Author Topic: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today  (Read 7477 times)

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Hmmmmm

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Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2011, 03:23:45 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. 

The Ricker

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Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2011, 02:45:07 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'?

amanda_tlg

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Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2011, 03:15:05 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  ;) )

BellyBionic

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Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2011, 03:20:18 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.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 03:21:57 PM by BellyBionic »

JoieGirl7

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Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2011, 04:55:34 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.

Ceiling Fan

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Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2011, 05:14:34 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.

Ceiling Fan

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Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2011, 05:19:44 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.

BellyBionic

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Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2011, 05:36:52 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.

Miss March

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Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2011, 06:00:08 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.
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good bye so hard.-- Winnie the Poo

Brentwood

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Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2011, 06:03:30 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".

Brentwood

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Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2011, 06:04:04 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.

Brentwood

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Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2011, 06:12:33 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.

kareng57

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Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2011, 06:16:02 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.

cahuswife

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Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2011, 07:35:12 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.

kareng57

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Re: I think I had an encounter with an Ehellion today
« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2011, 08:05:05 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.