Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => "I'm afraid that won't be possible." => Topic started by: Hmmmmm on May 12, 2011, 04:32:05 PM

Title: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: Hmmmmm on May 12, 2011, 04:32:05 PM
My DH bought my a gift certificate to a spa that I used to enjoy going to but the last two times were bad experiences, so I had crossed them off my list 4 years ago.  I thought he was aware, but I guess I haven't mentioned any new names of places I've been, so he went retro. 

Even though the gift certificate is non refundable, I decided to just try to get a refund because there was no way I was going back.  I had a really bad experience.  The first assitant mgr listened to my recounting of the poor experience I had and said, "I sympathize, but a refund is just not possible."  I reponded with, "Well, let me speak with whomever can make it possible."  General Manager then listens with sympathy to my tale of woe, but also responds with "I'm sorry, but it's not possible."  He suggests that I use it for products instead.  I explain that I don't have a desire to spend $130 on the products in his salon.  He then tries to explain that their system doesn't allow refunds.  I ask he that means if I came in and someone destroyed my hair, he wouldn't offer to fix it plus refund my money?  "Well of course, I would"... "Well, then it is possible."  him:  "I'm sorry, it really isn't possible."  me:  "You mean company policy makes it impossible?"  him: "We'll yes."  me:  "Ok, tell me who makes company policy".   His next suggestion made me laugh:  "Why don't you give it as a gift?  I'll be glad to remake the certificate to have someone else's name."  Yea, like I'm going to send a friend that I'm willing to give a $130 to a spay I don't trust.  After listenging to additional details on why I will not patronize his salon (including being disconnected 4 times while I was trying to speak to a manager) He finally realized his only next step "We'll let me talk to our corporate office."  He called back within the hour with approval to refund the money.

During the entire encounter, every time I heard, "I'm afraid that's not possible"  I wanted to ask if they were an Ehellion.  A small part of me felt like I should have accepted their response and left it alone.  But I really couldn't stand the thought of that company having any of our money.

So tell me, and I loosing some of my pretty eHellion shine with this encounter, or was I ok since it was a business transaction?     
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: SamiHami on May 12, 2011, 04:36:34 PM
I think you were just fine. You were persistent, but not impolite. Being polite doesn't mean being a doormat. Good for you!
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: HeebyJeebyLeebee on May 12, 2011, 04:43:49 PM
- your previous experience with was extremely unsatisfactory
- there was no way you would use their services or products
- you didn't call anyone names
- you didn't pout
- you didn't claim that the exception should be because you're the queen of snowflakes
- you remained calm and cooperative

I think you were pushing it because you were very persistent, but ultimately I think that you're clear because none of your individual actions were rude.  You used logic and empathy to persuade the manager rather than being so annoying he just wanted to get rid of you.

Incidentally, if corporate had denied your request, would you have accepted that?
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: Bibliophile on May 12, 2011, 04:49:11 PM
It sounds like you were being a special snowflake.  He bought a non-refundable gift certificate.  It was your husband's mistake.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: hjaye on May 12, 2011, 05:12:40 PM
It sounds like you were being a special snowflake.  He bought a non-refundable gift certificate.  It was your husband's mistake.

There was nothing in her post that said there was anything on the gift certificate that stated it was nonrefundable, it was the manager telling her that it was nonrefundable, and she didn't accept that.  I agree with her, they have her money, there is nothing preventing them from going into the till and giving back the money, or issuing a credit to the credit card or sending her a check.  I think she did just fine.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: Mikayla on May 12, 2011, 05:37:03 PM
It sounds like you were being a special snowflake.  He bought a non-refundable gift certificate.  It was your husband's mistake.

There was nothing in her post that said there was anything on the gift certificate that stated it was nonrefundable, it was the manager telling her that it was nonrefundable, and she didn't accept that.  I agree with her, they have her money, there is nothing preventing them from going into the till and giving back the money, or issuing a credit to the credit card or sending her a check.  I think she did just fine.

