Last week, Daynah wrote about how she was forced to stop writing anything down during a recent shopping trip to the cosmetics store Ulta. At the time, Daynah grudgingly gave in because she really wanted to make a purchase (she tests products for consumers). But once she left the store, she took the fight back to Ulta.
Daynah called Ulta’s customer service and tried to get a logical response from them. At the very least, she wanted to know whether that store manager’s policies were official, as the store manager had said. But Ulta’s customer service rep wasn’t exactly the fullest lash on the eyelid, if you know what I mean:
After a series of prompts, I found myself talking to a real-live person to whom I began recounting my story. She listened, and I could hear her typing away as I spoke.
“The manager on duty said that it’s against store policy to write anything down. Is that true?”
The representative replied, “You are not allowed to take photographs of any kind in Ulta stores.”
“I wasn’t taking photos; I was taking notes. Is there a policy against note-taking?”
“Our policy is that no photos are allowed to be taken in our stores or of our storefront”
“I didn’t have a camera. I had print-outs from Ulta.com and a black pen.”
This inane exchange continued, and it was as though I had encountered a glitch in the matrix: I kept telling her that I didn’t have a camera, and she kept telling me that there were no photos allowed.
Finally someone Daynah worked with—not that CSR—gave her some contact info for the Ulta District Manager. Daynah sent her an email, and a few minutes later got back an apology and a gift certificate, along with a promise that this sort of unnecessary rule-making would be addressed “with the entire team tomorrow.”
The whole experience reminded me that this is an industry that overall doesn’t appreciate customers who want to make careful, informed decisions about what they buy, and prefers instead to keep itself cloaked under a shroud of secrecy and marketing nonsense.
Read the full story, along with the District Manager’s email response, at Beauty Bunch Blog.