Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rant: Aveda Educator, mean girl

I go to the Aveda Institute here for my haircolour. I've loved the place: great product applied by skilled students under their Educator's supervision, for a third of the price of a 'name' salon.

Today I went there, drew the same student I had last month, but a new Educator.
Educator informed me my roots would be touched up but she would not have the student apply colour through the ends (usually the last 5 or 10 minutes) because "your ends will accumulate too much colour. You can't do this every time."

I replied (calmly, civilly) that I would indeed like the ends done as a) I am red, it's fade-prone, b) in summer the sun lifts the colour more, and c) with short hair, I have the ends trimmed every 8 weeks.

(Note: I have been having my hair gooped for over 20 years and not once has a colourist not refreshed the ends. A fresh glowy red is one of the little pleasures of life.)

"Fine", she hissed, turned on her heel, did not appear (as the other Educators have) to check progress, and billed me $10 more than the preceding eight visits. When I asked her why, she said, "We used another tube of colour."

OK, I said, but the other Educators combed the colour through using one tube, what was different this time? "I can't speak for
them", she said coldly. I said, "If you are adding a cost, I would like to be informed first." She repeated her "can't speak for the others" line so I said, "I understand your point of view, thank you" and left. We were in one of those pointless loops.

Now call me sensitive-wensitive (as we say in our family) but I found this woman as arrogant and defensive as I've ever seen. If I were making an inference, I'd say she was getting even. But who knows?

I have a letter to the Director of Education ready to send, giving appreciation where due (everyone I've met in the past 8 months) describing this incident, and requesting that upcharges be discussed with the client first.

I stopped short at naming her. But I have a hunch she already stands out.


What bugs me? Not the $10. Not even her need to be right. It was her hostility when I made my request.


Will I send it? I'm sleeping on it.

UPDATE: Thanks to your reminders to be diplomatic, sent a short letter emphasizing the usual marvelous service, did not name the Educator, and mentioned only her behaviour, not my inferences about her character or intentions.

6 comments:

Nancy (nanflan) said...

I think you should send it.

Toby Wollin said...

Two items: a) my daughter is a graduate of an Aveda Inst. in NYC and b) you DEFINITELY should send that letter. The education directors really do need to know about the quality and behavior of their educators because the students depend tremendously on them. So, this person is NOT being a good role model in terms of customer service.

greying pixie said...

For a long time I have always tried to give feedback where I think it is necessary. This could be good or bad. I have written letters to directors praising their employees as well as giving verbal praise in shops about helpful assistants to their bosses. On the other hand I have also given criticism where I have thought it necessary. How else can people know about the service they are attempting to provide?

I think you should send the letter. It sounds like you have worded it professionally and dispassionately after your initial anger wore off, so I'm sure you will get your message across well. Good luck!

materfamilias said...

I'm with your other commenters -- your diplomatically-worded letter will work to educate the Educator for everyone's benefit -- do send it. By your next visit (which is what I'd be thinking about), she'll know she can't bully you, and even if she's only pretending, she'll probably be smart enough to take her cue from you and at least be civil, if not gracious.

Anjela said...

If you are returning next month, I would find out what days she is NOT there
However I do believe in credit or discredit where it is due. And she should not be training people with such an attitude .Just because it is a third of the price, it should be 100% of the service.

I would send the letter about her (not sure if the price protocol is her doing) I totally agree that if she had to use extra tubes she should have 'gone over' prices with you/ the client BEFORE application.

Duchesse said...

UPDATE: I've slept on it. Rewrote the letter- it's amazing how nastiness seeps in when you think you're being objective- and sent it.

Thaks to all for your great advice.