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Post in Beauty Confidential

Having a SA argue with you?

Does this ever happen to anyone? Okay wait, let me rephrase because that's probably happened to almost everyone here... does anyone have any stories to share when a SA disagrees with you or points out that you're basically, well..wrong about a product?


I have a few stories. One time at MAC, I wanted to exchange MAC Brave because it didn't look as great as it did when I tried it out in the store. I told the SA that I didn't like the color because it made my lips look washed out and had a pearly/frosty look to it. " Here's how our conversation went:

Me: I wanted to exchange a lipstick. When I tried it out at home, it looked different and kinda washed me out. Also, there's a bit of a pearly appearance which probably was the cause of making me washed out

SA: Oh no, this has no pearl finish, (swatches on her hand) See, none at all. It looks fine on you.

Me: ........well when I checked the MAC website, the description of the lipstick states "pink-beige with white pearl"

SA: I don't know, but I definitely do not see a white pearl here. (swatches again) I don't see anything at all. It's probably because this is a Satin lipstick.

Me: A satin finish just makes it semi-matte though, it's pearly.. the color itself states that there's white pearl..

SA: No, it's the satin finish. That makes it pearly.  There's no white pearl in the actual lipstick.

Me: .........I just want to exchange this lipstick for MLBB color.

I ended up getting MAC Cosmo. Ugh, that lady was annoying. Tried to sell me some lipliner too.


Another one was in Sephora, when I went back to exchange my MUFE Mat Velvet + because it oxidized on me, so I wanted a lighter shade.  I had 45, and wanted to get 35. The lady kept stating that the foundation is oil-free, therefore it does not oxidize, this does not happen, it's "basically impossible." She also kept interrupting me with "No's" when I was saying that I noticed the foundation got darker, and I missed a spot by my outer cheek, near the ear, so I was able to tell that, whoa, my foundation got darker. She also said that I probably got lighter over time after I told her that I just bought the foundation a few days ago. I just wanted to be like, LISTEN B---- and bring out my sassy side LOL


Anyone have any frustrating encounters? Haha

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

You definitely aren't alone. MAC has always been one of those places where I feel judged the second I walked through the door. I never have felt welcome when shopping there. It is such an uncomfortable environment. 



They aren't all bad, I've definitely met and been assisted by some nice SAs, but the negative experiences are more frequent and leave a really bad lasting impression.

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

I think that's part of the sales culture.


I find that not giving a specific reason prevents an unnecessary conversation regarding the reason for which an item is being returned/exchanged. What difference does it make to a sales associate why you don't like it? Most companies don't require that a customer provide a specific reason in the event of a return/exchange.


If they ask for a specific reason just say "It doesn't suit me" and that is sufficient. I've never come across a situation where someone demanded more information.

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

LOL ho ho ho do I have a story to tell. 

I had a Sephora phone rep basically ACCUSE me of making multiple faulty transactions and requests. This was entirely false. Um hello, you can see my purchase history. When I asked her for clarification and proof she had nothing to say but "you have done this". Worst Sephora experience ever. 

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

Unless its a return policy discrepancy arguing with strangers is a no-go for me.  A Sephora employee told me there were no new Pro brushes, and I had already bought one of them at another location! I showed her a picture, we briefly discussed them, and I kept it moving. If it has to do with how a product feels, how nice it looks, will it mattify *my* skin, it is more pink than purple, how similar it is to product x, etc., that's all subject to opinion. If they have a difference in opinion on a specific product, I try to engage them in a dialogue without getting huffy. That way everyone learns something. If I sense too much attitude I'll say thanks and find someone else to help me. If its really bad I'll report them to the company.

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

I was just thinking about this when getting ready this AM as I put on J'Adore perfume.  It reminds me of the time last year I was at my local Ulta and wanted to get a specific Marc Jacobs perfume.  They didn't have it in stock so the SA starts to suggest other things to me.  She asked what I liked and I said fruity, some floral, sweet things generally.  She got hooked on floral and started giving me a few to smell and quite honestly none of them smelled good.  So because I wasn't interested in THOSE florals, she proceeds to tell me that I shouldn't tell someone I like florals when I don't.  Uhhhh...... ok?

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

I went to a Nars counter at bloomingdales to return one of those dual intensity blushes because I felt like the color pay off wasn't working well for me. I circled the area trying to look for something I could exchange it for, and had settled on exchanging it for a new highlighter.


