Help, difficult client!

ChromeJunkie

New Member
Hello,

I'm a mobile tech and went to a client's house a few months ago to do a full set. Nails were fine but I had to repeatedly ask her to tell her child to stop taking things out of my beauty kit/opening pots of gel etc. She didn't seem that bothered (she even said "oops" when he picked up and then threw my lamp on the floor). I also had to perform the entire treatment sat on the floor as she had no seating or table. She would got up every few minutes to roll a cigarette or comfort the child (child is a toddler) resulting in broken tips or smudged gel.
When she messaged me asking for a maintenance appointment, I said that she would need childcare as I couldn't afford to take the chance of having my equipment broken. When I arrived at her house, she told me that her childcare had let her down so I continued with the treatment and, yet again, I had similar issues with the child opening pots of gel and tipping glitter everywhere.
She has also asked me travel to her house and then when I messaged her from outside her house as there was no answer, she said she had to go out in an emergency and forgot to message me. I later found out that she was invited out on a night out.
I recently qualified in acrylics and put out an introductory offer for 10 ladies. Due to the monomers and powders, I've asked that children and pets are kept away. I've also asked for suitable seating areas. The client messaged me and said that she had arranged childcare and wanted a full set. When I told her that I had no appointments available she kept telling me that she had already arranged childcare (we hadn't agreed a time/date so not sure how) and needed her nails doing.
How do I handle this? Do I just squeeze her in somewhere to appease her and take the risk of having my acrylic kit damaged too or do I explain to her the reasons I can't take her on (beyond the fact that the 10 appointments I offered got snapped up)? As this is a new service, I really want to do the best work possible to promote it and I just feel I can't do it with this client :(
 

AlanyaMackie

Active Member
Say you are fully booked and will let her know if any slots become available. Buts the ball in your court. Additionally you could recommend her to go somewhere else or just face the situation head on and tell her you will not be doing her nails any more as you feel she does not respect you as a professional xx
 

ChromeJunkie

New Member
Say you are fully booked and will let her know if any slots become available. Buts the ball in your court. Additionally you could recommend her to go somewhere else or just face the situation head on and tell her you will not be doing her nails any more as you feel she does not respect you as a professional xx
I have told her to go elsewhere previously as she is away from my usual area but she's been pretty blunt in telling me that she won't go anywhere else because I'm cheap and she won't pay full price for something she could do herself. I'm still very new to this and I didn't want to get a bad reputation before I'd even really got started but I think I may just have to be upfront with her about it all - Thank you for your advice :) xx
 

NancySyd

Well-Known Member
Oh heck, no!! This is not a client you need or want. She doesn't respect you or your work, and she lies to you. She will not be a good platform for your best work because she doesn't provide an environment in which you can do your best work. You may be new to this but you need to value yourself and your work.

She either gets appropriate childcare, or you don't work on her. When you showed up and there was no babysitter, you should have left. This is a basic health and safety issue. Do you honestly think she'd be forgiving if one of your chemicals injured her child or damaged her furniture? And don't lie or obfuscate. Tell her respectfully that you cannot take her on as a client because her child is in the way and the environment is unsafe.
 

ChromeJunkie

New Member
Oh heck, no!! This is not a client you need or want. She doesn't respect you or your work, and she lies to you. She will not be a good platform for your best work because she doesn't provide an environment in which you can do your best work. You may be new to this but you need to value yourself and your work.

She either gets appropriate childcare, or you don't work on her. When you showed up and there was no babysitter, you should have left. This is a basic health and safety issue. Do you honestly think she'd be forgiving if one of your chemicals injured her child or damaged her furniture? And don't lie or obfuscate. Tell her respectfully that you cannot take her on as a client because her child is in the way and the environment is unsafe.
Thank you for the advice - I have sent her a message detailing everything I've mentioned above and why I can't work on her and she's now told me she'll be telling everyone I do terrible work and that whilst my sets look good, they fall off after a day. I guess you can't win them all :)
 

Ongen

Member
Oh heck, no!! This is not a client you need or want. She doesn't respect you or your work, and she lies to you. She will not be a good platform for your best work because she doesn't provide an environment in which you can do your best work. You may be new to this but you need to value yourself and your work.

