Last week, my mother and spent our Sunday morning at Sephora for a VIB Rouge private event to kick off Beauty Insider Appreciation Week. Sephora offered multiple points as a way for Beauty Insiders to stack their points for limited edition Epic Rewards at the end of the week. Well, my mother and I racked up at least 2000 points each, and many other Beauty Insiders saved their points throughout the year for this annual opportunity. The rewards were indeed epic, with trips to Paris to visit the Lancome HQ, Marc Jacobs and Bvlgari bags, Autographed books from NARS himself, Givenchy lipstick collection, and more from the brands we know and love. VIB Rouge members were to benefit from some of the best of these rewards exclusively, which excited me because I thought it meant I’d have a better chance of securing one of the rewards.
Well, Monday, August 10th came, and I was ready. Since Sephora mentioned that the gifts would be made available come regular business hours, I set my clock, and parked myself in front of my laptop prepared to refresh the rewards page until I could get in. Since I had some beauty blogging to do, I used the site as a reference for links while I waited. As I refreshed my screen around 11am central, there was still a “Coming Soon” sign over the Epic Rewards. So I gave it a bit more time. I refreshed again around 11:30am. Same. Ok fine, I’ll give it until noon, I thought. Still nothing. Now, clearly, they must be going by Pacific time, so why hadn’t the rewards opened up yet? I gave it another 20 minutes and as I refreshed the screen, there it was. The Epic Rewards were here! I clicked the link to redeem, only to be brought back to the same page. This must be a mistake. I clicked the link again. Same. Was I doing something wrong?
I thought perhaps there was a glitch in my browser, so I refreshed, checked my Gmail for the VIB Rouge link, only to be brought to the same rewards page with the link for Epic Rewards. It wasn’t until I called the VIB Rouge Concierge line that I got the terrible news. Apparently the rewards sold out in just minutes. I’m talking blink and you’ll miss it! I felt this overwhelming sense of betrayal. I was so hurt, angry, and full of anxiety, and I wasn’t the only one. Floods of angry tweets hit Sephora’s mentions about how they had seriously dropped the ball when anticipating the quantity of rewards for their shoppers.
Now I understand what limited quantity means, but how limited are we talking here? Was there only a hand full of each prize? 10 per category? How is that possible when Sephora is one of the biggest cosmetic retailers around? And the timing of the rewards alert was quite disorganized. It didn’t account for time zones at all! Something needs to be done to repair the rift between Sephora and its customers. Nothing we purchase there is cheap. Our money was spent with the promise of at least a fair chance at that which we covet, and Sephora did not deliver. I truly hope that they will do right by us in the near future. If not, I can always shop Ulta, Nordstrom, Sax, and the good ole internet for my beauty needs.
Update: Sephora reached out to their Beauty Insiders, in an effort to make up for the Epic Rewards fiasco. I have a video, below, explaining it all.