>Sephora, you done me wrong

>Went to Sephora today. It didn’t go so well. Wanna see my letter? I am sending it off to corporate this morning. (Some stuff blanked out for obvious reasons…)

Dearest Sephora,

I am writing to convey my supreme disappointment at my experience today in your new retail store in _________.

I am a very loyal online Sephora devotee, (swoon!) but there is something way more satisfying about shopping for beauty items IN a store… where you can sample and dab and touch and sniff, am I right? I been wishing nightly on stars and eyelashes that a store would open here in ________. Seriously, you can ask my husband – I have been complaining for at least 5 years about my hardship. So, you can only imagine my delight when I got wind of the news…________ is opening a Sephora store? It’s like the Mother Ship calling me home.

My shopping spree started out well – I had a shiny new gift card from my husband, and stars in my eyes. A very helpful consultant named Stephanie guided me through the dazzling displays and sat me down to test some products on me. I can say only good things about Stephanie, she was wonderful…patient and quite informative. I came away with a new skin care regime, and some delicious new make-up. Kudos to her.

I only wish Stephanie didn’t hand me off to the sharks ladies at checkout.

Unfortunately I did not get the register nazi’s consultant’s name , but I have enclosed a copy of my receipt which may have in the information – in case you want to publicly flog her gently redirect her. We will just call her Miss Register for now, okay?

You must understand – I am used to shopping Sephora online, since we were lacking a _______ store. Online, my Beauty Insider number is automatically generated when I log in, so I didn’t even think about it at the store. Miss Register never asked me if I was a Beauty Insider, never asked me if I had a Beauty Insider card, never asked me if I wanted to become a Beauty Insider…the words Beauty Insider never sprung from her lips. Are you following? She pretty much never looked at me or talked to me at all. She may have mumbled something as she slipped some free samples into my bag….but I was ok with the lack of communication and eye contact cause hey, free samples, and I was still high from the glory that is the Sephora store. (swoon!)

It was only when I happened to notice the samples lined up along the counter that things went decidedly downhill.

I said to Miss Register “Oooo, are these more free samples?” and she quite snootily responded “oh no, THOSE are only for our Beauty Insiders”. And she handed me my bag.

(Um, wouldn’t the proper response be something like – *happy tone* “Oh those are for our Beauty Insiders, are you interested in becoming one?” or *chipper grin* “you can get those if you are a Beauty Insider…are you one?” But I digress.)

The fact is, I AM a Beauty Insider, and I am well aware that I earn a point for every dollar I spend. I want my POINTS! And honestly, if I have another free sample coming to me, I want that too! I am not ashamed to admit it.

So I said “Oh, I’m so sorry, I AM a Beauty Insider, I forgot to mention it, can we please fix that?”

Her response? Huff and puff, eye roll… “But you didn’t give me your card.”

(Did I mentioned that she never ASKED for a card, or my Insider status, or even how I was that day?)

Sadly, I didn’t have my Beauty Insider Card with me. From that moment on, my friend, disaster.

I got much more huffing and puffing, some hair tossing, some eye rolls. She tried to plug in my e-mail address several times, but the computer was acting wonky and kept rebooting. Twice she had to call for back-up to be signed back in. She had to ask me to restate my email several times. She was practically oozing with disgust, I felt like an old fat leper. My Sephora high was quickly dissipating. She punched keys and hit buttons for a good long time, but for whatever reason she could not figure out how to credit me my points and give me my sample after the sale was already complete. She smacked her lips in that precious way that teenagers do when they loathe you, and called over a manager. Enter Manager Blondie McHatesmyguts. Miss Register pouted…”she wants a sample but she didn’t give me her card”.

(I felt so stupid. I shouldn’t feel stupid while shopping, should I? Just a tip – making me feel stupid does not make me want to spend mad cash.)

I wish I could say that Blondie McHatesmyguts was warm and delightful and tried to soothe me…THE CUSTOMER and supposedly valued Beauty Insider… but alas, no. She was also clearly annoyed and frazzled and could not bring herself to make eye contact with me. She snapped in the direction of my forehead “which sample do you want?”. I think she intended to just try to shut me the heck up appease me with 0.29 ounces of Nars Primer, so I had to remind her that I had just dropped over 200 bucks at her fine store and I wanted my Beauty Insider POINTS.

(Wouldn’t you? I mean 200 dollars is not chump change. Well, at least not to me. Maybe to Blondie I was small potatoes?)


I really do not understand what I did to make Miss Register and Blondie McHatesmyguts so angry. Is it THAT difficult to redo a transaction, if it makes the customer happy? Did they have something better to do, besides, um, THEIR JOB? Is it so odd that I would want the points I earned, or another free goodie to try? I felt like they went out of their way to make me feel like I was such an incovenient pain. Which, I swear, I am not! I am truly quite charming and fun, we should be friends! Sephora, we could braid each others hair and tell each other our deepest secrets. Call me!

I do not deserve such nasty treatment.

Finally, after much punching of buttons and heavy sighs and frantic whispered negotiations, Blondie McHatesmyguts said to me “the only way we can do this is to process the whole thing as a return then start over and pretend it’s a new transaction.”

