I’m NOT Paying More Than You Quoted Me!

ToriSaturday was a day that my daughter has been looking forward to all school year.

It was picture day for her dance class, and Tori and two of her closest friends were very excited to finally put on this year’s dance recital costume.  In the past we have made this day a special event by getting her hair done, and letting her put on a little bit of makeup. Most years we’ve paid to have her hair done, but the price to do that can be quite expensive even for a young girl.

Vonnie had called around to get the best price possible, and found a chain salon that quoted her a very low price of $15 to put Tori’s hair up and style it, but they only took walk ins.  The day before picture day she called again, and once more was quoted a price of $15. Expressing concern about not being able to make an appointment, the employee graciously offered to take their names down and ensure we would her hair done in time for pictures if she arrived when the salon opened.

Fifteen minutes after they left, Vonnie walked back in the door looking rather unhappy.

“That’s a bunch of shit!” she exclaimed.

The employees were ready for them, but before they started one of the employees stated that even though they had been quoted a price of $15, the price was going to be $30.  A brief discussion followed where Vonnie pointed out she was quoted a price of $15 twice, and the employee admitted she had been right next to the person who gave that quote, but didn’t say anything. The salon also refused to honor the quoted price, so Vonnie did an about face, and walked out the door.

If you’re a regular reader, I’m sure you saw that coming.

She walked out the door on principle, refusing to be charged more than what she was quoted. She felt like she was being taken advantage of because we were in a time crunch with pictures just a short 2 hours later. We were also painfully aware that two of the local high schools had prom that day, so finding somewhere else to have their hair done would be extremely difficult.

Enter our neighbor, Julie, who after hearing the story offered to do her best with the girls’ hair. Our neighbor helped all three girls, and they had a great time laughing and joking around together as they took turns having their hair styled. Vonnie applied some light makeup on the girls, and off they went to have their pictures taken.

I’m the kind of guy that needs to have a plan in place, and if there’s no backup plan I’ll stay the course, even if it costs me more money. Everything turned out OK, but I was really worried that we were heading for a bad picture day experience.

What would you have done?  Would you pay more than the quoted price if you didn’t have a backup plan? Or would have done as my wife did, and walk out the door?

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36 Responses to “I’m NOT Paying More Than You Quoted Me!”

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  1. Michelle says:

    This is tough. Knowing how I am, I probably would have walked out just because I would be angry because that seems sketchy.

    • Travis says:

      I know I would WANT to walk out, Michelle….but would you do so knowing how much a little girl was looking forward to picture day, and not having a backup plan? That’s what made me very nervous – that little girl means *everything* to me. 🙂 It does seem sketchy though, I wonder if they did that on purpose or not. Booo on them if they did.

  2. Good on your wife! I would’ve done the exact same thing. Except I would’ve included some swear words. I hate when companies do that. They quote you a price or offer you a deal on the phone, solely to get you into the store, and then when you drove all the way out there, they change it up. It’s complete BS and I walk out every time. Leaving a trail of swear words.

    • Travis says:

      LOL, TB – my wife has no qualms about leaving a trail of swear words….there may have even been some in the phone message she left on the the corporate customer service voice mail.

  3. That’s a tough one. If it would’ve been just for me or my wife I know we would’ve done the same thing. For the kids though, that would be a tough call. I believe I would do the same thing, but it would just depend on what all else was involved.

    • Travis says:

      I appreciate your honesty, John – Personally I think I would have pulled the employee to the side (after she refused to honor the quote) and let her know my displeasure, and that the only reason I’m staying is because I want to make sure that little girl has the best picture day ever. I would state that I would be speaking to her manager, as well as calling their corporate office. Maybe that would reverse her decision, maybe it wouldn’t….but either way I would also remind her that word of mouth is a powerful thing, and also assert that she could be guaranteed that I would never step foot in that store again.

  4. I would have done the same thing as your wife did! I would even blog about that horrible experience and drop names for their bad customer service. And never set foot on their salon again.

