Sephora Customers Are Mad As Hell — But Is This Revenge Plan Going Too Far?

Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Last week, Sephora received heated backlash after its Epic Rewards Day promotion quickly turned into an epic fail. Loyal customers complained on Twitter that the special rewards they had been promised sold out within minutes, leaving many of them with empty carts and broken hearts.

Now it looks like those same unsatisfied shoppers are seeking revenge by returning products in bulk, Consumerist reports. It all (supposedly) started with a message on Sephora's forum titled "Let's Really Show Sephora How We Feel," which reads:

I like to rant & complain as much as anybody after two failed epic rewards events, but as long as we go back to business as usual in a few days, Sephora has no incentive to do anything different. I think we should all come together and take a stand.

After carefully reviewing the return policy, I plan on gathering up everything I purchased from Sephora in the past 60 days and return it to the store. No matter the condition -- new, used, half full, almost empty, EVERYTHING is going back.

Who's with me? I think if enough of us do it, we can make a difference. I also think we should post a picture of everything we're returning along with an estimated retail value.

Let's hit 'em where it hurts ladies!

According to Consumerist, people have returned thousands of dollars worth of stuff — they've shown proof of over $3,000 of it to Consumerist alone.

While we can empathize with Sephora shoppers' frustrations, we can't help but shake our heads at how counterproductive their response is. Sephora has one of the most generous return policies, allowing customers to return items — new or used — up to 60 days after the purchase date, with or without a receipt. The fact that these individuals are taking advantage of that — with malice — might lead to the brand changing the policy in the future. This will make it harder for the rest of us to buy makeup with confidence — especially online.

As user ladidaa points out in the Sephora.com forum, this retaliation is hurting the manufacturers as well. "Sephora doesn't eat the cost of returned products. The makeup brands do!" ladidaa writes. "Whatever Sephora doesn't sell or [get] returned [is] sent back to the companies, and they are the ones you are punishing here." Not to mention, the brand is actively trying to fix the botched promotion and has handed out free rewards points as a peace offering.

Regarding the returns, the brand sent us the following statement: "We deeply apologize to those Beauty Insiders who were not able to participate in our recent Epic Rewards promotion due to the extraordinary demand for the offering. We will continue to honor any returns sought, consistent with our policy."

So, disgruntled beauty lovers, before you go about "hitting 'em where it hurts," think about your fellow Sephora lovers — those of us who don't want its return policy to change — and consider taking your business elsewhere instead. We hear Ulta, Macy's, and Bluemercury are all pretty great, too.
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