Is Sephora black membership fake? My story - your thoughts?

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  1. Sephora Australia has membership tiers depending on customer spend. After spending $300 AUD, Sephora states that you will receive black membership with the benefits of receiving a birthday gift and welcome gift.

    After gaining the Black Membership status on my account during my birthday month (May 2019), I became eligible to receive the black membership benefits, including a birthday gift during your birthday month. This happened 18 May, after I made on online order 15 May that made my Sephora spend go over $300. Upon trying to redeem the birthday gift at the online checkout during my birthday month (again, after I became a black member), the birthday gift was not being added on with my order. I contacted Sephora about this and was told that the birthday gift was out of stock, however, I would be able to redeem the gift outside my birthday month when they had restocked the birthday gift. With this confirmation that I would be able to receive my birthday gift when it was restocked, I went ahead and made an order 25 May 2019 – while, again, having black membership status:

    What I sent 23 May:
    Hi ****
    Thanks for this information.
    With your advice, I will make the purchase and will receive the credit to redeem a
    birthday gift “even after the offer expires”.
    Before I order - would you be able to confirm again and provide more information
    about how I will be able to redeem the birthday gift outside of my birthday month? I
    decided to shop with Sephora over another beauty store for the birthday benefits,
    etc. and would like to confirm that I will still receive the birthday benefits (including
    the double points that are also not appearing in my shopping cart) when I make an
    order outside of my birthday month.
    Thanks again for all the help!
    Kind regards,

    Sephora’s response:
    I won’t post Sephora’s exact response for privacy but it was confirmed that I had black membership and that “not to worry” because if the offer expires (i.e. if its outside my birthday month), the birthday gift would be “credited” to my account for me to redeem outside my birthday month.

    My response 25 May:
    Hi *****
    Order number: *****
    My birthday month is May.
    Thanks again for arranging for my membership birthday gift to still apply when it is back in stock.
    Kind regards,

    My second response 25 May was to make an order, with the knowledge that I would receive my birthday gift when it had restocked.

    I made sure to follow up on numerous occassions with Sephora to check if they had restocked the birthday gift during May and June 2019. I was told on each of these occasions that I would be able to redeem the birthday gift when Sephora had the gift back in stock, as well as being reassured that I would be notified when the gift was in stock (I was never told).

    Sephora Australia’s behaviour and language suddenly changed 12 August 2019, when I was then informed, after I had returned an incorrect item I was sent in an order (this occurred late July/ early August 2019), that as I received black membership 18 May (again, my birthday month is May - my exact birthday 22 May), I would be able to receive the birthday gift May 2020. This was their way of communicating that I would not receive the birthday gift I was eligible to receive in May 2019.
    This is likely to be in breach of Australian Consumer Laws.

    In case any readers want information on my unrelated return: the late July / early August return was my first and only Sephora return. I was incorrectly sent a Dior lipstick in a very dark and sparkly purple colour when I had ordered the very bright pink and sparkle-free colour ‘Dior Pink’. The return is irrelevant when analysing whether this is a breach in Australian Consumer Law, as it is an unrelated event.



    Update: I've just received an email from Sephora saying to be eligible for the birthday gift, I had to be a Black Member before my birthday month (so by at least April 2019).

    But here are the terms and conditions I have found:

    "How can I redeem my Birthday Gift?
    Black and Gold Members are eligible to redeem one birthday gift per year during their birthday month. To redeem in-store, no purchase is necessary when you are redeeming your birthday gift. To redeem online, a merchandise purchase is required. Please click on your loyalty redemption tab at checkout to receive your birthday gift. Due to limited quantities, substitution of gifts may occur. Gifts will be available while stocks last. This offer is subject to change, alteration, or termination by Sephora at its sole discretion at any time."
    Link: https://www.sephora.com.au/beauty-pass

    "2. Earning and Redeeming Program Rewards
    ...
    If a Reward becomes unavailable for reasons beyond Sephora's control, Sephora may substitute a Reward of equal or greater value. Rewards are shipped with merchandise purchases ONLY. The retail value of the Reward does not count toward Sephora’s free shipping threshold.

