Guest Writer 300

How to handle beauty client complaints

By Guest Writer | 23 June 2021 | Expert Advice, Feature

complaint woman canva

Tina Beaumont-Goddard, director at the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) serves up support and advice for handling client complaints…

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to deal with complaints in a timely, effective manner and have working knowledge of the client’s consumer rights.

Take complaints seriously, stay calm and listen carefully – preferably in a quiet area if you are part of a salon team. Then, do everything you can to put things right as quickly as possible. If the complaint is online, try to resolve it offline.

By handling a complaint well, you may be able to turn things around and transform an unhappy client back into a ‘loyal champion’ for your business.

What the law says

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 says that if a service is not provided with reasonable care and skill or as agreed, you must put things right within a reasonable time and at your own cost. If that’s not practical, you should provide a full or partial refund within 14 days of agreeing to a refund. 

  • Pricing & payment rules

The prices you charge for services and treatments must be clearly displayed. You must include a description of exactly what’s included in the price. Always display your price list and payment methods in your salon and on your website, if you have one.

  • Selling products & equipment

If you sell hair and beauty products or electrical items, such as hairdryers, through retailing to clients, they must meet all legal requirements and be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.

You must give a full refund if faulty goods are returned within 30 days. After 30 days, you can choose to provide a full refund, or repair/replace the goods instead.

NHBF members can download a free in-depth guide to consumer law, which includes details about the law in relation to online sales here.

  • Cancellations & no-shows

Make sure you have a no-show and late cancellation policy. It should clearly explain the financial penalties your clients may have to pay if they don’t show up for their appointment or cancel at the last minute. You must ensure that any financial penalties are fair on your clients.

  • Finance arrangements

If you arrange a finance agreement with your client, for example, to pay for a course of treatments over time, you must provide a written contract that includes specific information. This should include details of the treatment, the full cost, payment terms and any cancellation fees or ‘cooling off’ period.

  • Alternative dispute resolution

If despite your best efforts, you cannot sort out the complaint and your client remains unhappy, you must tell them how to find a certified alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service. NHBF members can use NHBF Hair & Beauty Mediation service.