Sephora Beauty Insider Settlement

Ruiqi Ye and Yolin Han v. Sephora USA, Inc.
United States District Court, Northern District of California, Case No: 3:14-cv-05237-EMC

Frequently Asked Questions

Following is a list of frequently asked questions about this settlement. To view the answer to a question, please click on the question from the list below. The answers to these questions will be updated periodically to reflect the current status of the settlement.

  1. What is this lawsuit about?

    On November 26, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against Sephora on behalf of themselves individually and a proposed class of thousands of Chinese/Asian customers, Lee, et al. v. Sephora USA, Inc., United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Case No. 3:14-cv-05237 (the “Action”). Plaintiffs contended that they and the proposed class had their accounts deactivated without notice, and that these deactivations amounted to discrimination against Chinese/Asian customers based on the belief that all Chinese/Asian customers abuse discount sales to resell products, The account deactivations occurred during Sephora’s largest online sale event of the year in November 2014.

    Sephora denies any liability or wrongdoing of any kind associated with the claims in the Action. The Court has not decided whether or not Plaintiffs’ claims have merit, or whether they would be entitled to pursue claims on behalf of others as a class action.

    After mediation and settlement conferences between the Plaintiffs and Sephora (the “Parties”), they reached this Settlement. This Settlement has been given preliminary approval by the Court, and Notice is being sent to all Class Members who now have the opportunity to receive a portion of the Settlement. By agreeing to resolve the lawsuit, all Parties avoid the risks and cost of a trial, and Authorized Claimants will receive compensation more quickly than if the matter continued to trial. Plaintiffs and their attorneys think the settlement is in the best interests of the Authorized Claimants.

  2. Who is included in the Settlement?

    You are included in the Settlement and defined as an Authorized Claimant if you were a Sephora customer who:

    1. had one or more Sephora “Beauty Insider” account(s) with VIB or VIB Rouge status as of November 4, 2014 that was associated with an email address from the domain @qq.com, @126.com, or @163.com;
    2. had your account(s) deactivated as a result of the computer code that Sephora implemented on or about November 6, 2014;
    3. attempted to but were unable to make a purchase at www.sephora.com using your “Beauty Insider” account(s) at some point in November 2014; and
    4. you do not opt out as described in FAQ 7.

    If you believe you meet the above definition and want to participate in the Settlement, you must submit a Claims Form.

  3. How much is my share of the Settlement if it is approved?

    If the Court grants final approval of the Settlement, Sephora will make a settlement payment (“Settlement Payment”) of $950,000. As described below, the amount available for Authorized Claimants from the $950,000 are the Net Settlement Proceeds. It is estimated that the $950,000 will be apportioned as follows:

    $418,500
    $90,000
    $10,000
    $25,000
    $406,500
    (Estimated Attorneys’ Fees)
    (Estimated Litigation Expenses)
    (Service Awards to Plaintiffs Ye and Han)
    (Claims Administrative Expenses)
    (Estimated “Net Settlement Proceeds” Payable to Authorized Claimants)

    This is an estimated amount. The total amount of the Net Settlement Proceeds available to make payments to Authorized Claimants may vary depending upon whether, and in what amounts, the Court approves the attorneys’ fees, litigation expenses, and service payments described above. It will also depend on how much Sephora has to pay the Claims Administration firm.

    The entire amount of the Net Settlement Proceeds will be paid to Authorized Claimants who File a Claim selecting either cash or a Sephora Gift Card (collectively, the “Settlement Benefit”) within a certain period (the “Claim Period”). After the conclusion of the Claim Period, the Claims Administrator will determine whether each Claim Form represents an Authorized Claimant. The amount of the Settlement Benefit an Authorized Claimant will receive will be determined on a pro rata basis based on the total amount of the Net Settlement Proceeds to be allocated among all Authorized Claimants, the total number of Authorized Claimants, and the number of Claims Forms submitted. An Authorized Claimant who selects to receive a Sephora Gift Card will receive a pro rata amount twice what each Authorized Claimant who selected cash will receive. The Settlement Benefits are capped at $125.00 in cash or $250.00 in a Sephora Gift Card per Authorized Claimant.

    Any amount remaining in the Net Settlement Proceeds after allocation among the Authorized Claimants at the conclusion of the Claim Period will be collected in a cy pres fund that will be donated to the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, a non-profit charitable organization (https://napawf.org/). No portion of the Net Settlement Proceeds will revert back to Sephora.

  4. What if my Claim is rejected?

    The Claims Administrator shall have the right to reject any claims deemed to be fraudulent, insufficient or incomplete. The Claims Administrator shall notify any person whose claim is rejected, explaining the reasons for rejection. If you think that the Claims Administrator wrongly rejected your Claim Form, you may challenge the decision by sending a written explanation along with any documents or other supporting evidence to the Claims Administrator. Such challenges must be post-marked by no later than April 3, 2017.

    For purposes of evaluating Claims Forms, Sephora’s data and records will be presumed to be correct. However, Sephora agrees to cooperate with the Claims Administrator in connection with disputed Claims Forms. The Parties will work together with the Claims Administrator, if needed, to make final determinations of Settlement Benefits.

  5. When will I receive my Settlement Payment?

    The first round of Settlement Payments will be made approximately 10 business days after all rights to appeal or review court approval of the Settlement are exhausted, or any appeal or review has been resolved in favor of the Settlement. This date is not available at this time.

