UPDATE!!! There’s been a turn of events and the beauty salon (who we shall not name) but we’ll call them COMPANY X has decided to take legal action against me, they want to sue me for defamation because apparently what I’ve written in my blog post is untrue despite supporting evidence of other women’s reviews.
I’ve removed their name from my posts up until such time that I get the green light from the law (and I will!)
What ever happened to free speech? What ever happened to giving an honest review? Why are you so intimidated by the truth? #TruthHurts
Here is what their solicitors sent to me:
I refer to our telephone conversation a moment ago.
As discussed, I act on behalf the COMPANY X and I write in relation to your recent posts on your blog and other social media.
My client considers those publications defamatory and as I explained on the telephone they must be all removed from publication by 12 Noon tomorrow. If they are not, I shall follow up with a formal pre-action letter and I anticipate Court proceedings swiftly following.
In the event of Court proceedings, my client will not only seek an Order requiring you to remove the offending posts, but also seek all its financial losses from you as a result of your defamation. I am still considering with my client the level of such losses, but my initial investigations show that they could be considerable.
I will also require a written apology on each and every outlet where you have published these defamatory comments. Please confirm you will provide this apology and I shall provide you with the wording (again by 12 Noon tomorrow).
Finally, in the event that Court proceedings are issued, I hereby reserve the right to reference this communication and our telephone call to the Court on the question of costs and conduct, as and when appropriate. For the avoidance of doubt, I shall seek an Order that you pay my client’s legal costs.
And this is how I responded:
Hi Dickhead Solicitors
Unfortunately for your client, my review is only defamatory if based on untrue facts and as there are other reviews just like mine, there’s reason to doubt that what I wrote is untrue.
Also it would be difficult for them to prove that they had a loss of income due to my blog post as there are so many bad reviews about them posted very recently in a short space of time. Is there anything else your client would like to think up?
There are even people contacting me to go into COMPANY X undercover with hidden cameras to obtain camera footage of what actually happens to support my evidence.
Also I am currently in talks with Trustpilot.com to obtain the contact details of the women who have posted bad reviews and I will endeavour to get their testimonies to further support my case.
In the meantime, I will remove their association to my blog post and social media accounts but I will NOT be removing the post from my website. They will have no mention on my social media up until such time that I’ve gathered all testimonies and evidence as well as additional information on social media law.
They will not be receiving an apology from me.
I would like my money refunded in full.
I must also have you know that I feel extremely traumatized by my experience at COMPANY X and as I believe this is a suable offense too.
It’s been a while since I have pampered myself. Having just moved to London 5 months ago it’s been needless to say a little crazy and I must admit that I’ve been neglecting my beauty spoils a bit. Not only that but let’s get real, good beauty treatments come at a price, UNLESS you buy an almost too-good-to-be-true voucher from a promoted sales ad on Facebook, right?
You know how they say when something looks too good to be true then it probably is. There is nothing more truer than these words. Let me tell you a little story about how I unknowingly got caught up in one of the biggest sales gimmicks I’ve ever seen, I’d even go as far as to say that its on the same level as those World Ventures “You Should Be Here” pyramid schemes…
One day browsing through Facebook I saw one of those sponsored posts come up on my timeline where you could get an oxygen facial worth £200 for just £20! I wish I could remember what the name of the Facebook page was promoting it so that I could mention it over here… Obviously my initial reaction was what a great deal it was and that I wasn’t going to resist taking this offer. A lot of the times new brands or companies reduce their prices significantly in order to get their name out there and build a reputation which is why I didn’t look too much into it at the time. I also had a quick browse on their website and they seemed pretty legit.
When I got there the therapist said that I first needed to pay for my treatment before I received my facial. I was then escorted to a “back office” type room where I sat across from a gentleman who processed my payment. I didn’t think too much of it at the time but to think of it now it was more of an “accounts” department. Every beauty salon I’ve ever been to processed their payments in the front by reception AFTER your treatment was done which made me question how this salon runs their business.
Once payment was completed off I went for my facial! The therapist explained that they would first do the one side of my face so that we could put my skin under a microscope to compare how my untreated skin looked compared to the treated side. Already red lights started going off as this is NOT how facials usually go and all I could think was: Bitch, just finish my damn facial already! Despite my increasing annoyance with how my time was being wasted, I let this therapist have her fun.
