Sleek Makeup: A Story of Failure

If you don’t like rant posts, just keep moving. I do my best to counter every negative with a positive and not bash anything, but sometimes there’s just nothing good to say. This is one of those times. Sorry, Thumper.

You might remember my post from a few weeks ago about Sleek’s 50% off customer appreciation sale. Like thousands of other people, I tried to place my order when the sale went live. The site was incredibly sluggish and kept randomly emptying people’s carts, so Sleek extended the sale an extra day. I managed to get my cart filled and started to check out, but of course the credit card system timed out. Since I didn’t get a confirmation email, I assumed this meant the order didn’t go through. I filled my cart again and checked out, this time I got a confirmation email. All this was on November 11.

Now fast forward a few days. I log into Sleek’s site to see that my order has been duplicated! Apparently this happened to a lot of people, and it’s not clear whether the duplicate order was the result of my first order going through or some glitch in the system. Whatever. I email their customer service and ask them to cancel one of the orders. Someone responds that one of the orders will be canceled and my account will be charged when the items ship. I go on my merry way.

November 19 I see that my duplicate order has not been canceled, my actual order has not shipped, and my account has not been charged. This is when I start hearing that the item I wanted most (the Bad Girl palette) sold out long before they actually marked it sold out on the website. So Sleek let me order an item they didn’t have. And Sleek’s solution is to just mail people’s packages minus the out of stock items and pretend nothing is wrong. I’ve heard from one girl who was sent a partial order but charged the full amount. Say what?

An ancient (ca. 2006) picture that shows how I feel at this point.

November 25 I contact Sleek to say I would like both orders canceled since it’s been two weeks with no progress. Of course I don’t get a response. Then I get a blanket email saying that my order has been processed, except it doesn’t say which one, the website doesn’t show my order has been processed, and my account hasn’t been charged. Now I’m getting angry. I emailed them again on November 30 saying to cancel both orders. Again, no response.

So here we are, three weeks after I ordered and I have NO IDEA if I’m going to be charged, how much I’m going to be charged, or which items Sleek might choose to send! I understand that it was a big event and that they were overwhelmed, but this is absolutely ridiculous. I paid extortionate international shipping charges ($13.50, other UK sites charge half as much) only to have them botch everything possible and potentially send only some of the items I ordered. I guess this is what limbo feels like.

No, not that kind of limbo!

This kind of limbo!

Sleek, this is a piss poor way of thanking your customers. In fact it’s probably the worst way possible, since now I no longer plan to be a Sleek customer at all.

Share your experiences with Sleek during this sale in the comments!


39 Responses to Sleek Makeup: A Story of Failure

  1. Janny December 2, 2010 at 12.17 am #

    That sounds about right. I tried once and my payment didn’t go through. I decided the makeup wasn’t worth the potential hassle. I emailed them about the error but never got a response. Good luck with sleek =(

    • Katie December 2, 2010 at 1.33 am #

      I wish I had made the same decision!

  2. evo December 2, 2010 at 12.53 am #

    i did manage to make an order that day and the only emails i got were the glitchy emails that were sent on the 18th. i’ve sent at least 3 emails plus one direct from the website and i still have not hear back from them yet.. i don’t know if my order has gone through (even though it was received on the website) and nothing has been charged on their credit card.

    what i don’t understand is why don’t they answer their emails but yet they respond to people on facebook (which i just found out) and twitter (which i don’t know)

    i really wanted to try their products but their lack of communication makes me not want to be a customer of theirs again!

    • Katie December 2, 2010 at 1.32 am #

      I didn’t know about Facebook… I looked at the page earlier and didn’t see them answering questions but maybe I’m blind?

      They tweeted the other day that they won’t be answering questions via Twitter anymore, and since then they’ve been silent. I tweeted them a link to this post :D

      • evo December 2, 2010 at 11.08 am #

        it’s really bad customer service if you have to go online a social networking site and getting an answer instead of replying to emails.

        they are replying to questions on comments regarding their note on this fiasco. i received an answer a few hours ago…….after dragging their butts 3 weeks, my order was no good. i’m not sure if i’ll be taking up their offer and of a future 50% off sale they’ll have (and will staggar the codes).

        this is pretty bad customer service.

        • Katie December 3, 2010 at 1.51 pm #

          It IS really bad customer service. I also got an answer regarding my order. They still claim it has been shipped (although my account hasn’t been charged) and finally confirmed that one of the orders was canceled. I told them that I asked them 3x in a week to cancel both orders and they said to refuse delivery if it ever arrives.

