Posted: 5/18/2018

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Have you ever received bad service at a salon? A bad haircut, color job, weave, relaxer, or perm cannot only ruin your day, but can cost a pretty penny to fix. This is the predicament a Georgia customer found herself in after visiting Collage Salon.

hair color

Have you ever received bad service at a salon? A bad haircut, color job, weave, relaxer, or perm cannot only ruin your day, but can cost a pretty penny to fix. This is the predicament a Georgia customer found herself in after visiting Collage Salon.

The customer, whom we’ll call “Jeanette”, went in for a balayage hair treatment. Balayage is a hair coloring technique where the hair is painted with dye to create a graduated, natural-looking effect.  After showing the stylist photos of what she wanted, and being assured that the treatment would not leave her hair looking brassy, she sat back in the chair for the service. Instead of being happy with the results, Jeanette found her hair ruined with multiple colors.

Jeanette explains in her complaint, “They destroyed my hair, leaving it different shades of orange and splotchy all over my head. I came in with brunette hair and left with orange on my roots, streaks of random color throughout my entire head of hair, having no flow.” She also said the process was painful due to the stylist pulling her hair even after Jeanette asked her to be gentler. She claims to have even lost hair.

To add insult to injury, she had to pay $1,000 to fix the color problem. When she brought the issue up with the owner, providing photos and asking for a refund of the $240 she paid, the owner refused. After her emails went unanswered and being told she would not receive a refund, Jeanette reached out to Business Consumer Alliance for help.

Collage Salon responded to BCA, claiming that the client came to them after three other salons could not fix her hair. They stated she arrived with four to five inches of her natural hair re-growth and the rest of her hair was a “rainbow of color”. Collage Salon says that the client knew it would take several appointments to correct the problems and that she was provided detailed information on the process. They deny that the stylist, who has five years experience as a colorist, caused Jeanette pain and that she initially loved the results, even leaving a generous tip.

Later, when she called upset and requesting a refund, Collage said they offered to have her come back to fix the problem, since it is not their policy to issue refunds. She refused and proceeded to post complaints and bad reviews.

Jeanette refutes their response and denies that her hair was a mess when she first went to the salon. She feels their resolution is inadequate since she no longer has trust in the business.

So what should you do if you find yourself unhappy with the service you receive at a salon? First, keep your composure. Panicking will not help the situation. It is understandable to be upset, but yelling, threatening, or worse, will not help the situation. Calmly speak with the stylist, clearly expressing what you do not like and asking what can be done to fix the problem. If you do not trust the original stylist to correct the problem, try to request another stylist. You can also withhold payment for the service until you’re satisfied.

If the stylist is not able or willing to resolve the issue, ask for a refund. Many stylists are independent contractors who rent space in a salon. As such, the decision to refund may be solely up to them. However, you might look to speak with the salon manager or owner to relay the problem and request a solution. If neither the stylist nor owner is willing to resolve the issue there are some options:

  • File a complaint with BCA. We have successfully helped many consumers and businesses come to an agreement.
  • Contact the regulatory agency in your state that licenses cosmetologists. If there is none, try filing a complaint with your local consumer protection agency.
  • Small claims court is another option.

Jeanette provided before and after photos of her hair. Take a look and tell us your opinion on the job the stylist did in the comments below.

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About Business Consumer Alliance

Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) is a non-profit company that started in 1928. The broad purpose of BCA is to promote business self-regulation. BCA's mission is achieved by assisting consumers in resolving complaints with businesses and using that complaint information, along with other relevant information such as customer reviews, to forecast business reliability. With community support, BCA can identify trustworthy and ethical businesses and warn the public to avoid unscrupulous businesses whose purpose is to defraud the marketplace. BCA also helps businesses promote themselves by providing services and tools to protect their business and reach out to their customers. BCA obtains its funding from member businesses who support the mission and purpose of the organization and who agree to abide by high standards of ethical business practices.

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