If I ever shop at ULTA again, please shoot me. I normally spend about $200 to $250 per quarter. That is a total of $800 to $1000 per year. But today is the final straw. I purchased the Mally shadow sticks online. The description indicates 5 different colors. But instead, I received 4 colors with a double of one of the shadows for the 5th shadow. I would not have minded if the double was of a brown shade, but it was ‘camo’, short for camouflage – a green shade. So, this morning, I try to return it to my local ULTA. I bring the paperwork, shipped with the product. But, that isn’t enough. They want a copy of my email order confirmation. Now, how would anyone suspect that there isn’t sufficient information on the paperwork that comes with the shipment? It is at Sephora. Why not ULTA? So, I give them my ‘club rewards card’ to look up the item. But apparently, they cannot look up the item using my club card. The store manager’s response is that if they sold the item in the store, there would be no problem. But since they don’t sell the Mally product line at that location, they cannot take the item back without the order confirmation email. Now whoever has heard of a system like this? They should be able to look up my order online, or to find the item on my account using my ‘rewards card’, or they should supply sufficient info on the packing paperwork. But no! All of these common solutions are not available to ULTA employees.
So, my rave continues. I called up the Las Vegas, ‘Best of the West’ store to ask if one of the manufacturer’s reps was available. Their response was – we don’t know when the manufacturer’s reps will be in the store. How can anyone run a store when you don’t know who is arriving? There should be a schedule of when reps will be present daily. How can you tell a prospective customer that they don’t know when the rep will be present? If I wanted to make an appt with one of these reps, how could I? What a terrible way to run a business, not very professional.
And finally, ULTA has the most ridiculous rules on how to use the $3.50 coupon. The coupon can only be used on drug store items. Hasn’t the ULTA upper mgmt. realized that $3.50 on what they refer to as ‘prestige’ items will result in higher sales and higher profit? How stupid can they be? At least they have improved their ‘beauty rewards’ program. Previously, points were awarded. These points can be used for predetermined products - for the most part, product that you don’t want. And the points expire so that they cannot be used after the expiration date. They cannot be accumulated. The program has been changed to allow one to use the points/rewards for purchases of any items. It’s about time. But I haven’t seen the regulations of the new program and knowing how ULTA operates, I’m sure they will impose some ridiculous regulation that makes the reward impossible to use. But I’m done. I will return my product and no longer purchase anything from ULTA again. Give me Sephora any day. They have great customer service and treat their clients with respect.
I only gave a review of 1 because I could not leave a rating of 0.
I live near one Ulta, Henrietta location... And work next to the other, Webster location. So I've spent plenty of money between the two in the past two yrs trust me. The Webster location is chock full of older employees that may have experience w makeup but always seem very very snobby or don't know anything at all. I appreciate good makeup advice on products I don't usually use as I just started purchasing high end ab a year ago. ( I have a good mix of both high and low end prod). I always feel like I'm bothering them when I come in. The Henrietta loc is so much better to the point that I've told the manager twice. The girls are always helpful. They are younger and jut plan off more cheerful. They also rec a high and a low end option and are happy to do so if I ask. My biggest complaint w the hen and sometimes even the Webster loc are that they are usually never in stock of the NYX prod that are very popular. High end pay off low end price, so why not stock it better??!! The other day I went in and it looked like a tornado literally hit every shelf. Literally!! Sad! The return policy is stellar as long as u return within 60 days. They can find ur receipt too. Overall. I head to the Hen loc most often I just dread that they never have what u need sometimes. :(.
I'm going to try to keep this brief. This is for both locations that I have visited.
Customer Service Fails:
-Treating me like a criminal because I tried to use a coupon from my phone, not printed.
-Treating me like a criminal for trying to return an item, with receipt, in a reasonable amount of time. Seriously, I am a grown woman in my 30's, and do not appreciate their attitudes at all.
-Continuing to push products on me when I am clearly working off a list and politely, smilingly, asking to be left alone. On its own this wouldn't bother me, I know it's their job.
-Refusing me my GWP, then stating they don't have any. If you didn't have it, why did you say at first that you wouldn't give it to me?
-Constantly being out of stock on 7/10 items (avg.) I'm looking for.
-Carrying a few brands that I'd otherwise have to get online
-Mixing drugstore w/mid-range in one location.
Terrible place to shop; in store and online. When I go in one of two things happen. I'm ignored or bombarded with questions. On top of this I'm 18 and treated like a thief when I spend hundreds of dollars here! The first time I was refused my free gift with purchase, when I qualified for 2 of them from different brands. She didn't bother checking in the back and she flipped through the current ad without even caring. I could clearly see it. Snotty attitude. Secondly I spent at least 250 during one period for point redemption and my flyer did not include any coupons. I emailed and they didn't understand me, and said it was my fault for not "using them in time" which is not what I even complained about. So they resend a voucher for 3 rewards points, which should of been 5 but whatever. I go to redeem them in store with the voucher they sent, and the associates act like they think Im lying and just printed out this paper. They say they can honor 1 dollar off for each point because they didn't know what they were doing. Also they had no wifi in store so I couldn't pull up my coupon on my phone, and they couldn't honor it I suppose, so I just left very upset being treated like a clueless liar. :--/ I hate this store, truly, the online experience is a joke, prices are better at drug stores lol. No thanks
Agree with previous post -- ULTA always seems to be out of stock in what I am looking for. I have sometimes even gone in 3 times during a 2 week span and the item is still not in stock, despite having had their weekly shipment. I also hate that the coupons now cover fewer and fewer items.