We then went to another room where the microscope equipment was, before I even sat down the woman operating the machine says: Wow I can see you have an instant eye lift! Little did this poor woman know that my left eyebrow is slightly higher and more arched than my right eyebrow making it look lifted… I feel like she’s in on it too and is encouraged to tell clients how she’s noticed an instant improvement on the treated half of your face. You know, it just adds to their bullshit approach. So first she put my untreated side of my face under the microscope which ran through their very own skin analysis system and obviously my skin was in an absolute terrible condition. According to their skin analysis my skin looked a lot older than my actual age. Then we put the treated side under the microscope and to my shock and amazement my skin looked much better hydrated and youthful! WOW I can’t actually believe they thought I was that stupid to believe their computerized skin analysis system was telling the truth! We all know that it’s built that way to make it look as though their skincare products are miraculous…
Once that was done we went back to the treatment room where the actual sales bullying started, well it felt like that to me in my opinion. My therapist began telling me about this skincare program that they have for me that will combat all my skincare problems.
Me: Wonderful! How much does it cost?
Her: 3000 pounds.
Me: Uhm, excuse me?
Her: Yeah but its such a good investment for your skin and it will last you an entire year.
Me: I cant really afford that so I’m going to say no.
Her: Well what if I could reduce the price for you? Because you’re one of the lucky ones chosen out of thousands of woman that showed an interest in this promotion, how about we give it to you for 2100 pounds
Me: Still, again, I cant afford that sorry
Her: Well how about we split the payment for you over 12 months. We can allow you to pay it off interest free and it will only end up costing you x amount per month *see where the back-office department comes in now*
Me: I just came for a facial, I had no intention on purchasing anything today, and really, I only just started working so I cant say right now whether I can fit this monthly payment into my budget.
Her: You know what Tarryn, this isn’t a usual thing that we do but because you are really passionate about your skincare and we believe these products will definitely solve all your problems, we’ll give you a further discount AND allow you to pay it over 24 months
Me: So basically I’m going to be paying for products over 2 years but the products are only going to last me 1 year? So I’ll be paying for something for a whole year even when its finished?
Her: Yes but the results last for at least 3 years
Me: Hmm, again, as I mentioned before, I’m not here to buy anything today. I just came for my facial.
Her: Let me go get my manager quickly
Me: *thinking* FFS I know the “call my manager for a better deal” trick
Manager: So I believe you’re interested in what our products can do for your skin… I’m prepared to give you my managers discount, with extra treatments and a smaller deposit to pay. In that way its only going to cost you x amount per month which really isn’t too bad.
Me: As I’ve just mentioned to Miss Therapist, I just came for a facial today and didn’t plan on buying anything. I’ll go home and I’ll have a think about it but I will not be making any decisions today thank you.
After fighting off this manager and therapist for what felt like ages, the manager eventually leaves the room so that the therapist can finish up the other half of my facial. In addition to that, I could see an immediate change in attitude in my therapist and I felt like the other half of my facial was done very half-heartedly with little to no effort from her side. Now I’ve had my fair share of facials before and they usually last between 35-45 minutes and then you’re out. My facial at COMPANY X went on for a solid 2 hours. In my opinion it felt like 2 hours of constant aggressive bullying into buying their products and a complete waste of my time and money. And here’s a truth bomb – the facial wasn’t even great!
Little did they know, I’ve worked in cold hard sales before and I know every trick, every way how to handle an objection and pretty much every page in the book so I could see all the warning signs that I was only there for the sales pitch. I actually don’t even think they give a shit about the treatments for their clients, I think they mainly just focus on product sales in order to run a profitable business. Unfortunately for some clients they don’t have the same sales knowledge as me and have been caught up in this aggressive sales technique. After feeling very disappointed in what had happened that evening, I went home and started researching reviews on COMPANY X and what I found I couldn’t have been prepared for. Here are some very recent reviews from past clients:
I noticed that a lot of reviews were either reported by COMPANY X (probably because others had called them out on their bullshit too) so those reviews were not visible, or the review was updated to a 5 star rating. Again probably due to aggressive persuasion from COMPANY X. Or in this case the bad reviews actually stayed up because there is some truth behind the situation. They even reported my review on Trustpilot.com but after sending Trustpilot my proof of payment they put my review back on as they could see that I was a paying customer despite COMPANY X claiming that I wasn’t.
Either way I don’t agree with the way COMPANY X promotes their products to their clients and if they really wanted to push for product sales then they should send reps out into the market to promote their brand instead of bullying paying customers that just want a relaxing facial. I actually walked out there feeling stressed as I had to fight them off at least 5 times before I could finish my facial. Call it what you want – intelligent selling, aggressive marketing, whatever you want. After my experience at COMPANY X they’ve definitely lost my respect and if they continue the way that they are they’ll soon run their reputation into the ground too.
DISCLAIMER: As my rights state, I have the right to express my true and honest opinion where it acts on the matter of public interest as per The Defamation Act 2013: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2013/26/contents/enacted