A Rant About Sigma

13.8.14


If you've been reading my blog from day one, you would know that I am a huge fan of Sigma brushes and have recommended them to you, my readers. I have been using Sigma brushes for a couple years now, and I always thought Sigma was a really good company in many different ways. Yet a recent experience with the company has made me question its values and for how much longer I should extend my loyalty to the brand. As I have advocated these brushes to you, I feel you have the right to know what happened. Some of you may think I'm overreacting. And that's fine - that may be the case. However, I am a person of principle and that is why I feel so strongly about this situation.

So, let's start at the beginning... I purchased my first ever Sigma F88 Angled Kabuki brush a little more than a year ago from authorised Australian retailer Redefining Beauty. Within a year of use, the brush began to shed whenever I applied my foundation and washed the brush. I'm not just talking about one or two hairs here and there; I'm talking about a clump of bristles that were actually clogging my drain. Additionally, a piece of string came out of the ferrule!!! I did not use this particular brush every day, so its use was quite limited and I did not expect this issue to occur at all let alone in such a short space of time.

Now, as disappointed as I am/was in this happening, I was going to let it go because I understand that faults happen in the manufacturing process and that's something I can forgive. But a few weeks ago, Sigma posted a photo of their kabuki range on Instagram. And as I saw other people comment that they had similar issues with these brushes, I too decided that I would question why this issue occurs. I briefly stated my problem and queried if Sigma had any thoughts on it. The next day, I noticed that my comment had been deleted while others were encouraged to email Sigma. I then added this comment:
Wow, you deleted my comment. Sorry for telling you what you didn't want to hear (which is the truth). Clearly good customer service isn't part of your company's values. You've just lost a customer.
This comment didn't get deleted. But Sigma still didn't endeavour to resolve the problem. I got no response. So, I proceeded to email Sigma, explaining my brush and Instagram issues. They responded and forwarded on my email to Redefining Beauty:
Hello,
Thank you for contacting Sigma. I apologize for the way this issue was handled. Sigma is committed to providing quality and innovation with our product. Sigma strives to stay on the cutting edge of beauty by implementing new designs to provide the highest quality products for our customers.
I have included our recommendation to extend the longevity of our brushes below. Since the purchase was made with our Authorized Retailer, I am unable to look further into the issue. I apologize for any inconvenience, and I appreciate you informing Sigma of the issue and how it was handled.
Using an alcohol based cleanser (MAC Brush Cleanser) will make the bristles brittle and susceptible to breaking. This would cause the shedding you see.
Sigma recommend cleansing brushes with a mild baby shampoo because it is gentle on the natural bristles and keeps them from breaking. Sigma also recommends gently moving the brush back and forth against your hand or paper towel. Any pressure to the brush upon a flat surface will bend the bristles and pull them from the ferrule.
You can our How To: Deep Cleaning your Makeup Brushes Guide by following the link below. If you have any other questions or concerns, please let me know. http://www.sigmabeautytalk.com/2014/03/12/how-to-deep-cleaning-your-makeup-brushes/ 
Again,  thank you for your feedback, please let me know if you have any further questions.
 Best Regards,
Stephanie Flores 
Firstly, Sigma is missing the point - my complaint was more about how the issue was handled on Instagram rather than about the issue itself. Secondly, is it just me, or does the latter part sound like Sigma is blaming the customer for the issue rather than taking responsibility for it? Thirdly, aren't the kabuki brushes made of synthetic bristles? And fourth, talk about trying to get another sale on their spa glove.

I replied, stating that I was not satisfied with this response and that I believe this is a fault in the manufacturing of the brush. Meanwhile, Redefining Beauty got back to me - apologised, acknowledged this is a manufacturing issue, and offered to resolve the issue by replacing my brush. My intention for complaining was never to get a free brush or refund. But I'm certainly not disappointed with the outcome because it's the right thing to do on the company's part.

Additionally, Sigma then got back to me saying that it would look further into this issue for me even though it originally said it couldn't because I didn't actually purchase the product from Sigma. Talk about confusing!

Further, upon receiving my replacement F88, I noticed that the brush is smaller than the Sigma's previous ones. It is slightly taller and slimmer, and the brush itself is smaller. And Sigma is now charging $24 for it. Ridiculous!
Left: Old F88, Right: New F88

I've decided that I won't be purchasing from Sigma again because of the way my original complaint was handled. Sigma didn't reassure me that I'm a valued customer. It made me feel unappreciated and disrespected. It made me feel like I was to blame for this issue when I don't believe it was my fault because I do wash my brushes with baby shampoo and am ever so gentle when cleaning them.

Again, you may be thinking this is an overreaction. But I feel that this wasn't a good customer experience overall and I'd rather spend my money where I feel appreciated as a customer. My main message to my readers is: if you ever have an issue with a company, whether that be Sigma or not, don't be afraid to email them because you've paid good money and you have every right to query why an issue has occurred.

Again, I feel that I needed to share this with you because I have recommended Sigma/this brush to you and I now feel that I have misinformed you. Have you experienced a similar incident with Sigma or another company? Share in the comments below.