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Please help, customer won’t leave me alone!

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shazza7429

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It pains me to have to come on here and ask about this but I’m struggling to sleep now and hate to go out incase I bump into a customer! Iv been a hairdresser for 16 years now and recently opened up a salon at home.
I did a new lady in November and she was so pleased, did it again in December and she appeared pleased and I didn’t see any fault but then about 6 days later she complained about the cut and said it was over layered, I apologised so much and offered her to come in and have a look, she then said she wanted to go back to her old hairdresser so again I apologised so much and offered her the cost of a cut for her to go back, after I posted personally through her door that’s when the constant message abuse started... I continued to remain professional throughout although i was so upset. Then she started posting on my business page but removing every time. I then had a message to thank me for the refund and say she now had got used to it and it ok and to have a good Christmas, then although not on my business page, she keeps popping up with horrible comments or ‘not recommending me’!
im on edge so much... Iv always been very very busy and live in a very small village so I know just about everyone, the local salon that I worked for 6 years has recently closed so have pushed for a fantastic opening and done a lot of advertising but this one lady won’t leave me alone. She’s an older lady with no children etc in a big posh house and is thoroughly intimidating me and a just don’t know what to do, I have dealt with this as professionally as I would imagine you can but the constant worry and comments etc etc are really getting me down...

What would everyone do? I beg for some advice as I feel like I just want to quit right now! Iv had the odd occasion where I wasn’t happy with something I did but had no complaints and they returned, this shocked me when she complained as I didn’t think it was bad at all and she was so happy the first time and again on leaving the second...
 

Trinity

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Block, delete and ignore - she's a chancer and bully, you've fallen for it because you're too nice. Funny how once you'd given her money she's happy with her hair 🤬

If you're in a small village I suspect everyone knows what she's like so will ignore her nasty comments anyway.

Try not to dwell on it, you're just giving her more time and space to abuse you for no reason.
 

Haircutz

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Yes, block and ignore.
However, if after doing that she’s causing you this much stress, pay a solicitor to send her a ‘cease and desist’ letter explaining that she will be taken to court for harassment if she continues to contact you.
 

shazza7429

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I feel very childish at 34 saying it... but I keep saying to my husband, although she’s very posh and well to do, I feel like she is bullying me. She appeared to be so nice. I even said in a reply that it pains me that she is so so unhappy and it’s not in my nature to make people feel like this... my husband said I apologised far far to much but that’s just me. I feel bullied your so right 😔
 

Haircutz

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Also, remember that no matter how perfect your service is there WILL ALWAYS be one person out of a hundred who will whinge and complain because that is simply human nature. Fact is there are people out there who are only happy when they’re making other people unhappy. It’s an unfortunate personality trait.

In future, don’t be so quick to apologise and refund. You need to develop a thick skin and learn to differentiate between genuinely unhappy clients and the chancers.
 

shazza7429

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Thank you so much for your replies, it’s made me feel a lot better.
I think what I found difficult is that she was really nice/fair about it all, until I posted the money back through her door in an envelope. I can’t do any more than what I did, but they messages changed, about how Iv hacked at her hair, it will take years to grow back (it really wasn’t bad IMO) then she was nice ish again then now just negative feedback everywhere but no sooner do I see notifications, they have been removed. I’m just on the edge waiting for the next one. She seemed so nice and mature and reasonable, I couldn’t do anything more than I did to try and apologise and ease her.
Thank you again x
 

ronray

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After an incident I encountered last year I will never 100% trust what a client says again.
Blocking them was the best thing we ever did on the buisness page and personal pages. Even on whatsapp, Instagram any form of contact they could possibly have. If you see her in public then just walk on. Don't bite to anything she says. Just know that there was nothing else you could have done and you offered her the best solution possible.
And as @Haircutz mentioned, if the abuse continues definitely send a solicitors letter. It won't cost much and it'll shut her up.
Chin up, I'm sure you have 100's of clients who absolutely love their hair! And that's all you need to focus on - is continuing to make them feel amazing!
 