  3. Leticia - Cosmetics Aficionado December 2, 2010 at 2.11 am #

    OMG that is awful. I heard about all this stuff, and thought they finally resolved everything for everyone.

    • Katie December 3, 2010 at 1.51 pm #

      No, I think it’s going to be quite a while! Especially considering all the international orders that can take 2-4 weeks to arrive.

  4. Tina December 2, 2010 at 2.29 am #

    I placed an order the same day as you did with the same result (timeout during payment). I went to the “my orders” page and cancelled the order. Then I gave it another try with the same result, but this time I didn’t cancel the order (which was marked pending). I then received an e-mail on Nov 18th that my order had been “accepted”. Since then, I’ve heard nothing.

    Since I a) only have 1 order and b) have a lot of patience, I didn’t really give this another thought until now.

    I really wonder what’s up? I do hope that Sleek doesn’t end up the same way Nixie did…

    • Katie December 3, 2010 at 1.52 pm #

      I think that the info on their website is all wrong… which kind of defeats the purpose of having a “My Orders” section, y’know?

  5. Modesty Brown December 2, 2010 at 4.19 am #

    I’m so sorry to hear of your experience. It’s terrible that they haven’t responded to your queries. I suspected they are being inundated with similar messages of complaint. I confess I didn’t even consider placing an order. I could see all the comments on twitter and was aware that there had been issues with previous offers. I also think their shipping charges are really naughty. Especially considering that they are very popular overseas. I really hope you find out what’s going on soon.
    MB x

    • Katie December 3, 2010 at 1.53 pm #

      I agree, they probably are being buried by the number of requests for info. I guess what really bothers me is that they are still all over facebook and even had the balls to send me a promo email for their new palette. Like hell I’m going to buy from them again!

  6. WelshBeautyBlog December 2, 2010 at 6.35 am #

    I’m losing patience with Sleek, after defending them through the sale and the negative comments they were receiving, but as time goes by I am starting to think a lot of this they brought on themselves.
    I manged to place my order with minimal problems. It took a little while but it went through with no issues or errors and my payments went through too.
    I received emails confirming my order and then a further email recently confirming despatch of my order. Included in my order was a bad girl palette. Customers were informed that all order numbers prior to 8900 were guaranteed to receive a bad girl palette, after that they were out of stock.
    I was charged for everything in my order including the bad girl palette and as I said, they confirmed it’s dispatch.
    Imagine my surprise then when my order arrives minus a bad girl palette, yet the money has been taken for it.
    I contacted them straight away via email, twitter and facebook….this all started about 10 days ago and i’m still being ignored….not even so much as a ‘we’re looking in to it’
    They aren’t even acknowledging my query. I know it £3.99 and it’s not a lot of money at all, but it’s the principle. They have taken my money and not provided the item I paid for, despite telling me it would be here and now can’t even answer my query.
    It’s such a poor show from Sleek, and I can’t say I’d ever buy from them or blog about them again xx

    • Katie December 3, 2010 at 1.55 pm #

      This is exactly the sort of problem I’m talking about!! I suggest contacting your bank or credit card company to initiate a chargeback. You’re right, it’s not about the money, it’s about the principle of abusing the trust people put in you when they give you their payment details.

  7. Tina December 2, 2010 at 7.30 am #

    Just checked the Facebook page, posted a question about my order and received an answer within an acceptable time frame. Unfortunately my order hasn’t gone through. Well, I can only hope to receive one of the 50% codes they will send out in a couple of weeks, but the Bad Girl palette is gone… :-(

    • Katie December 3, 2010 at 1.55 pm #

      Thank you for this suggestion! I hope you get the palette :)

  8. MsWedgie December 2, 2010 at 7.50 am #

    I’ve gotta be honest…I really couldn’t be arsed with their mega sale because the website was so unstable and kept on crashing that I lost the will to live in the end and gave up trying to order!! The similar Models Own sale a few months ago was a bit of a nightmare but they shipped everything out really quickly and when my order went through twice I was refunded within 24 hours!! Booo hiss to Sleek…they really should have thought it through a bit more first!

    • Katie December 3, 2010 at 1.56 pm #

      Agree… things were planned and handled badly across the board.

  9. LondonMUgirl December 2, 2010 at 12.11 pm #

    This was REALLY badly handled by Sleek. The Twitter account debacle (We’ve worked so hard, we all deserve PIZZA!) was bad, but then charging and not sending items, ugh.

    If you still want a Bad Girl and you didn’t get one, give me a shout, I’ll see if I can still get hold of one for you.

