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A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

 

Sephora is committed to offering our valued Beauty Insiders exceptional rewards to thank them for their loyalty and for being part of our community.  Yesterday we held an Epic Rewards promotion, and while we have held similar promotions in the past, yesterday’s promotion was the largest number of Epic Rewards we have made available to date.

 

Despite our best efforts to predict the response, demand was overwhelming, resulting in our being out of stock very quickly. We deeply regret this and apologize to our Beauty Insider clients who did not get a chance to participate.  

 

At Sephora our first and foremost priority is to give our clients an exciting and fulfilling shopping experience.  Those Beauty Insiders who were unable to get one of our limited quantity Epic Rewards, please email us by Tuesday, August 25, 2015, to epicrewards@sephora.com and include your Beauty Insider account number or email address associated with your account. 

 

Beyond that, please know that we are committed to learning from this experience. Thank you for your ongoing support. We greatly appreciate you.

 

 

Sephora is committed to offering our valued Beauty Insiders exceptional rewards to thank them for their loyalty and for being part of our community.  Yesterday we held an Epic Rewards promotion, and while we have held similar promotions in the past, yesterday’s promotion was the largest number of Epic Rewards we have made available to date.

 

Despite our best efforts to predict the response, demand was overwhelming, resulting in our being out of stock very quickly. We deeply regret this and apologize to our Beauty Insider clients who did not get a chance to participate.  

 

At Sephora our first and foremost priority is to give our clients an exciting and fulfilling shopping experience.  Those Beauty Insiders who were unable to get one of our limited quantity Epic Rewards, please email us by Tuesday, August 25, 2015, to epicrewards@sephora.com and include your Beauty Insider account number or email address associated with your account. 

 

Beyond that, please know that we are committed to learning from this experience. Thank you for your ongoing support. We greatly appreciate you.

 


**********************

Updated August 17

 

Thank you to everyone who has been reaching out to us about Epic Rewards. We value your feedback and recognize your ongoing loyalty to us, and we are working to get back to you quickly.

To that end, please know that if you have contacted us you will hear back from us in direct response to your inquiry during the period between Tuesday, August 25th through Tuesday, September 1st. The timing of the response to you will depend on when we received your initial contact regarding Epic Rewards.

If you haven’t contacted us yet, please email us at epicrewards@sephora.com. We’ve set up this dedicated mailbox to collect the right information quickly and accurately, separating you from the queue for general Sephora inquiries. When you email us at this address, it will generate an automated response that confirms we’ve received the message. You can then expect to hear back from us as quickly as possible with more information.

Please know that our team is listening, and we take your concerns to heart. We value your support, and we will be in touch soon.

With our sincerest thanks,

The Beauty Insider Team

 

*************************************

Updated September 1


Thank you to everyone who reached out to us about Epic Rewards. We have reached out to all of those members who emailed us on or before August 25th, and are no longer accepting new submissions. epicrewards@sephora.com has been closed. Please contact us at 1-877-SEPHORA (1-877-737-4672) regarding any other questions or concerns. We have reviewed your feedback and are taking it into consideration as we plan for future promotions. Our loyal Beauty Insiders are enormously important to us.

 

 

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

The last paragraph sums up about 90% of peoples frustration I imagine. 

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

I'm going to send an email simply because I am nosey and want to know what they're going to do to make this right.  BUT they have lost me as a customer

 

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

Oh please let us know how they handle you.  Curiosity. 

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

The consumerist nailed this event and the Sephora points system.  "Effectively buying raffle tickets."

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

A raffle ticket would have been preferable. At least then, I could be in the running for a perk and not waste my day refreshing.

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

I don't think Sephora needed to apologize. This may be an unpopular opinion,  but they did exactly what they promised they would do. 

 

I wouldn't attempt to make a list of all the free stuff Sephora has given me over the years because it would be too long and I would probably forget a lot, so it would be inaccurate. 