Where are you getting this?  The OP said it was non-refundable, but she contacted the manager anyway.  So it doesn't sound like the manager made this up.  Also, it's pretty pro forma for gift cards and certificates to not be refundable.

But I'd stop short of calling her a special snowflake.  I just think it would have been better to address the poor service issue at the time it happened, rather than use it as leverage a couple years later to get cash for a refund (which was against corporate policy). 
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: VorFemme on May 12, 2011, 05:50:44 PM
Last week, my sister and I visited a cousin in a town north of us.........the four of us (cousin's younger DD) went to a local nail salon/spa for manicures and/or pedicures.  The sugar scrubs & oil (exfoliate skin & moisturize) were great.  The massaging chairs were fabulous.  The nail services.........not so much.

I got "nicked" a couple of times when my cuticles were being trimmed (no bleeding - but I could FEEL the cut enough for my foot to jerk away from the young woman doing my feet).  The color is such a pale beige that I can't see if there are any unpainted areas near the cuticles around my toes.........I prefer a neutral color on my toenails - I didn't get my fingernails done due to how fast I tear the polish up..........

Every chair was filled and all the nail techs were busy - the manager(?) did Sis's nails.  There were gaps where there was no color (and she chose a red that made such gaps visible to anyone with anything close to normal vision) - she is far sighted but still had two gaps repainted before we left the spa.  The polish didn't go all the way to her cuticles on all three sides on ANY of the nails (I was looking at them later - two seats away from her in the spa). The next DAY (24 hours or less after the manicure) all the polish on her forefinger just "popped" off in an oval...........

I would not go back to that place on a bet...........even though my back LOVED the massage and I enjoyed the rest of the experience. 

I understand why the OP wouldn't want to go back to a given salon, even if a family member bought a gift certificate (I'm assuming that her spouse didn't remember her bad experience - only that she'd gone there "before").  I've noticed that my own spouse remembers "key words" but not always the details of a conversation - I can talk for ten minutes about something and he could tell me where I went - but didn't realize if I was ranting about a bad day or a good day.........because he was TIRED and not processing the conversation...........just saying "uh huh" and "oh" while not thinking at all.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: Hillia on May 12, 2011, 05:57:50 PM
It sounds like you were being a special snowflake.  He bought a non-refundable gift certificate.  It was your husband's mistake.

There was nothing in her post that said there was anything on the gift certificate that stated it was nonrefundable, it was the manager telling her that it was nonrefundable, and she didn't accept that.  I agree with her, they have her money, there is nothing preventing them from going into the till and giving back the money, or issuing a credit to the credit card or sending her a check.  I think she did just fine.

Where are you getting this?  The OP said it was non-refundable, but she contacted the manager anyway.  So it doesn't sound like the manager made this up.  Also, it's pretty pro forma for gift cards and certificates to not be refundable.

But I'd stop short of calling her a special snowflake.  I just think it would have been better to address the poor service issue at the time it happened, rather than use it as leverage a couple years later to get cash for a refund (which was against corporate policy). 


We don't have any indication that the OP didn't address the poor experience at the time it happened, just that her husband didn't remember it.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: Schmoopie3928 on May 12, 2011, 06:15:26 PM
It sounds like you were being a special snowflake.  He bought a non-refundable gift certificate.  It was your husband's mistake.

There was nothing in her post that said there was anything on the gift certificate that stated it was nonrefundable, it was the manager telling her that it was nonrefundable, and she didn't accept that.  I agree with her, they have her money, there is nothing preventing them from going into the till and giving back the money, or issuing a credit to the credit card or sending her a check.  I think she did just fine.

Where are you getting this?  The OP said it was non-refundable, but she contacted the manager anyway.  So it doesn't sound like the manager made this up.  Also, it's pretty pro forma for gift cards and certificates to not be refundable.

But I'd stop short of calling her a special snowflake.  I just think it would have been better to address the poor service issue at the time it happened, rather than use it as leverage a couple years later to get cash for a refund (which was against corporate policy). 


