Sephora is leaving a trail of angry customers after the makeup company refused to honor an $88-off coupon that had been circulating on social media and appeared to many buyers to be legitimate.
The beauty boutique had initially accepted orders made with the 88OFF coupon that circulated online, Global News reported. The discount allowed them to take $88 off any order of $100 or more, a discount that seemed too good to be true.
It turned out that it was. On Saturday, Sephora canceled orders that had been made with the coupon and issued a statement online that the discount had been erroneously accepted on its website.
“The $88 off $100 deal posted on non-Sephora channels is not a valid promotion and is therefore not being honored,” the company posted.
Those who had successfully used the coupon were sent a message informing them that the order had been canceled.
“Because your order included this promotion, it has been automatically cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment this causes,” the statement read.
The move sparked a backlash online, with many customers saying that Sephora should have honored the offer since the orders had already been accepted and processed. One tweet accused the company of “unethical” practices for canceling the orders, and the company’s name was trending on Twitter on Saturday as many took to the site to complain.
Some claimed that the website appeared to accept to $88-off coupon, but when the order was processed they found that they had been charged the full amount of their order without the discount.
Disgusting practice @Sephora . The poor PR the company will/ IS getting from this will impact your bottom line far more than honoring the promotion ever will. I'm glad @amazon @Nordstrom @saks carry the same brands. #fyrefraud pic.twitter.com/49CNpwVKAK
— Jenny (@jensun_26) February 16, 2019
— togrl1991 (@TOGirl1991) February 16, 2019
But others defended Sephora for the decision not to honor the coupon. Many noted at the time that it appeared to be a glitch that it was accepted in the first place, as it appeared to be an obvious fake to many buyers. Others said that shoppers should have no expectation to keep the deal that cut an extraordinary amount of money off their bill.
Messages spreading the coupon on Twitter often identified it as a likely fake, but noted that the company’s website was accepting it regardless. Others warned that there was a high likelihood that Sephora would reverse the orders once the mistake had been discovered. Just a few hours later, it appears that is what happened as the coupon abruptly stopped working.
Sephora causes uproar after cancelling orders that used $88-off promo code: The beauty boutique has notified customers that online purchases using the promotional code have been cancelled, posts shared to Twitter on Saturday show. https://t.co/ZihvwgPvql pic.twitter.com/oMUnORxzhU
— Politics Edmonton (@POLSEdmonton) February 17, 2019
It’s shocking that people think Sephora owes them anything just because they tried to take advantage of a code that wasn’t meant for them.
— sarah mcfly (@pink__infinite) February 16, 2019
It was not clear why the Sephora website accepted the fake deal, but Global News reported that a video of the code being applied showed it was in conjunction with the Lunar New Year.