.ru. The new website has been launched to bring you improved local customer service – we now have a Russian speaking concierge who is more able to provide information about your order and delivery status. We can now also provide improved delivery service avoiding import difficulties with customs or delivery delays and there will also be a dedicated Russian loyalty programme including special offers and news.”

    The denying of a better prices option for Russian customers that existed for such a long time is obviously one of the reasons why Russian women who used to and loved to shop with AP online can’t be EXCITED about the launch of their Russian website. It is awesome that Agent Provocateur now have a website in local language and offer better delivery experience and a hot line number with a Russian speaking consultant and all, and I am more than sure that the Russian website will find its very happy customers ( I guess mostly among those who can’t/don’t care to navigate and use the international website), BUT for those who can operate an English versed website and who care about not overspending or don’t have the kind of money flow when they don’t count what they spend, redirecting us automatically with no option of going back is just wrong. And telling us that we need to be excited about it!.

  2. Julia Oso. says:

    UPDATE on my communication with AP. They replied the message I left on their FB page’s wall (screenshot of it here http://i43.tinypic.com/34oc42h.png):

    “Hi Julia,
    I’m sorry this move has upset you so much. It was a business decision based on the fact that shipping our goods from the UK to Russia has been very difficult and not offered a positive experience for our customers based there. Goods were often subject to extremely high customs charges and were very frequently lost in transit. We actually stopped shipping to new customers in Russia for over a year now. Local pricing is indeed higher than here in the UK but by setting up a Russian site, we are able to offer customers a service that better lives up to our standards, as well as our customers’ expectations.

    We’d be happy to put you in touch with the concierge on the Russian team, should you like to know more about the new site and service.”

    Exactly what you’d expect from an official company reply to customer dissatisfaction. Easy to see why they would want to launch a Russian website, ’cause would they want to lose the money they can make here by letting Russians shop elsewhere for less, right lol

    And of course, they’d want to offer better location-tailored service and all, but there are examples of great service out there. Take, for instance, net-a-porter.com. They ship via DHL and your package arrives within days. From the UK! Or take shopbop.dom, which is American. They ship via UPS and your package arrives within days, from the US! And right at your door, too. So the service is possible. And with current Russian laws you can order up to almost 1000 UK pounds without having to pay taxes on the purchase.

    But anyway, in this particular situation, it is not not as much about the fact that everything is pricier in Moscow/Russia (’cause it’s always been like that and not expected to change any time soon), it’s more about the fact that they BAN me from accessing the international website. I can’t even LOOK, let alone shop there. Every time AP’s FB page posts a link to something on the website or I get their newsletter (which I’ve been a faithful subscriber of for quite some time now) and want to click on the link I am redirected straight to the Russian website’s HOMEPAGE, not to the products mentioned in the post/newsletter. This is more than inconvenient and makes my both following their page and/or reading their newsletter almost worthless.

    I mean, set up a Russian website, by all means, but let ME choose what website I want to view. Said Net-a-porter does that – I can choose to view any country’s website and stock but once I choose to shop, I need to switch to my country. Makes it totally fair, in my humble opinion.

  3. GJE says:

    It seems that there is a market for some form of anonymous Russian language site located elsewhere to enable the Russian ladies to approach from Russia or just setting up a site that bypasses the AP cookies

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