Friday, July 27, 2012

My Cosique Experience

I don't like complaining and bashing, though I do it a lot. I usually try to excuse others for their mistakes and make things appear better than they are. For example, if a friend is late, I tell myself maybe they were stuck in trafic. If the waiter doesn't come to our table fast enough, it may be because they're really busy in the back or another customer took a long time ordering and asking questions. If a package arrives later than expected, it may be because it was held for a while at the customs. You know, so I don't get bitchy and angry at everyone and everything for no reason.

But this, there is just nothing that can excuse any of what happened in that situation. I think I have to talk about it so people don't fall into the same trap as I did.

A few months ago, TeamBuy had this crazy promotion : 15$ for 5 OPI nails colors with toe separator and storage box (value of 61$). The company that offered this deal is Cosique, a canadian beauty supplier. On the deal FAQ the contact said it was 15 mL bottles, that it takes up to three weeks to receive the orders, that you'd have to pay for the shipping, etc. All questions were answered and everything seemed legit. I didn't think about making my own research on Cosique because I thought if they're making a deal with TeamBuy, then it's got to be real. And I never had any trouble whatsoever with TeamBuy before.

But it was all a lie.

I bought the deal on May 7th and placed my order on the Cosique website on May 11th. I paid 12$ for the Express FedEx shipping (I think the other option was 7$ for Regular FedEx) but I didn't mind because it was stated in the deal and even if I paid 27$ in total, it's still half of what I would have paid if I bought the same nail polish at Walmart.

After placing my order I was quite eager to receive my kit and so I contacted the company because I had forgotten I'd have to allow them three weeks to ship my purchase.

On May 16th, I sent them the following message :



To which they have answered :


So I decided to be patient and wait the whole three weeks.

After what seemed to be an eternity I sent them another message. On June 15th.




I waited the usual 24-48 hours delay. No answer. Waited a few days. Still no answer. That's when I started getting pissed.

I thought maybe they didn't get my message because I sent it directly with my email address. Still it wouldn't make sense since this is what I did the first time. So I sent them another message, on June 26th, through their website. I didn't keep a copy of the message but it was saying almost the same as what I wrote on June 15th.

Still no sign of life from them.

I decided to contact TeamBuy. I thought maybe they knew what was going on, maybe the persons in charge at Cosique are on vacation (but really, who does that?) or whatever reason there could be. I sent them a message through their website at the beginning of July and received the following answer on July 5th :




The message at the top is their reply to my message at the bottom.

Translation :

My message : Hi. I have bought an offer from Cosique Beauty Cosmetique : 15$ for 5 OPI Summer Daze Nail Colours with Crystal File, Finger/Toe Separator and Storage Case (61$ Value). I have placed my order on the company website on May 11th and still haven't received my articles. I have contacted the company many times. They answered the first time but haven't replied to my messages after. According to the deal, the shipping delay was of maximum three weeks. Could you contact the company for me and tell me what's going on? Thank you.

Their reply : Hi Sarah, We are sorry for the inconvenience. We have two options, we can either reimburse you for this purchase or contact Cosique if you tell me the 4 digit order number they gave you after buying this offer. Thank you and have a nice day.

I started feeling relieved. Maybe I wasn't going to lose my money afterall.

I answered TeamBuy with this message :




Translation : Hi, If you can contact Cosique in the first place, it would be greatly appreciated. My order number is 6205. Let me know if you receive any news on your side. Thanks a lot for your help.

And so I waited. But didn't hear from them. So I sent them another message through their website. They replied a few minutes later.


Again, their message at the top, mine at the bottom.

Translation :

My message : Hi, I have contacted you about a week ago concerning an order I have placed with Cosique (order no 6205) for which I have never received my articles. I have asked you to contact the company but have not received any feedback from you about this topic. If Cosique isn't answering your messages, I would like to be reimbursed. Case #00048456. Thank you.

Their reply : Hi, We are sorry for the inconvenience. We have two options for Cosique. We can either contact them or reimburse you. Thank you for letting me know how you would like to proceed. Thank you and have a nice day. Audrey.

I think my message was clear enough but anyways. This is what I asked of them :



Translation :
Hi, You have asked me before if I wanted you to contact Cosique or if I wanted to be reimbursed. To this I replied that I wanted you to contact the company in the first place. But since this doesn't seem to have been done, I am asking for my money back. Thank you.

It didn't take long for Audrey to message me back :




Translation :
Hi, I am sorry for the inconvenience. I have contacted Cosique but didn't receive any answer. I have now reimbursed you. Thank you and have a nice day. Audrey.

So it was it. Cosique was the bad guy after all. I felt bad for TeamBuy and decided I'd leave them a I-am-not-mad-at-you kind of message.




Translation :
Thank you for your help, I greatly appreciate the efforts you make to satisfy your customers and will keep making business with you despite what happened with the Cosique company.

So afterall, what happened? Never received my nail polish and lost 12$ in useless FedEx shipping. Oh, and yes, when I log into my Cosique account, my order is marked as being processed. Seriously. 15$ from TeamBuy was credited to my credit card, which is a good thing because it proves me I can trust them.

