This past Saturday I was one of (I'm guessing) thousands of people who got an email from NYX Cosmetics announcing a phenomenal 12th Anniversary Sale. For 12 hours only, a select range of items on NYX's website would be available for the unbelievable price of $1.20. I, like many others, set my alarm and was on the site at full noon on the dot...and...nothing. The site overloaded so quickly, I wasn't even able to refresh it to load the sale prices when the clock struck 12. I tried, and tried...and tried...and tried...and still, nothing.
Due to the modern miracle of mobile internet (and the fact that I had relatively nothing to do yesterday) I was on the NYX site literally (like, literally literally) from the beginning of the sale until the bitter (and I do mean bitter) end- over 24 hours when all was said & done. Six hours into the sale, when it should have been more than half-way to over, no one I'd spoken to had even been able to log in. At some point, it was announced by NYX that the sale would be extended, and instead of ending at midnight, it would continue until noon the next day. So we all kept trying.
Luckily, I'm able to subsist on very little sleep when I need to, so I sat with a book and my laptop and pressed refresh for hours on end. Finally, in the wee hours of the morning, the page partially loaded for me and I was able to begin shopping. After several hours and what seemed like thousands of hits to the refresh button, my cart was filled and I was ready to checkout. But no.
I tried for about 5 hours to get past my cart page, and never even saw the NYX checkout page load. According to NYX's Twitter representative, "several hundred" people were able to make purchases. No, Really...
Now let's ignore the oddly placed apostrophes in those tweets and think about what this means. NYX has over 56,000 people following their Facebook page, so it's safe to assume most of those people knew about the sale. We'll never know how many emails were sent out, but NYX sure does- and it seems like a mighty big oversight to tell tens of thousands of people about a sale that you're only equipped to honor to several hundred people.
It's pure conjecture, but let's say "several hundred" means 500 people (I doubt it was much more than that or they would have said "almost a thousand"). Looking at the number of Facebook fans (at this moment, 56,398) That means less than 1% of their readership was able to participate in the sale. After asking my 1000+ Twitter followers if any were able to complete a sale, NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON stepped forward to say they had. I also notice thousands of comments on the NYX Facebook page; I only saw ONE that mentions a competed sale.
Believe it or not, I actually wasn't mad at all through all of the site crashes and slow loading. Once I got on to the site, I was pleased with how much was included in the sale and how little had sold out. Then I started reading the tactlessly worded responses NYX was sending out on Twitter, and, even worse, hearing accounts of horribly rude customer service interaction when frustrated customers called NYX. What finally set me off was when I realized, 15 minutes before the sale was scheduled to end, that NYX wasn't going to attempt to honor their offer for those of us that literally spent all day trying to give them our money. When the Twitter rep posted that the sale would be ending at noon and that any sales not completed by then would not be honored, it was basically like NYX had just looked me in the face and said "your time isn't worth anything to us, so fuck off and deal with it."
Now, in a career spanning over a decade managing retail cosmetics, I've planned events and promotions and I know how uncontrollable things like this can be. I've dealt with irate customers and know that the customer is not, in fact, always right. HOWEVER, I firmly believe that what sets companies apart is how they deal with things when things don't go as planned.
NYX has offered a 50% code as retribution for this mess, but in my opinion (which seems to jibe with the prevailing pubic opinion) this is not honoring the spirit of their advertised promotion.
During the sale, my 37-item cart subtotaled $44.40. After the sale ended the site was rebooted and the sale prices were cleared from the system, taking my cart up to $248.50. This means that my original savings was around 82%. To purchase the products in my cart, even after a 50% discount, would cost me almost three times as much . This is simply not acceptable.
I hate to go all "the truth is out there" with this one, but after seeing the company's response to this mess, I have to wonder if there isn't a little more to this fiasco than meets the eye. I find it unfathomable that NYX did not anticipate these issues, especially after a similar fate fell upon Sleek cosmetics last fall (the Sleek sale garnered a lot of attention, and I'm sure NYX was aware of the event). Yet where the Sleek response, botched as it has been, was to attempt to honor the original deal, NYX has made no such concession. It seems to me that NYX promoted a sale they had to know they might not have the resources to handle, only to offer a lesser retribution when the entire thing fell through. That, folks, is called "bait and switch" and it's illegal.
I feel I have been mislead, and I have filed a complaint for internet-related false advertising with the Federal Trade Commission, the California Attorney General, and the Better Business Bureau. I understand that many people feel like they've already contributed enough time to this- but really, how much time have you spent reading this & other posts, talking about it on Twitter, Facebook, etc...spend another 10 minutes & tell your story to someone who may be able to make a difference! For reference, here's NYX's info (you'll need it to complete the forms):
2230 S. Tubeway Ave
Commerce, CA 90040
If you're stumped about what to say, contact me (there's a button for that up at the right hand corner of the page) & I'll forward you a copy of my letter to use as a template for your own!
I sincerely hope NYX reconsiders it's current course of actions swiftly and somehow finds a way to honor the $1.20 price for those of us who spent hours of our valuable time trying to patronize them. I will not be using the 50% code, and if this situation is not rectified, NYX has lost at least one customer.