Tracey xox

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what others have already said I agree with, if she’s being manipulative on FB maybe ask some of your regular clients to comment on the great work you have done? See if they’ll put up recommendations? People will start to see a pattern from her and will also ignore her, and unfortunately she’ll soon find someone else to bully, maybe because she’s well off she feels able to treat people this way but it is definitely unacceptable! If it were me, (and I can be a wall flower sometimes) maybe keep saying, you dealt with the matter privately, at the time when she told you she was unhappy, so if she was happy to take your money as way of accepting your apology then matter has been resolved? Good luck, I do hope she leaves you alone soon, and please don’t doubt yourself, head high and carry on xx
 

GelAcEnthusiast

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It pains me to have to come on here and ask about this but I’m struggling to sleep now and hate to go out incase I bump into a customer! Iv been a hairdresser for 16 years now and recently opened up a salon at home.
I did a new lady in November and she was so pleased, did it again in December and she appeared pleased and I didn’t see any fault but then about 6 days later she complained about the cut and said it was over layered, I apologised so much and offered her to come in and have a look, she then said she wanted to go back to her old hairdresser so again I apologised so much and offered her the cost of a cut for her to go back, after I posted personally through her door that’s when the constant message abuse started... I continued to remain professional throughout although i was so upset. Then she started posting on my business page but removing every time. I then had a message to thank me for the refund and say she now had got used to it and it ok and to have a good Christmas, then although not on my business page, she keeps popping up with horrible comments or ‘not recommending me’!
im on edge so much... Iv always been very very busy and live in a very small village so I know just about everyone, the local salon that I worked for 6 years has recently closed so have pushed for a fantastic opening and done a lot of advertising but this one lady won’t leave me alone. She’s an older lady with no children etc in a big posh house and is thoroughly intimidating me and a just don’t know what to do, I have dealt with this as professionally as I would imagine you can but the constant worry and comments etc etc are really getting me down...

What would everyone do? I beg for some advice as I feel like I just want to quit right now! Iv had the odd occasion where I wasn’t happy with something I did but had no complaints and they returned, this shocked me when she complained as I didn’t think it was bad at all and she was so happy the first time and again on leaving the second...
She may be jealous. Inform the police. It may be classed as a hate related incident especially if she turns up uninvited to your home/place of work.
Keep an accurate record of every single word she says with dates, times, locations and circumstances and any witnesses. Wear your phone around your neck in a holster with a window with the video on record before you leave the house to record potential incidents. Never speak and practise keeping a thoroughly neutral expression (/poker face), so she doesn’t know she’s gotten under your skin.
The fact that you feel like closing your business suggests that was her aim - sufficient intimidation and stress that you’d buckle. Be disciplined with all your clients if you aren’t already and don’t self-disclose. Clients can talk until they’re blue in the face but, always respond to questions by artfully dodging with vagueries and niceties. Some clients, if so inclined, garner info’ and evaluate how easy you’ll be to bully from that. If you’re nice, which is sounds like you are, they’ll harass, harangue abs belittle you to get free treatments. The key is to set your boundaries, be assertive but, obviously always polite and never give out personal info’ such as a home number (e.g. keep two different mobile numbers - 1 for clients, one for personal use if you don’t already). Take screen shots of and then delete any reviews (you can request removal on sites that aren’t yours if they’re not true as that damages your business and it’s illegal to deprive someone of an income) and analyse all reviews for this truthfulness.
Also, to reduce your stress: if she’s jealous, she’s trying to push you out of your community through damaging your business reputation. I’ve experienced this. Make sure to remember **she’s got nothing on you**! So, don’t be afraid to call the police on their non-emergency number and go through their online portal and log a report. Identify key things like: if she’s menacing, intimidating body language, exact words used, as you want to document any language classed as ‘hateful’ (ethnicity, religion, gender, etc) and then state if you wish for the police to take action but, log the worst incidents first so they get a clear picture of the worst of it before skimming over the rest as the attending officer (sometimes a PCSO) will be the one to go through it in detail with you. Also, they should ask you what outcome you’d like. Have a set of clearly identified goals e.g.
If she’s left a review once - simply posting, deleting and reposting to make her presence known on your website.
Stop speaking to you in the street
Stop visiting you at home
Stop calling you,
Etc.
Assure them you won’t engage if she engages.
The upside is: a police officer knocking at her door will mean she won’t be so cocky with the bullying.
If after a visit she carries on, report it again online so you have a written copy as well as the police. Some people are foolish enough to repeat the behaviour and not listen to the police but, then she’s violated any agreement made with the police.
These methods above mean not having to live in fear.
Hope this helps.
 

