There’s no doubt if you’ve been following me for a month on any of the social media outlets that you know what I’m about to talk about. For those of you who haven’t, or don’t, hold on to your hats… this may be a bumpy, ranty ride but I need to get it off of my chest. [And be warned… this is a long post.]
Back in August, Sephora hosted a Beauty Insider Appreciation Week where they offered multipliers to the points of your purchases that you could accumulate to get one of their “Epic Rewards.” The Epic Rewards looked completely divine. There were four reward categories, each at their own ‘price-point’: 1,000 points, 2,000 points, 5,000 points, and 10,000 points. The 10k points pretty nice, trips to Paris / New York or lavish prize packs. I had my eyes set on the Kat Von D Liner Vault… and it was calling to me.
At first, I didn’t want to spend extra to get my points up to the 2k mark, but the little voice in my head grew and grew so I ended up picking up a few more things than I probably should have. Hey! They were already on my wishlist… and I might as well use the points multiplier as an advantage since I am a VIB and got 4x the points. I may have gone a tad bit overboard, but not too much. I picked up some gifts for friends and started on my Christmas shopping for those in my family who appreciates makeup.
The week kicked off with a VIB Rouge event at the Sephora store in the City. It was nice, and I got a hug from one of my favorite Sephora peeps, James. Here’s the haul I brought home – including an awesome goodie-bag.
The week was going well and I picked up a TON of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetic goodies since Sephora is no longer carrying their line… so everything was 50% off. MUWAH HA HA HA HA HA. As the big ‘day’ came closer, I was getting pumped… I talked to my girls at my favorite Sephora in JCPenney and showed them all the cool stuff. There was an issue I had with the ‘epic rewards’ that kept building in my mind. The Sephora gods-that-be never gave a specific time that the Epic Rewards would launch. Last year, they launched in the middle of the night… would it be the case this year? I had no idea but I didn’t want to take any chances. So, I did what any normal person would… I stayed up the entire night. Just. Waiting.
Who else is going to be pulling a late-nighter tonight? Which @sephora epic reward are you planning on getting? I have my eyes set on the @katvondbeauty / @thekatvond Liner Vault. Fingers crossed! I know quantities are suuuuper limited…I just hope I can snag one before they run out otherwise I am going to be sad. #epicrewards #sephora #VIBrouge #meme #startrek #voyager #janeway #ohjaechaos #makeup #makeupnerd #makeupjunkie #katvond #linervault A photo posted by jaeCHAOS (@ohjaechaos) on
And the night went on… without a peep. I will add that I did have the correct windows open, thanks to some lucky google searching (and some internet smarts from my end), and there was some proof that Sephora was prepping and getting ready for the day. They loaded the old rewards from last year then updated the page to the new rewards. I found the 2000pt rewards page and kept refreshing…and kept refreshing. There were times during that night where I got pretty loopy-goofy… and those of you who were following me on Snapchat can attest to that. Random lipsyncing, funny voices for my “live Sephora commentary” etc…
By hour 10, I was getting a little miffed. There wasn’t a peep from Sephora. I even called Sephora Customer Service, and they had no clue what was going on. The Sephora Beauty Boards were getting ‘closed for maintenance” when a lot of VIBs were posting unhappy things and kept going up and down. Then the Customer Service person who was running the Twitter feed started actively avoiding any Epic Rewards tweets and only addressed other concerns that made people even angrier…
@sephora …anytime now would be great. Some of us haven’t slept yet. I am turning into a very cranky, disheveled human with terribly unkempt eyebrows. It would be nice if you actually gave us a specific time, or you know…at least answered our cries for assistance. #epicrewards #frustrated #VIBrouge #customerservicefail #radiosilence #sephora #customerappreciation #hahaha #drawing #art #angrydoodle #makeup #characature #ohjaechaos #mad #makeupartist #makeupjunkie #tonedtan #sketch #grumpy
Not too long after I posted the above image to my Instagram, the epic rewards went live. FINALLY!!! My avid refreshing of the KVD Liner Set worked and my lucky ass got it in my cart! WOO HOO! … THEN THINGS TURNED VERY BAD IN A SPLIT-SECOND… I was a happy lady, it was in my cart and being that I am a very smart person, I had my other items to purchase in my cart before all of this crazy mess started that way I could just checkout and then go to sleep. I went to click the checkout button, literally a second after I placed it in my cart and POOF! it was gone. Just gone. No explanation, nada. Then when I went back to add it again it said that it was sold out. All of my staying up, only to have it taken out of my cart. I was (and still am – a little) PISSED. I tried calling into the VIB Rouge Hotline / Customer Service line but there was no chance in hell that I was going to get in. So I set them an email, obviously heated, because what had happened was unacceptable. I knee-jerked and posted a very angry post on Instagram:
So I have been up ALL GORRAM NIGHT (doubt me, go check my snapchat) waiting to get this awesome @thekatvond / @katvondbeauty Liner Vault set. When it finally came to becoming available I grabbed it, it was in my cart and between the LITERAL SECOND it took to press checkout button and load the checkout screen it disappeared. SERIOUSLY! What is the point of this #epicrewards shtako if it won’t even work properly? @sephora has been ridiculously shady from the get go about today’s “release.” Never gave a time leading up to today, then said business hours (except their customer service starts a 6am….), they refused to answer anyone’s questions….GRRRRRRRRRRR! All that GORRAM hype for a complete fail. They “value” their loyal customers. HA! #epicrewards #sephora #sephoraepicrewards #katvond #kvdlook #kvdbeauty #linervault Dear Kat Von D, I love your brand but the terrible way that sephora has handled this entire “event” leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth. Please let us know of other options to purchase your awesome makeup elsewhere. A photo posted by jaeCHAOS (@ohjaechaos) on
I was blown away when the wonderful Kat Von D, herself, replied to my picture.