We don't have any indication that the OP didn't address the poor experience at the time it happened, just that her husband didn't remember it.

True, and I'm curious. If it was addressed, How long ago was it? Is it the same manager? Were the people that did a bad job in the past still there? If it was a new manager and all new staff I would think you should give them a chance of giving you a better experience.  If it was the same people as before, and you didn't say anything at the time of the incident(s), I would say it is snowflakey to bring it up now to get leverage to get a refund. If you did bring it up before, did he remember you?
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: QueenfaninCA on May 12, 2011, 06:28:37 PM
Instead of wasting my time and energy trying to get a non-refundable gift certificate refunded, I would have sold it on Craigslist or Ebay for 20% less than it's worth.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: BellyBionic on May 12, 2011, 07:29:19 PM
Sorry, but you knew it was non-refundable.  To me, one of the defining characteristics of a Special Snowflake is the belief that things like "non-refundable," "no returns," and "limit 1 per customer" are policies that only apply to other, less special people.  Your husband made the mistake, and his mistake is not the fault of the spa.  After years and years working in customer service, I have no patience or sympathy left for anyone who just keeps demanding to go up the chain of command until they get whatever they've decided they're entitled to.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: amanda_tlg on May 12, 2011, 07:44:37 PM
Sorry, but you knew it was non-refundable.  To me, one of the defining characteristics of a Special Snowflake is the belief that things like "non-refundable," "no returns," and "limit 1 per customer" are policies that only apply to other, less special people.  Your husband made the mistake, and his mistake is not the fault of the spa.  After years and years working in customer service, I have no patience or sympathy left for anyone who just keeps demanding to go up the chain of command until they get whatever they've decided they're entitled to.

I agree.

My first impulse would have also have been to sell it on ebay for maybe $20 or so less than face value
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: Hillia on May 12, 2011, 08:32:59 PM
Sorry, but you knew it was non-refundable.  To me, one of the defining characteristics of a Special Snowflake is the belief that things like "non-refundable," "no returns," and "limit 1 per customer" are policies that only apply to other, less special people.  Your husband made the mistake, and his mistake is not the fault of the spa.  After years and years working in customer service, I have no patience or sympathy left for anyone who just keeps demanding to go up the chain of command until they get whatever they've decided they're entitled to.

I agree.

My first impulse would have also have been to sell it on ebay for maybe $20 or so less than face value

Ebay isn't the spol;ution to every unwanted item.  If you don't have a history as a seller, people won't bid on your item.  Then you have to set up an ebay account and a paypal account and pay the commissions.  Maybe sell it on craigslist or something, but ebay isn't the solution for the caswual one-off item.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: Hmmmmm on May 13, 2011, 11:13:32 AM
It sounds like you were being a special snowflake.  He bought a non-refundable gift certificate.  It was your husband's mistake.

There was nothing in her post that said there was anything on the gift certificate that stated it was nonrefundable, it was the manager telling her that it was nonrefundable, and she didn't accept that.  I agree with her, they have her money, there is nothing preventing them from going into the till and giving back the money, or issuing a credit to the credit card or sending her a check.  I think she did just fine.

Where are you getting this?  The OP said it was non-refundable, but she contacted the manager anyway.  So it doesn't sound like the manager made this up.  Also, it's pretty pro forma for gift cards and certificates to not be refundable.

But I'd stop short of calling her a special snowflake.  I just think it would have been better to address the poor service issue at the time it happened, rather than use it as leverage a couple years later to get cash for a refund (which was against corporate policy). 


We don't have any indication that the OP didn't address the poor experience at the time it happened, just that her husband didn't remember it.

True, and I'm curious. If it was addressed, How long ago was it? Is it the same manager? Were the people that did a bad job in the past still there? If it was a new manager and all new staff I would think you should give them a chance of giving you a better experience.  If it was the same people as before, and you didn't say anything at the time of the incident(s), I would say it is snowflakey to bring it up now to get leverage to get a refund. If you did bring it up before, did he remember you?