EVERY time I go into Ulta for something, they are out of stock. And I mean EVERY time. It doesn't matter what it is, they are out. How is it possible that the store is full of so much stuff but are ALWAYS out of what I need? Sometimes I have to go in 3 or 4 times before I find what I'm looking for. An employee said to me the other day, "geez, you're always in here." That's because I have I come in a zillion times before I find what I'm looking for. I'm a medium skin tone, and the medium shade of everything in the store is perpetually out of stock. if medium is the most common shade, just stock a few more mediums. sheesh! The only reason I keep going is it is close to my house otherwise I wouldn't bother. If they actually had better stock, and if the salespeople had better knowledge of the products, it would be fabulous. Such a shame.
by far the best store i have ever been to. i love ulta
The closest Ulta to my house is a 2 hr train ride away. I don't shop there often. I like how I can find high-end and drug store cosmetics in the same place. The sales associates aren't eager to help if you can't find something. I was looking all over the store for a facial brush but couldn't find it and no one come up to me to offer help. The cashier was super nice. My Google coupon wouldn't load on my phone but she asked me which coupon it was and gave me the discount. I don't know big the other Ulta stores are, but I feel the one in Queens is not that big. It is the same size as an average Sephora. But since Ulta carries both high end and low end stuff and Sephora only has high end, I was expecting the store to be twice the size of Sephora. If they would open a store closer to me I would shop there more often. 2 hr train ride is too long.
I absolutely love Ulta stores. I probably go 5-6 times a month to shop and I never buy any of my beauty products anywhere else. Ulta is like my 'happy place' besides my home.
Reasons why I love it:
-Their rewards program is the best! You earn cash off and continue to build up how many dollars you get off as you earn points. Plus they very often have double points or triple points earning opportunities, sometimes for a whole month. And you don't have to earn some ridiculous amount before you start using your points, either.
-They always have a coupon going; you can pretty much always find a $3.50 off $10 purchase one but they also do 20% off whole purchase and $5 off $15 from time to time. And sometimes you can stack coupons.
-They have sales running all the time: usually buy one get one 50% off on these brands, or buy two get one free on such-and-such brands. And coupons and points can still be applied against sale items.
-They have everything. The store is divided up between the DS priced stuff and the high end stuff. I rarely go to the high end side but I can find everything I need in store, from toothpaste to mascara to blowdryers.
-Their return policy is ridiculously good. You can return any product, used or not, with a receipt within 60 days and they are not judgmental about it either. I don't buy new beauty products that I'm trying for the first time (or really, any beauty products) anywhere else because I know if I buy them at Ulta and don't end up liking them, I can take them back, no money lost.
-They have a varied selection of brands you've always known, new stuff, and little indie brands you've never heard of.
-The SA's are generally helpful and friendly. Some can be snobby but this doesn't happen nearly as frequently as it does as Sephora.
-They always have stuff marked for clearance. Not always great stuff but sometimes I can find an Essie or OPI polish at half price in clearance.
-The brow bar. I've only done it once but I liked the results. And you can get your brows done for free in your birthday month.
-Speaking of the birthday month, if you do the rewards program they send you birthday bucks - $10 off any purchase!
-The two (we recently got another) stores in my city are always clean and well organized. Sometimes what I'm looking for is out of stock; Ulta doesn't seem to carry a lot of reserve for some of the DS stuff. But I know what day they get their restock in so I know when to come back. That is the one not great thing about my Ulta store experiences but I go so often that having to go back is not usually a big deal.
I absolutely love Ulta and will always shop there for all my beauty needs. Once our city got one and I found out how great it was, I never went back to Sephora.
Online can be a different story - their regular shipping is pretty slow and sometimes the site has functionality problems - but the store is the best!
This review is for the online service. I am disappointed in Ulta. I made two makeup orders last week, one from Ulta & one from Sephora. I felt that everything about my Sephora order was superior. The products from Ulta were all put into the same little plastic bag that was tied on top and placed in the shipping box. There was no protective wrapping, like bubble wrap. In the past I have ordered shampoo & conditioner that had broken caps because all they did was tape the caps down instead of protecting them. Then for the free samples, I hate the way they don't give you much choice, and send you things you don't want. It isn't an exciting bonus to get three free samples that go straight into the trash. You get to choose from categories like skincare, cosmetics, or perfume, and then they select the samples in that category. I chose perfume, because I buy a lot of perfume & it's great to find what's new out there. I received the new Lady Gaga perfume, which isn't a bad thing to receive, just not anything I'm interested in; something awful that smelled like rubbing alcohol and urine from Jessica McClintock, which I would never consider selecting; and a men's cologne.... why? Just a terrible selection on their part. From Sephora I got to choose my own 3 free perfumes samples and I love all of them, plus they threw in a bonus hair product sample, plus I got to include a free sample of a Murad retinol product from their bonus page, and I could have used my beauty points to get one or two other products, but I decided to let them accumulate for a bigger prize since they never expire, unlike Ulta which expires in a year, so you have to pick whatever they have available even if you aren't excited about it. Lastly, I ordered from both stores on the same day and got my Sephora package 3 days sooner. I like that Ulta has sales like buy one get one 50% off of NYX, but I'll never order another full priced product from them again. I will always go to Sephora first.