A Georgian woman was recently charged more for her pedicure because, get this, she was overweight.
Michelle Fonville told WSBtv.com that the owners of Natural Nails in DeKalb County, Georgia charged her $5 extra, claiming that damage to salon chairs had been done by overweight patrons, and the extra amount was to cover the potential cost of a replacement chair.
Fonville told WSB Channel 2, “I said, ma’am, you can’t charge me $5 more. That’s discrimination because of my weight.”
Salon manager Kim Tran told Philips that the surcharge was due to costly repairs of broken chairs by overweight customers. She said the chairs have a weight capacity of 200 pounds and cost $2,500 to fix.
There are two issues here. First, if your chair has a weight limit (many pedicure chairs have a weight capacity between 250-350 pounds), I think it’s your responsibility to offer an alternative to service all clients — including larger clients or those with disabilities. Second, it seems the salon owner was not only discriminating by charging more because the client was overweight, but she also didn’t handle the situation with much tact.
“The word has to get out there that these people are discriminating against us because of our weight. I mean come on, we’re in America. You can’t do that,” Fonville told the news station.
I want to know how the owner can actually pinpoint who has caused the damage and normal wear and tear to her equipment that is used over and over again? I’d suggest the owner increase her prices across the board to cover wear and tear if she’s that concerned with the upkeep of equipment.
I’d like to hear from people in the nail industry. How do you feel about this issue? How do you accommodate overweight clients? Leave a comment here.