Hello there! I recently made an online Ulta purchase for majority skin care products with the exception of a few hair care products and a nail polish. I’m very pleased with the purchase because half of my purchase ended up including AWESOME free gifts. You can expect to see reviews coming up on many of these items.
For some reason, Ulta has taken a liking to sending me my orders in 2 batches instead of sending all of the items at once. It’s nice that they give free samples with each shipment but I find it irritating that I have to wait a week for a few items and then another week for the rest of my items. It’d be fine if Ulta had quick shipping but their standard shipping method takes two weeks to reach me for each box (2-3 days to process at Ulta, 2-3 days “preparing” for shipment, and 6 business days to actually get shipped).
You’ll see in the photos that one of the items I received had leaked and over 75% of the product was wasted. When I contacted Ulta, they did absolutely nothing to help remedy the situation. I’ll talk about my customer service nightmare at the end of this post. But first, let’s get into the free goodies!
Can you believe this insanity? All of of these are FREE items that I received with my purchase! 3 of the products are full size (and decently rated products) while the deluxe sized products will easily give me at least 2 weeks worth of use. I was going to purchase all of the items that I got anyway and I was shocked to see the “select gift” option pop up at the checkout since some of them weren’t even advertised under the “gifts with purchase” category.
I received the following items with my purchase:
- Ulta Matte Prime Foundation Primer (full size)
- Ulta Enriched Cleansing Cloths 25 Count (full size)
- Cosmetic Case FILLED with Simple and OWN
- Simple Makeup Remover (deluxe travel size)
- Simple Makeup Removing Cloths (7 count)
- Simple Facial Wash (deluxe travel size)
- Own Firming Eye Cream (full size)!!!
- Vichy Thermale 3-in-1 Cleanser (deluxe size)
- Vichy Aqualia Rich Cream (deluxe size)
Items that I intended to purchase regardless of the gifts:
- Ulta Renew Hydra Quench Foaming Cleansing Oil (AMAZING PRODUCT!!!)
- Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer x2 (I needed a day moisturizer for oily skin and this one is very nice)
- Organix Coconut Milk Hair Serum (needed a serum and this was on sale; I’m currently loving it)
- Organix KuKui Oil Anti-Frizz Spray Oil (wanted to try a hair oil for once; this is a very lightweight product and better suited for thin to normal hair)
- Vichy Thermal Spa Water (love Vichy and wanted to try a fancy face spray on the same lines as rose water or orange blossom water)
- OWN Firming Silk Concentrate (wanted to try a firming serum that came with a dropper for a veeery long time thanks to Michelle Phan’s older skin care videos)
- Ulta Salon Formula Nail Lacquer in Vintage Violet (it was only $2.00 so why not? It has a chip resistant formula but it desperately needs a good top coat)
Customer service experience with Ulta online:
When I received my first package from Ulta, I was slightly disappointed to see that the Organix KuKui Oil had leaked out. It wasn’t due to defective packaging or anything. It was simply because the cap wasn’t screwed on tight enough. Ulta did a great job with packaging the items. All of the items were grouped and placed in bags. All of the items grouped with the KuKui Oil were in bottles and they were easy to clean. But anyway, because I had lost so much product, I emailed customer service to see if anything could be done about the damaged product.
Their response? “Nope. Go to your store to exchange the product or get a refund.” Um, what? If going to the store was within reason, I would have done it already. Besides, it was an online purchase so I should be able to have my issue resolved with the online customer care team.
I wasn’t thrilled with the response and lack of care about the damaged product so I complained on the Ulta Facebook Fan Page. Facebook pages get quick responses and they tend to generate a higher quality of customer service compared to private phone or email conversations. Customer service on Facebook said they would make it right and to shoot another email to another department in the customer care service.
The new response I got was: “I am sorry that the response was unsatisfactory. Please reship the bottle to the warehouse where we will issue you a refund. Please put the receipt for shipping in the box so we can also refund the shipping for your order. I do apologize for the inconvenience.”
Ulta’s online customer service really lacks at providing complete customer satisfaction. The first response was basically, “Go out of your way to fix a problem that never should have occurred in the first place.”
The second response, to me, said, “I’m trying to scam you. We’ll take away the evidence and make you pay for it. You lose an $8.00 product plus you get to pay to send it back to us.” It doesn’t make sense for me to have to pay for the return shipping, plus provide a receipt for the cost of shipping to get reimbursed. That’s just weird and shady. I would have to go out of my way to a post office with an open box, have it weighed, then add the receipt, then seal it to have it shipped. I wish it were as simple as, “we’ll email you a prepaid slip with tracking and have a replacement sent out asap.”
I’ve only had one other bad experience in-store but that was regarding coupons. I wanted to purchase some Chi products and Biosilk products during Christmas time 2013, but the coupon wouldn’t scan in the computer. I was told the coupon couldn’t be used despite the fact that Chi, Biosilk, nor Farouk (the company that makes these brands) are not on the list of restrictions. Even now that it’s February 2014, those brands still aren’t on the restrictions list. It’s more likely that somebody who has gone out of their way to get to a store + pick out items will go ahead and continue the purchase to avoid feeling embarrassed, which results in a higher profit for Ulta.
Ulta went from being an amazing company to being incredibly shady over the past few months. Fool me one, shame on you. Fool me twice and I’m switching to Sephora and Nordstrom.