Sorry, have had a busy morning. 

Yes, their website does list their gift certificate rules and if you click on it, it does say non-refundable.  You can then self print the certificate, which does say non-refundable.  So I was well aware when I called that I was asking them to break policy.

I used to use this salon once or twice a month about 10 years ago until I just couldn't handle their issues anymore and yes, I did discuss with them at the time, but they didn't resolve the problem so I quit going.  Then about 4 years ago, DH popped up with a gift certificate to there and they had opened a new branch, so decided to use it there.  That was the deal that really burned me (mentally and physically).  And I did address it at the time, but the manager basically tried to imply I was lying.  So that was it.  No way I was going back.  I'm pretty sure I told DH that I wouldn't be using them again, but I don't know if he forgot, or he thought I meant the new location. 

I did think about just selling it, as it is a very popular, high end salon.  But I was still so irritated from the treatment last time, I just couldn't stand them having any of my money.

I do understand why some would consider me a SS about this issue, and I will accept that. 
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: LadyRoxi on May 13, 2011, 11:43:32 AM

I did think about just selling it, as it is a very popular, high end salon.  But I was still so irritated from the treatment last time, I just couldn't stand them having any of my money.
[/quote]

I hate to point out that since your husband already paid for the gift certificate that they already have "your" money.

You do have my sympathy at a husband who didnt remember that you did not like the place.  I would too would hate to see the waste of money but that indeed is what it ended up being.  Nothing worse than having a gift certificate to a place that you do not like. 

I do think you were ok to try.  I do think this is a case of it doesn't hurt to ask, as the manager might have wanted to perhaps change your opinion with accomodating customer service, but it sounds like he wouldnt or couldnt do that.  After he pushed back and you asked about who makes that policy, thats where I do think you did go to far.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: Hmmmmm on May 13, 2011, 02:23:45 PM

I did think about just selling it, as it is a very popular, high end salon.  But I was still so irritated from the treatment last time, I just couldn't stand them having any of my money.

I hate to point out that since your husband already paid for the gift certificate that they already have "your" money.[/quote]

If I had sold it, I would have had someone else's money, but they would still have had mine.  So that's why I was pushing so hard for a refund.  I didn't want to be party to them having any additional financial gain. 
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: The Ricker on May 14, 2011, 01:45:07 PM
Sorry, but you knew it was non-refundable.  To me, one of the defining characteristics of a Special Snowflake is the belief that things like "non-refundable," "no returns," and "limit 1 per customer" are policies that only apply to other, less special people.  Your husband made the mistake, and his mistake is not the fault of the spa.  After years and years working in customer service, I have no patience or sympathy left for anyone who just keeps demanding to go up the chain of command until they get whatever they've decided they're entitled to.

Interesting topic.  Is it rude for a customer to go up the chain of command, asking to 'break policy', as long as customer accepts a final 'no'?
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: amanda_tlg on May 14, 2011, 02:15:05 PM
Sorry, but you knew it was non-refundable.  To me, one of the defining characteristics of a Special Snowflake is the belief that things like "non-refundable," "no returns," and "limit 1 per customer" are policies that only apply to other, less special people.  Your husband made the mistake, and his mistake is not the fault of the spa.  After years and years working in customer service, I have no patience or sympathy left for anyone who just keeps demanding to go up the chain of command until they get whatever they've decided they're entitled to.

Interesting topic.  Is it rude for a customer to go up the chain of command, asking to 'break policy', as long as customer accepts a final 'no'?

The problem is that if a customer keeps going up and up the chain of command, they usually won't take a "no."

For normal problems, I will start with cashier/customer service, then to a supervisor, then to a manager. If the manager can't/won't resolve the problem, I don't demand to speak to the owner. (There was that one interesting exception that involved a broken toy, a ouija board and Sam Walton  ;) )
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: BellyBionic on May 14, 2011, 02:20:18 PM
Interesting topic.  Is it rude for a customer to go up the chain of command, asking to 'break policy', as long as customer accepts a final 'no'?