 

"This is the same reason I no longer shop at clothing stores and spend my days roaming the streets naked. Clothing stores don't give me free mini shirts or mini pants when I purchase normal sized clothing. But that's just me." She said, facetiously. 

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

I agree with you about then doing exactly what they said.  The only improvement which caused the issues is that they had such a small inventory of rewards and thousands of ppl who wanted them.  They just need to increase the inventory dramatically. 

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

What are they doing once they get our emails?

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

Rewarding us with 1000 bonus points...................... LOL cool more points we cannot use. What a joke

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

"Despite our best efforts to predict the response, demand was overwhelming, resulting in our being out of stock very quickly" Oh come on guys, don't insult our intelligence. When you stock so little of every product you are well aware of whats going on. I understand business is business and every business has some type of tactic to lure customers to buy but this was just cruel.

 

No we aren't entitled to big rewards but to do a "VIB appreciation" or whatever event offering multiple points while advertising these big rewards we can get only for it to be practically impossible to redeem any of these rewards is not cool. You guys baited us.. Had it been a raffle or something of the sort no one would've been mad. You guys should've gave us realistic expectations. There are many different ways this could've been done better; smaller rewards could've been put together in larger quantities or offer some type of discount per tier of rewards (1000 points gets you 10% off, 2000 15%, 5000 20%)

 

Even those of us who were able to get a reward didn't have it easy, this whole fiasco was WAY too stressful. Staying up all night hitting refresh is not my idea of being rewarded for being a loyal customer. This wasn't fun nor pleasant, this was an epic competition with impossible odds of winning.

 

And then to make things right you guys offer us more points..Lol the irony! What good are 1000 points that I cannot redeem for anything good? I really dont know how this situation could be made right without leaving a sour taste in many peoples mouths.

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

I KNOW RIGHT?!??! What a joke. They must think we are stupid. Hopefully they will see the depths of our stupidity as we take out thousands of dollars to Ulta and Nordstroms. Goodbye Sephora. 

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

I posted this on Facebook, but perhaps it's more useful to share it here.

 

It sounds like the excuse for the Epic Reward #epicfail is going to be "we didn't anticipate the overwhelming response to the promotion." But here's why that doesn't work for me - Sephora can see how many points every Beauty Insider has accrued. I'm sure their database can tell them how many members have over 1000, over 2000, over 5000, over 10000, etc. The customers with these large numbers of points are probably also the customers most interested in a high-point redemption opportunity. So demand shouldn't be that hard to predict.

 

Clearly, not every member will participate, and there shouldn't be an expectation that every single member will get a reward. But you should be able to look at, say, how many members have >5000 points... and then figure out how many rewards you'd need to satisfy a reasonable fraction of them. It seems like you've dissatisfied the majority of your big spenders, and probably could've predicted that result with your customer data and some simple math.

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

I think we've determined that FB gets you the most response.   This is their site so it doesn't have the exposure FB does. 

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

I have read a lot of the threads on this issue but have not participated.  I'm adding the email I just sent for anyone who cares to read and/or comment.  Thanks!

 

First,  let me start off by saying that I think this round of the Epic Rewards was better executed than the last time.  I did not participate in the last round partially because there was very little information provided and it was not clear when they were going to be released.  I was most definitely not going to be staying up all night just in case they were released.  The only reason I knew about the Epic Rewards was because of Beauty Talk.  As I recall they were not really advertised and many BI/VIB/VIB Rouges were not even notified. 

 

This time around the following improvements were made: (1) the Epic Rewards were more widely advertised - website, emails, etc.; (2) we were given full info on what the rewards were; and (3)  we were told a timeframe for the rewards. 

 

Despite these improvements, there are still ways this event can be improved significantly, if Sephora chooses to do another Epic Rewards event.  Let me begin by expressing what didn't work this time and then I will suggest how you can improve this event. 

