What constitutes “false advertising”: a discounted manicure or a shellacking?

by on November 30, 2011 · 6 comments

in Culture, The Widder Curry

With all that is going on in the world today, this little problem I faced today is a small one. None-the-less, I have never liked being screwed without a climax and I think that screwing almost took place today.

Like most residents in San Diego, I receive several monthly advertisements offering me discounts, free gifts, reduced price items. This is not about those advertisements; rather it is about one particular advertiser.

A friend called me and asked if I would like to go with her today to have a “Shellac Manicure.” Since it has been 28 days since my last one, I thought it would be fun. She found, in the “Get One Free” catalogue a “shellac manicure” for $20. The only restriction I could find, besides the expiration date of 1/31/12 was that it was for “new clients only. I had never been to the “Rose Canyon Beauty and Spa” before; hence I qualified as a “new client.” My friend made reservations for both of us.

When we entered the salon there was immediately some confusion; the manicurist thought we were there for a pedicure, but we quickly stated that we were there for the shellac manicure and had reservations. We each sat down in the designated spaces. The manicurist looked at my friend’s nails, which were polished with regular nail polish. Then she looked at mine, which had a shellac polish on them and told me that the price would be $5 more to remove the polish. I asked her why and was told that I had to pay for her time in removing the polish. I said that the coupon did not state that any place and it was false advertising. She said that all salons charged $5 more to remove the shellac. I said that I have gone to 6 different salons for a shellac manicure and never paid more to have the polish removed.

I decided not to take advantage of the coupon as the salon would have been taking advantage of me if I had agreed to the extra $5 price. I can’t help but feel that the salon owner actually ended up losing money because 1) – I did not pay the unadvertised price to have the polish removed; 2) If she had done a good job with the manicure I would be back and now it was obvious that I would not patronize her shop again; 3) My friend will never go back either, since she now has a shellac manicure and they would charge her more to remove it for the next manicure; and 4) I told her I would tell everyone that I come in contact with about the false advertising.

So….I truly believe this is false advertising. Do you agree?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ro November 30, 2011 at 9:36 am

Being the friend who set up the manicures, I couldn’t believe the salon’s attitude. Had Judi not insisted that I go ahead, we would have both walked out. To make this even more foolish on their part — the salon was not busy. We were the only clients at that time and there were 2 or 3 manicurists there. Dumb move on their part. For the few extra minutes spent removing Judi’s shellac polish, they would have made money as well as possibly gained two new clients. I’ll take my business elsewhere for my next shellac polish.


Marilyn Steber November 30, 2011 at 8:00 pm

I’ve no idea what a shellac polish is, but I have been thinking about small businesses like the one you patronized.
Ladies of a certain age spend more on service because of phyical disabilities. I don’t know what the 70 year plus single guys do. I pay for laundry fluff and fold when my arthritis disables me so I found someone in the neighborhood who picks up and delivers.
Once upon a time, bread came. Once upon a time, ice cream came. In some cities, you can still get veggies and fruit delivered on your street. Nowaday, one has to drive a mile or mile for those goodies. Alas, my car stays dirty, and my dog gets washed in the kitchen sink. Where are the budding business women/men?
Not in OB.
Ahh, I’m just too old and poor.


judi Curry November 30, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Hi Marilyn, I don’t think that you are too old; it is just that services that used to be important to us have gone away. The ice cream truck still comes around here; there are companies that come to wash you dog – but they are frightfully expensive. I could not wash my Buddy in the sink; he weighs 112 pounds. How nice that your dog can get in – and out – and be clean.

A shellac polish is a stronger polish that is “baked” on the nail using ultra-violet light. There are four coats, each one followed by the light. They look like acrylic nails, but are your own. It is easy to remove the polish, and it does not damage the nail bed. Your nails are dry almost immediately, and the polish lasts for weeks. It might be a few dollars more than a regular polish, but you don’t have to do it so often.


Zach on the side December 1, 2011 at 3:52 am

While the salon does seem to have gaffed by not noting the extra fee in the advertisement, and then throwing away customers by not recognizing their own oversight, there is a discrepancy in your article that caught my eye.

You say that, had you been a satisfied customer, you would have gone back again later. But you also said that you’d had this type of manicure at six different salons previously. Were all six of those previous salons unsatisfactory? Or do such salons go out of business like candles on a windy day? Seems like Widder Curry doesn’t actually go back…

Uh-oh, am I about to get shellacked?


judi Curry December 1, 2011 at 7:29 am

You better believe it, Zach! I frequently go back to the other salons, but because I am on such a limited income, I seek the best deals. When I find a coupon that is in my neighborhood, I use it if I need a manicure. In this case, a friend wanted to go and so I tried it. I have a “regular” place, but am not above trying new places.


Amber May 18, 2012 at 7:26 pm

I love that you stood your ground and didn’t get your nails done there. That IS false adverting! I hate businesses that mistreat clients. Sephora had messed up an order of mine many months ago and emailed me that they would give me 20% off my next order as an apology. When I called in to redeem it, they said that the email was a mistake and would not honor it. I’ve refused to shop there again and believe that they have overall lost money as a result. I’m happy to spend my money but only when I’m treated well, fairly, and with all the respect that I deserve.

I also love shellac and getting my nails done on a budget, so I now do them myself and think it’s the best ever.


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