Sephora is allegedly being sued for sharing customer data without permission to determine if shoppers are fraudulently returning products according to a class action lawsuit taken out in Califronia that was posted today on news.bloomberglaw.com.
Here on Musings of a Muse we have long since spoke about people abusing the return policy at certain stores and even some of them who have revised their generous return policies due to this issue. We’ve also discussed how returns are tracked using the the Retail Equation!
Actually the fact they share info with the Retail Equation is where the lawsuit rises from. The Retail Equation keeps tracks of any returns you’re making at Sephora and and creates a risk score of sorts. If you’re doing too many returns it can potentially get you denied for returns in the future. The lawsuit alleges that the data collected and shared by Sephora with the Retail Equation violates the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act as well as the Unfair Competition Law of California.
This has been a long and heated debated with many makeup users across a variety of different communities like Reddit. Some people swear they’ve been from returns at Ulta and Sephora where as others have
never experienced such a problem.
I can’t say I’ve actually had this happen to me only because I’m not a huge returner. I find returning is a bit of a hassle. When I’ve attempted it via mail at Sephora it takes several weeks to get the money back and that only happens when I actually make a call in and say, “Hey, did you get my return and where’s my $$?” Doing it in store always gets me treated like a criminal. It could be a New York thing but sales rep look at me like I just broke into the Pentagon when I want to return something. I tend to toss stuff I don’t like into a bing and either donate it to my mom’s senior group or let my sister or my friends dig through it. I also try to educate myself fully when possible before purchasing something but that’s not always an option when you’re blogging beauty as you want to get the item as fast as possible and review it so, typically not a lot of research or reviews and swatches are available on the hottest and latest new item.
I’m not really a fan of the Retail Equation personally as I do think it is invasive however, I also think people can and do abuse return policies and ruin things for others who have valid reason to make a return.
Things like this could very likely lead companies from banning returns completely just like Europe. You buy it, it’s yours, keep it, no money back no exchange. That would be really crummy should that happen but considering the sheer amount of money department stores and retailers loose on returns daily that could happen in the future.
What do you think of this Sephora Lawsuit?
Thanks to Linda! She emailed me with this news today!