Open Letter to MAC: You Done Me Wrong

mac riri summer launch

What Went Wrong?

So, hopefully from the above image you will read this realizing that while I have some complaints about how the launch went and my own personal experience with it, that at the end of the day I recognize it is just makeup and this is not a heavy handed slight at MAC. I am bothered enough that I wanted to share my frustration in hope that those of you who experienced the same (and from what I am reading I am far from alone) can share our mutual frustration and move on, and that hopefully the discussion will lead MAC and other companies into the right direction when it comes to online launches and sales. Let’s face it, MAC isn’t the only one who has had a rough launch or sale.

So, this is how I saw what happened. People were able to find products early, and were even able to make some orders the night before the official launch time. I wasn’t able to, but the next day less than an hour before the launch some people managed to again place orders and I did as well. I didn’t see it as an issue, because early orders have been happening on the MAC web site for years and have always been fulfilled.

Not so this time.

MAC swiftly went about cancelling the majority of the orders made before the official launch time. I was OK with this. I truly was. I simply reordered the items that had been cancelled, even though it took me a few hours to do so. This time the waiting room did not go as smoothly as the last launch. I kept getting gateway timeouts, and items would show up in my cart that I didn’t add. I was not the only one who experienced this (I am not linking to any sites, forums, blogs, etc. that mention this because I am not about to drag people into my blog post. However, if you want to see for yourself it is an easy Google search). I finally was able to place my reorders and thought all was right in my little MAC world. Oh how wrong I was!


I was checking my orders a few times per day, as I usually do when I still have that initial purchase excitement, and I noticed my most anticipated order (the one with the lustre drops) was cancelled. Ugh! I did call MAC, and they are escalating the issue. I was told I should not have been penalized for too many orders because of the cancelled pre-launch orders. I do not know the result of that yet, but when I do I will update this post.

Then I started hearing about backorders, and sure enough items I ordered started getting backordered. Backorders? How could they possibly have so many of them? Especially with all of the cancellation, surely they should have been able to fill all of their orders. So now I am disappointed, but at least hopeful since MAC’s CS was saying orders that were backordered would be fulfilled. So I wake up this morning and what do I see? More cancellations! At this point I have 1 RiRi Woo with a tracking number (I already own RiRi Woo, this will just be a backup), and 1 RiRi Boy and 1 Heaux on backorder. I am unsure if my backorders will be fulfilled, as some have already been cancelled and I continue to see others mentioning cancellations of backorders.

So what now?

Well, at this point I have my fingers crossed I will get the items still not cancelled, but I have no confidence at this point. I will surely update you if I get them, and how MAC chooses to resolve the improperly cancelled orders.

In my opinion, this is what went wrong with the launch and how I feel it should be addressed:

  • Early Access to Items – People who were able to order early should have gotten their items, or no one at all. Now, like I said I wasn’t mad that they were cancelled, but the thing some people have issue with is that some people still got their orders (I say hey, good for them! Wish I were that lucky). This came across as unfair to some, especially with MAC insisting that cancelling early orders was to make things fair for everyone. If I were MAC I would create a dummy site for testing this kind of thing out first.
  • Waiting Room – I am not sure why this was so slow this time around. I got all of my orders in last time in under an hour. This time? It took over 3! Perhaps adding extra servers just for launch day would have helped?
  • Unselected Items Being Added to Carts – This was a giant hassle, because it was next to impossible to get rid of the items without timing out. Also, a few times my cart had nothing but items I didn’t choose. Not a single thing I ordered had made it in.
  • Not Publicly Acknowledging and Apologizing – MAC has had more than enough time to address this on their Facebook page. I certainly hope they choose to do so, because a sincere apology really does go a long way.
  • Cancelling Properly Made Orders – This one I think is what is really angering people. I think everyone could accept the cancellation of early orders, but the cancellation of properly made orders is rough because items are now sold out that can’t be reordered, and resolution times are slow. It might be best in the future if MAC individually reviewed the orders before cancelling on such a large scale launch as this. Their system unfairly punished some long term customers (myself included), who may or may not get the resolution they want or deserve.

