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?