Tria 4x Hair Laser

When I recently shared my beauty haul from the USA a great number of you expressed interest in a review of the Tria 4X Laser Hair Removal device. I was so excited to get my hands on this item that I vowed a review would be guaranteed. Unfortunately I now have to tell you otherwise. I will not be able to review the Tria laser due to a series of unfortunate events. Those events include a shoddy product, clueless customer service staff and panic-attack causing frustration.

Let me tell you the story and why I will not be attempting this product again in the near future. 

The Purchase

The Tria 4x laser is currently only available for sale in the USA (Bergdorf Goodman, Sephora (online only), Neiman Marcus) Canada, Japan, Korea and the UK (Selfridges, Space NK). I purchased it online from Sephora and had it shipped to a friend who I was meeting up with in Los Angeles. I was over the moon to finally have one but I decided to not play with it on my vacation, rather I waited until I returned to Australia so I could use it properly. Bad idea.

Product Fail

I’ve always been a strict reader of instructions before using an item. Since I was a child I would never touch something until I had read the entire box it came in, all the information sheets enclosed and the user manual cover-to-cover. I still do that to this day out of fear of breaking something, so naturally I did this before I even touched my shiny, new USA $449 laser.

The instructions say you must fully charge the device, “activate” it and then you will be able to unlock it and turn it on. The device is activated online (or via phone) by filling out a few questions on the Tria website and entering the device information. Seems like a rather simple process but as soon as I plugged it in I noticed nothing happened. The instructions said a battery symbol would be displayed on the LED screen as it charges but my screen remained blank. I attempted to turn the device on just in case I was meant to press something to get the screen working, but that changed nothing. It was at this time I jumped on to the Tria website and contacted customer service.

Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X

My pretty new Tria 4x Hair Removal Laser

How NOT to help a customer

Who likes reading email chains of bad customer service? ME! But I do not like being a part of them. Here is the thread from my dealings with Tria’s customer service team. Note that it took Tria at least 1 day to respond to each of my communications.

Me: Hello, I bought a Tria 4x from Sephora a few ago weeks while in the USA but I didn’t get a chance to open it until I was in Australia. I’ve just tried to do the first charge before activating it, as per the instructions, using a standard outlet converter but nothing happens. There is no battery symbols being displayed, the screen just remains empty. I’ve tried turning it on in case it was already fully charged but that did not happen either. As you can imagine, this is a big ticket item and I was looking forward to this purchase since its release. Can you please advise how I can rectify this issue? Thank you, Kimberly

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you for your email.

Have you activated your device? Because the laser is considered a medical device by the FDA, it will not be able to be turned on until it has been activated. For activation, you will need your device and your Instructions for Use booklet for reference.

You can activate online at triabeauty.com, or by calling Customer Care at 1-877-321-8742.

Department Hours are Pacific Time:
Monday – Friday 6am-7pm
Saturday 6am-5pm
Sunday CLOSED

Thank you for contacting Tria Beauty.

Me: Hello, I can’t activate it until the device is charged. It clearly states that in your instructions. I know it cannot be turned on until activated. Please advise ASAP how to proceed. Thank-you.

Hello Kimberly,

We would be happy to assist you via email although we will need your serial #.

Please note that you are stating you hair color is light brown to black and your skin tone is white to light brown to activate the Tria Beauty hair removal laser.

Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you,

Tria Beauty customer care

Me: Hi, My serial number is 212334748. My skin tone is ivory and my hair is medium brown. Thank-you

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you for your email to Tria Beauty.

To activate your device, please follow the steps below.

