Real Life Salon Customer Complaints: The Weird, the Mean & The Plain Hilarious

customer complaints

Every salon has a few: the kind of clients that are awkward to deal with, or maybe the ones who pass remarks about you without thinking about your feelings. Nonetheless, they keep coming back; they are your bread and butter. Strangely, some people (thankfully!) prefer to log customer complaints to you directly than tell everybody else.

customer complaints

All salons using Phorest Salon Software send their clients an email after each treatment or style asking them to rate it out-of-five and leave a comment. In their time with us, some salons have shared strange customer complaints that will either make you laugh or make you feel annoyed. Some were even incredibly understanding, hence compelling you to change their perspective and make an extra special effort to win them over.

Without further ado, here’s a list of hilarious, strange and just plain mean client complaints that friends of the Phorest family have shared with us. Thank you guys, you know who you are!

Real Life, Real Spice Customer Complaints

customer complaints

Well, This Is Confusing…

This particular customer complaint was – to put it mildly – confusing! Perhaps they felt guilty towards the end, and thought they had to redeem themselves:

“You do not have a clue what you are all doing. I feel you don’t give me enough attention. Your staff never smile. And you never give any little extras like massaging my arms and I never got an Indian massage. But apart from all that, I think you’re all AMAZING and the BEST! xxx.” 

The beauty about customer complaints like this is that they’re not saying “I’ll never come back”, etc. This is most likely quite rectifiable by ringing them, apologising and getting them back in.

But in all seriousness, it does go to show that many clients love that extra touch, and if you go above and beyond even just once with them, they will expect it every time. Bear that in mind! 😉

‘Totes Emosh’ With Party Season On The Horizon

This young Madame was definitely stressed after her visit to her favourite hair salon. She got a haircut that she was not best pleased with. She’s entitled to be mad, but you can’t help but have a chuckle at the way she phrases it.

“I am very unhappy with the end result of my hair. I’m just very unhappy with it all… My mum said she has never seen my hair so short. I feel like I want to wear a hat forever. Having short hair with the upcoming party season makes me want to stay in bed with that hat on for eternity. FML.” 

We can’t be certain, but if you had to take a gamble at it, you would say this lady is in her late teens or early twenties!

Complaining About Being Stalked By The Staff

This one’s not your typical complaint and certainly pulls no punches!

“Supposedly one of the owners of this salon won an award. For what? LACK OF BUSINESS ACUMEN? Being completely and utterly devoid of talent? Anyway… ever since (name) started in her sister (another name’s) salon, she’s been stalking me. It’s wearing me down. I mean she rings me before I go into the salon to check I’m coming in?!”.

I think this individual should check the actual definition of stalking!

Interestingly, it shows why you should deal with complaints no matter how absurd or overly harsh. If you don’t deal with them quickly, you’ll see it pumped out over a social network and the example above just shows how critical people are willing to be when hiding behind a keyboard. There’s nothing constructive about the complaint above. It’s just mean, and you’d be surprised how little that person would say if they met you in person. That’s often why picking up the phone, above emailing or responding on Facebook, is the best way to knock it on the head.

To find out more about handling customer reviews, click here.

The 5 Most Common Customer Complaints

customer complaints

1. Unhappy Customer

This is an obvious one, but the most common customer complaints that people submit through the Phorest feedback emails are people being unhappy with their style or treatment. Oh, and rude staff is a common one too!

2. Children

We see an awful lot of client complaints centred around children. Some around of other clients’ kids, but mainly around the owner’s ones, running around the salon annoying the client. It is fair for the customer to be angry. People can take it very personally when criticism of their children is involved, but the client is there to be pampered and wowed, and often is trying to get away from the trials and tribulations of their personal family life! Click here for more about dealing with youngsters in your salon.

3. Being rushed

Here’s a common one: “I rang ahead to say I was late. They never told me not to come in or that they couldn’t take me, but I wish they would have. I was just rushed through, etc.”

This is a really tricky one. You don’t want to take them in late if you’re really busy, but if you don’t they’re going to end up with a competitor and potentially you’ve lost a client for life. When booking in appointments, try to be crafty about using your slots. Leave a little buffer for late turn-ups, and never sacrifice quality of service for quantity of clients. Remember this is all about the experience and how good they feel and look afterwards. If you’re aiming to be the best at what you do, cutting corners is impossible i.

4. Where’s The Love?

It’s easy to get complacent about somebody who has been going to your salon for a decade. Don’t. These are the people that have built your success, so always making an effort to ‘wow’ them is important. It not only shows loyalty, but it’s the most effective way to grow your salon considering the average retention rate in hair and beauty is only 17%!!

5. Daily Deal Complaints

This is the most fixable of all the problems. You probably know we’re not a big fan of daily deals at all, but the number of complaints just proves we’re right. There are two types of regular customer complaints here:

1) the person bringing in the voucher not feeling like they had a good experience because they were rushed, plus,

2) the regular full-price paying clients who get pushed aside so you can deal with the enormous volume of bargain hunters coming through your door.

There’s a really simple solution here. Don’t do daily deals! Nobody wins except the daily deal site, and the retention rate on a daily deal is only between 1% and 3%.

customer complaints

All-in-all, it’s never a pleasant experience to deal with customer complaints, but trust us, it happens to every salon. Prevention is important, but making a real effort to make amends is absolutely critical in a world so connected on social media.

Thanks for reading!

#LetsGrow


Sue Maguire is the Sales Director at Phorest, a leading international salon software provider. She has spent more than 25 years in the beauty industry including senior roles in Dermalogica and Jessica Nails.


For more help handling your customer complaints and your online reviews, join us for the exclusive Phorest Academy “Online Reputation Masterclass” webinar where you will learn exactly how to take control of how clients treat, react and rate your business!

customer complaints


This post was originally published on February 11th, 2014 but has since been updated with recent news.
  • Susan Carter

    This is a great blog. I am going to do a staff meeting based around how to deal with client complaints.

  • Michelle Robinson

    Super article, well done on addressing such a sensitive issue in a light-hearted way 🙂

    • Awh! Thank you Michelle *blushes*. We’re bringing out two posts a week so don’t forget to sign-up for the blog to get the posts 🙂

  • Pingback: #TYBCommunity Round-Up: Hilarious Customer Complaints & More | Tweak Your Biz()

  • 何 小惠

    well done on addressing such a sensitive issue in a light-hearted way , I am going to do a staff meeting based around how to deal with client complaints.Brand clothinghttp://www.storecolor.net/

  • And this is where you can cash in on how you handle the complaint. A complaint on social media can be the best complaint ever this is a massive mistake the lions share of business make.

    Anything negative is removed – huge silly big error

    How you then handle the complaint in the public arena shows conviction in your business, and installs that although no one is perfect the problem was addressed and more often than not you will have a new loyal client and many more from the transparent way you handled it in the first place.

    Apart from just downright nasty people that do exist unfortunately but apart from that complaints can be one of your biggest insights into your business.

    Oh that and getting on the phone and actually calling your top clients for feedback 🙂

  • Great post. According to Oracle, 89 percent of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. The way businesses manage customer experience is the key differentiator!

    • Cheers Louis. Doesn’t surprise me! Hope you’re well and thanks for reading!