Tales of a City Girl

The ugly side of beauty voucher sites

I love a bit of grooming. Even better if it’s not me having to do it. Given the fact I’m not a Kardashian, I like to use beauty voucher sites to bring the cost down. A bit of pampering without the huge price tag – a win-win situation, surely. But a recent experience has really put me off.

I did think twice about posting a review of what happened yesterday. Mainly because I have the psyche of a 9 year old girl and don’t react well to people who are rude or mean to me. But then I decided I should try to find where I left my lady-balls and post something on my site. Not least because all my reviews have been pretty positive so far and I don’t want to be a push-over blogger.

My lovely friend bought me a manicure as a birthday gift at Atelier M in Putney. I decided to save it until just before my holiday to warmer shores and booked myself in for yesterday. The manicurist told me she would be in a different location in Knightsbridge on the day. Confusing, but ultimately no problem – after checking it wasn’t a residential address where she was going to cut off my hands as ornaments, I agreed.

When I turned up for my 2pm appointment, she was no-where to be found. After 15 minutes of waiting in a downstairs waiting room, I talked to the salon about it, who told me she was new and simply rented the space off them. They would call her, and suggested I did the same. No answer to either of us.

After waiting 30 minutes I thought, sod it, I’ll leave and get a refund. As I left the salon, she phoned me claiming I’d texted her this morning and we’d arranged to meet 3pm, which was total bullshit. She told me she’d send me a screengrab of the messages to show me – fine, good luck with that.

But wait – I did get a text. No screengrab though. I quote – ‘Just so you know, I’ll tell Groupon not to refund you if you bad-mouth my business.’  Suffice to say, both myself and my pal have since complained to Groupon and I’ve written a review for Wahanda – we’ll see how that turns out.  Seeing as she writes scathing replies to anyone who gives her less than a glowing review, I’ll look forward to that.

Although I’ve had a couple of bad experiences (being waxed in a cupboard at the back of a hairdressers as I could hear people getting their hair blowdried the other side of the door was another recent highlight), it’s not all bad. I did recently have a wonderful pedicure at Uschi’s Beauty Lounge where the beautician spent nearly an hour and a half on my mangled runner’s feet for only £18. But I can’t be the only person who’s had awful experiences with voucher sites.

So, what should you do if you’re looking to get pampered with a beauty site? Firstly, read the reviews first. Thoroughly. Don’t discount the 1 stars. What happened to make someone rate them that low? Not all beauty sites have reviews but Google the salon and some are bound to come up.

Secondly, street view and image search. That way you can (hopefully) tell which are likely to be up your street and which look a little grubby.

Good luck ladies and gents… it’s a grim world of beauty out there.