Depends on how far up the chain you go, and how you go about it.  If the person behind the desk can't do what you want, I think it's perfectly fine to ask for a supervisor.  Quite often, supervisors are able to make exceptions that regular employees can't.  It's also important in such situations to keep in mind that the first person you talked to wasn't refusing to help you, they just didn't have the authority to do what you want.  If you get a supervisor/manager, and they also tell you no, that's a no.  Demanding people higher and higher on the food chain until someone finally gives you what you want just to get you to shut up and go away is definitely not okay.  In the case of the OP, the highest authority in the spa had to call the corporate office and find someone there who could override policy.  That goes way beyond asking for someone in authority and well into throwing a tantrum until you get your way territory.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: JoieGirl7 on May 14, 2011, 03:55:34 PM
There is a basic understanding that when someone pays for something that they will get something for it in return.
 
There was nothing at all wrong with what the OP did going up the chain of command to get her money back.
 
The business by issuing gift certificates has a certain responsibility to provide decent service.  Apparently, they don't.  And just because they say that they get to keep your money doesn't mean that they do.

She could have sued them in small claims and it would have been up to a judge as to whether the spa breached the contract by not providing decent service in the first place to the OP.
 
But, by going up the chain of command, the OP was doing what any responsible consumer should do when faced with a business that does not do its job but that has your money.
 
The whole "I'm afraid that won't be possible" used socially in terms of etiquette is a different beast.  There, it is usually an individual making decisions for what they personally will or will not do for someone.
 
Businesses use it to put off customers, no doubt.  But, it doesn't mean that the customer is being rude to ask for a supervisor or ask to go up the chain of command.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: Ceiling Fan on May 14, 2011, 04:14:34 PM
I agree. If people were content to be put off with a 'final no', then consumer protection agencies would be unneccesary, because we'd all just toddle off like good little sheep and never ask for the situation to be escalated.

Business transactions and consumer protection has nothing to do with proper social etiquette. Companies can decide when to give in and when to stand firm, but advising people to take a 'final no' before they feel they are ready to is anti-consumer.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: Ceiling Fan on May 14, 2011, 04:19:44 PM
And while I'm on the subject, I just disagree strongly with the whole "no returns on gift cards/gift certificates" thing. I simply don't understand the reasoning between "If I purchase X products, I can return X products for a refund", and "If I buy a gift card for X amount, there are no refunds possible".

It seems pretty bogus to me, like many of the banking and credit card practices that have recently been legislated against.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: BellyBionic on May 14, 2011, 04:36:52 PM
I absolutely agree with filing BBB complaints or even suing if you're treated badly by a business.  The thing a lot of people seem to forget in a customer service situation is that while the business has your money, you're speaking to *human beings* who do deserve respect and consideration.  It's not okay to make the person you're talking to miserable because the company has a policy you don't like.  If you get a no and you don't like it, then take it upon yourself to call the corporate office, or write a letter, or file a complaint.  If the person you're dealing with has done all they can for you, then they've done all they can for you, and continuing to make demands doesn't change that.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: Miss March on May 14, 2011, 05:00:08 PM
Quote
I agree. If people were content to be put off with a 'final no', then consumer protection agencies would be unnecessary, because we'd all just toddle off like good little sheep and never ask for the situation to be escalated.

But on the other hand, if businesses offer a refund every time a customer raises a ruckus, then a business will go bankrupt. Who is looking out for the rights of the business owner?

