Customer Service

Ask the Manicurist

You first met The Manicurist — aka Rebecca Seals — in our April issue and judging by your response, you enjoyed her “pull no punches” attitude. Here’s her take on free repairs, last-minute changes, long-winded excuses, and other headaches of daily salon life.

Q: I showed up at my salon the other day for my appointment, but since I hadn’t had a pedicure in a while, I decided to have my toes done instead of my regular nail appointment. When I told my nail tech what I wanted to have done, she acted surprised, almost in a snappy way, then huffed off to prepare my bowl. A pedicure costs more than a manicure, so what was her problem?

A: Just showing up to announce exactly what service you’ve chosen to have at the last minute? Excuse me? I’m snapping and huffing just thinking about it. Since you obviously have no respect for your poor technician, let me fill you in as to how her schedule clicks. A pedicure can take up to one hour and fifteen minutes (not to mention that if she’s having back problems, she may have purposely not scheduled any pedicures that day) while a basic manicure may only require a 30-minute slot. Different services require different implements, supplies, space, and preparation. More than likely the pedicure area is shared with other nail techs and their patrons, who are also on a tight schedule. Are any light bulbs coming on?

The lowdown: If you wish to change a requested service, call at least one hour ahead (preferably a day ahead), and ask your nail tech (in a nice way, of course) if she would mind changing your service and if her schedule will allow it. If it works out for you, tip heavily.


Q: Lots of times I can’t afford the time or the money to splurge on a one-hour pedicure, and many times during the summer I have let my manicurist give me a re-polish for my toes instead. Just recently, I received a letter from my nail tech stating that her salon would no longer offer this service, but advertised all the different pedicures available. I hate this so much because I’ll go broke keeping up the appearance of my toes! Why on earth would they do this? It just sounds greedy to me.

A: Well it sounds to me as though you would know plenty about being greedy. Listen up, and I’m speaking to all of you taking advantage of beauty personnel across the globe. The reason you liked your re-polishes so well is because they require a lot more work for your mistreated nail tech, and a lot less money from you. Kudos to her and her salon for dropping this service. They would not have dropped it if it wasn’t costing them time and money. In order for a re-polish to be successful and look beautiful, a nail tech must deal with excess cuticle, shape the nail, and cleanse properly before she applies polish. In other words, to keep up the appearance of your toes and her reputation, she essentially has to do a mini-pedicure at a discounted price that you obviously expect.

The lowdown: The only other viable option I think your salon might have considered is pricing toe re-polishes only one dollar cheaper than pedicures. Your other viable option, on the other hand, is closed-toe shoes.


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