Sephora Explains That “2-Day Shipping” Actually Means “3 To 4 Days”

The other day we told you about an unhappy Sephora.com customer whose expedited order was not delivered on time, and who was stuck with the expedited shipping charges. Sephora now explains to Consumerist that the customer doesn’t understand Sephora’s peculiar take on the definition of “two days.”

As we mentioned in the original story, Sephora’s media contacts completely ignored our request for clarification on this story. And that continues to be true, as not a single PR rep for the company has responded to our e-mails.

But last night, we received a message from a “client services” rep who had seen the story on their own and wanted to reach out to the customer.

While the rep says Sephora has now refunded the 2-day shipping charges for our reader, they also wanted to clarify some things.

The rep says Sephora does indeed refund shipping charges if the purchase does not reach the customer in time. But “in time,” doesn’t necessarily mean what you might think it means to Sephora.

The company decides whether or not to refund customers for shipping based on the following chart, also found here on the Sephora website:

Sephora's UPS shipping chart

Sephora’s UPS shipping chart

Explains the rep:

Technically, as she placed her order in the afternoon of 11/29 (a Thursday) and it arrived on 12/5 (Wednesday), it took a total of 4 business days to reach her. We quote a total of 3-4 business days total for 2 day shipping. The day she placed the order is not considered a full business day, and neither is the weekend.

Most consumers are very aware that weekend days are generally not included when you pay for 2-day or overnight shipping. And many regular online shoppers understand that it may require a day to process the order before shipping.

But the fact is that UPS 2-day shipping is just that: Delivery by the end of the second business day. If you’re going to charge customers extra for 2-day shipping, you shouldn’t then hide in the fine print of your shipping policies that the customer really is paying for 3-day shipping.

Why pay for maybe-2-day delivery when you can get 3-day delivery for free?

Why pay for maybe-2-day delivery when you can get 3-day delivery for free?

Thing is, for orders over $50, Sephora offers FREE 3-day shipping. Just check out the chart to your left. This is what pops up when you click on the details for the free-shipping offer. And, just like our reader’s order, if you place it on Thursday, you’ll get it Wednesday. Except she paid extra to get what Sephora already offers for free.