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to find this lack of human empathy really upsetting

(87 Posts)
hatingthehairdressertoday Fri 18-Jul-14 18:34:51

I had appointments booked for my kids to have hair cuts last week. My MIL died unexpectedly last week and I forgot about the appointments. Remembered the next day and called to explain. They were sympathetic on phone and I rebooked for today. DC have haircuts and when I go to pay she says that's £x and £x for last weeks no-show. I say I phoned to explain we had bereavement so completely went out of my mind. Too bad, you have to pay. AIBU to have come home and cried my eyes out over this. Please say I'm not. Have name changed for this.

AlpacaPicnic Sun 20-Jul-14 18:47:59

Sitting on the appalled librarians bench with everyone else... I genuinely cannot understand how anyone in their right mind would charge library fines in circumstances like that. Occasionally we had people with such large fines due to being hospitalised suddenly that we, as lowly assistants, couldn't waive it without a managers approval. I cannot ever remember such approval not being given.

I think that the fb comment above would be acceptable to post, it is factual without being hysterical or emotional.

SueDoku Sun 20-Jul-14 17:27:15

Another one here on the compassionate librarian's bench; so very sorry to hear how you were treated Devere. I worked in libraries for 31 years, and have never known this happen - we would always, always waive fines in such circumstances flowers.
OP you were treated shockingly - I really would post a matter-of-fact comment such as the one that seb suggests on as many online forums as possible. You may prevent the same shit being doled out to someone else...! shock
My sympathies flowers

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 20-Jul-14 17:23:42

Some years ago a nursery that I had used for 4 children (2 at the time) and had every intention on continuing to use did something similar to me.

One of the dc got run over and spent several months in hospital the younger dc had to go and stay with family. I phoned them from the hospital to say what had happened and that as I didn't know what was happening could they treat the call as notice to quit I was assured during that call that this was acceptable, I made sure that the terms notice was paid as per the contract.

A year later I got a debt collectors letter for an entire years fees for both children as the notice was meant to be put in writing.

I let them take me to court, the court said I owed nothing and they lost out on any more of my children's fees and the kids of pretty much anybody else who knew me. Ten years on they are still known as the nursery that did that.

When I spoke to them the woman even boasted to me about still charging the parents of a boy who had died.

Babyroobs Sun 20-Jul-14 16:25:44

That's awful. I took my ds for a hairct and when I got there my hairdresser said 'we had you booked in for yesterday'. She still found time to cut ds's hair and wouldn't have dreamed of charging me for the missed appointment even though it was my mistake for turning up n the wrong day.

DontGiveAwayTheHomeworld Sun 20-Jul-14 14:00:01

If her business was going to fail because of one cancellation, then I think she has bigger problems. How petty and ridiculous!

Lioninthesun Sun 20-Jul-14 11:51:20

Yes, Seb's message sounds about right. IME people would rather go with someone compassionate than money grabbing. It would make your point and hopefully she won't be so thoughtless if it happens again to another client. It also means if you see her in town you won't have to explain why you haven't been back.

MissDuke Sun 20-Jul-14 11:48:17

I like the plan above on the fb page - just the right tone I think! I am so sorry for your loss.

Totes off topic, but I once 'won' a comp for a 'free' photoshoot at a local photographers - if you booked a Saturday or evening session you had to pay £50, if you had to cancel with less than a weeks notice you had to pay a penalty of £100, and you had to pay for any photographs you wanted :-/ I never could work out wheat the actual prize was! With children, there is always a real risk of illness etc meaning having to reschedule!

I have seen this a few times in 'Group On' deals too, I wouldn't buy them for that reason.

However there is no way she can charge if it isn't clearly in her terms and conditions.

NoodleOodle Sun 20-Jul-14 11:14:00

I like sebs' message. They have been both cruel and short sighted in their treatment of you.

I'm sorry that you've had to experience such unkindness at what is already a difficult time for you.

sebsmummy1 Sun 20-Jul-14 10:52:04

I think you could write a review online telling the facts but leaving the emotion out of it. If the business/person has a Facebook page you could simply write something like;

'Been using Tracey for 2 years, very pleased with how she cut my children's hair. Very disappointed to have been recently charged a cancellation fee of £10 when I couldn't make my appointment due to a sudden family bereavement. I will now be using another hairdresser as a result which seems a shame all round'.

Not too passive aggressive but enough to make the point without histrionics. I wouldn't be surprised if you weren't then offered your money back with a message saying they had no idea of the family circumstances or something.

Noneedtoworryatall Sun 20-Jul-14 10:47:06

When my father died suddenly from a heart attack. About two weeks later I got a call from the hospital to say he had an unpaid bill of fifty euro. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

What a terrible thing for them to have done to you.

Sorry for your loss op

Kewcumber Sun 20-Jul-14 10:43:35

so she is out of pocket - well she's even more out of pocket now that she's lost a customer. Very bad business sense to lose a customer over £10 and a bereavement.

I grew up in a small business and where small businesses survive its almost always because of felxibility and a personalised service to customers that the big boys can't match.

Not much of either in evidence here.

Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should

Deverethemuzzler Sun 20-Jul-14 10:39:49

Thank you Concrete and everyone else smile

It really was as awful as I describe and it went on for ages. I saw quite a few different people over the months and they all behaved in the same way. The listened to me but couldn't seem to understand why I was telling them or what it had to do with anything.

Life was so insane back then and so full of trauma I suppose I just accepted it as normal (although I wouldn't back down).

It is an abiding memory so that shows how much it really did affect me. It sounds like one of those things people make doesn't it?

I have used libraries all my life so I know there are loads of lovely librarians really smile

queenofthemountain Sun 20-Jul-14 10:35:02

I suppose she couldn't book anyone else in then though and so she is out of pocket.Ok it's not fair you lose £10 but then it's not fair that she does either....
I can see both sides

CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 20-Jul-14 10:29:59

Is it just because some people are heartless and would charge whatever the circumstances or do you think they have had experience of people lying about the reason for not turning up, to get away with not paying stuff?

I don't want either situation to be true. sad

ConcreteElephant Sun 20-Jul-14 10:10:55

MrsDV, I'm just sitting on the compassionate librarians bench next to Fuzzpig and Curiousuze to say that when I was in public libraries we would never have treated you in that awful way. Our overdue policies always aimed to treat our borrowers fairly and with understanding - always ready to write off fines as we wanted people to feel welcome and part of the library, and keep coming back. Had I seen a colleague attempting to enforce a £10 fine in the face of the loss of your daughter I would have been horrified and stepped in.

I am shocked that anyone could be so focused on their business/ rules as to ignore the person in front of them. Focused they may be but it is terribly shortsighted of them and bad for business in the long run.

OP - I'm sorry for your loss.

Evenstar Sun 20-Jul-14 08:51:14

When my DH died unexpectedly of a heart attack just two days before my DM's 70th birthday celebrations the hotel didn't give anyone a refund, my brother had paid for a meal out elsewhere and was refunded in full. We had all paid upfront for the hotel and they kept it all, for around 60 guests and didn't even refund me as his widow. OP you should definitely name and shame and I am sure other MNers would love to complain on your behalf. There are some very thoughtless people out there sad

Lioninthesun Sun 20-Jul-14 08:40:50

You could do an online review? For the sake of a tenner it seems purely principal she was going on asking for it - just the wrong ones!

hatingthehairdressertoday Sun 20-Jul-14 08:28:54

I have name changed for this so it's not a worry to me that she sees my username but others on thread might not want theirs known so I won't do that either. I'm not even going to write to her.

Itsfab Sat 19-Jul-14 12:22:37

I wouldn't print off this thread. It gives her your username and I think it is the wrong thing to do.

OwlinaTree Sat 19-Jul-14 10:14:59

My dentist tried to do this. I called to say I was poorly and wouldn't make it. It was first working day of the year in Jan. They'd been shut for two weeks. They said I'd have to pay because I didn't give 24 hours notice. I said how could I? I just changed dentist and never went again so they couldn't charge me. Do they really want a load of ill people turning up anyway?

BranchingOut Sat 19-Jul-14 09:48:57

I think it is useful to know that in these situations you do not have to pay there and then, you can leave your details and ask them to recover it from you afterwards. See you in court, love!

This applies to breakages in shops too - they can only charge you the cost price of a broken item and you can leave your name and address rather than paying right away.

Dontgotosleep Sat 19-Jul-14 09:39:26

So sorry for your loss. Sadly there are some nasty people living amongst us
How rude of them. I am disgusted. What a way to treat a customer. I'd be naming and shaming them. They have certainly lost your custom now. They continue to treat their customers like that they'll be out of business within a week. Also was it the manager that demanded this payment. If not was the manager present. Did you speak to the manager.
Another thing how did she know you had the extra money. For all they knew that money could have been to feed your little ones. I wouldn't have paid it T.B.H. I mean what were they going to do hold you prisoner in there. That's illegal for a start.
Like I say if you haven't already speak to the manager and demand an apology and a full explanation because you deserve it otherwise you are going to your local paper. Even if you have no intentions of sometimes the threat is just as good.

hatingthehairdressertoday Sat 19-Jul-14 09:14:49

I'm going to write her a note as suggested up thread and also print off this thread and enclose it with the note. Anything else I was thinking of such as naming and shaming or going to the paper I won't be doing as it wouldn't end well.

Lagoonablue Sat 19-Jul-14 08:32:19

In my last job we rang to cancel a hotel conference room and lunches we booked at short notice. The member of staff who was facilitating the conference, her son had been knocked off his bike and killed the night before.

They refused to refund our company or even offer a discount. I got that it was short notice but honestly....we of course never used them again.

ChoccaDoobie Sat 19-Jul-14 08:25:25

Devere, that is just awful.....what a horrible response to your heartbreaking situation. I'm so sorry for your loss.

OP, yanbu at all. That is not the way to treat a customer and I don't think most hairdressers would behave like that. Myself, DW and Dd all go to the same hairdressers in town. DW often has to travel abroad for work at fairly short notice, she occasionally misses appointments or has to cancel right before. They are lovely about it and never charge her, even though it must be very annoying. I should add that she also goes every 4 weeks and turns up for the vast majority of them! I would contact them in some way to say how upset you were and that you will not be returning.

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