 

(1) Saying the rewards will take place during business hours PST is a great improvement but I think you need to narrow down the time.  I know there are concerns re how the website will respond to the influx but really Sephora is a tremendous company maybe it's time to invest in a better computer infrastructure.  I'm not very tech savvy so perhaps this is unrealistic.  

 

(2) Be clear regarding how many rewards are really available.  I know you made it very clear they were limited quantities, you may have even said very limited quantities.  But quantities are always limited.  Don't be so vague.  It may be that there were less than 10 of the 1000-2000 point rewards but yet you advertised this event more widely.  I anticipated that the higher rewards 5000 pts. plus were probably super limited less than 5 and probably only one of the $10K ones.  I am sure based on the last event you knew how popular this would be.  By being more transparent about quantities people would have better been able to be realistic about their chances.   I participated this year and knew my chances were not great but I was very surprised by how little a chance I had.  I mean for things to sell out in less than 3 minutes?  That's amazing and shows you how dedicated your customers are. 

 

(3) Back to your website issues.  I mean you guys need to put some money towards your IT.  I was one of the folks that kept clicking on the banner that said the rewards were available but kept being directed to lower down the page.  I got directed nowhere I could redeem my points.  I knew the links only because of BT.  However, I didn't stand a chance, no one did that wasn't set up appropriately.  You had to have your basket ready (I did) and be on the right page at the right time refreshing at the right second (I was not on the right page).  I was set up at home but eventually had to continue living my life and go to work and didn't have a chance to fully set myself up because you know work.  That was my mistake.  However, I would have at least expected that if I clinked on the link for the rewards that it would have directed me to the appropriate page.  I was wrong.

 

You guys deserve a lot of the vitriol you're getting, even though I agree some people are getting a little out of hand.  A couple things I find disingenuous are the following: (1) statements like Despite our best efforts to predict the response, demand was overwhelming, resulting in our being out of stock very quickly.   Seriously?!  You know how many of us are out there and how many points we have.  If you advertise an event you should anticipate how many are likely to participate.  Especially since you just had an event in April/May 2015.  and (2) having this event after a point multiplier event seems very shady.   I'm not saying it's smart for people to go out and buy a bunch of stuff just for points.  That does not make sense.  But I'm sure folks bought stuff at Sephora instead of at one of your competitors to increase their points to participate in this event. 

 

Additionally, I think you guys need to rethink your Beauty Insider/Reward program.  Ulta has a great program.  I understand you don't want to translate points to money - what company wants to give away money.  I'm just saying it works and you should look into its feasibility.  I don't mean to hoard my points.  The reason I have enough to qualify for an Epic Reward is because the 100-500 point offerings are usually offensive and ridiculous considering what I spend to redeem one of those.   I mean seriously I feel confident you get that stuff for free and yet I have to spend $100 for a deluxe sample?  Makes no sense.  The whole point of a sample is so that you try something and end up liking it and buying the full size.   And for the past year or so your 500 point offering are ridiculous - you spend 500 points for four (4) 100 point items!?!  How does that make sense.  Spend some time cultivating your 100-500 point rewards and you will see we will spend our points.  I guarantee it.  Also you may want to do more 1000 point rewards.  Thank you for the Flash Shipping!  Great idea and please do not get rid of this.  Regarding distinction between VIB and VIB Rouge - this year, my first one as a VIB Rouge, I have not noticed one.  Same promos.  There are events but whatever I'm getting I can get later with same promo.  You need to work on the distinction to make it enticing or get rid of the distinction.  Also I know the stores get samples and promos but yet I can't tell you what a hard time I have trying to get one.  Especially at the Sephoras in JcPenney.  Someone is getting those samples and it does not appear to be your customers.  I think you can understand why many don't want store made samples for hygienic reasons.  I have tons more to say but I feel like I'm rambling now and it's getting too long so I am stopping. 