So that is my feelings about the situation in a very large nutshell. I am not going to participate in another online only launch until I see that things have improved. I am a never say never person, so I know if MAC improves their launches and how customer service handles errors I will give them another chance. I just hope I don’t have to wait too long.

Did you have any issues, or did you just sit back with a bowl of popcorn and watch it unfold?


  • Jacquelyn

    I too have had my early orders cancelled and I was a bit upset about it. When I placed my order on the lipsticks after 12:00, my order was cancelled. I even called CS about it yesterday about my orders and told me that it should not cancel but it did. I even called again about it today telling me that my info didn’t match and told me to reorder.

    • Leticia – Cosmetics Aficionado

      I just don’t get it. This just seems like such a cascade of mistakes on MAC’s part.

  • Brittney

    For such a large corporation I was shocked at the handling and execution for this launch. I think they should mimic Apple and take the site down a few hours before launch if they don’t want early orders.

    • Leticia – Cosmetics Aficionado


      MAC of all companies has experiences with launches, considering how many they do. They should have it down to a science by now lol.

  • Chantel

    Wow, sorry to hear about your issues with MAC this is really unfortunate.

    • Leticia – Cosmetics Aficionado

      Thanks. :( I really hope they fix this before the next waiting room launch.

  • Allison

    Kind of a shocking scenario because it’s not like MAC doesn’t have a huge database and lots of experience with mega-product launches. And compared with an Apple new product launch, this is small potatoes. They also should have had their PR folks out in front of this. So sorry. Hopefully, they’ll make good on this for you at some point. Fortunately, I don’t have the MAC love gene so I missed this.

    • Leticia – Cosmetics Aficionado

      I really hope they learn from this. This was above and beyond the normal bumps of a release.

  • Lexi

    I grew grey hairs from this launch!! It was ridiculous waiting hours on every device I own! They need to do an in store release or something. It’s frustrating when the stuff gets back ordered for the simple reason this launch has been in the works for MONTHS and is the main topic of discussion of their FB and twitter page. I agree with the horrible customer service. Almost everyone that ordered was frustrated… Poor part on MAC’s end.

    • Leticia – Cosmetics Aficionado

      I am really surprised by all the back orders.

  • MarciaF (beauty info zone)

    I didn’t bother once I started hearing complaints. I have a MAC order to place but I’m waiting. I don’t like that some people got to order early. Set a time and stick with it.

    • Leticia – Cosmetics Aficionado

      I think at this point it is safe to place an order.

      And yes, they need to stick to their guidelines 100%

  • gia

    i logged in promptly at 12noon and waited and refreshed. and refreshed. and refreshed. when i finally got to order it took an HOUR AND A HALF until it timed me out. for the hell of it i went to try again and finally got an order through for three times, that took about 45 minutes. i then thought about it and decided i wanted the blusher after all. say about half an hour and got it only to find out that they canceled my original order. so after wasting half the day, i got one item.

    • Leticia – Cosmetics Aficionado

      Damn :( That sucks.

  • Kim of A Very Sweet Blog

    i read this last night leticia and felt so bad for you doll. i didn’t participate in this collection. i knew there was off the chart interest for it, but there weren’t many pieces (just a couple of lipsticks and other things) so i didn’t think it could go wrong. i mean mac had the large collection of archie’s girls and it went well. mac needs to get their chit together. customers are leaving left and right because of these fiascos. i hope you get everything you want in the end. ((hug))

    • Leticia – Cosmetics Aficionado


      Yeah, it was a small collection, so what gives? lol

  • Mica

    Sorry to hear about your horrible experience! :(

    You would think, like others have said, that they would have had enough experience with launches by now to be better prepared! I’m starting to lose my patience frequently with online sites that give me issues ordering. It’s not like it’s new technology now, this is tried and tested and if I can’t easily order something I’ll just give-up and get it elsewhere!

    Hope you hear some kind of feedback from MAC.