Yes, I did learn that you can import the file into Excel with UTF-8 as an option and all is fine but trying to make the experience for the client a little smoother. I guess MS doesn't take UTF-8 straight out of the box. Strange.
I have used Excel::Template in the past, but for my purposes it would be complicated to set up and looking for something quick. But nothing is quick when programming, right.
"The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men." George Eliot