fab fingers

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I think this issue is probably exacerbated by the fact you work from home, so you probably ferl there's no escaping. You can't just leave ur phone at work, close up, head home and put it out your head for even a few hours.
I don't think you have anything to beat urself up about......in fact I wouldn't even have offered her a refund. I would have offered to take a look and 'tweek' and particular areas she was unhappy with. However, it's done and that should have been a line drawn under it. If you feel she's continuing to harass you, you have 3 options, aa I see it:-
1. You can either ignore her, block her on everything and she will move onto some one else.
2. You can arrange for the biggest gossip in ur village to win a pamper day with you, where you will lavish her with every luxury you have, become her new best friend and while her face mask/manicure/hair is relaxing her, you can confidentially tell her about this nightmare of a one off client who is stalking and harassing you. Don't mention names or specifics, but give just enough info that she'll know who it is. Tell her u refunded her, although u know u shouldn't have, because you thought it might stop the abuse. Then sit back and let your new best friend her do her thing!
3. Deal with her head on. Put a well thought out post on your soc media. Say you realise there is a local who has visited you twice and is now and is defaming you and your business on social media and locally. Say you hope everyone knows you well enough and knows your high standards, to know the allegations are untrue. Say you hope everyone understands that in this day if social media, some people are only interested in a free hair cut and will do anything to try to hold businesses to ransom, by threatening bad reviews, and by stalking and harassment of you and your family. You trust that you clients are intelligent enough to make up their own minds, based on their iwn experiences. Lastly thank you loyal clients for their on going support and loyalty.
Good luck which ever way you choose. X
 

Cpazza

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I am so sorry to hear this, as therapists/hairdressers our businesses are everything to us and you have been very professional about it.

In the last 7 years I have had the misfortune on encountering 2 strange women.
The first wanted to be a close friend, which I don't encourage as I was her therapist, she constantly crossed the boundaries such as ringing me at home, buying me gifts, I too was so careful of how I reacted but ended up blocking her mobile number, FB and Instagram, even her email. I live in the same town and if her car is in the supermarket car park I avoid going in.

The 2nd was really peculiar, she had a lot of physiological problems which were not within my field, I polity recommend a more suitable therapist but she sent me a lot of abusive messages all times of the day and night.

In the end I decided to take back control of the situation, I actually put a small post on my page, perhaps you could put one on to say that if anyone has any feedback regarding your services could they speak to you in confidence rather than commenting on your public page because as a small business client satisfaction is paramount and you work hard to ensure each and every clients leaves the salon happy. You could also just mention how wonderful all your clients are and how thier incredible support throughout these times has been so much appreciated, just turn it around, she will feel very foolish.

I am more that happy to leave you a lovely review as we need to support each other, let me have your page address if you would like one popping on there xx
 

CaroRicho

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This is definitely about her and not about you. She is obviously not quite firing on all cylinders.
 

tog

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This is definitely about her and not about you. She is obviously not quite firing on all cylinders.
Yes, I totally agree, the woman sounds as if she has mental health issues, maybe made worse by lockdown. Probably lonely too and nothing better to think about.
But I do think the advice about screenshotting all her bad reviews is excellent, as well as making a note of any dates and times of potential future contact.
Hopefully she will get bored and move on to her next fixation soon.
Shazza7429 - you have done all you could possibly have in this situation and acted very professionally. You sound like a very caring and considerate person, (and all your genuine clients will know this, and not believe a word she says) so don't let her take advantage any more.
 

Feline

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In this case I’d pull a full Mariah on her, you don’t know her.

The stress created in you by what she is doing is what her fuel / plan is, so as long as she does not feel that she is having any effect for her hard work at trying.. she will eventually go and find another source because she won’t be getting what she wants (to feel powerful) from you.

Focus on your wonderful existing client base, and keep an infinite looping practice of giving and receiving kindness going between yourself and the people who do not need to behave so embarrassingly badly in order to feel good about themselves.

She views kindness in other people as a weakness to be exploited, which is sick in the head. She should not receive one more iota of attention from you. Good or bad.