She either gets appropriate childcare, or you don't work on her. When you showed up and there was no babysitter, you should have left. This is a basic health and safety issue. Do you honestly think she'd be forgiving if one of your chemicals injured her child or damaged her furniture? And don't lie or obfuscate. Tell her respectfully that you cannot take her on as a client because her child is in the way and the environment is unsafe.
Totally agree with this! And if you’re worried about bad word of mouth, it might be worth it as keeping her might attract more clients behaving similarly.
This sounds like a nightmare, I feel very sad for you even questioning yourself getting rid of her.
 

Ongen

Member
Thank you for the advice - I have sent her a message detailing everything I've mentioned above and why I can't work on her and she's now told me she'll be telling everyone I do terrible work and that whilst my sets look good, they fall off after a day. I guess you can't win them all :)
I’m really sorry she’s treating you so badly :( but like I mentioned earlier, you might wanna stay away from friends she’d recommend anyway... Well done for standing up for yourself! ☺
 

NancySyd

Well-Known Member
Thank you for the advice - I have sent her a message detailing everything I've mentioned above and why I can't work on her and she's now told me she'll be telling everyone I do terrible work and that whilst my sets look good, they fall off after a day. I guess you can't win them all :)
Kill her with kindness. In response to her message, simply message her back a simple message. "I am sorry that despite your numerous attempts, I was unable to accommodate you. I am also sorry you now feel my services are no longer up to your standards. I hope you will be able to find someone who can fulfill your needs. Best wishes." I suspect most people will recognize her for the vengeful liar she is. Don't lower yourself by ever acknowledging her negative comments.
 

blossom

Well-Known Member
I had a similar problem when I was mobile altho not as bad as what you’re describing, I ended up really limiting what I got out of my case and if they went near it, saying in a worried voice “ooh not in there, so much of it is poisonous” usually did the trick.
 

ChromeJunkie

New Member
I had a similar problem when I was mobile altho not as bad as what you’re describing, I ended up really limiting what I got out of my case and if they went near it, saying in a worried voice “ooh not in there, so much of it is poisonous” usually did the trick.
I actually told her that most of it was toxic and, as some of the pots leak, the child could accidentally ingest some of the product (so easy for a little one to put fingers in mouth without thinking). She was concerned for the first 5 minutes and then she answered a phone call and stopped caring after that. I'm beginning to wonder whether charging a lower rate is the wrong way to go about it? I just don't want to charge too much before I'm completely confident in my abilities.
 

ChromeJunkie

New Member
Kill her with kindness. In response to her message, simply message her back a simple message. "I am sorry that despite your numerous attempts, I was unable to accommodate you. I am also sorry you now feel my services are no longer up to your standards. I hope you will be able to find someone who can fulfill your needs. Best wishes." I suspect most people will recognize her for the vengeful liar she is. Don't lower yourself by ever acknowledging her negative comments.
I actually didn't answer the last one as she is the type to screenshot something and post to social media - I just don't believe there's any way that I can come across well in this. She's saying that I'm selling myself as a mobile nail technician but won't take on mothers of young children which isn't true - some of my nicest clients are mothers but they're able to control their children. I'm just so frustrated by this all and it's honestly put a bit of a dampener on how excited I was to be offering a new service.
 

ChromeJunkie

New Member
I’m really sorry she’s treating you so badly :( but like I mentioned earlier, you might wanna stay away from friends she’d recommend anyway... Well done for standing up for yourself! ☺
I honestly think it may have something to do with how little I charge - I feel like maybe if you pay less, you don't look after the nails as much? You're right, I don't want any of her friends as clients if I have to go through this again.
 

blossom

Well-Known Member
I agree with you
 

Ongen

Member
I actually didn't answer the last one as she is the type to screenshot something and post to social media - I just don't believe there's any way that I can come across well in this. She's saying that I'm selling myself as a mobile nail technician but won't take on mothers of young children which isn't true - some of my nicest clients are mothers but they're able to control their children. I'm just so frustrated by this all and it's honestly put a bit of a dampener on how excited I was to be offering a new service.
But not only the kid, it’s crazy to expect you to work on the floor! :( I’m partly mobile too, but only doing friends RN and I’m really dreading your scenario as I live in a very small community where words travel fast.
I guess that’s a problem when you’re coming to someone’s house; you can’t really set the rules as you would in your own salon (no fiddling with phone, no children touching stuff etc).
Are you charging an extra fee for the travel? Maybe that would be a good way otherwise to show your clients you value this service and see to it professionally, and also help gaining some confidence?
It’s such a shame it dampens your joy in what you do, although I can totally understand why :( keep your head high and remember you made the right choice, not only for yourself but to keep the child safe as well!
 

