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 have patronized the same salon for several years now and always tipped generously. Just recently my husband and I had our new home built, which cost us a fortune. With rising gas prices and discounted prices offered at the mall, I feel the owner of the salon I go to is unfair not to consider lowering the prices of the services that I regularly request such as maintaining my nails (just for me during this financial crunch). She was almost rude when I asked her for this personal favor as a loyal client, even when I explained to her that the windows alone in my new house cost over $10,000! I’m ready to shop around for a better price at other salons. What do you think?

A: What do I think? I think, by all means, shop around, if for no other reason than to relieve your current salon of your selfishness. Is it possible that since you think prices should be lowered just for you that you also believe that you’re the only one burdened with rising gas prices? And since when has it been kosher to brag about the price of items included in a new home? The owner and operator that have been so gracious to put up with you “for several years now,” probably thought you could afford their prices with $10,000 windows! Too bad $10,000 can’t buy you some couth. If it could, I bet you’d still want a discount.

The lowdown: Prices, like rules, are usually set for the fairness and equality of a majority. To expect otherwise, in this case, is either cupidity or stupidity.  


Q: My nail tech charges a whopping $60 for a full set of nails. My bi-weekly maintenance fee is almost $40 and a repair is $9 unless you wait until your regular appointment time when she allows two for free. My nail tech is artistic and excellent at her trade, but I’m not wealthy! I’ve been a faithful customer for so long, I feel like at least my repairs ought to be free. Especially if I wait until my regular appointment time! Whenever I go ahead and have my check written and exclude any repair costs, she adds an additional fee to my next appointment! Don’t you think this is over-the-top?

A: Oh, yes, I think it is definitely over-the-top for a nail tech who is “artistic and excellent at her trade” to do anything for free! Are you such a dodo that you’ve failed to appreciate the rarity and worth of a true artist in her field? There are many towns where your tech could charge a “whopping” $120 for a full set of nails, but yet you think you should be able to abuse her work and she should fix it for free. Wake up, dearie, to the land of awareness where when you write a check for any amount less than what’s owed, you’re considered a thief.

The lowdown: Having your nails done is a rewarding luxury that you can either afford or not, so stop trying to cheat for it.


Q: Whenever I call to make an appointment to have a nail repair, my nail tech usually cuts me off in the middle of my explanation, never giving me time to explain what happened. I value her work so much, and I want her to know how careful I am and exactly what happens when I need a repair. Is it just me or is she being inconsiderate to cut me off and bark out an available time?

A: It’s just you. During the course of a day, your nail tech probably fixes in the neighborhood of about 100 nails. Do you really think she cares (or has the time) to learn the drawn out reasons behind each and every nail disaster? I mean, wake up. You hit the bed post; it’s lost in your husband’s hair; you burned it with a cigarette. Who cares? Your nail tech has heard every nail accident this side of the equator, and I assure you, she doesn’t care how you broke your nail. It only sounds as if you’re trying to put the blame on her work when you insist on a long boring tale of breakage.

The lowdown: Don’t be one of those pests on the phone who take 10 full minutes to say something that should take only 60 seconds. Make the appointment and shut up. Ninety-nine other fingernails are waiting for their turn.


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