There needs to be a reasonable compromise between the service the business provides and the expectations of the customer. In this particular case, the OP had last been at this spa some time ago and she had a bad experience. Her husband bought her a non-refundable gift card to the same spa. He was the one who goofed. The OP went into the business and said she did not want the card, she wanted her money back. The manager suggested she use the card to buy products and not services. She said no. He said perhaps she wanted to re-gift the card to someone else. She said no. She kept pressing him to refund her money or to let her talk to someone who could. Eventually he gave her what she wanted. Yes, I do think she was a special snowflake in this instance. I'm sorry OP. It's not fun to say it, and I don't mean to be insulting, but I think Bellybionic is right. I think that store manager made every reasonable effort to appease you, and it was simply not his problem that your husband bought something he shouldn't have.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: Brentwood on May 14, 2011, 05:03:30 PM
 In the case of the OP, the highest authority in the spa had to call the corporate office and find someone there who could override policy.  That goes way beyond asking for someone in authority and well into throwing a tantrum until you get your way territory.

There is a big difference between persistence and "throwing a tantrum".
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: Brentwood on May 14, 2011, 05:04:04 PM
Instead of wasting my time and energy trying to get a non-refundable gift certificate refunded, I would have sold it on Craigslist or Ebay for 20% less than it's worth.

Except that her time wasn't wasted - she got the refund she asked for.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: Brentwood on May 14, 2011, 05:12:33 PM

The whole "I'm afraid that won't be possible" used socially in terms of etiquette is a different beast.  There, it is usually an individual making decisions for what they personally will or will not do for someone.
 
Businesses use it to put off customers, no doubt.  But, it doesn't mean that the customer is being rude to ask for a supervisor or ask to go up the chain of command.

I agree with your whole post, and in particular with the portion I've quoted here. "That won't be possible" in a social sense is quite different from the same sentence in a business sense.

Where I work, we sell punch cards as a way to pay for our services (one punch per visit, 10 or 20 punches per card). It's one of several ways to pay for our services. Our punch cards are listed as "non-refundable", and part of the reason for that is that we don't want to be on the hook if someone loses their card. I'd guess companies that sell gift certificates have the "no refunds" policy for similar reasons.

However, as the supervisor of my department, if someone presented what seemed a valid reason for wanting a refund (services not provided as expected, dissatisfaction with an employee, injury preventing them from using our services), I could offer them a refund. If the reason involved dissatisfaction with services provided, I'd address that first and try to get the customer to give us a chance to make it right, but ultimately I can refund even the "non-refundable" card. (I will not, however, give any exceptions to this policy for a lost card - keeping track of your card is your own responsibility.)

I have, in five years, refunded a punch card only once. And I did expect the customer to give me the punch card back when I refunded her, to avoid her using it even after receiving her money back.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: kareng57 on May 14, 2011, 05:16:02 PM
Quote
I agree. If people were content to be put off with a 'final no', then consumer protection agencies would be unnecessary, because we'd all just toddle off like good little sheep and never ask for the situation to be escalated.

But on the other hand, if businesses offer a refund every time a customer raises a ruckus, then a business will go bankrupt. Who is looking out for the rights of the business owner?

There needs to be a reasonable compromise between the service the business provides and the expectations of the customer. In this particular case, the OP had last been at this spa some time ago and she had a bad experience. Her husband bought her a non-refundable gift card to the same spa. He was the one who goofed. The OP went into the business and said she did not want the card, she wanted her money back. The manager suggested she use the card to buy products and not services. She said no. He said perhaps she wanted to re-gift the card to someone else. She said no. She kept pressing him to refund her money or to let her talk to someone who could. Eventually he gave her what she wanted. Yes, I do think she was a special snowflake in this instance. I'm sorry OP. It's not fun to say it, and I don't mean to be insulting, but I think Bellybionic is right. I think that store manager made every reasonable effort to appease you, and it was simply not his problem that your husband bought something he shouldn't have.


Yes.  Just because a complaining customer eventually gets what he/she wants doesn't necessarily mean they were in the right.