So here's what I have to say :
Would I still make business with TeamBuy? Yes.
Would I still make business with Cosique? FUCK. NO.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tasso Bar à Mezze

The other day I had a taste of Greece. I had a Groupon that entitled me for 66$ worth of food and drinks at Tasso Bar à Mezze, on St-Denis, in Montreal. Since my coupon was expiring on the 16th, I decided to go with my friend Makara last Friday.

The menu cover made with cork. Cool right?

When we got in we instantly fell in love with the decor. The wall were white and seemed raw and shaped in a way that made the restaurant look like the inside of a traditional white greek house. The windows in the ceiling also permitted to get a lot of natural lighting, which seemed to be a better choice than artificial lighting.

My view on the restaurant from where I was sitting.

A view on the kitchen behind me.

Open up the menu. Too. Many. Choices. The waiter told us they didn't have scallops that day so it helped us narrow down our choices a little bit ... but not that much. Everything looked tempting, intriguing, interesting, delicious ... They have a lunch special at 18$ that includes a choice of mezze, a main dish and a dessert. We decided to choose four mezze so we could try many different things. Prices for the mezze were ranging from 9$ to 20$.

After we took a decision the waiter told us he'd bring the fish first, then the meat. We thought it was a good idea. He brought an empty plate for each, as well as olive oil and braised bread.


For the fish courses we had grilled octopus and fish ravioli. The grilled octopus we had doesn't seem to appear on the website's menu (it's far from being complete) so I can't tell what it was named. It was a braised octopus tentacle sitting on an artichoke and pine nuts salad, topped with a mix of fresh greens and served with a lemon sauce.


It was amazing. From experience, we remember octopus as a slightly rubbery seafood. This one was actually so tender, it felt like we were cutting into a piece of roasted chicken. The flavors and textures complimented well each other. You had the tenderness and vinegary taste of the artichoke against the crunch and smokey taste of the pine nuts as well as the grilled octopus complimented by the freshness of the greens. The lemon sauce added a little zing to the dish. The fact that it wasn't served on top of the food allowed us to control the amount of sauce we wanted with each bite.

The fish ravioli is named ravioles me psari me salada kounoupidi kai avgolemono on the menu. The ravioli were made of white fish (from taste I think it was haddock) and topped with lemon sauce (avgolemono sauce). They came with steamed cauliflower topped with white sauce.


Again, an amazing game and marriage of flavors and textures. The crushed nuts added some crunch to a dish that was overall tender. The fact that the cauliflower and the ravioli had different sauces helped the different flavors stand out even more because you didn't have the same lemon sauce in every bite. Though the lemon sauce is very flavorful, we were still able to taste really well the fish that was definitively very fresh. The addition of raisins and capers to the cauliflower balanced the dish that would have been missing sweetness and saltiness otherwise.

After we were done with the seafood, our lovely waiter brought the meat dishes. We had chosen the lamb moussaka and the grilled pork.


The lamb moussaka, or moussaka apo arni stifado, is made with braised Québec lamb. It was shaped like a flan and came with small potatoes, sitting in some sauce and topped with fresh greens.


The game of textures and flavors wasn't as intense as it was with the previous dishes but everything seemed to have been chosen in a way to balance out everything. The freshness of the greens prevented the potatoes from seeming dull. The lamb was very tender and the moussaka overall was "melting" in our mouths. The sauce wasn't too strong so we were able to taste the actual ingredients used to make our dishes.

The second dish of meat, gourounopoulo me fricassé, was grilled pork sitting on a pork and bean stew, topped with fresh greens.


This dish was also delicious but a bit less interesting than the others. The pork was seasoned in a simple way and was really tender but I have to admit I sorta grew tired of the beans at the some point. Perhaps I wasn't hungry anymore. I honestly don't really know since it was our 4th dish and we really took our time. Maybe I would have enjoyed the last dish a bit more ... if it wasn't the last one.

Of course we weren't done, though we thought we were. Our waiter decided to bring us small desserts.


I don't remember what the waiter told us they were. The one on the left looked like a small brownie and the one on the right like a small white cake with melon on top.

The chocolate dessert was the perfect compromise between brownie and fudge. It melted in our mouths and the taste stayed there for a few minutes. It wasn't dense at all but it didn't have the texture of regular fudge. Thinking about it makes me want to have some so bad. The salt it came with made the chocolate flavor stand out even more.

The other dessert was very light and airy. It was like a small piece of white cake with a bit of fruit jam (I don't remember what it was) and a refreshing piece of melon. The different textures made that dessert very interesting and I would be very pleased to try the full size version of it.

After we were done (for real ... sorta) Makara and I stayed a bit and talked a lot about nothing and everything. The waiter didn't seem to mind us staying (actually he didn't even ask us if we wanted the bill right away). After we paid the difference and tipped him we stepped outside in the deadly warmth of a hot summer day.

Overall I was really happy to try that restaurant. I would be glad to come back and have a taste of the other items on the menu. I really liked the ambiance, the service, the fact that you could see the cooks getting busy in the kitchen, everything about that restaurant. I think this place is perfect for a date or to grab lunch with a friend, but I wouldn't come with a group because it would ruin the peace and beauty of the place.
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