    • Katie December 3, 2010 at 1.56 pm #

      Ha, I forgot about the pizza incident! Thank you for the offer, but at this point I don’t want to use or feature any more Sleek products. It’s so kind though. Let me know if you need anything from the US!

  10. SkellyBones December 3, 2010 at 7.53 am #

    Yeah my order got duplicated but when I got an email asking for me to pay manually by email I only paid for one and am ignoring the other one. It’s been about 3 weeks now and I still haven’t head anything, but I commented on a post on their facebook page with my order number, and a member of their team checked and told me my order was successful and either has been dispatched or will be in the next few days.

    Now I’m just waiting for the package, but with the snow it’s taking even longer to get here. On top of that I’m worried my package might get lost. I wish Sleek gave us the ability to track our order ): xxx

    • Katie December 3, 2010 at 1.57 pm #

      I hope you get all the items you ordered!

  11. SiSi December 3, 2010 at 11.55 pm #

    Oh gosh, I HATE horrible experiences like that. I’m sorry you had to go through one of them, hopefully they will make it up to you … some how.

    I’ve actually never used any of their stuff before.

    • Katie December 4, 2010 at 9.20 pm #

      I highly doubt they’ll make it up to me or any of the other people who were treated poorly. They seem to think that there’s nothing wrong and we’re just being picky/inconveniencing them with our petty needs.

  12. Ann December 4, 2010 at 8.13 pm #

    Over the last 3 weeks I have received the following information either via email or the facebook page from Sleek: Your order was successful, your order was unsucessful, your order was successful and finally a few days ago…your order was unsuccessful.

    Guess what showed up in the mail today????? The order that they told me in the end was unsucessful. Don’t even ask me if I was charged for it because I am not even sure yet. This is pretty scary!!!

    • Katie December 4, 2010 at 9.19 pm #

      This is sort of what I got, except it’s been a mix of “your order has been dispatched” and “your order will be dispatched soon” — WHICH IS IT?

      I think it’s safe to say that Sleek has lost of lot of fans this month.

  13. ChrissyDee December 9, 2010 at 8.57 pm #

    I placed my order on the 12th and it all went through relatively easily. I only had to refill my basket once. I didn’t receive a confirmation email and bells started to ring. Then I started getting nervous when I’d checked my bank account and saw I hadn’t yet been charged. I went ahead and emailed Sleek, knowing it might take a few days for them to get back to me – cool with me. A week and a half later – nothing. They did change my order status to “received” though.

    Out goes another email. A few days later, still haven’t heard anything…I start to ask questions on Twitter after hearing about another blogger who says Sleek deleted her emails without reading them! I was of course, ignored while other people had their questions answered. I move on to Facebook where I’m told to email the infamous Saif. I do so and get nothing back.

    I put “4th Email now” in the subject line, told them I’d really appreciate a response this time and actually get a response the next day telling me my order is “fine” and it would be dispatched “this week” – this was 2 weeks ago. I’ve had sweet feck all since then. Not an email, not a package. That email from Saif was actually the only contact I had from Sleek at all apart from the brief “go email Saif” responses on Facebook.

    I then asked on Facebook if I could pick up the order in person from their warehouse as it isn’t too far from where I work…I was asked to email Saif again and that was a couple days ago. So yeah….I’m pretty much expecting them to tell me that after a month of waiting, my order was unsuccessful. What’s pissed me off the most is there are swap items in that order that I could’ve just gone out and bought and shipped out 3 weeks ago.

    I don’t think this has annoyed me enough to stop me from using Sleek. Not yet. We’ll see how it goes. I certainly won’t be singing praises though.

    • Katie December 10, 2010 at 12.10 am #

      I already sold all of my Sleek in my blog sale, it’ll be a cold day in hell before I use or promote another Sleek product. I have now been told 3 completely different stories in varying order: your order was canceled, your order has been shipped, and your order will be shipped soon. I checked my bank account today and saw that just YESTERDAY Sleek charged me for the order. Debating whether I should file a chargeback or just refuse delivery. Livid!!

      How do you know emails were being deleted?

      • ChrissyDee December 10, 2010 at 3.59 am #

        It’s just absolute mayhem. I can’t believe how BADLY they’ve handled all this too! Especially when I’m seeing people whose orders were placed after mine post that they’ve received their goods. It’s just not on. I’ve never had to wait this long for a delivery or even an email…and Sleek is in the same damn city as me.

        I’d just issue a chargeback. Get your money back asap. It’s not on at all.