It took me roughly 15 minutes to get the SA's attention. There was only one person working. She completely ignored me and helped all the other people standing around the counter, and when I finally saw her in the clear, I approached her to simply state that I wanted to return an item. She again, blew me off and said something like "oh you should look around let me know what you want to get instead!" while she was walking away. At this point I was really frustrated. I decided that I was just going to return the item and leave. So I walked up to the SA who was now just sitting around looking at her phone and said I just wanted to return my item. She snapped at me and said "What? those are good products, what, you don't know how to use it? what's wrong with you?" 


I looked at her completely dumbfounded and walked away. I was about to turn and leave, but I decided to complain. Right before that really crap experience with the Nars SA, I had a great experience at the Space NK across the floor, so I decided to walk over and ask for a manager. I let them know what had happened and that it was completely unacceptable to be treated this way. They took care of the return right there on the spot for me, but the manager just pulled me aside and said "sorry for the negative experience, we assure you this won't happen again" and that was it ... 


haven't returned to that bloomys since then. i'm usually a super passive person and i just walk away and try to forget it ever happened, but the way this SA was talking to me was just so off putting and condescending that I felt like I had to speak up. can't stand this kind of rude behavior just being brushed off like this! Smiley Sad 

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

Once got suckered into one of those people trying to make the sales pitch for some skin care thing at a mall once, after getting a free sample. Felt way too awkward to just leave when they were trying to talk to me. But what really got my goat was when the guy asked me "Well, why do you wear so much makeup?" It was a weekend, and I tend to do a full face on weekends since I have the time and it's fun. So bit taken aback by his question and just responded with "I like wearing it." But then he comes back with "Well, are you trying to hide something or cover something up?" Uh, no? I like wearing makeup. It's fun to do. I wear it for me. And he was asking with the condescending, judging tone that said "You're wearing too much makeup." And that just really rubbed me the wrong way. I insisted again that I wear makeup because I like to and left fuming not long after. As much as I love free samples and testing out new things, I make a point to just say "No thank you" so most of those places offering free samples. Not dealing with an experience like that again.

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

I've never had sales associates argue with me, but they ignore me more often than not. It might be because I look like a college student despite graduating a decade ago. Department stores are the worst, particularly Macy's and Nordstrom. Even to this day, I have to go to the makeup counter with my mom just so I can make a purchase. It's just unfortunate that she lives across the country!


Weirdly enough, the higher end places like Neiman Marcus are fantastic. I did read that luxury retailers are trained to be nice to Asian customers, though, so I might have that going for me, haha. Seriously, my mom gets greeted immediately in Mandarin as soon as she walks into Chanel in SoHo. Meanwhile, Tiffany's is fantastic, while nobody at mall jewelry stores like Kay's will even greet me. 


I always had problems getting help at one Sephora store and hated waiting half an hour on a wait list when I had a quick question about a brush, but after I filled out the survey on the receipt complaining about (lack of) service a couple of times, things turned around really quickly. Now, it's a fantastic experience shopping at that store. 

Re: Having a SA argue with you?

I'm 26 years old, but luckily look much younger. (the round baby face kinda look thing kills it). and I always seem to have an issue with Clinique Counter where I am. 
I bought the clinique cleaning brush, which I LOVE (even after all this mumbo jumbo happened). The first time that I bought this brush, I had it for about a month. Suddenly it began to buzz whenever it wanted too - turn on and off just like magic all by itself. So, I took it back to the ladies at Clinique in Sears to get an exchange because they have a year warranty. They told me they would keep it over night and see if it did it to her. 

It did. So they replaced it. 

Great I thought just in time for my trip coming up in January! I could have a beauty beachy tan with beautiful clean skin! 

Ya no. 

It stopped working. I charged it ext and it just wouldn't work! 

So, again I went down and told them it wasn't working. At this point they were looking at my like I was some sketchy women who was just wanting new brushes without having to buy the replacements! Ugh. *note these ladies are much older, most in their 50's so some noses are stuck in the air sometimes*

She said she would again keep it over night, and when i came back the next day they said i have to take the head on and off.

Obviously she said, I had been to rough on the brushes and am pushing to hard, and don't know what I am doing.  -_-

I just stared at her. I told her fine, took the brush back and as I left I said I would call the company and get a new one shipped to me.

No no no we will exchange it! 

That was over three months ago. And now whenever I go there they always ask how the brush is going and are all snoody. 

Like F-- off. 

Lol rant done. 

133 Replies