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Sephora slammed for denying trans woman service over 'masculine' voice

A Sephora customer alleged that her identity as a trans woman was questioned after she sought help from a customer service helpline executive
UPDATED JUL 13, 2021
A Sephora service rep questioned the identity of a trans woman and tried to refuse service to her  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
A Sephora service rep questioned the identity of a trans woman and tried to refuse service to her (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A trans woman from Maryland has slammed Sephora for questioning her identity after she called its customer service helpline. The woman identified as Dana, who uses the pronouns she/they, took to Twitter to share her unpleasant experience with the personal care and beauty products company’s representative after finding her order had some missing items.

Dana said when she called Sephora’s customer service helpline, she was asked to provide her name and when she answered, the representative responded saying, “YOUR name is Dana?” The trans woman, who goes by @hypersonicorn on Twitter, wrote in one of her tweets, “Then I told her my problem, that the order I just received was missing items.” But instead of resolving the issue, the representative was more concerned about her deep voice. “After that she said the account owner is listed as female and to protect the account owner she could not help me with my request. Srsly thought she was about to hangup on me at this point. I told her that I'm female, I'm transgender and yes I know I have a deep voice,” she tweeted.


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Dana then revealed that the representative apologized, but hung up on her after saying, “Have a nice day sir”. In her tweets, she stated: “WTF!! I'm so mad. I'm not sure if I will ever shop there again. There has to be another beauty company that is actually trans inclusive and not just pandering for our money. Retail accounts like this shouldn't even have gender. If you want to target advertise to me then just use my order history,  that is way more effective anyways I can't even see on my account where my gender is. Did you just assume based on my name? Which is gender neutral btw.”




“Also if you're refusing to help me (for security reasons) because you assumed my gender based on my voice and it doesn't match what you got on your screen, then congratulations your security can be defeated by half of humanity,” Dana added. In her later tweet, she said that Sephora reached out to her by sending a message that read, “We're so sorry to hear about your experience. Please DM us with your registered email address and the details, so we can learn more and properly investigate this.”



She also tweeted that Sephora was able to identify that representative. She tweeted, “For those who are interested. I did message with a Sephora rep. They were able to identify the employee that ‘helped’ me and said their supervisor would coach them on the issue. My expectations for that are low. I also asked about just removing gender from profiles they essentially said they would take it under consideration and have been asked about that before. Honestly that is probably the most a person at that level could do. But it does leave much to be desired.”




Meanwhile, other people on Twitter also expressed their views on the whole scenario while criticizing Sephora. One user wrote, “I'm wondering just why in the blue hell should it even matter to any company if someone is male or female. This is so beyond unacceptable.” Another one said, “This is the thing. I cannot understand why they think people would lie about this. If you were a criminal, you'd just get someone with a more feminine voice to make the call for you.” “I'm so sorry. Similarly, I had heard @Sephora was supposedly trans friendly only to be humiliated, misgendered even after correcting them, and getting the coldest customer service I've ever received in my life during my first visit. They're inclusion is all performative BS,” the third user added.

Calling out the insensitive behavior, one trolled the store saying: "PRIDE Month is well and truely over, isn't ? Don't worry, they'll be Trans-friendly again, (when it's good for their image), next June.(sic)"