September 15th, 2011

rage pony

In need of some advice: Update!

Update: I went in for the manicure and asked for the manager, but apparently he wasn't there again. The receptionist was very lovely though, and though there wasn't a lot she could do, she did apologise again. The manicure itself, well....that's another story. Instead of the advertised "Hour long manicure and pedicure with OPI and aveda products" I was given just a simple file and polish. No soak for either my hands or feet, and I didn't see so much as a single aveda product. The whole experience took about 25 mins, including drying time for the polish. I did show the beautician the printout of the voucher before she started, and I had told the person who took my booking on the phone in the first place what I wanted.

Plus, I was telling the beautician as she did my nails how proud I was of how long I had managed to grow them (they were as long as my fingertips). Then she proceeded to file them down a <i>lot</i> more than I wanted - there's literally about a 3-4mm gap now between my nail tip and my fingertip. I didn't say anything because I hate making a scene in public, and the manicure set up was like, right in the middle of the salon, and I didn't notice until she was halfway done because she asked me what polish I wanted and I was looking at the display they had, but I felt like crying once I was out of the salon.

I've just sent the manager a formal email detailing all the problems i've had with them, including saying that I was fully prepared to post the email on as many review sites as I could if this isn't resolved. I'm moving back to cambridge at the weekend so there isn't anything they can do in terms of letting me come in again for the manicure I should have recieved, etc, but I figure i'm owed at least an apology from the manager at this point, right?

Original post:

I am a reformed nail-biter (and i've been biting them for as long as I can remember) so I decided as a reward to myself for managing to grow them out to book myself a manicure before I move back to university. I was lucky enough to find a Groupon deal for a deluxe manicure and pedicure at Pure Hair and Beauty in Enfield. Once I had the voucher, I phoned up the salon two weeks in advance to book my appointment, for weds 14th at 12pm. 

Now, getting to Enfield has gotten a lot harder in the past week due to the only bus company that comes through my village changing all their schedules - the bus to Enfield now comes twice in the morning at 7 and 8am, and twice in the evening. I figured, it's just bad luck, so I got the bus at 8am and spent the spare 3 hours doing some window shopping around the town cente. Come 11.50, I walk up to the salon and give my name and appointment schedule to the receptionist.

Apparently, my booking had instead been made for today, thursday, instead, and the receptionist told me that there was absolutely no one in the salon doing beauty treatments that day. Understandably, I'm annoyed as not only had I paid for a bus ticket, but i'd given up my entire morning to get there. She said that if I gave her my name and number, she'd get the manager to give me a call since there wasn't much she could do right then, which I thought was fair enough. I made my way home and waited all day for a phone call - they close at 6pm, so at 5.30 when I still hadn't heard anything I had to phone them up, getting the same receptionist who asked if my name was "Emily" (it is similar, it's Emma, and I corrected her politely). She said that she hadn't been able to get through to the manager and she was leaving him a note, and he'd get back to me in the morning. I was getting even more irritated with this salon, but I thanked the receptionist (it wasn't her fault, I spoke to a guy when I was making my booking) and hung up.

Fast forward to this morning - i'm back in Enfield, holing up in McDonalds to make use of their free wifi since I really didn't want to wander around the shops again, and I finally get a call from the manager.

"Oh, did you want to keep your booking for today?"

Thats right - no apology, nothing. I did get a little bit snappy, and replied that of course I wanted to keep it, since I'd now paid to get here twice, and i'm in Enfield already. So, my queston is, what should I say when I go for my appointment? Should I say anything? I've already paid for the Groupon voucher, so I'm kind of trapped into going to this salon, when in another situation I would've just taken my business elsewhere. I'm not good with confronting people in situations like this, especially when the manager sounded like he obviously didn't care.
  • aphrael

Expedia Woes

My husband and I just moved to Berkeley, California, as my husband has a job offer with the University of Berkeley, California.

Before we left, we arranged to stay with someone my husband knew until we could find an apartment. Unfortunately, a week before we left we found out that we could only stay with them for 4 days, so we needed additional accommodation. I booked a week with the Golden Bear Inn, via Expedia (they had a special on the rates that were quite a bit cheaper than the Inn's own website) and paid in full (because you have to).

Now, today is our check-in day, but we haven't checked in yet. This morning, we got a call from an apartment we viewed and were told we can move in tomorrow! Yay! So I looked up my itinerary on Expedia to see if I could change it to one night at the Inn and get some of my money back. The cancellation policy on the hotel's own website simply says that if you give them less than 24 hours notice, you're charged 1 night. Fine. That's reasonable. Expedia's website lists the hotel's conditions as above, but with an additional condition, which reads:

"Cancellations or changes made after check-in on 15 September, 2011 are subject to a hotel fee equal to 100% of the total amount paid for the reservation."

However, we haven't checked in yet. So I call Expedia, which is a pain because I booked it through, and now I'm in the US, so it was an international call. I get through to Nigel, and I tell him my problem. I haven't mentioned my name or the hotel, by the way, because I figure he'll ask me. He said, flat-out, that I couldn't get any kind of refund because it was the day of check-in. I kept telling him I hadn't checked in yet, he kept saying that didn't matter. I said that the condition wasn't clear then, because it specifically says "after check-in". He said it was perfectly clear, and he offered to read it to me. I said I was reading it as we spoke. He was extremely rude to me, and he kept saying that it was the hotel's condition. He also kept saying that I shouldn't have left it this late, even though I only just found out about the apartment so I couldn't have done it sooner. It wasn't until I hung up that I realised that he couldn't possibly know the hotel's policy, because he never asked what hotel it was, or any of my personal details.

After he hung up, I composed myself, and called the Golden Bear Inn. I spoke to Chris, and explained the situation. He seemed extremely surprised that Expedia had told me it was the hotel's policy, because he said they didn't have that policy. He said they were happy for me to change the booking at no charge to me. He even said Expedia could call them and confirm this.

So I called Expedia again, and lo and behold, I got Nigel. Again. I explained the whole deal again, and he actually asked for my itinerary number this time, and read the condition out to me. I told him what Chris had said, and that he could phone them if he liked. He said he would, but he didn't know what time it was there. Since I'm here, in Berkeley, I told him it was 3:28pm. He acted like I hadn't said anything, and said he'd have to Google the time. I told him again that it was 3:28pm, and that I was in Berkeley right this minute. He ignored me again and then said "Oh, it's 3:28pm" and put me on hold for ages. Then he came back and said I was right, they didn't have that policy, and he would refund me.

So it was a good outcome, but he was so nasty to me the first time, he kept talking over me and arguing with me and speaking to me like I was a child. I was nearly in tears by the time the call was over, and I'm so glad I called the Golden Bear Inn, because if I hadn't I'd be out about $350 right now.
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