Businesses sometimes do go against their own policies just to get complainers off their necks.  It doesn't mean that they've suddenly decided that the policy is unfair and they're going to change it in the future.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: cahuswife on May 14, 2011, 06:35:12 PM
You are not a special snowflake for going after a refund. You had had a negative experience with 2 locations of this chain, addressed the problem both times without satisfaction from management, and so you knew you would never use this certificate. I just heard from a small business owner that each new customer is worth $10,000 to the life of a business, so they lost a lot by chasing away a regular customer. You disliked them so much you wouldn't even return once more! I'm glad that you (politely, I'm sure) pushed to get your money back.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: kareng57 on May 14, 2011, 07:05:05 PM
You are not a special snowflake for going after a refund. You had had a negative experience with 2 locations of this chain, addressed the problem both times without satisfaction from management, and so you knew you would never use this certificate. I just heard from a small business owner that each new customer is worth $10,000 to the life of a business, so they lost a lot by chasing away a regular customer. You disliked them so much you wouldn't even return once more! I'm glad that you (politely, I'm sure) pushed to get your money back.


But, they didn't chase away a regular customer.  The OP is firm in that she will never go back there, no matter what.

It's unfortunate that her husband didn't remember her negative experience at this place - but that's not the salon's fault.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: JoieGirl7 on May 14, 2011, 07:13:02 PM
You are not a special snowflake for going after a refund. You had had a negative experience with 2 locations of this chain, addressed the problem both times without satisfaction from management, and so you knew you would never use this certificate. I just heard from a small business owner that each new customer is worth $10,000 to the life of a business, so they lost a lot by chasing away a regular customer. You disliked them so much you wouldn't even return once more! I'm glad that you (politely, I'm sure) pushed to get your money back.


But, they didn't chase away a regular customer.  The OP is firm in that she will never go back there, no matter what.

It's unfortunate that her husband didn't remember her negative experience at this place - but that's not the salon's fault.

They did chase away a regular customer!  Just because it was four years ago doesn't mean that they didn't screw up and lose a customer.
 
And it doesn't have to be anyone's "fault."  The underlying principle is that the person who has the gift certificate should be able to use it.  This business has made that impossible by not providing good service.
 
And the idea that she should regift it seems rude--would you give a crappy gift to someone?
 
If the reason she couldn't use it was because of something specific to her, then that might be OK, but the reason she can't use it is the business' fault.  They bear responsibility for not being a good business.
 
And its true that just because a customer gets their money back doesn't mean they're right.  But, at the same time, businesses can refuse to serve people if those people are impossible to please.
 
That doesn't seem to be the case here, though.
 
I don't think there's anything Special Snowflaky about getting your money's worth.  The sheep analogy is pretty close.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: Hmmmmm on May 14, 2011, 10:03:55 PM
Interesting topic.  Is it rude for a customer to go up the chain of command, asking to 'break policy', as long as customer accepts a final 'no'?

Depends on how far up the chain you go, and how you go about it.  If the person behind the desk can't do what you want, I think it's perfectly fine to ask for a supervisor.  Quite often, supervisors are able to make exceptions that regular employees can't.  It's also important in such situations to keep in mind that the first person you talked to wasn't refusing to help you, they just didn't have the authority to do what you want.  If you get a supervisor/manager, and they also tell you no, that's a no.  Demanding people higher and higher on the food chain until someone finally gives you what you want just to get you to shut up and go away is definitely not okay.  In the case of the OP, the highest authority in the spa had to call the corporate office and find someone there who could override policy.  That goes way beyond asking for someone in authority and well into throwing a tantrum until you get your way territory.

I'm well aware that the first person I spoke to did not have the authority to make this decision.  However, I was very clear when talking to the receptionist on the topic of my call.  I had no control over who they decided to take my call or the order in which my call was escalated.  At one point the GM stated that it was the credit card company that prevented the refund, however, I'v worked in the industry and have never heard of a credit card company imposing this type of rule.  Instead the policy is usually in place to elliminate the need to deal with lost certificates. 

I'm also not sure why you inferred that I threw a tantrum.  I was very polite to everyone I spoke to.  The first manager spent less than 5 minutes on the phone with me and the call with the GM was around 5 minutes.  He called me back within 15 minutes letting me know he'd received approval from corporate to approve the refund.  I spent way much more time on hold waiting for them to answer my call. 
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: The Ricker on May 14, 2011, 10:11:31 PM
Interesting topic.  Is it rude for a customer to go up the chain of command, asking to 'break policy', as long as customer accepts a final 'no'?