 

I hope you find this helpful.  You guys are a massive company so I would think you have hired competent individuals who know how to run all aspects of this business.  So either your staff doesn't know what they are doing in certain areas or you don't really care about what isn't working because at the end of the day people are still buying from this store.  If the later, I would be careful.  I will continue to buy from Sephora as long as they carry brands that are exclusive to them or exclusive sets.   You should make sure you keep those brands fyi.  But at the end of the day I will go where I will get the most for my  hard earned money and lately that has been Ulta or Nordstrom. 

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

My favorite response of all... Well written and simply spot on.... Thanks for sharing!

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

This message is for "tiri" who attempted to interpret CA BPC 17539.1 to show me that I am incorrect. CA BPC 17539.1.(a) provides that --

 

The following unfair acts or practices undertaken by, or omissions of, any person in the operation of any contest or sweepstakes are prohibited: (emphasis added).

 

CA BPC 17539.1(b) provides that--

 

For the purposes of this section, "sweepstakes" means a procedure, activity, or event, for the distribution, donation, or sale of anything of value by lot, chance, predetermined selection, or random selection that is not unlawful under other provisions of law, including, but not limited to, Chapter 9 (commencing with Section
319) and Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 330) of Title 9 of Part 1 of the Penal Code.

 

Tiri...it is always best to properly interpret the law.

 

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

Incidentally, since Sephora is a retail business operating at least one location in almost all 50 states in addition to U.S. territories and the District of Columbia...plus Canada...it's Federal laws taking precedent not the statutory or case law of any one state.

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

I emailed in and told them I would be very happy with a store credit of $1,000 in exchange for my 5000 points and then I will continue my very loyal daily shopping with Sephora rather then going to check out the beautiful brand new ULTA store that they just opened in my town...

I have such high hopes 😜

Highlighted

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

Are you seriously thinking they would give you $1000 dollars for 5000 points? That is like expecting at the minimum 20% cash back if you don't count that you probably got some of the points during a point event, which means you are expecting to get closer to 100% cash back. 

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

I sent an email to the email address provided, nothing back yet but their automated reply. Other people have received a reply and/or 1,000 points put into their account. Ugh, so done with Sephora. I'm going to return a bunch of stuff hopefully tomorrow and never buy from them again. So unhappy with Sephora.

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

Same here. Nothing except an automated response. So done too.

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

I just spent $70 at Ulta rather than Sephora.  It was doubly satisfying. I got my eye shadows, a free Michael Kors gift set, double points, and fragrance samples. I also got the little thrill of not shopping at Sephora.

 

I was willing to give Sephora a chance to make this right, but if they're just throwing points at this as some people have indicated then I'm even more ticked. More points that we can spend to get samples that other companies would give us gratis is not the answer.  Your best customers deserve something attainable that's worth spending thousands of points on.  At least Ulta's points can be redeemed for money off your purchase.

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

The Michael Kors reward was MUCH better than any Sephora 500 point reward I've seen for awhile!  And you only had to spend $50!!

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

I am going to chime in here. I appreciate Sephora contacting me on twitter (@nikolnolan) and instagram (@knikolnolan) and asking me to e-mail them about my horrible experience with the epic rewards. I am not happy at all, but they did specify that these rewards were extremely limited. It was almost like Black Friday in my eyes after reading how little of each reward they had. I didn't even see the rewards show up because they were gone so fast. I honestly think everyone is blowing it way out of proportion though. Calm down and try again next time! I didn't get anything, but I do know a few girls who did, and they just got lucky. Good luck to everyone next time! Stay positive!

Re: A Message to our Clients about Epic Rewards

My problem is that they didn't release the time the rewards would be available.  People have jobs and cannot sit in front of a computer all day to keep track of the rewards.  

 

It's only fair to release an actual time so people know when to get online, check the site and get it over with.  A lot of people were waiting all day...........this part is completely absurd.  

 

Hopefully they will listen.  And improve next time!