Sephora’s Epic Rewards, Epic Fail

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One week ago, Sephora sent out one discreet email to customers on its mailing list about the list of Epic Rewards that would be available this Monday, August 10. If you opted out of the email list, you never got it. If you didn’t happen to see the singular Facebook post regarding the event, you’d never have even heard of it. Sephora has offered these event only a handful of times in the past several years. This year, gifts included 1k, 2k, 5k, and 10k points rewards, which included gifts like Smashbox’s Shapematter Contouring Set, a Tory Burch handbag, and even a trip to Paris. The gift being so exclusive and so limited in quantity, the consensus is that nobody really gets them, and you’re ultimately left disappointed. Sadly, this year’s was not a departure from that.

Not only did Sephora barely let out more than a murmur about this Epic Rewards day, but they also refused to let anyone know what time they’d be available. They were responding to nearly every comment on Facebook regarding questions about the content, saying that contest would start during “business hours.” So I asked what they considered business hours to be…. radio silence. They refused to answer my question.

Then, the day of, I went on at 8am and made sure to refresh my screen every five minutes, checking to see when the rewards would be available. Nothing. 10am finally rolls around, and I decide to call them. I call their customer service support line and am put on hold for 15 minutes. I finally get an operator with whom I joke, because (as I tell him) I’m sure I’m the 8,000th person calling in about the Epic Rewards! He assures me that they will go up, but it’ll be within the next couple of hours. I ask if he knows when, and he proceeded to tell me that Sephora was purposely keeping earnest clients in the dark, no doubt so their site wouldn’t crash (and they could tell clients who didn’t get any Epic Rewards that they missed the window because they weren’t locked on to their computer all day). Very classy, Sephora.

At 5:15pm, rather unceremoniously, I refresh my screen and see that the Epic Rewards are all gone. Womp womp. Sorry, try again next time. I thought I’d missed something. I had to have. I went over to their Facebook page, and I saw that I wasn’t the only one thinking this. Thousands of loyal clients who tried their darndest to get an Epic Reward had been stymied by Sephora’s cheap and slimy tactics. Congrats to the few people who did get a reward. You guys are more lucky than you even know.

On the other hand, while Sephora might have pleased a client or two that did receive a reward, they proceeded to genuinely piss off several thousand more. With open rants about ditching the brand and  the hastag #EpicRewards trending with less-than-positive reviews, I’d be a little worried if I were Sephora. But hey, who am I to talk, I’m just another customer duped by the brand that seems to have gotten a little big for its britches.

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