1. Make sure your skin tone and hair color are safe and suitable for using the laser. Skin tones should be light brown or lighter, and hair colors should be light brown to black, for candidates who are safe and suitable. If you are unsure, please check the skin tone chart on the inside cover of the Instructions for Use Booklet.
2. Make sure your laser is unplugged, and hold the device in your hand so the bottom of the device is not resting on anything.
3. Press and hold down on the power button at the top of the device. You will hear a beeping sound, and in the window display, the laser will count the beeps. Hold down for 4 beeps and release before the 4th beep. You will hear a musical tone if the activation was successful.
4. A lock symbol will appear in your window display to show your laser is locked. To unlock the device, use the skin sensor which is the red light at the base of the laser. Hold the red light directly to the area of skin that you want to treat. A musical tone will sound if you successfully unlock your laser.
5. The power settings will appear in your window display. You can adjust the power settings by pressing on the power button. Treat on the highest level you can tolerate, once every two weeks.

Remember to read your Instructions for Use Booklet carefully for safety and usage information. Also avoid treating on dark areas of the skin, such as dark freckles, moles, or tattoos as treating on those areas can result in potentially serious injury.
Thank you for contacting Tria Beauty.

Me: Oh my god, can you please read the emails preceding. I CAN’T charge the device. I can’t unlock the device because there is no power!!! If you cannot understand what I’m saying please state that. I don’t need to be told the same thing and I can read, and I’ve read the instruction manual back-to-front.

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you for your email.

Below are activation instructions, which the emails preceding are requesting. You need to activate the device before it can be turned on.

If you would like to speak to a representative directly, please contact Customer Care at 1-877-321-8742.

Department Hours are Pacific Time:

Monday – Friday 6am-7pm
Saturday 6am-5pm
Sunday CLOSED

Thank you for contacting Tria Beauty.

Me: No, the emails are not requesting that. I’ve done your instructions 3 times now. It doesn’t work!!!!!! I’m telling you there is no charging. The problem is black and white. It will not turn on because there is no power, there is no power because it won’t charge!
You were the one who asked me if it was activated. I told you I’ve tried that and it won’t “unlock” because I can’t turn it on.

Can you please have a manager, with an actual name, call me immediately on +61XXX XXX XXX.

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you for your reply to Tria Beauty.

My name is Alyssa and I am a supervisor with Tria Beauty. The issue you are describing, sounds like the laser is not activated. The laser will not turn on until the activation is complete.

Unfortunately, I am unable to call you for further troubleshooting, because you provided an international phone number. You have reached Tria Beauty US and Canada. If the activation steps are not working, you may call our Customer Care Department at 1-877-321-8742, my extension is 628. I am available Tuesday-Friday 10am-7 PST, and Saturday 8am-5pm. You may also call during our regular business hours, and any representative will be able to assist you.

Department Hours are Pacific Time:

Monday – Friday 6am-7pm
Saturday 6am-5pm
Sunday CLOSED

Thank you,

Alyssa-Supervisor

Me: Alyssa, I have tried activating, it does not work. Regardless of that, does the user manual not say you must completely charge the device before activating?

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you for your reply to Tria Beauty.

We send all of our devices out fully charged, so that once you activate, you can enjoy treatments right away.

Please let me know if you need further assistance.

With Delight,

Alyssa-Supervisor

Me: YES I do need further assistance. The machine does not work! It won’t activate, as per the provided instructions which I’ve now tried 6 times.
I paid $450 for a paperweight and so far no one has offered any solutions. I will not spend any more money to contact your company for being sold something that doesn’t work. I want everything in writing in email.
Please advise how this will be rectified, before the day is out.

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you for your reply.

It is very difficult to troubleshoot via email, however, we will try our best to get your device working, so you can enjoy your treatments.

Based on what you have been describing, it sounds like your device was not properly activated.  Sometimes when the button is pressed, it will seem as though it is all the way in, however, needs to be pressed down further. While the device is unplugged from the charger, firmly press and hold the power button for 4 beeps, then let go immediately after the 4thbeep.

Once you have done this, please let me know if you heard a dah da dah tune, and then saw a lock symbol, or if the device is unresponsive.

With Delight,

Alyssa-Supervisor

Me: The device is unresponsive. I’ve held the button down all the way, there is no beeps, there is nothing.

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you for your reply.

In this case, if the laser will not activate or turn on, please reach out to Sephora for a refund or exchange.