  6. What can I do if I oppose the Settlement?

    If you choose to remain a part of the Settlement, you may object to its terms before the Final Approval Hearing, either by filing an objection to the Claims Administrator or filing a notice of your intent to appear and object at the final approval hearing at the time and place listed below in FAQ 11. You can reach Dahl Administration at 1-888-755-9508. However, if the Court rejects your objection and approves the Settlement, you will be bound by the terms of the Settlement.

    Each objection shall be accompanied by submission of information sufficient to establish (under penalty of perjury) that the individual objecting is an Authorized Claimant (in the form of a Claim Form) and shall provide a detailed statement of any objection asserted and for requesting the opportunity to appear and be heard at the Final Approval Hearing. You may appear in person or through a legal representative.

    Any objection must be in writing and include the basis for the objection, your @qq.com, @126.com, or @163.com email address, your current email address, your full name, and address. To be valid and effective, the Claims Administrator must receive objections and/or notices of intent to appear at the hearing as well as a valid Claim Form no later than April 3, 2017 . An Authorized Claimant who fails to submit an objection in the manner described above and by the specified deadline will be deemed to have waived any objections and will be foreclosed from making any objection (whether by appeal or otherwise) to the Settlement.

  7. What if I do not want to be a part of this Settlement?

    If you do not want to participate in this Settlement, you must submit a Request for Exclusion form to the Claims Administrator within the Claim Period setting forth your name and a statement that you request exclusion from the class and do not wish to participate in the settlement. You may write to the Claims Administrator at the address on the CONTACT INFORMATION page. Any Class Member who submits a timely and valid Request for Exclusion shall not be an Authorized Claimant, and shall not have standing to object to or otherwise contest the Settlement. If you do not exclude yourself, you will be bound by the terms of the Settlement.

  8. What Claims will I release by participating in the Settlement?

    If you do exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will release the claims resolved in the Litigation. This means that you will not be able to sue or continue to sue Sephora in any other case that involves the claims alleged in the Action or claims that could have been brought based on the facts alleged in the Complaint, whether they are known or unknown (the “Settlement Class Released Claims”) defined as:

    All claims or causes of action that are pled in or reasonably related to the claims and potential claims in the Action, including but not limited to any and all claims related to the November 2014 20% off sale, the Settlement Class Members’ “Beauty Insider” accounts, and any and all breach of contract or derivative tort claims related to the claims and potential claims in the Litigation against any of the Released Parties.

    You may discover facts in addition to or different from those which you now know or believe to be true with respect to the subject matter of the Settlement Class Released Claims, but you will fully, finally and forever settle and release any and all Settlement Class Released Claims, known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, contingent or non-contingent, whether or not concealed or hidden, which now exist, or heretofore have existed upon any theory of law or equity and without regard to the subsequent discovery or existence of such different or additional facts.

  9. What additional payments will be made to the Class Representative?

    In addition to their respective Settlement Benefits, subject to Court approval, Plaintiffs Ye and Han will be paid up to $5,000 each for their services as Class Representatives. These services include but are not limited to commencing the Action, their willingness to accept the risks of being Class Representatives, as well as the work and time spent litigating the Action, including appearing at and having their depositions taken, assisting in discovery, and attending mediation sessions and Court settlement conferences. These payments will be deducted from the Settlement Fund.

  10. Who are my attorneys?

    The Court has appointed Wigdor LLP and Anderson & Poole, P.C. to represent you and the rest of the class. Their contact information is listed on the CONTACT INFORMATION page. Because the Court has appointed Wigdor LLP and Anderson & Poole, P.C., you do not need to hire your own attorney. If you want your own attorney, you may hire one at your own cost.

  11. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on the proposed Settlement on May 25, 2017 at 1:30 p.m., at Courtroom 5, United States District Court, Northern District of California, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, 17th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102. The purpose of this hearing is to determine whether the Settlement should be finally approved as fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court will decide whether to approve Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and expenses, and the Class Representatives’ service payments. It is not necessary for you to appear at the Final Approval Hearing unless you wish to object to the Settlement. If you have given notice of your objection to the Settlement, you may appear at the hearing at your option. If you have not given written notice of your objection or intention to appear, the Court may decide to not hear your objection.

  12. How do I obtain additional information about this Settlement?

    The Notice contains a summary of the basic terms of the Settlement. For the precise terms and conditions of the Settlement, you are referred to the Class Action Settlement Agreement between Plaintiffs and Sephora that can be obtained by contacting the Claims Administrator at: Sephora Claims Administrator, c/o Dahl Administration, PO Box 3614, Minneapolis, MN 55403-0614, telephone is 1-888-755-9508 or is available on the website HERE. If you need to reach Plaintiffs’ counsel, you can email Jeanne M. Christensen, Esq., jchristensen@wigdorlaw.com or Elizabeth J. Chen, Esq., echen@wigdorlaw.com or call them at (212) 257-6800.

    If you change your email address or change your mailing address, please send the Claims Administrator your new contact information. It is your responsibility to keep current contact information on file with the Claims Administrator to ensure receipt of your Settlement Payment(s). Failure to do so may result in non-payment or delay in payment.

    It is strongly recommended that you keep a copy of any forms that you submit, and proof of timely sending via email or first-class mail, until the date of the Final Approval Hearing.