Wishing you best x

ps: unless trained, none of us in this industry are mental health professionals, nor should we be expected to be. Yes, we look out for those who may be struggling, but we are not responsible for people (especially not the nasty ones) aside for what they have booked in for and the regulations and safety that we pro’s abide by. There’s a difference between struggling with mental health and being dreadful to people.
 
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shazza7429

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Thank you so much to each of you for your replies. I’m trying to figure out how to block someone that doesn’t actually ‘like’ your page...
She’s sent my heart beating at the speed of light again tonight... name pops up, laughing emoji at a picture I put up yestererday 😔 then although I caught a screen grab of it, 30 seconds later, gone 😔 so fed up
 

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GelAcEnthusiast

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Shazza she’s defs taunting you by posting then deleting moments later. Very immature. If the police take action against her, they can trace every key stroke from her PC or phone regardless of what she deletes (electronic forensics), so she’s a total fool thinking she’s removed evidence. Glad you managed to get that screen shot just in the nick of time. Don’t think for a second it’s a waste of time. If you can print out all the evidence of her unreasonable behaviour and keep it in a folder somewhere safe, it’ll be very compelling for the police to see. Make a copy for them, so they can keep it and also read through it with you reading your copy that you can make notes on to help you explain the evidence clearly and succinctly.

One thing I didn’t add in my last response was: do not even hesitate to call the police. It is not petty and you are not wasting their time.
Two angles that you can tackle the issue from are: –
Harassment
*Public order offence.

Police usually have more powers to tackle an offender in the *latter case, so if you can compile evidence that focuses on anything like shouting, causing a disturbance, etc they’ll be able to tackle it faster. If you aren’t in the U.K. then perhaps seek advice from your local drop centre where they offer free advice or speak to non-emergency police in person and relay how she’s relentless and it’s causing you stress.

I hope you post an update, as I would like to hear that you are starting to get things resolved and are less stressed.
 

Haircutz

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If you post your Facebook page, we’ll come along and Like it and leave you a positive comment. That should drown out any silly negative comments.
 

shazza7429

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Thank you so much. I’m fed up of deleting stuff just to get rid of her 😣
The hair Shed- Hair by sharon

you’ve all been so helpful and I really do appreciate it x
 

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Feline

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Things will work out, you did the best thing by not becoming disconnected from others and sharing what has been happening.

Plus it’s not easy being unkind if you’re used to being kind but sometimes it’s just got to be done.. I don’t believe that poor mental health gives anyone a free pass to mistreat people.

Bully’s are usually mortified once they know that others have seen what they have been doing, the Facebook idea is great x
 
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Buggalugs88

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It pains me to have to come on here and ask about this but I’m struggling to sleep now and hate to go out incase I bump into a customer! Iv been a hairdresser for 16 years now and recently opened up a salon at home.
I did a new lady in November and she was so pleased, did it again in December and she appeared pleased and I didn’t see any fault but then about 6 days later she complained about the cut and said it was over layered, I apologised so much and offered her to come in and have a look, she then said she wanted to go back to her old hairdresser so again I apologised so much and offered her the cost of a cut for her to go back, after I posted personally through her door that’s when the constant message abuse started... I continued to remain professional throughout although i was so upset. Then she started posting on my business page but removing every time. I then had a message to thank me for the refund and say she now had got used to it and it ok and to have a good Christmas, then although not on my business page, she keeps popping up with horrible comments or ‘not recommending me’!
im on edge so much... Iv always been very very busy and live in a very small village so I know just about everyone, the local salon that I worked for 6 years has recently closed so have pushed for a fantastic opening and done a lot of advertising but this one lady won’t leave me alone. She’s an older lady with no children etc in a big posh house and is thoroughly intimidating me and a just don’t know what to do, I have dealt with this as professionally as I would imagine you can but the constant worry and comments etc etc are really getting me down...

What would everyone do? I beg for some advice as I feel like I just want to quit right now! Iv had the odd occasion where I wasn’t happy with something I did but had no complaints and they returned, this shocked me when she complained as I didn’t think it was bad at all and she was so happy the first time and again on leaving the second...
Sometimes lady you just can't pls all the people all the time..key point you raised that how busy and you know everybody in your town etc ..won't some or more know this crack pot to.
If so don't sweat the small stuff.
Personally I'd just tell her to duck off. Right to her face until she realises your not daft.
Cream risers to the top, don't let this feature bring you down ..slap her good
 

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