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Aug 27th
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Nightmare Spa Experiences

unknownExcept for getting my arms waxed, I've sworn off local spas for any kind of beautifying treatments. Why? I'm not sure if it's a small town type of thing, or what, but my experiences frequenting local spas have been nightmares. Here are three examples. I'll debut my fourth nightmare example in an upcoming post because it's just so bad, it deserves its own blog. Out of respect, I'll leave out the names of the spas.

1. I purchased a high-end hair product at a Santa Cruz destination. Went home, used a dollop of product and my hair promptly fell flat. Clearly this wasn't the product for me. The salon had a store credit policy that if you weren't satisfied with a product, you could exchange it for another. So a few days later I took it back, hoping to try out another product. The receptionist was a, well, a not nice lady. For the next 30 minutes I stood there and argued with her over the dollop of product that I had used. She thought it was too large of a dollop and wasn't interested in offering me store credit. She brought in another colleague to examine the missing dollop of product and they went around and around about it. What a nightmare, and a rather humiliating experience. I left, then called and complained. Then I wrote a letter to the owner of the store. No one apologized. The service was lousy. I've never been back, and frankly, if someone asks about this salon, I'll gladly share that it offers the worst customer service in town.


2. I had been going in to my favorite hole-in-the-wall spa for years to get my arms waxed when one day an aesthetician cornered me in the waiting area and berated me for an article that I had written in the newspaper about skin care. It was an article that explained that I'm not a fan of facials. Somehow, she took this personally and proceeded to lecture me on this, and explain that her staff wanted to talk with me about this. Granted, that would all be fine—if she had called me at work. But this was my alone time. My personal time to get a waxing treatment, not get bugged about work issues. I've never returned.


3. So then I decided to try out a new place to get my arms waxed. The spa was adorable and I enjoyed the experience (even though it's painful to get your arms waxed). But then, the newly minted aesthetician dropped wax on my jeans. So not cool. She should have put a towel all over my lap, or had my arms in a position where the wax couldn't get on my clothes. She was new—very green at her job. But, I haven't been back.

Feel free to share your spa nightmares here.

Comments (13)Add Comment
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written by DOJ, September 28, 2011
Thank you to skin care company owner for reacting in such a self-realizing and compassionate way to what was written. Thank you, Lisa S., for sharing your own horror story, and to Loving my job, roger, and c. dior for joining the conversation without bashing the writer. As for the others, good heavens! Please . . . get some perspective! This was a well-written article meant to entertain and amuse, but at the same time, give us a little dose of "buyer beware". Of course, she can't name the establishments -- she'd be sued into oblivion. That wasn't her purpose anyway. Why are you criticizing her for using the word "nightmare"? When we are dishing with our friends, don't we use words like that about those kinds of experiences? Why are you telling her she's in the wrong career and that she should move and that she's thin-skinned and frail? Such extreme reactions -- so hostile, so unnecessary and so unfair! Where is that coming from? Why does the blogosphere breed such contempt? There's a human being behind this post, with a heart that beats in her ribcage just like ours does. I, for one, have been amused and entertained reading this blog. I've gotten such marvelous tips from it, and I haven't paid a dime for them. Let's respect that. Let's enjoy one another, and let's apply our contention to something more deserving.
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written by made up, September 26, 2011
I went to the spa to have my hair done and the beautician put an alcohol product on my hair to straighten it. When she went to blow dry it, the heating element of the blow dryer came in contact with my hair and it went up in a ball of flames! I had third degree burns and my face is disfigured... alright I am making all of this up, but this is a nightmare story. What you are talking about doesn't rate "nightmare" maybe irritating, maybe flaky, but not nightmare.
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written by skin care company owner, September 26, 2011
What is wrong with these business owners! I see this type of nonsense all the time. Customers pay your bills. Customers put your children through college. Customers are king. I can't tell you how many times I've had to bite my lip when angry customers are ragging on me and other co-workers. But you know what? They usually are just in bad moods from something that happened to them. But business owners chewing on their customers? That's like cussing out your boss. It's the unpardonable sin of commerce.
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written by Loving my job, September 26, 2011
OMG we all must be idiots! salon owner
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written by Lisa S., September 26, 2011
I have two horror stories. I went in for a pedicure on my birthday with some friends, and my friend decided to get her eyebrows waxed. I had never heard of this and decided I would try it. I liked how it looked, but man, did that hurt. When I got home and took a closer look, I noticed that not only had the aestethician taken hair- but also a lot of skin- from my brows. For my birthday, and several days after, my eyes were a mangled mess. Don't think I'll be trying that one again any time soon.