Due to the Hair Removal Laser being a medical device, each country has to approve under their safety regulations before it can be sold in that country. For that reason, we are unable to provide a warranty for devices that are taken outside of the US, UK, or Canada. This information is also located in the instructions for use booklet, on page 20.

We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.

Best Regards,

Alyssa-Supervisor

Sephora saga

Amidst all the drama with Tria, I contacted Sephora about the faulty item hoping their team would be more knowledgeable or at least understand what I was saying to be the problem. I wish I could say it was all smooth sailing from there but it wasn’t. Keep in mind this thread was happening after I had already been aggravated from sheer frustration.

Me: Hello. I bought a Tria 4x from Sephora.com a few ago weeks while in the USA but I didn’t get a chance to open it until I was in Australia. I’ve just tried to do the first charge before activating it, as per the instructions, using a standard outlet converter but nothing happens. There is no battery symbols being displayed, the screen just remains empty. I’ve tried turning it on in case it was already fully charged but that did not happen either, and I attempted to activate it but unable to do so because it isn’t charged. As you can imagine, this is a big ticket item and I was looking forward to this purchase since its release. Can you please advise how I can rectify this issue? I’ve contact Tria customer support and so far their only response has been to activate it, obviously not reading the above mentioned points. Thank you, Kimberly

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you for contacting Sephora.com regarding our return policy.

For items purchased from Sephora Retail Stores, please take your return to your nearest store location and one of our Cast Members will be happy to assist you with your return.

For items purchased from Sephora.com, we will gladly refund your credit card for any Sephora.com products upon receiving your returned package within 60 days of receipt of the item. For items received after 60 days and before 90 days, an online store credit will be issued to your account for use on your next order with Sephora. We do not accept returns after 90 days.

1. To make it easy, use the original packaging to ship your product.
2. Fill out the Return Form and include your original packing slip.
3. Use the Merchandise Return Label included in your original order so that the return shipping is free.

Mail your Sephora.com return to:

Sephora.com, Inc.
Client Service Returns Department
906 Joppa Farm Road
Joppa, MD 21085-9998

The credit for your return will appear on your credit card or as store credit within 2 weeks from the time you send the return to our Distribution Center. The credit for your returned items cannot be returned as cash or in exchange for another product. We can only refund shipping costs if the return is a result of our error.

For gift returns please contact our Client Services Department at 1-877-SEPHORA (1-877-737-4672) between the hours of 6 AM-9 PM PST Monday- Friday and 8 AM-5 PM PST Saturday & Sunday to set up the gift return credit under your account. If you do not call 1-877-SEPHORA, the refund will go to the purchaser of the gift order.

You can also return products to any Sephora retail store. Bring your order invoice and your return label and a Sephora Cast Member will be happy to process your return.

If we can assist you further, please contact us again by replying to this email or via phone at 1-877-SEPHORA (1-877-737-4672).

Regards,

Mardie Ann
Sephora Client Services

Me: Hello, it’s clear you have not actually read my email. I’m in Australia now! I cannot take it back to a US store, I don’t have the original packaging and it will probably take 60 days for the parcel to get to your returns centre. Aside from that, I don’t want to return it, I want it to work. I went to a lot of trouble to purchase this product and I’m extremely frustrated that both Sephora customer service AND Tria are not actually reading the email which I wrote in plain english.

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you for contacting Sephora.com.

We appreciate the feedback that you have provided us regarding your experience at our Sephora store. As a company we strive to provide our clients with the best products and we are sorry to hear that your Tria is not working properly. It appears that the item may be defective. However, since the item was purchased in a retail store and you are currently in Australia, we are unable to ship a replacement to you. Also, at this time, Sephora.com is unable to process returns or exchanges for items purchased in our Sephora retail stores. We apologize for any inconvenience.

We would like to forward your information to our retail division for consideration for a refund. Please reply to this email with the date and exact location of your visit so that we can forward it to the appropriate contact. If your experience was in a Sephora inside JCPenney store, please make sure to clarify this as well.