        Tweeted you back about the emails. I believe @The_BeautyScoop said her delivery notification said that the emails were deleted without being read. Shows how much respect they have for their customers. Not just customers – FANS.

        • Katie December 10, 2010 at 4.18 am #

          I think the really offensive part is that they haven’t even apologized for the terrible service. Throughout the entire ordeal it feels as though they are inconvenienced by my order… they wish they could just get on with their pizza parties and whatnot. And how dare I expect communication and timely delivery?! I can’t begin to forgive until they acknowledge that they made a mistake, you know?

  14. Tamara December 11, 2010 at 6.22 am #

    I went through the same damn hassle as everyone did.. I wanted to order for two days when the side was acting all weird and glitchy. After it emptied my card for the 30th time, the order finally went through!

    Anyway after two weeks I got an email with instructions on how to pay via paypal. So I paid and the next day I got an ‘order accepted’ email.
    So far so good. And then after two weeks more and 2 ignored emails I decided to try and write to them via facebook where they responded with ‘email Saif’. Okay.. did that and he said that my order was not accepted and that my money has been refunded!
    WTF.. I checked on my paypal and of course, I didn’t get the money back.
    The guy didn’t reply and they ignored me on FB. So I decided to report them to paypal. And guess what?
    Today (after 1 day) I got a reply (via pp) that my order will be dispatched on Monday. No shit, eh?!
    Well I hope that’s correct, because there’s no way in hell I’m going to leave them with MY money.
    It’s not a lot of money (less than 23€) but it’s my hard earned money and it’s also about the principle.

    I’m going to write about their products on my blog, but I will also include my experience with their customer service.

    • Katie December 18, 2010 at 1.30 pm #

      Did you receive your items yet? If not, go through Paypal and they’ll get your money back within a few days. They’re really good about that.

  15. Krystal Leigh December 16, 2010 at 5.34 pm #

    Great post. Sorry for your hassles. Never tried Sleek and now I don’t plan on it.

    • Katie December 18, 2010 at 1.30 pm #

      I hope they realize this!! They are seriously losing customers over something as simple as an apology and a refund. I’m gonna get my money back no matter what, but if they’d made it easier I might not be so angry about the situation.

  16. denelian December 18, 2010 at 5.18 am #

    hey – i never post comments…

    but i have to know – is this getting any better? i still have nothing…

    i refuse to spend my time begging for attention on facebook – but i’m seriously about to just do a chargeback the eff them!

    • Katie December 18, 2010 at 1.29 pm #

      You should post more comments, I love reading them!

      It kind of got better but not really. I got my package yesterday except they substituted the sparkle palette for the bad girl palette without asking me. I didn’t refuse delivery because I have multiple UK packages coming my way and since this one didn’t say Sleek anywhere I didn’t know that’s what it was. I’m going to try to take it to the post office on Monday and return to sender anyway. I also emailed Sleek yesterday to say they have until Monday to answer or I’ll be filing a chargeback and opening fraud proceedings.

      • denelian December 18, 2010 at 8.02 pm #

        i’m new to the whole makeup blogging thing – and i feel kind of weird about it – because i got into it 4 months ago [after years of no makeup, or minimal] because i became very disabled; makeup is the one creative thing i can do without lots of pain. but i’m still sort of… shy? something.

        anyway – the stuff that i ordered wasn’t for me, it was for my 14 y o niece. that’s why i’m so bothered by it – she doesn’t come into a lot of money, and… yeah.
        apparantly, for whatever stupid reason, it was sent to me signature required. !!! and of course the PO never bothers to KNOCK – they just leave me a stupid slip.

        but, in theory, i’ll get it monday – so i’ll stop stressing that they stole my niece’s money. she doesn’t want to chargeback, she wants it [even knowing she probably won't have the bad girl palette - the one thing she wanted most].

        she’s 14 – what can you do? :) but *I* am never ordering anything from them again! this was insane…

        thanks :)

  17. Denise February 14, 2011 at 6.22 am #

    exactly how I felt!!! LOL it’s so ridiculous I didn’t even know if I was going to be charged, I just waited and waited and nothing happened..! it all got resolved when they told us to e-mail them with our order numbers and they would know that we still wanted the products and that they would respond back with a confirmation saying our order had gone through.. but when that time came, I didn’t wanna e-mail them anymore and I didn’t want to order. ahh they made me so pissed, really they did and I decided to not buy anything from them again or even bother….

    but their products are so nice so I now own a Sleek palette and possibly other things, soon. Just not from their website because I hate having to give them my credit card..!! :)))

    good rant, though!!!! :)


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