Depends on how far up the chain you go, and how you go about it.  If the person behind the desk can't do what you want, I think it's perfectly fine to ask for a supervisor.  Quite often, supervisors are able to make exceptions that regular employees can't.  It's also important in such situations to keep in mind that the first person you talked to wasn't refusing to help you, they just didn't have the authority to do what you want.  If you get a supervisor/manager, and they also tell you no, that's a no.  Demanding people higher and higher on the food chain until someone finally gives you what you want just to get you to shut up and go away is definitely not okay.  In the case of the OP, the highest authority in the spa had to call the corporate office and find someone there who could override policy.  That goes way beyond asking for someone in authority and well into throwing a tantrum until you get your way territory.

I agree with this.  I had a similar situation when my son received a video game for Christmas from his grandparents.  In his excitement, he ripped it open with none of us realizing that it was for a different game system, and thus unusable.  We attempted to get a refund at the local "big red bullseye" from which the game was purchased, and ran into its "no-refund" policy on opened games.  The very polite service desk employee stood firm on policy despite my equally polite attempts at negotiation.  Civil discussions with a manager were also fruitless.  I did not insist that the local employees call corporate.  We called the corporate customer service hotline ourselves, and after explaining the situation (including acknowledging the policy and taking responsibility for opening the game), we received a full refund.

Had the response from the hotline been "no," that would have been the end of it, no tantrums, no lawsuits, and chalk it up to a life lesson learned.  My attitude in this situation, and I admit I struggle with whether I did the "right" thing, was as long as we conducted ourselves politely, and accepted a final "no," then we could press our case, as it doesn't hurt to ask.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: Brentwood on May 14, 2011, 11:18:36 PM


Had the response from the hotline been "no," that would have been the end of it, no tantrums, no lawsuits, and chalk it up to a life lesson learned.  My attitude in this situation, and I admit I struggle with whether I did the "right" thing, was as long as we conducted ourselves politely, and accepted a final "no," then we could press our case, as it doesn't hurt to ask.

And the OP did the same thing. She conducted herself politely, without "tantrums" or lawsuits. You got your refund. So did she.
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: tnpenguinbaby on May 15, 2011, 10:09:20 AM
The OP said in a prior post she went to this salon 1-2x a month. Then she quit going because of dissatisfaction with their services which they wouldn't address.
In another post she went to a new location of the spa and as she stated "was burned mentally and physically", which indicates to me they injured her.  At that time the manager accused her of lying.

I wouldn't have wanted to go back either!  I most assuredly would not *gift* a friend with a certificate to this place.  I agree I simply would not want them to have my money. From further posts, this was not a long drawn out process: she talked to 2-3 people and the whole process took less than 20 minutes.  She was calm and polite.  I don't see where there is any SSiness. 
Title: Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
Post by: hjaye on May 16, 2011, 12:08:03 PM
It sounds like you were being a special snowflake.  He bought a non-refundable gift certificate.  It was your husband's mistake.

There was nothing in her post that said there was anything on the gift certificate that stated it was nonrefundable, it was the manager telling her that it was nonrefundable, and she didn't accept that.  I agree with her, they have her money, there is nothing preventing them from going into the till and giving back the money, or issuing a credit to the credit card or sending her a check.  I think she did just fine.

Where are you getting this?  The OP said it was non-refundable, but she contacted the manager anyway.  So it doesn't sound like the manager made this up.  Also, it's pretty pro forma for gift cards and certificates to not be refundable.

But I'd stop short of calling her a special snowflake.  I just think it would have been better to address the poor service issue at the time it happened, rather than use it as leverage a couple years later to get cash for a refund (which was against corporate policy). 

Yeah that's my bad, I was reading it too fast.