thekatvond : “@ohjaechaos hey. So this is the first I hear of what has happened. I have taken a screen shot of your post and sent it to my KvD Beauty Team as I am currently overseas. But I will get down to this problem, and try and find a solution. Because honestly, I do get super excited when sephora asks me to be a part of their VIB Rouge program. (Mind you, I myself am a proud card carrying member too!) so although I am CERTAIN that sephora has no intention to ever disappoint, I know that sometimes it’s a matter of technical problems or something? There has been times where we are launching new products and they don’t go Live when we expect them too and I know that those issues have to do with computer problems (sorry, I’m not super high tech so my apologies if I sound uneducated with my terms). But anyway, let me get to the bottom of this as soon as possible before we get our hate on. Like I said, I know for a fact sephora is a company that cares and wouldn’t wanna bum anyone out! ❤️❤️❤️”
That’s why I frigging love her. She legitimately cares about those of us who love her brand. I am still blown away that she took the time to personally respond about this situation – long before Sephora even responded to anything (and that was an automated response). This is why I will wholeheartedly continue to support her brand, even throughout all of this fiasco.
Before I go any further I would like to say that had I not been able to add it to my cart, I wouldn’t be as mad. Would I still be a little miffed? Absolutely, but not nearly as much as I am. I knew going into it that there was limited stock. The fact of the matter is that I WAS able to put it in my cart and then it disappeared without any trace. It kind of makes me feel a little better that I wasn’t the only person who that happened too. Hours/Days later I decided to look at the #epicrewards posts to see if anyone got it or had a similar problem. There was an overarching “anger” towards the whole event. The lack of information as far as exactly how many items there were, when it would start, etc…
All of the Epic Rewards were gone in less than three minutes of going live. The Epic Rewards turned into Epic Fail Rewards real’quick…
[insert a sea of frustrations here, from LOTS of VIB Rouge members… including me]
If you tried to get an award and could not, email us at email@example.com by 8/25/15, we will make it right
— Calvin McDonald (@Calvin_Sephora) August 12, 2015
Following Mr. McDonald’s suggestion, I emailed the address above and described everything, like ya’ do… and then I waited. And waited. I assumed that since I wasn’t the only one who got swindled over the Epic Fail snafu and I was patient. I joined a facebook group full of fellow ladies and gents who were about as outraged as I was. I did so for two reasons. The first for comfort – as odd as that may be. It’s nice knowing that I wasn’t the only one. The other reason was also to see if there was any movement on the Sephora side of things. Let’s be honest, it’s Facebook and EVERYONE tends to gab at the slightest movement on anything and everything. Right? Well… it worked. Dozens of people started getting their response and a $50 gift card that could only be used within the month of September.
Days kept going by… still nothing in response to my email. The end of the month was getting closer and closer, and I was getting anxious. Let’s face it, I spent way too much money so that I could have enough points to get the beloved KVD Liner Vault. I finally had to call into customer support, and they said that “I should have already received my email response with the $50 code” … except I didn’t. The CS rep then told me that I will be receiving one in 24 hours and if I didn’t get it in that timeframe to call back. Guess what didn’t come in? Yep. So on the phone again, I was.
They ended up telling me that I needed to use my $50 gift card right there and then on the phone and to place my order over the phone. The good news is that I had an idea in my head about what I wanted to use it on… the Makeup Forever x9 Artist Palette. If you guys want a review of the palette – or tutorial using it – let me know.
The long and short of it:
Honestly, it did put a bad taste in my mouth as far as their customer service is considered and I wanted to get my hands on the vault. For whatever reason happened on their end, they failed, and it made a lot of people angry… for good reason. Did it stop me from shopping at Sephora? For a little while, yes… but I still shop there. It carries brands that I like. While this whole experience has left a bad taste in my mouth as far as how they treat their top paying customers… it just teaches me not to get all worked up about their “rewards”-type promotions. Until they prove themselves otherwise, I’ll stay warey.
Did you have a similar experience? Let me know about it in the comments!