Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why I dislike Ulta, and won't go back

So after months of dealing with our troublesome relationship, I've decided to end things with Ulta.  We've been quite close over the past year.  So close that my last rewards certificate was a level 8.  However, poor customer service, virtually never-stocked shelves, and too many restrictions on their "deals" have tried my patience for the last time... and I'm here to declare that we're over for good.  You're all my witnesses!

The employees at my local store are cordial and polite, for the most part, but have been largely unhelpful.  I often have to wait (with no line and 4 empty registers) to be rung up, asking employees where products are located is fruitless, and I've encountered plenty of rude cashiers that make me uncomfortable going there.  I've tried to use the coupons they send me, but there are so many restrictions that it's virtually impossible to buy anything using them, and I've been barked at by employees that they're not applicable.

All of this pales in comparison to the biggest complaint I have had consistently over the past year: shelves that are never stocked.  I cannot tell you how many times I went to Ulta looking for specific items, only to find that they're completely out of stock.  I used to go back over and over, still looking for those items, only to find that they're never stocked.  Just empty, empty shelves.  I have to constantly resort to ordering online, where I then have to pay for shipping, without an opportunity to test products and make sure I know what I'm buying.  I once asked a manager if they had any brush cleaning spray besides the 36 dollar jug they had sitting on a lone dirty shelf.  He proceeded to march all over the store, despite my telling him I'd already looked there, announcing that he didn't believe me.  When I ask when  items will be in stock again, employees reply with, "I don't know.  We don't know what we're getting."

Recently, I stopped receiving mail from Ulta.  Not only did mail circulars stop, but so did email promotions.  And I'm not the only one.  After multiple phone calls and a post on their Facebook page, I finally got a letter explaining that they received my circulars returned undeliverable (an error entirely their own, as many people are complaining about this issue on their Facebook page), and it will take 2 months to remedy the situation and get my mailings again.  There was no explanation why the emails stopped, and conveniently I did not get my rewards certificate this quarter.  They did finally send me that (level 6), so I'm planning one last trip to redeem my reward, then we are done.

Update: Nearly a month after the debacle started and I tried to get my coupons back, I've still yet to receive an email from Ulta.  I've signed up over and over again, but to no avail.  Unfortunately, I got an Ulta gift certificate for Christmas so I went to spend it quickly.  I wanted to get some Benefit blush, but all they had in stock was one box of "10" and two "Coralista".  That's it... the rest were empty and the testers were disgusting.  Two employees were chatting near the area, neither offered help.  I grabbed the very last bottle of the shampoo I was looking for and some "They're Real" mascara, and booked it out of there.  I do not plan to return.

Have any of you had problems with Ulta's poor customer service?  Let me know in the comments, please, so I know I'm not the only one!