Sound Off: Sephora’s Epic Solution?

sephora-epic-rewards-beauty-insider-sweepstake-event-fail-scamHello beauties! If you’re a loyal customer at Sephora who hoards points like I do, you’re likely aware of the cluster involving the most recent “Epic Rewards” promotion in August. If not, I’ll provide a recap to get you up to speed:

  • Sephora’s “Beauty Insider” reward system where Beauty Insiders can redeem points, normally ranging from 100 – 500 points, for various sample size products and mini sets. On rare occasions, Sephora will offer “Epic Rewards” where the products are INSANE. Usually, these rewards range from 1,000 – 10,000 points.
  • In the few weeks leading up to August 10, 2015, Sephora announced a new round of Epic Rewards, consisting of some seriously awesome goodies (we’re talking things like sets of ALL of Benefit’s “They’re Real” liners and mascaras up to an amazing to Paris to visit Lancome or $500 worth of Make Up Forever products and a training session at the brand’s academy).
  • To get Beauty Insiders to spend even more money leading up to the big day, Sephora offered 2x – 4x times in the week prior. But then, the wheels came off the wagon.

  • For starters, Sephora was beyond coy about what time the rewards would be available on the site. Several people on Twitter messaged the brand, and all they would say is that the rewards would launch “during business hours” on 8/10.
  • As you can imagine, beauty junkies everywhere constantly refreshed their browsers throughout that day, hoping to be among the first snag a reward or two.
  • The rewards launched just before noon PST. In less that 5 MINUTES, all of the rewards were GONE. Some even reported being able to add a reward to their cart, only to have it disappear in the minute it took to get to the checkout page. Despite regularly checking the app, I personally never even saw them.

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  • Chaos ensued. Upset Beauty Insiders tweeted, Facebooked, called and emailed the company, all to no immediate avail.  Some upset customers led the charge for mass returns; others claimed to boycott the brand once and for all. (Note: This wasn’t the first Epic Rewards Epic Fail – something similar happened earlier this year.)
  • Sephora issued an apology the next day, promising to make it right this time but offered few details on what that would look like.

Until yesterday.

For those who were lucky enough to know, Sephora asked Beauty Insiders to send an email to a specific address (epicrewards@sephora.com) between August 11 and August 25 to let the company know that they were among the many who got screwed. Sephora promised a response by 9/1.

To their credit, they responded before 9/1, sending out an email yesterday. The resolution? A $50.00 code to spend on any product(s). The only requirements are that you have to spend it all at once, online, and by September 30.

I received the email last night, and I’m honestly not sure what to think. From what I can see, everyone got the same code and same amount, with no regard to how many points they have acquired or their loyalty tier. So, someone who had saved up 10,000 points and had their sight set on one of the uber awesome trips, gets the same amount as someone who saved up 1,000 points and was only going for one of the smaller Epic Rewards.

(In comparison, Ulta offers a loyalty program, where points always equal dollars. The more you save, the more each point is worth. For instance, 100 points is worth $3, but 1000 points is worth $50).

So, I’m conflicted. It’s nice to see that Sephora’s Beauty Insiders were heard and that they took a step to correct it. But is it the right approach? What say you, fellow nerds?

Did you get caught up in the Epic Fail? Did you know to email the company? Are you satisfied with the resolution?

Sound off in the comments below. Of course, while rocking out to our newest playlist:

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