    3. Sephora Black
    Sephora Black status is conferred on those registered Beauty Pass members who spend a minimum of A$300 on merchandise (excludes the purchase of e-gift cards, gift cards, taxes and/or shipping) online and in Australia Sephora stores within 365 days from their first purchase. Sephora Black status is good for 365 days from the date the Beauty Pass member qualifies; after that, annual requalification is required. Sephora may, in its sole discretion, alter, limit, or modify the Sephora Black program rules, regulations, benefits, eligibility for membership, or any other feature of the Sephora Black program or may terminate the Sephora Black program at any time in its sole discretion, by giving reasonable notice on the website and/or by email. Please check the website regularly for updates."
    Link: https://www.sephora.com.au/terms

    I don't think there is a term and condition on the site that states "oh no, you need to be a black member before your birthday month to receive a birthday gift". What is really important in this is that I was also told my numerous Sephora staff on numerous occasions that I would be able to redeem the birthday gift when it had restocked, even if it was no longer in my birthday month. I acted on this advice.

    Thoughts? Has this happened to you?
    What annoys me most is that this is a small issue but it means I won't be able to swallow taking another trip to Sephora.
     
  2. #2 Aug 11, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
    The birthday gift really isn’t worth getting this upset over TBH.

    (And this may sound like snark but I don’t mean it to be. I have both gotten upset from similar minor things and also received the birthday gift recently. It isn’t worth your peace. It’s only two small samples)
     
    Ryan, missisa07, baghagg and 8 others like this.
  3. In the context that I am a legal professional who studied at one of the world's top law departments and am currently studying a postgraduate pt, specialising further commercial law while undergoing legal ft work (edit: not trying to toot my own horn, just trying to convey my perspective)... I think if it breaches law than its enough to get upset over. Breach of contract is still a breach, small things like this can also highlight a lack of access to justice individuals have in everyday situations which is one of my pet peeves.

    In regards to the seemingly long rant, most of it is actually a remix of a report I sent into the Australian Consumer watchdog ACCC (public service is a massive value in the legal profession) so it only took me a few minutes to post this rant. It's the breach I'm annoyed at. But yes, I also specifically chose to be loyal to Sephora for the birthday benefit; that's valid consideration (e.g. quid pro quo) right there.
     
  4. #4 Aug 12, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
    Honey, I studied at one of the “top” law schools. I got my Masters in Law. I’ve been practicing for 18yrs and I can tell you from experience that it all isn’t worth the paper it’s written on if you are going to get this upset at a free points program. You won’t last long, I promise. Save your energy to fight the fights worth fighting.

    And, again, just advice. Something I learned the hard way.
     
  5. Wtf. That was a change in attitude. I'm not going to apologise for being in my early twenties.

    "You won’t last long, I promise" - really? Wow, thank you for your amazing advice. So much knowledge and expertise. Amazing values, saying things like this to younger people.

    My advice: 'honey' shows your age. Talk like that likely means nothing to younger generations other than old. Also, I hope you didn't get that degree decades ago from one of those American schools (is pushing corporations as individuals a specialty there?)

    My intention of publishing this issue on this thread was primarily to hear if people have had similar issues and then, to flag this on a designer forum, which could result in a loss of a sale from people who have disposable income. It's how 20-year-olds are salty. It isn't "fighting..." blah blah blah
     
  6. Wow. This post is...something. Your plight does not move me to not shop as Sephora, as you might have hoped. Sounds like this occurred months ago, I can’t imagine holding on this kind of vitriol over a free sample.
     
  7. Apologies if this was the wrong place to post this. The drama over nothing has amplified. I might go ahead and request admin to take the thread down rather than have it scorch everyone's eyes.
     
    Lisa-SH and lakeshow like this.
  8. Replying to your edit: it happened May-June and I completely forgot about it until I received an email over the weekend. Hense the report out of public service habit. Probably showing my age, feeling annoyed as I need a new primer and now feel yuk if I order from them. But whatever, my steam is blown and my attention span has moved on, and I've reported this thread to be removed by a moderator so it doesn't take up anyone else's time.
     
    lakeshow likes this.
  9. I only know Sephora USA not Australia, but in USA anyone that signs up for the program gets a birthday gift, as I have gotten it the past 2 years but haven't bought anything there. If the gift in Australia is anything like USA, it's just a couple deluxe samples. Nice to get, but not that big of a deal. Here in the USA I think if you were buying something in store and asked nicely, they probably would give you the gift or some other samples to make it up to you, but I don't know how it works in Australia.
     
