I had an experience today and after filing my complaint with the Better Business Bureau, I thought I'd also share it with everyone who stumbles upon my blog looking for reviews about Hairtage Salon and Day Spa in Jacksonville, NC and their unprofessional manager, Gail Lanier.
I pasted my complaint here and added a few more details since I had more space and to make sure that everyone knows that place is freakin CRAZY and their management is 100% nuts.
I was given a gift card by my husband for several spa services on Mother's Day that totaled $236.00. On Tuesday, May 26, 2009, I arrived for my scheduled massage, facial and pedicure. I purchased over $130 in facial products that I was told would be perfect for my skin. I went home that evening and used the products.
In the morning, on Wednesday, May 27, 2009, I again used all the products and by 11 am on that day, I started to break out in an allergic reaction to the products. My face became very hot and flushed. It was very sore and burned very bad. That evening I did NOT use the products again for fear it would leave my face worse.
The next morning, Thursday, May 28, 2009 I woke up with severe swelling, redness and tenderness. My eyes were near swollen shut and the skin on my face was in a lot of pain. On that day, I called the spa to speak with the esthetician that suggested the products to me. She was not available so the receptionist took a message for me to have her call me back the next day. Friday came and went with no word from the manager OR the ethetician.
On Saturday I called the spa again and was able to leave another message for the esthetician in which case she returned my call within an hour. I explained to her all of the products I had used on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning and that since that time I had not been using ANY of the products to prevent my face from breaking out again. She assured me that I had an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in the products but there would be no sure way of knowing unless she tested the products on me again which she did not want to do because of the reaction. She informed me that the manager was in charge of all refunds and exchanges and I would need to speak with her about what to do with my products.
I called back within an hour to speak to Gail Lanier, the manager, and I told her what had happened and what the esthetician said. Gail told me that she could credit me for the products I had purchased with a gift card I could use in store. She also said that it was the store's policy NOT to issue a refund on skin care products unless I had a doctor's note stating that I DID have an allergic reaction. I told her that it had been several days since I had the reaction and because I wasn't using the product anymore, there was no sign of the reaction anymore, in which case I would not be going to the doctor. She quickly replied stating to go ahead and bring the products in and she would give me a refund "this one time." I let her know that early next week I would bring the products by for the refund. She assured me this would be fine because she worked next week as well.
On Tuesday, June 2, 2009, I arrived at Heritage Spa and Salon to return my products for the refund that I was guaranteed per the phone conversation I had with Gail the previous Saturday. I had my two sons with me when I showed up and all the products as I asked for Gail. Another manager came to the desk to do my refund and I asked her if she needed my credit card for the refund. She then stated that I would be receiving a gift card credit. I told her that Gail already told me I would get a refund over the phone. She asked if all the products had been used and I said yes, which Gail also knew. When Gail came down she immediately started telling me about the no refund policy the store has. I knew about the policy, but when we talked on the phone she had told me "this one time" she would refund me without a doctors note. She would not let me even explain myself during my visit. I kept trying to get a single sentence in but she would cut me off every time shouting over and over the same thing. She was speaking in a very high pitched voice, talking over my words repeating, "no refunds!" I asked her if I could call my husband so she could explain it to him and she agreed but while I was on the phone with him telling him about everything, she was telling the receptionist that she didn't have to do ANYthing for me, that she was just being courteous by giving me store credit and that how she wasn't even going to do that anymore. After I explained everything to my husband and handed her the phone, she refused to take it saying that she won't talk to anyone and if someone wants to speak to her they can send her a letter. I reminded her that she JUST said she would speak to him and she said, "Who?" I told her it was my attorney and then she flipped out saying that I was only saying he was my attorney but she didn't know WHO he was and I have no proof of who he is. I hung up the phone and continued to try to refresh her memory about the conversation we had on Saturday but she still persisted on yelling at me and cutting me off. She said IF she said the word refund to me on the phone it meant "store credit" and she said that she never used the words "cash". She said she wasn't even going to give me store credit now. I told her I wanted my products back and I would try to call the maker of the products, PCA, and see if I could get a refund through them. I told her that I was really unhappy and even though she wasn't going to give me anything, I at least wanted her to know what she said to me on Saturday. I asked her to please let me just explain what happened before I leave so that I know, she knows. She again snapped at me. At that point I slammed my hand on the counter saying, "PLEASE let me speak!" at which she flipped out and started screaming for me to "leave the facility" and "get off the premises!". She came around the counter and grabbed my arm to point me to the door and I jerked my hand away from her. She spread her arms out as if to herd me out the door. My son was still sitting on the couch inside the store so I continued to counter her reaction to go back in and get him. She kept blocking me as I walked backwards toward the door. As she was about to shut the door on my face, I screamed, "LET ME HAVE MY SON!" She then turned around, unaware that I still had a child in the building let alone, one in my arms who at this point, was crying because of all the screaming and commotion. I grabbed my sons arm and left telling her that this was the craziest place I'd ever been to and how I've never seen someone act the way she was acting as a professional. I called her a bitch and left. She yelled at me to let me know the whole incident was being filmed and I told her, "I can't wait to see it!"
I came home to file the complaint with BBB as well as called the makers of the products to find out their return policy. The girl I spoke with at PCA Skin, Physician's Choice of Arizona, assured me that they do not require a doctor's note for opened product return. She was unable to give me a refund at that time because I was an individual customer not a vendor and they are a wholesale company that works directly with vendors. She told me that she would contact the vendor regarding the issue. She said that if the vendor were to return the product, they would receive a full refund so she didn't understand why they weren't giving me one, especially since the product hurt my skin. She took my information and will be getting back to me regarding the issue and how to resolve it after she speaks to her director of sales. She also let me know that having a reaction isn't something you would need to go to a doctor for, but instead to just stop using the products that were causing it.
With the help of a friend, Bonnie, I was able to get the name and phone number for the owner of Hairtage Salon and Day Spa. His name is Gary Gurganus and he can be reached at 910-937-9569 OR 910-938-2902. I have heard other stories about terrible experiences at Hairtage so if you have one yourself, I suggest you call Gary and inform him of what is taking place at his salon and how it's being run in the most unprofessional manner. I think he deserves to know.
**UPDATE AFTER POSTING: I received a call back from the makers of the product who got in touch with Gail at the salon. Gail told the makers they don't accept refunds because of the shipping and restocking fees. The makers of the product offered to waive both fees for Hairtage IF they will agree to give me a full refund on all of the products I purchased seeing as though they damaged my skin. Gail agreed to the deal but said that she did NOT want to speak or see me again. She told the makers TO TELL ME to leave the products with the receptionist at the front desk. In the bag I need to include a paper that lists my name, phone number and email address. Gail will email me the receipt of the refund and it should be credited to the card I used the day of services within 2-3 business days. Ridiculous, right?
I will be sure to include an inventory of the products in the bag with my information. When I drop off the bag I'll have the receptionist check off each product and then sign and date the inventory sheet for my records.
Ya know, this whole thing could have been taken care of SO EASILY. Seriously.