Milk & Honey Spa Poor Customer Service Experience
Well, I’m quite unhappy with the poor customer service experience at Milk & Honey Spa this evening. It seems they have a rule against children being present unless they are paying customers themselves, of course.
I was very excited about the 7:45 PM appointment I had booked earlier today for a few reasons, but my main reason for booking the appointment was because I have a job interview scheduled for tomorrow and was hoping to look my best. Also, being in between steady jobs, it’s been quite a while since my last haircut, so it was a bit of a treat.
I spent some time preparing for the appointment, finding pictures of myself on good hair days, sending them to my phone for easy retrieval, making sure there were adequate funds available, etc. Even though there was another adult at home, I decided to take my son, Nathan, with me because when he is at home, he spends a lot of time on his computer, and I know he likes to get out and BE in the physical world too. He decided to take a book and sketch pad with him to occupy himself during my 45-minute appointment.
He Can Stay if He Can Pay
When we arrived at the salon, we were greeted by a receptionist who asked if the appointment was for me or for my son and I told her it was for me. She showed us both to the waiting room and, seemingly for clarification, asked if we were both getting hair cuts and I responded that tonight’s appointment was for me only. We made ourselves comfortable and sat for approximately three minutes when another woman approached.
I thought that perhaps she was my stylist, but instead, she introduced herself as the manager and asked me if I had someone with me to sit with my son while I got my hair cut. Somewhat confused by her question, I told her that no, of course, I didn’t since I was there with him. She asked me the same question in a slightly different way and I responded by asking her why I would bring an additional person along to watch my son read a book while I get my haircut not 15 feet away.
That’s when she hit me with the bitter milk and honey spa policy: All children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult. I pointed out that I am indeed an adult and that my son would be sitting in the waiting area as any person might be expected to do while I got my haircut. The policy, clarified, states that children who are not themselves receiving services are not allowed on the premises at all. She then asked me if I could call someone to come to the location to sit with my son. Incredulous, I told her that I would not do that because it would be entirely unnecessary. She then offered to reschedule my appointment and I let her know that I was there because I have an interview tomorrow. She said that maybe she could get me in tomorrow morning.
I got the picture, but asked anyway: “Are you refusing to provide the scheduled service simply because my child is with me?” I asked. She again referred to the policy at which point I let her know that I was no longer interested in doing business there, briefly apologized to Nate on the mangers behalf, and we left.
Know Before You Go
Now, don’t get me wrong, I completely understand the reason for the policy. No business wants the customer experience to be disrupted by unruly children or obnoxious adults for that matter. My issue is with the application of this policy in this instance. Since I was scheduling a 45-minute haircut, and my ignorance of salon policies has never before resulted in being refused service it never occurred to me to read up on the policies to be sure I could abide by them before booking my appointment. There is no “Well-Behaved Children Not Welcome” message on any of the appointment booking screens or on the services page of the site, therefore I was unaware of the policy until we were refused service.
Misapplication Leaves a Bad Taste
Now that I have taken the time to take a closer look, I see that the policy is listed in the FAQ section of the website, along with several other policies. Notably, the gentleman who was getting his hair cut while we were present at the salon this evening was not behaving in accordance with Milk and Honey Spa’s “no talking above a whisper” policy and nobody was asking him to leave. Yet my son, who was apparently ok to be there had he been getting his haircut or a manicure was not ok to be there reading a book while I got my haircut. Is a child getting a manicure less disruptive than a child reading a book? Probably not.
How a young man reading a book in the waiting area would have prevented anyone from relaxing, I don’t know; but it was rather rude of the manager to openly suggest that his mere presence was somehow a disruption., and while I don’t think that Nathan is taking it too personally, he is a human being with feelings and he can hear you when you say that!
Suggestions for Improvement
The general policy already covers refusing service to anyone disruptive, whatever their age, so it seems in nobody’s interest to have a separate policy to refuse service to parents of well-behaved children for no other reason than the child or children being present. In this instance, since there was absolutely no disruption being caused by my son, and since children are allowed to be present in the establishment when they are receiving services, they could have simply informed me of the policy for next time, provided the service I scheduled, and I would have scheduled future visits with the policy in mind. And who knows, given Nathan’s interest in looking polished, they might have even earned his business as a future customer.
Has a manager at a business ever refused you service merely because your child was accompanying you? What were the circumstances? How did you handle it? Did it have an impact on your child? Let me know in the comments section!