    On my children’s awarding ceremony, I did not bother calling up salons and professional hairdressers or makeup artists. I simply asked our next-door neighbor to do my daughter’s hair and makeup, which she always does. Since she is still a little girl, a simple hairstyle and a light makeup will do and we achieved it without spending much.

    • Travis says:

      You’re right, Cherleen, for girls that age (my daughter is only 11) a simple hairstyle will do. This whole thing started back a few years when we had a Kids Salon in town that did this for cheap. Once they shut down, since going somewhere to have her hair done was a special treat for her for this one day, we kept doing it using other (more expensive) options. We thought we had struck gold when she found someone to do it for only $15….turns out it was too good to be true!

  5. You probably know I would’ve done the same thing Vonnie did and walked right out. The sad part is, for the salon anyway, is not only did they lose that business, but any future biz from your family as well. Bad move on the part of the salon, not honoring their price.

    • Travis says:

      Exactly, Laurie….and not just our business but that of the two other families as well. Plus, like I said….word of mouth can be a powerful thing!

  6. Karie says:

    I would have paid. I think my daughters would have been very upset if I left but I would never return so they wouldn’t get repeat business. My daughters have had their pictures taken at their dance studio for years and I haven’t paid for professional styling or make up. If this was their First Communion or elementary school graduation or other special event, I would have paid. By not being a repeat customer is the best revenge and I when it was time to do something like that again, I would tell my daughters we’re going somewhere else and why. I do think that $15 for a child’s fancy hair do is a steal of a deal and $30 is probably the going rate which is still decent and fair. Sounds like they had fun getting ready together anyway!

  7. I admire your wife for sticking to her plan. It’s the day-by-day-by-day-by-day decisions like this that move us out of debt. It was great, first of all, that she took the time to call around to get the best deal. It was even greater still that she walked out of the salon. Even though your daughter might have been upset, your wife taught her a great lesson by example: Don’t allow yourself to get duped. Your daughter will carry that lesson with her, just as she will carry a great memory of the fun time she and her friends had with your wonderful neighbor who stepped in to save the day.

    • Travis says:

      I agree with everything you said, Prudence, and I’m happy everything turned out well. I just wonder what lesson she’d learn if we hadn’t had a neighbor to step in, and the pictures turned out badly. What do you think?

      • I still think it would have been a good lesson. In our consumer world, we tend to equate quality of life with quality of product, but that’s a good tendency to unlearn. Let’s say your wife had to do her best with your daughter’s hair and make-up on her own, in the absence of your neighbor. It still could have been fun, and she probably would have done a passable job – if not stellar. You still could have made a big fuss over how great your daughter looked, and you still could have framed the photo. Does your daughter really care about photo quality? I’m guessing she’s too young to notice. All that matters to her is her mom and dad’s attention and love – and getting to feel like a princess.

        • Travis says:

          Love your perspective, Prudence – that last sentence are words to live by. You’ve definitely given me something to think about!

  8. Moni says:

    Ok – I have 12 years as a ballet & dance mum experience – first of all, I would have quoted the consumer act to them that they were obligated to honor their quote. If the hairdresser refused to accept business rather honor the quote, it can get uncomfortable because kids are involved.

    Right-o. So it was to be some sort of hair do which didn’t have to be the same as everyone else? What I’d do is about a month out is google hair dos and youtube how to do. Practice, practice, practice. I’m not good at hairdressing by any stretch of the imagination but I have one daughter who dances competitively and hair is a big deal, just like the costume is a big deal and the makeup is a big deal. I have learnt 4-5 hairdos that are easy that I can pull off without getting stressed as at an event she has between 10-30 minutes to completely change outfit and hair do. Ironically the easiest hair do I do on my daughter is the one everyone thinks is the hardest – yup, learnt it off youtube.

    • Travis says:

      Love the “youtube” idea Moni…I wish I had thought of that. I’ve found so many useful videos on Youtube for my grilling and meat smoking hobby, and even how to fix something on my dishwasher. Why not how to do a new hair style? Thanks so much!!!

