Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sale Fail

Some of you may have heard of the NYX Cosmetics incident that happened a couple days ago. If not, the short story is that NYX promoted a 12 hour sale in which most of their products would be $1.20. Then their servers crashed during the sale and almost nobody got to buy anything. NYX is pretty cheap to begin with- but the sale was a really great deal at about 70-90% off! 

I quite like a lot of their products. I honestly think their $3 lip liner pencils are on the level of ones that are in the $15-20 range. I was pretty disappointed that I couldn't even get the front page to load! Technology not working is pretty annoying, but I thought at the time that eventually NYX would fix the situation and make it up to the customers somehow.  However, their responses on Facebook and Twitter have been so rude! For example, the latest message says they "are overwhelmed with joy and thrilled with the massive response that this event has received". They also promise an individual 50% off code as a "reward" to those who email them. 

Customers are less than pleased with how the last 48 hours were handled.  Check out the comments and reviews here, if you are interested, and you will see many claims against the company including being able to see other's credit card information, customer service reps hanging up on people and yelling, customers being promised that if they waited their sale priced carts would be honored after the sale, etc. Fair warning- some people are VERY upset and frustrated and their comments get a little, er . . . passionate. 

I used to work in retail, so I know what it feels like to have people tear you apart for something you can't control - but for the company not to offer an apology then make the customer chase them for a coupon is pretty insulting. I did write to NYX:

Dear NYX,
I am one of the thousands of customers that did not get to participate in the 12 Hour Sale this week. I attempted to load the site, did everything you asked after your servers crashed and in the end was not allowed to spend my money with you. Servers crashing is unfortunate; but I'm terribly offended by how the whole accident was handled. It makes you, an established company, look so shady to have the website running perfectly and almost fully stocked very shortly after the sale was over. It makes you seem greedy to make people chase after you for a coupon code that is no where near worth the value that the sale was. It makes you seem rude to hang up on customers and send out cutesy messages on Facebook like "nobody likes when their party is ruined" and " our team was overwhelmed with joy by the massive response". It makes you seem dishonest to not follow through on certain promises like you would honor screen shots of sale priced carts and that you would put a coupon code on Facebook at a certain time. 
What is so shocking is that your brand is built on word-of-mouth recommendations, bloggers like me and the understanding that beauty can be had at a bargain. As someone who has increased your sales by my personal recommendations, I'm really at a loss as to how to respond to this whole mess. I do not think the 50% off coupon is fair to the people that patiently waited for a discount of up to 90% off. You claimed on Twitter that "several hundred" people were able to place orders - you have over 56,500 fans on Facebook. Do you think "several hundred" is proportional to the estimated thousands that wanted to participate in building your brand further? 
If someone actually reads this, can you please explain to me and my readers why the sale can't be re-launched at a later time so all your customers have a fair chance to stock up on your products? Can you also address the claims made on social media sites about credit card mishandling, customer service promises, hang ups, codes not working and why there has been no real apology made that this point? We will be waiting patiently and respectfully for your response.
Miss Fancy Pants DH

We'll see if they actually respond. Meanwhile, I'm not wasting any more time stressing over this hot mess! I am curious though- were any of you looking forward to this sale?


Snarky P said...

I'm not holding my breath, and I don't think they'll honor anything they "promised". Empty words from a company that has already proven by their subpar "Customer Service", snarky Twitter and FB comments, responses and updates... And the screaming fact as we observed- the site was up, fully functional and in stock very soon after the "sale" ended.

Personally- I'll save my money for other companies! I really like to help Indie Businesses, but I do like some of my "bigger brands" too.

Your letter was very blunt, polite, and to the point- and hopefully there will be a response.
Not holding my breath for that one either!

DH said...

Thanks for the comment and the follow!
I checked on FB last night to see if any new messages were put out by the company. They said they sent out all the codes and wanted to know who hadn't gotten one yet. At that point over 700 people responded, mostly saying they had not. I haven't! I'm not using the code, but I want to see if they actually send one!