If we can assist you further, please contact us again by replying to this email or via phone at 1-877-SEPHORA (1-877-737-4672).

Sincerely,

Nisa
Sephora Client Services

Me: I didn’t purchase it in a retail store! You don’t even sell it in store, it’s only available online. Is anyone actually reading my emails? Can a supervisor please respond ASAP and confirm that if I post it back I will get a full refund??

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you for contacting Sephora.com.

We apologize for the confusion surrounding the situation. We make every attempt to ensure accuracy and will be more than happy to correct any errors made on our part. We are sorry to hear about your experience and thank you for bringing it to our attention.

Since there has been much confusion regarding the trouble you are having with your Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X we recommend contacting us via phone to discuss your options as you are now out of the country. We understand that this may be frustrating and we appreciate your patience.

If we can assist you further, please contact us again by replying to this email or via phone at 1-877-SEPHORA (1-877-737-4672). We understand that you may not be able to use our toll free 1-877-SEPHORA (1-877-737-4672) number when outside of the United States, however, if you contact our Corporate office at 415-284-3300 and choose option 4, this will connect you with our Client Services department so that we may assist you.

Regards,

Jasmine
Sephora Client Services

Me: Hello, I’ve spent $450 on purchasing an item that didn’t work. I have just spent another $55 on posting it back to your returns department as it says to in the first email response AND on the packing slip that came with my order. I am NOT spending another $50 calling you so you can tell me whether it can or cannot be refunded.

The item was purchased from Sephora.com and sent to a US address. It has nothing to do with a retail store. Can you tell me right now whether the item I’ve already posted back for returns will be refunded or not?

Thank-you

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you for contacting Sephora.com regarding order# 2343265552.

We sincerely apologize for the confusion regarding our previous correspondences. We recommend returning your device during your next visit to Sephora USA retail location with your invoice. We apologize that you received a defective device.

For more information on how to troubleshoot the Tria Laser 4X, please visit the Tria website below:

https://www.triabeauty.com/customer-care-help

If we can assist you further, please contact us again via phone at 1-877-SEPHORA (1-877-737-4672).

Best regards,

Olvia
Sephora Client Services

Me: Olivia,

You didn’t read my email, just like all the other customer service people haven’t read my emails. I’ve ALREADY posted the device back to the USA as instructed by your returns procedure. WILL I GET MY REFUND? Look up the order if you have to, Order number is 2343265552

Can I get a straight answer. I don’t want to keep emailing. Just tell me!

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you for contacting Sephora.com regarding your return status.
We apologize for the miscommunication in the previous emails.

Your return from order #2343265552 has not yet been processed by our Distribution Center. You will be notified via email once your return has been processed. Please keep in mind for international returns it will take 45 days from the date you ship the return back for your return to be processed.

Also, please keep in mind that your financial institution may take approximately 3-10 business days to reflect this transaction in your account. If we can assist you further, please contact us again by replying to this email or via phone at 1-877-SEPHORA (1-877-737-4672).

Regards,

Nannette
Sephora Client Services

At this point I took to Twitter, expressing how utterly frustrated Tria and Sephora had made me. After some private messages between Sephora and I they finally gave me a clear answer:

Thank you. Per your concern, you will be refunded for the defective item once it reaches our distribution center and the return is processed. If you have a tracking number for the return, please reply with that information.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Lesson Learnt

The lesson I’ve learnt from this is that I won’t be trying Tria until they are sold in Australian stores so that if I have a problem I can go into the store and wave it in their face. Will I stop buying electric devices from overseas? No. I’ve purchased probably 20+ electric beauty devices internationally over the years and this is the first time I’ve ever had a problem.

I finally got confirmation from Sephora this week that they had received my returned Tria and they would be refunding the money. It took over a month to get a result but I’m happy it’s finally over.

What do you think of my Tria drama? Was I over-reacting or was my anger I justified? Let me know by commenting below!

TRIA Hair Removal Laser

The most expensive paperweight I ever purchased

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