It was a simple text message. But one that offered a discount. We’ve missed you Lisette! It read. Receive $10 off your next treatment when you show this text!
$10? Well why not? I do believe I will return to that establishment! I thought to myself. What excellent customer service. Perhaps as a sign of my appreciation I’ll spend a bit more money. Maybe I’ll add a manicure onto my brow shape!
So off I went one morning, taking a break from my rather demanding writing schedule, to pop in and inquire about an appointment to get my eyebrows re-threaded. The last time I’d gone in, the therapist had done a great job. She’d even defined my brows with brow products after the threading. She’d told me I had great brows. “A lovely natural shape”. It was a pleasant experience.
This second one however was not. She did not seem happy to see me. When I wandered in, smile on my face, she shot me a stony glare. No smile. No warm welcome. Nada. As I lay down on the treatment table. I could see the dirt on the paper covers at the bottom where the person before me had placed their feet. It made me wonder what else she was using that was dirty.
She was snappy. “Hold here.” She said, asking me to hold my brow skin taught so she could get good purchase to rip the hairs out. Other than that she barely spoke. I decided I didn’t care. I just wanted my brows done. And I liked the threading - It’s hard to find good brow threaders. And I decided that because I was getting $10 off it was worth it. I didn’t complain.
Because I’m a bit airy-fairy, I could sense her frustration. I could feel something was not right with her. If I was a better person I would have asked her how her day was going. Tried to get to the bottom of the issue. But I kinda already knew what that was. Business was slow. She owned a franchise beauty store and she was struggling to keep it running. She had tried hard to do well but it wasn’t working out. Now she was mad about it. I felt for her. I even considered not telling her about my discount text. But I also decided her service was not worth the usual $25.00. Not like this.
As much as I felt for her, none of that was my problem. I just wanted my brows done and some polite exchange.
After the treatment she brushed all my eyebrow hairs off my face (into my eyes and mouth) and them mumbled something. I assumed it was that I could get up, so I did and followed her out of the room.
At the counter I dug my phone out of my bad and said, scrolling through my messages “Oh I got a text…”
She sighed “Oh the $10 one?”
“Yeah.” I said looking up. I figured she meant that she didn’t need to see it.
“That was a mistake. I recalled them all.”
“Oh.” I said aghast. Was she seriously going to do that? Claim that the discount text she’d sent, the one that actually got me to come back to her salon, was an error?
I stared at her for a few seconds waiting. She said nothing.
I decided it wasn’t worth arguing over. She had her own issues. But I wouldn’t be back.
I handed over my card and paid.
Then I walked out the door.
Under the NZ Fair Trading Act it states that a business is not allowed to use unfair trading practices – for example offer a discount to get you into the shop and then claim that the discount does not apply. Pretty much exactly what happened here. I could have argued. I could have made a scene. But I didn’t. I just left. Then I went home and wrote all about it so that other people know their rights.
It wasn’t until I got home that I remembered I was hoping to get my nails done too.
She would have had 40 more dollars if she’d shown me some kindness and honoured the discount.
What a shame.