    Serenity19 likes this.
  10. I agree that it's not worth getting upset about, but I guess it depends on which makeup and skincare items you're most interested in. Usually, the birthday gift is a duo of sample-sized lipstick + mascara or moisturizer set. Personally, I'm okay without it because I have more sample-sized makeup and skincare items than I really need. I'm not sure if it works differently in Australia than in the US, but I have been able to receive Sephora's birthday gift even without making a purchase. My birthday is in November, so for me, redeeming it can be a hassle considering the fact that the holiday season starts, lines go out the door, and Sephora tends to run out of inventory quickly compared to other times of the year.

    As far as the points system goes, I usually like to accumulate 500 points before redeeming the gifts because I like the options they have more than the gifts for 100 or 200 points. The last time I used my 500 points I got a small-sized Angel perfume set.
     
    DreamingBeauty likes this.
  11. Hey guys, this is going to be my final reply to the thread before blocking the email updates.

    *Insert 'wait, you guys are getting paid' GIF*

    In Australia, we have to spend a minimum of $300 to be eligible for the birthday gift.

    To my understanding, it is not free samples, but smaller sized beauty products kind of similar to when brands shrink their products to add into a kind of a 'Christmas pack'. Sephora and another brand called Mecca are the leading make-up brands here. Both offer 'birthday gifts' for members who spend $300 annually and so on. For the most part, I spent $300 early to mid-May to qualify for the birthday gift. I've spent a few hundred more since then - which is why I was feeling a bit put out after receiving an email out of the blue yesterday saying I couldn't redeem the gift. Obviously, I should have gone with Mecca if I wanted to receive benefits for spending x amount of $.
     
    DreamingBeauty likes this.
  12. Sigh. Not worth your time. You asked for advice and you’re not liking the responses. I wouldn’t worry about the birthday samples and move on. Way too much effort being expended on this. Good luck.
     
  13. Nope, my attitude didn’t change. You seemed to dismiss my opinion because it wasn’t legally based and I just wanted to clarify that it was, for what that is worth.

    My point was not to have you apologize for being in your twenties, nor to tell you that you won’t last full stop (you took that literally out of its context). My point was a warning - I have done the ft work / pt post graduate and it can be extremely tough. Think about whether you really want to let something like this steal your peace.

    These types of small issues take time and energy, especially if you are going to respond to them formally. And, often when we are in it, we do not understand just how much energy that saps from us. And we certainly do not see the issue for what it is (two small sizes of products you may or may not even want.). And then, before you know it, you have put in hours of your own time responding and getting angry every time you receive a pro-forma email back from Sephora and putting in formal complaints to govt entities and responding to those for items you could have purchased a couple times over with the ‘billable hour’ amount that you dedicated to it. But, more importantly, you are angry and annoyed and that steals your focus and energy from everything else. And if you respond at this level for each issue like this, you just won’t last. That isn’t a personal attack. I am sure you are driven and capable but no one has infinite energy.

    And no, I did not get my degrees at an American university but I sure wish I could have afforded to. Many of their law schools are top notch.
     
  14. I am a Rouge member in Canada, and a lawyer as well. The advice you have been receiving here is bang on. It is so not worth being upset over the bday gift.

    I understand you’re fighting this over principle, and, if you were entitled to add the gift to you cart when you made your purchase, then you had already qualified for it.

    Just get the email in which states you were entitled to get the gift once it gets restocked and go to a physical store to get one. Arguing in person may make things easier.
     
    Lisa-SH, Tuned83, br3wx and 3 others like this.
  15. I am a Rouge member here is the U.S. and for the most part my experience has been positive. However, there have been times that I’ve been promised things that haven’t been delivered. Even after all of that, I am still a huge Sephora fan. I know you feel cheated and I don’t blame you, as someone stated earlier, take your proof in store and ask them if they can give you a the birthday gift.