(I really think she was hoping I would just say “oh forget it then I don’t want to trouble you”. HA!)

Me: “Then yes, let’s do that, redo my transaction”.

Her: eyelid twitch, sneer.

Blondie McHatesmyguts did not address me (or my forehead) again – just told Miss Register to redo my transaction. They had to recheck my gift card to make sure I could re-use it, they had to fiddle with the computer again, they had to get my e-mail address again, they fiddled with a different computer, they had to huff and puff some more, they had to rescan items. (Oh the horror!) It seemed endless. It was probably only about 20 minutes, but it was 20 minutes of my life I will never get back.

Finally it was over. Blondie flounced off without a glance my way – Miss Register handed me my bag. As I turned to leave, I said “just a suggestion, you should ask each customer if they are a Beauty Insider, it would save a lot of trouble”. Miss Register gave me a tight smile, but her eyes were pure evil as she said “yes, totally my fault”.

Now look. I come to Sephora to feel lovely and pampered and refreshed and HOPEFUL. Isn’t that the point? It’s a glimmering store full of hope. The HOPE that some foundation will make my skin dewier. Or some gloss will make my lips plumper. That some magical potion or powder on your shelves will transform me from ‘tired somewhat saggy 38 year-old stay-at-home Mom with pureed spinach in her hair’ into ‘glamorous voluptuous 18 year old supermodel vixen with flaxen locks’. Right? It’s hope that opens the wallets folks. And as of now, hope is not alive in the Sephora store in the _________. I left feeling annoyed, confused, sad and deflated. And regretful. I kind of wanted my money back.

This is not the beginning of the beautiful retail store relationship I was hoping for.

I would have thought that a new store would be eager to please, wanting to make a good impression to ensure repeat business. Am I just naive? Is Sephora so successful now that customer service no longer matters? Am I just a small potato that no longer matters? Does my hard earned cash no longer matter? Is the Beauty Insider status a big fat joke? Please, Sephora – say it aint so.

I am not going to lie to you (I would never) – I will most likely still shop there. Because, well, it’s you, and I love you. But please, love me back? Ensure that ALL of your consultants and managers and check-out ladies are appreciative of my business… are kind to me, are patient, are thoughtful, are helpful. Remind me to give them my Beauty Insider card, don’t chastise me if I forget. Have them eager for me to get all the samples I am entitled to, to TRY new products that I will then return to PURCHASE. (Funny how that works). Have them talk to my eyes, make me feel valued. I don’t think I am asking too much. Am I?

Sephora, can we start over?

Very Important Sephora Beauty Insider


6 Responses to “>Sephora, you done me wrong”

  1. 1 Niksmom September 8, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    >Wow, I've never shopped at Sephora simply bc there wasn't one in our area. Your experience with snooty-bitch mcregister? Guarantees they will not get my money. EVER.(Quick editorial note…you left in geo reference in one graf.)

  2. 2 MrsSpock September 8, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    >You'd think that with much fewer people dropping large chunks of change in the retail industry, there would be a stronger focus on customer service.I had a TERRIBLE experience at Delta two years ago. I will never use their services again- they almost made me miss my cruise, were rude, and forced my friends and I to pick through our luggage in public, showing our unmentionables to the entire airport. And two years later, I'm still bitching about it.

  3. 3 Ariel September 8, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    >I wanted Sephora to do my makeup for my wedding, to win me over, to treat me nicely…Well that didn't happen.SOOOO:MAC did my makeup, made me feel important and beautiful. And I'm never setting foot into another Sephora as long as I live. And I love MAC.

  4. 4 edenland September 9, 2009 at 3:22 am

    >Did you seriously send it? I hope so. And when you said "Yes, let's re-do my whole transaction" … I gave a wicked smile. Good on you for persevering.Lastly, I have no motherf*cking clue who or what Sephora is. Next year during BlogHer, you will have to take me into one when we are on our way to KFC for biscuits. I'm not joking.XOXOXOXOXOXOX

  5. 5 Flying Monkeys October 27, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    >That letter made me LMAO! Amazing! I see they responded, good for you!

  6. 6 Anonymous January 14, 2010 at 3:04 am

    >Wow whatabitch!I work at Sephora and all you have to do is call 1877Sephora next time you don't get your points along with your receipt so I presume you can give the nice operator lady your transaction number and she will credit your points. I dunno why the dumb bitch didn't ask for your card, It's only common sense.. I ask everyone because pretty much 95% of clients have it and 90% don't have the card. To be fair, it wasn't her fault that the computer kept crashing or that she couldn't memorize your email but she should have been way nicer about it. It's called customer service for a reason!As for another commenter who said she couldn't get her wedding makeup done? It's not a free makeover where you can get all your makeup done for your special event, it's a consultation so you learn how to do your makeup and so that you buy the stuff. MAC doesn't give you free wedding day makeovers, there's a charge. Every company in retail's goal is to make money first. Everything else is second. Or they'd have you believe they care by beating around the bush and telling you some statements that make it seem like they care.Am I jaded much?

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