Business Management

You Pick, You Pay

This salon owner can't stop her clients from picking their nails, but she can disincentivize it by charging them when they do. 


Terri Lancaster, owner of Nails by Design in Kent, Wash., says she has a “very firm” personality. One thing she’s very firm about is her salon’s no-pick policy. Well, she can’t exactly stop clients from picking, but she can enforce her pricing policy vigilantly and without exception. “I tell new clients on the phone that I guarantee my work. Then when they come into the salon I explain that I guarantee my work, but I’m not responsible for any damage they inflict on their nails themselves.” If a client loses a nail due to picking or any other harmful activity she’ll have to pay, says Lancaster. To replace a nail she charges $3 above and beyond the price of the fill.

I offer no apologies for the charges—no hemming or hawing. If they say they haven’t picked, I smile sweetly and say that ‘abnormal’ damage to the nail regardless of how it happened isn’t guaranteed. The sweet smile disarms then every time,” she says.

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