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1st extension client bad experience... put off & discouraged

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EmmieRose

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Ok, so I just graduated and set up at a salon. This is my second week. I haven’t been terribly busy but it's a rural and not very affluent area so I'm just being patient and trying to look on the bright side. I've had a couple natural mani and pedi clients and just one young woman in for gel extensions.

Now it must be said I was never too excited about extensions. I wanted to do natural manis, pedis, gel polish and nail art. Where I live, however, cosmetology is very regulated and my only option was to take a full esthetics course (1-2 years, $10 000.00) or a Nail Tech Course (manis & pedis +lots of extension work, 4 months, $4 000.00). I opted for Nail Tech. Despite not being really keen on extensions personally I am quite careful and particular and did very well in all aspects of the course including extensions. The ones I gave my Mom just keep going and I had good results with others as well. Ok, that's just background...

So, this young woman (19) came in. Her nails were tiny and very short and she wanted them extended with gel. I did my best. I did not make them too long. I followed every step. I honestly don't think I messed up at all. They were a little thick perhaps but that's the worst of it. She mentioned she had had gel nails before and they had come right off. I thought maybe the tech hadn't prepped properly. She did say that tech was unlisenced. Also she mentioned she is doing lots of yard work and spending time in the water. Red flags everywhere, but I wanted to give her what she wanted and hope for the best. That was five days ago. Today she called me at the salon to tell me all but two had come off during the weekend. She was sweet as sugar and said it must be her nails don't do well with gel. I agreed that is probably the case and asked her what I could do. She said perhaps acrylic. I agreed and we set up an appointment for tomorrow afternoon. On my way home she texted me. It went like this:

her: Hey e its b once again is there anyway i could get my money back because n now doesn't wanna bring me [to town]

me: I guess so although if the problem is that you can't wear gel (and it does sound like that) that is not technically my fault and I did use my time and product. It doesn't really seem fair for me to reimburse you fully although I will because I don't want you to be dissatisfied. I would rather redo them in acrylic when it's convenient for you but am willing to reimburse you if you prefer.
Also I have that creme you wanted.

her: How much will i have to pay for the other nails

me: Oh, nothing! I thought you understood that, sorry. I'll redo them for free because the others didn't last.

her: Ok. And how much for the lotion

me: But if you really rather I can give you your $... no hard feelings.
$11 for the lotion

her: Ok I'll pick the lotion up tmrw and i rather have my money back

me: Ok

I think I was plenty fair in offering to redo them. What I have right now is time but not tons of cash. I provided a service. I told her at the time I put them on that I would redo them if they came off in the first week but said nothing about money back. I didn't want to refuse to reimburse her though because it's such a small town and I'm just getting started. I'd hate for her to get mad and trash talk me. I think I made my feelings about the fairness of the situation quite clear in a polite way and that my preference to redo them was reasonable. What do you say Geeks? Am I too soft? Too hard? Too soft but smart not to risk trash talking?

I really think I did a decent job and that she just doesn't do well with gels.

Like I said above extensions were never my reason for doing nails. I am really tempted to drop them from my menu and focus on natural manis, pedis, gelish and nail art... the stuff I like and which have less potential to go wrong. I might make less money but this was always more about having fun and having a low stress job (I switched from social work) than money for me anyway.

Sorry so long. Thanks to anyone who read this far. Advice please geeks. :(
 

Jen889

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Firstly breath! Your going to have a couple of clients like this and worse, it's normal. Now the way your texts are going it sounds more like she's a friend?? 5days later I find is very long, we only see the clients nails a few hours ever couple of weeks. What they do outside this time frame we have no idea about but it's something we need to find out. If she's in water a lot and gardening then the nails are bound not to last, nothing to do with you.

Secondly I wouldn't have refunded but that's something that comes with time and confidence. Don't fret about it hun! I know in the beginning it's hard to stand your ground and you worry about gossip but think about it, if people want to gossip they will gossip and trash talk even if you bend over backwards for them. Your client can still come back and say negative things but it's not something to worry about as it happens in life and in business

Secondly if you don't like doing extensions, don't offer them! Simple. You will make your living off the other services you provide. You shouldn't offer a service that you don't feel passionate about
 

Jen889

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Ah just realized your in nova scotia!! I'm going there this august on vacation. Where abouts are you??
 

EmmieRose

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Thank you. That is good advice and you calmed me down a lot. I know I'm overreacting a bit. We are not friends but chatted a lot during the service. We're both friendly and outgoing so I see why you got that impression. I realise it's normal to have clients like this but I'm disappointed my first service broke down.. although you're right, she may have been very hard on them. I did think of that. I didn't want to refund but need to learn to stand my ground. I was hoping she'd take the hint.

I may well drop extensions... but I'll try not to decide tonight when I'm flustered.
 

EmmieRose

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Lol, I just scrolled up to see you're in Quebec. I'm on the South Shore (Bridgewater). It's kind of the middle of nowhere but pretty. I spend time in Halifax to see friends though. What brings you here?
 

Jen889

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Standing your ground takes time, you will get it. I never stood my ground until my boyfriend told me something that stuck (and this is almost two years ago!) if they went to a big spa, would they get a refund,deal,special? Nope because their there to make money and run a successful business, exactly what you should be running.

Don't get discouraged and definitely don't make a decision when flustered. Think hard about it, go with your heart and what you feel would make you happy
 

Jen889

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Lol, I just scrolled up to see you're in Quebec. I'm on the South Shore (Bridgewater). It's kind of the middle of nowhere but pretty. I spend time in Halifax to see friends though. What brings you here?
I'm actually touring all the scenic routes in NS so I'm stoping in your town :p small world. I went to Halifax last year and fell in love, told the boyfriend we have to tour NS as our next vacation and that's what we're doing with our little dog :)
 

EmmieRose

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Sweet, I hope you enjoy it. Pm me if you would like tips on where to stop or stay in this area. There's some sweet craft shops, cafes, beaches, etc. that are kind of local secrets. :)
 

KirstieLou

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Ok,

her: Hey e its b once again is there anyway i could get my money back because n now doesn't wanna bring me [to town]

She couldn't get to town to have the acrylic option but she managed to get to town for a refund??
 

EmmieRose

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<- Yes KristieLou, I noticed that aswell. :(

Perhaps she just couldn't get in at the time we had arranged? However, I do find it fishy. More likely she just wanted the cash.
 

amurphy105

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You mentioned her nail beds were very short. I recommend nail biters and pickers get fills every week, or as soon as one pops, until their beds grow out some. This is most likely NOT your fault at all. And being a biter myself, and a nail tech, I know, I know... When I have nails on, I tend to unconsciously flaunt them and use them when doing things in front of people.

Sent from my Desire HD using SalonGeek
 

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