  9. I would have put up a fight, and then walked out. I don’t pay more than I am quoted either.

    • Travis says:

      I’m normally that way too, Grayson….my only qualm here is the effect on my daughter and her picture day. If it was a quote on some service that only affected myself, I’d definitely walk! Good to hear for you sir!

  10. cjb says:

    Wow! Good for her for walking out! I would have, Too! I would also right a letter to corporate using facebook and sharing it with my friends.

    • Travis says:

      She DID put a status update on Facebook, cjb (although she didn’t mention the name of the business…which actually surprised me)….and she did call their corporate office. We haven’t heard back from them, which also surprises me. I’m interested to see if we ever hear from corporate. Thanks for reading!

  11. The place I’ve been getting my hair cut just charged a buddy of mine $10 less than they charge me… Needless to say, I will have a conversation when I go in next.

  12. I have SO much respect for Vonnie! What she did was so much more important than the ethics of value and price commitment and service – she set a very fine example for Tori. Although it was a potentially devastating situation, Tori learned that she as a consumer should demand value as promised. Love it!

    • Travis says:

      Tori gets lots of opportunities to learn this lesson, so I’m sure by the time she reaches adulthood she will have it hammered home very well. LOL. Thanks so much for your comment…I’ll be sure to relay it to Vonnie!

  13. Wow, what a patience for calling to get the best price. I would have done the same and walked out the door when I heard about the price. That’s ridiculous. It’s disappointing when some business can’t deliver what they promised.

    • Travis says:

      It’s IS very disappointing KC…..I suspect they thought they had us cornered given the timeline and circumstances, and were likely very surprised when Vonnie walked out the door.

  14. Catherine says:

    Without a doubt I would have walked out. The drove home and called to complain to the highest personal I could, money or not, shit like that drives. me. nuts. If I didn’t find out about teh price change until after her hair was done, I would have either raised hell, or not wanting to totally embarrass my daughter, placed a $10 and$5 bill on the counter and ran out of the store haha.

    • Travis says:

      Did you kidnap my wife and make her type a comment, Catherine? You sound just like like her. LOL. I particularly like the running out of the store. 🙂

  15. Andrea says:

    I think disappointment is the key. How we handle disappointment. And it looks like your wife had a great way of handling it. Had the friend not stepped in to help, I think the girls would have only felt bad had they had to take on the emotions of the caretakers. When we’re disappointed, we need to feel and acknowledge it then find the next best option. I am working this every day as I work myself out of debt. I like what your wife did and I’d hope I would have done the same thing! I have to stay with my spending plan and that’s going to create some disappointment. What’s important is that I say on plan and then get creative to find a solution!!
    And I”d still make some calls to the head office to report them! What a scam! Thanks for posing the situation!

    • Travis says:

      Great perspective, Andrea – it’s one that I believe sets a person up for success. Do not get bogged down and wallow in disappointment, accept it and find the next best solution. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  16. This just happened to me with Nationwide insurance. I was quoted a homeowners policy and they said they would just have someone come out to look at my house to confirm the quote. Just got a bill for more money as they appraiser increased the value of my house for my replacement insurance. I complained and got nowhere and if I reduced the coverage part of the policy provisions would be compromised. This situation left a very bad taste in my mouth, but in the end I could do little but pay the increased premium to protect my home.

    • Travis says:

      Jeesh, Steven, I hope they were using an Independent appraiser. It sort of seems like the appraiser of their choice would have a conflict of interest – if he appraises high then Nationwide makes more money, and they may tend to use him again. Appraise low and they may not. At least hopefully you have the peace of mind knowing you are fully covered? Thanks for sharing your experience!

  17. I would never buy from or give repeat business to a merchant that gives you a quote and then changes it. I would politely tell him/her how they just lost all my future business if they don’t honor the original one.

    • Travis says:

      Exactly what I would have done, zimmy. Update: My wife called their corporate office and left a phone message detailing what had occurred. No call back. We’re definitely NOT going back. EVER.

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