When I was 19, I did my research and decided to get my eyebrow pierced to attract attention upwards and away from some rather awful facial scarring I acquired shortly before beginning middle school (you can imagine how well that went over). Long story short on that one...this first shop was pretty cool, and piercings are addictive! However, going to school out of state meant no consistent shop. The second one I went to was great.
I went to the third one with my mom. Mission: rook for me, see if mom wanted to actually go through with a nostril piercing.
Mom's nostril piercing went fairly well. She loves it, has had no problems, and has no regrets. I have, however, forbidden her to return to that shop. If you're in the business of sticking pointy things into people, you might just want to know what you're about.
1: I told the girl working the front that I admired her industrial piercing, but couldn't get one myself. She said, cheerfully, that they'd be happy to do one for me. That's great and everything, but...no one bothered to check to see if either one of my ears would support the piercing I had in mind...which they won't. After I informed her that there's just not the anatomy to support one, she insisted they'd be happy to do one anyway.
2: The piercer lost my mom's nostril jewelry transfer. Not an enormous deal in the long run, but it did distress her at the time. It irked me that they blamed it on my mom, though. We get it: the nose ring is recommended for healing. But she's a big girl and if the actual difference between a ring and a nostril screw was explained, we're pretty sure she'd have gotten it okay. She wanted the piercing expressly to wear a stud or screw in it, and hates the look of nose rings anyway.
3: The jewelry they used in my rook piercing was too large. When I took my problem to the same piercer who did my eyebrow, he said that the jewelry would be more appropriate for an inner conch piercing. For those who don't know what these piercings are...a rook is in the inner folds of the ear, and the conch piercing is through the shell (sometimes with the jewelry wrapping around the outside of the ear). Big jewelry in a small ear = lots of irritation and a piercing that doesn't want to heal. Piercer should know better.
4: Dude who did my eyebrow also showed me effectively that my too-large rook jewelry was basically made of scrap metal. He did so by pinching it closed between his fingers. Piercer should know WAY better.
Fast forward several years and someone decided, for some reason, to take a nice, hard left turn into my car, totaling it and making the pain I'm already in even worse. Cue the MRIs.
Living in a college town, we get athletic events. I don't care about these until I can't use the roads and don't keep track of when they happen. One of my tests was inadvertently scheduled for an athletic weekend. All piercing shops are downtown (impossible to get to)...save for one.
The owner (and apparently only trained piercer) sits around at the front desk, chats with his employees, and sometimes steps outside to have a smoke. His apprentices don't really know how jewelry works - they struggle with CBRs and are unfamiliar with the concept of an internally threaded piece (they admit mine is the first they've seen). It took them 10 minutes and a lot of tugging to get these things back in.
As a bonus, at that time, they also had a promo running on the radio where if you mention the ad, you get a small, discounted (!) crappy tattoo.