My other story is on my wedding day. I was getting my makeup and hair done. First, hair. The girl, who appeared to be very young, was curling my hair, and burned my forehead. She apologized, and when they did my makeup, tried to cover up the brown mark on my forehead, in vain. They didn't offer any kind of discounted rate, on this day in which I really wanted to look my best. To this day, a lot of my wedding pictures show a brown smudgy thing on my forehead, and the worst part is that it looks like cake frosting or some smeared makeup, instead of a burn.
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written by reader, September 25, 2011
wow--the author considers getting wax on her jeans to be the stuff of nightmares? scheesh...poor, frail thang...
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written by JM Follett, September 25, 2011
This article would mean a lot if the reader knew the names of the spas. There is no point in reading just to hear about your experiences and not know where they originated. I understand you want to protect their names, but if they were this awful, why would you care? I think you may be trying to protect yourself - you probably don't want them calling you up to complain. I understand that, but then there's no use in writing this.
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written by Ron Dogster, September 25, 2011
I find it sad that I wasted the time to read your article about "spa disasters". If an argument about a dollop of goo is a nightmare and having staff getting in your face after you trashed their place of business infringing on your "me time" is such a tragedy, maybe you should apply at MacDonalds. You seem to have very thin skin (careful, don't want to exfoliate too much). Get a life.
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written by so what?, September 25, 2011
I'm not sure the point of this article. Just sounds like someone complaining to me and hardly worthy of the title "nightmare spa experience". I wonder if this person has anything to do other than express negativity to those around her. Don't we have enough of that?
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written by Roger_123, September 24, 2011
I predict that businesses that are run like these you describe will be gone before too long.
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written by c. dior, September 24, 2011
First of all Christa, i love the whiteface. second, If you use a credit card to pay and the merchant won't honor their own return policies, simply leave the product with the merchant and call the credit card co for a charge-back. Merchants will pay attention to this. The second spa you mention is loony and should grow up, you're right they should stay out of your business while paying them. Downright distasteful behavior if you ask me. The third spa should have offered to buy you new pants, no question about it. But let's face it, this is Santa Cruz and many people just don't care here. Other towns have good economies because those business owners care and live up to proper fulfillment standards. This worst meal I've had in San Francisco was better than the best meal I've had in Santa Cruz. Take that, posers!
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written by Dim1, September 24, 2011
The writer of this article sounds just as vapid as the people she's complaining about. I bet she drives without signalling & leaves her trash behind in the theater for someone else to pick up. I think she would be better off moving to a place where she can get a proper waxing. And we'd all be the better for it.
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written by estie mom, September 24, 2011
your comments are very one sided....have you considered YOU might have a roll to play in the service and treatment you receive?

Mistakes are made by everyone....but then you MUST know that right???? you write as if you have never in your life made one and I am going to call you on that....surly you are not perfect.

These young women and even some men are trying to engage in beginning their careers and someone like you.....who does not enjoy the entire experience choose to write a blog about a service you are very honest about that you don't like them.....PLEASE....answer why write the blog? Could it be you need an audience to complaint to....about anything.....and you got the approval for an article about our local spas???? maybe you should give the task to someone who HAS had a good experience and enjoys the entire process so a REAL review can be written.

This review....by someone who was looking for something bad....is worthless. At least you had the class to not mention any names.....that would have been slander and I for one would have supported any of the esties to give you a little of your own medicine.....complain!

Seriously you need to consider if YOU are in the right career. Judging by this article....I'd have to say not.

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