ciderella71

Well-Known Member
Don’t let it get you down. It’s one client. Screenshot the threats she made to damage your reputation and block her number and from your social media accounts and forget about her.
That is the last kind of client you need and be assured that they are few and far between. My ladies are lovely. The couple that weren’t were told to go elsewhere.
 

TheDuchess

Well-Known Member
You're doing fine - you've learned a good useful lesson about stating your requirements as part of your terms and conditions.

In future I would advise you to be less specific about why you can't accommodate a request. Explaining can be more trouble than it's worth. Learning how to say "no" effectively and without apology is a real skill. I wish I was better at it!
 

7th-Heaven

Active Member
I'm sorry you've had to deal with such a person. It's her, not you. ;) Good luck to her finding someone else to put up with her nightmare attitude and nightmare offspring while under pressure of performing a service. Instead of dwelling on this, be very happy she's out of your life. Don't pay her any mind about ruining your reputation. The only people who might take her seriously are other people just like her. So she's doing you a favour, kind of. :p
Block her, and move on. So as ciderella said and screen shot everything though and put it out it your mind in a folder somewhere. Forget about this customer. She's doing more harm than good.
 

NancySyd

Well-Known Member
I actually didn't answer the last one as she is the type to screenshot something and post to social media - I just don't believe there's any way that I can come across well in this. She's saying that I'm selling myself as a mobile nail technician but won't take on mothers of young children which isn't true - some of my nicest clients are mothers but they're able to control their children. I'm just so frustrated by this all and it's honestly put a bit of a dampener on how excited I was to be offering a new service.
I think it is important that you send her a final message. A very sweet, kind message, that acknowledges/documents the issue she had with you and your attempts to resolve it. If you are correct about her, this final message will be part of the "record" of your interaction with you. If she is the type to post on social media, then you should make sure that you get your words on record. Whatever she says about you will only be believed by people like her - not your market. As Ciderella said, send it, screen shot it and move on.

But you also need to take a hard look at the role you played in this. I strongly suspect you are sending a message that undermines you. Re-assess your rates. Your rates should be appropriate to your final product and the quality experience that you provide. A low rate signals that you don't have confidence in your work. People like this woman will pick up that and use it against you. You should establish rules and policies and then hold people to them (including yourself). Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and learn the lesson in this interaction.
 

ChromeJunkie

New Member
I think it is important that you send her a final message. A very sweet, kind message, that acknowledges/documents the issue she had with you and your attempts to resolve it. If you are correct about her, this final message will be part of the "record" of your interaction with you. If she is the type to post on social media, then you should make sure that you get your words on record. Whatever she says about you will only be believed by people like her - not your market. As Ciderella said, send it, screen shot it and move on.

But you also need to take a hard look at the role you played in this. I strongly suspect you are sending a message that undermines you. Re-assess your rates. Your rates should be appropriate to your final product and the quality experience that you provide. A low rate signals that you don't have confidence in your work. People like this woman will pick up that and use it against you. You should establish rules and policies and then hold people to them (including yourself). Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and learn the lesson in this interaction.
Thank you for this advice - I will definitely type something up this evening. Having spoken to someone else about this client who has also dealt with her for a different service, this isn't the first time she's acted this way which has made me feel slightly better. I will definitely screenshot and move on. I do live in a small area and was afraid of the repercussions but I think you're probably right about her friends not being the right type of client for me :)

I will definitely take another look at my rates - My current clients are happy to pay my prices and I've been told previously that I undercharge so I will have to look at that over the next few days. Thank you for your wonderful advice - I'm feeling a lot better about the situation!
 

ChromeJunkie

New Member
I just wanted to say a massive thank you to all you ladies for your wonderful help and advice. I hope one day I'm able to give such great advice to another struggling newbie <3
 
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