So last week, I went to the spa for a pedicure. Now let me first say that I don’t generally frequent beauty spas but, like many ladies out there, I do enjoy it when I go, and going for a pedi is one of those things that I like to do when I feel like I need some “me” time. But to get to my actual question as to what spa etiquette is, I have to take you back two months…

Now I’ve been to the spa next door for a number of treatments before including waxing (yes, I put myself through serious torture on a monthly basis!!), massages and pedis, and the bonus about the spa being next door is just that – it’s next door! I can literally walk through the parking lot and get there in ten minutes. So, two months ago, I went for a wax. They let me know when I called to make the booking that the spa was going through a change of ownership and that the shop was being renovated, so I had already prepared myself to sit in a dark corner in a chaotic mess but it was just a wax! 15minutes, over and done with, right?! WRONG!! The wax itself was terrible. The therapist who did it was useless. And this after being reassured that the therapist was just standing in while the spa had literally been “upturned” but that she was absolutely wonderful. The pain and agony!!!!!!! Let’s just say that after what turned into close on a 40minute wax, I almost decided never to get a wax again. And then, to make it worse, I walked over to the front desk to pay and I was hit with a whopping bill almost R100 more than what I’d paid when the spa was managed by the previous owner.

Of course, in true Jodie style, I e-mailed the owner that very night to complain. Not only did I think that I was totally ripped off price wise, but for the service I got, I couldn’t believe that they’d ever have recommended the therapist to me. She apologized profusely, refunded me R85 (apparently, I was charged the incorrect amount – what would have happened if I hadn’t have spoken up??) and offered me a free mani when the spa renovations were all complete.

So last week, I asked if I could change my complimentary mani to a pedi (mani, pedi, really, not much difference other than a different part of my body??!!) which they gladly did, and I made my booking for Friday. The Wednesday before, I again went for a wax. This time, I ensured that they gave me the same therapist that I’ve gone to twice before and I was very happy with her! In fact, I’ll definitely go again. When I got to the front desk, they wanted to charge me R230 but then I pointed out to them that in their price list, the price was R195 and so that’s of course what I paid! I happily pitched up on Friday for my pedi and lo and behold…the same lady who messed up my wax two months prior was the therapist doing my pedi! Now normally, I wouldn’t be tooooo fussed if somebody I was unhappy with previously was allocated to me again, but this lady practically butchered me when I was last there, so you can imagine my serious disappointment when I realized that she was going to be doing my pedi. I looked past this, however, by casually busying myself on my cellphone (can you say Candy Crush??) in an effort to avoid having to talk to her.

Half way into my pedi, the front desk lady and the therapist who’d done my wax two days before, went into a little room just off the area where I was sitting. They proceeded to discuss the therapist’s appointments for the week – I can only assume that they were trying to reconcile her diary and appointments with her salary? At any rate…a few minutes into their conversation, I hear the front desk lady mention this lady who came for a wax who insisted that the price was incorrect and so she had.no.choice but to charge said lady the listed price. It took every ounce of my being not to pipe up – um, that was me and surely if the price in the price list is incorrect, then you should amend it. Secondly, why are you discussing things like this in a room with an open door when you have clients in the spa??? Arrgghhh.

So there I am sitting, feeling highly annoyed slightly irritated (not ideal when the point of the pedi is to relax a person!), when my therapist and the therapist next to her (the other therapist didn’t have a client) start discussing the tip that the previous client didn’t pay or did pay or whatever. At this point, I’m like – why are these people so unprofessional??? And then I started thinking – maybe they’re talking about it to get me to think about giving a tip??!!!!

There I sat contemplating for a good 5minutes – should I be giving her a tip? I mean, firstly, the pedi was free AND it was only a complimentary pedi because of a complaint! But then again, I got it totally free and the therapist did give me good service this time around. Should I at least give her something? Do you normally leave a tip when you go? I mean, surely, you’re paying for the actual treatment? Why do you even need to give a tip over and above the price of the treatment? 

What do you do – what is spa etiquette???

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One response »

  1. Robyn says:

    LOOOOL! First of all, I wouldn’t go back to this place! Secondly, I don’t go to spas often as you know, but I treat it as I would any place where I receive a service. If the therapist was good, I have no problem tipping her. I don’t feel obligated to, but I do if I feel like the person went above and beyond.

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