Every business owner needs to have policies to protect their time and money, but sometimes these policies can come between them and their customers.
A woman on Reddit ended up in this sort of conflict when her hairdresser tried to charge her a cancellation fee. She wasn’t sure about how she’d handled things, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.
The Original Poster (OP), who goes by Significant_Air_ on the site, asked:
“AITA for taking my business elsewhere instead of paying cancelation fee?”
“Had a haircut scheduled for my son. Have known the hairdresser socially for 15 years.”
“She needed to move the original appt for illness. I did get a text reminder from her the day before.”
“However, I failed to put the new time in my calendar so I did not get a reminder the day of and completely spaced it until the next morning. Totally my fault.”
“When I realized what happened I reached out, apologized and asked to reschedule. She said I could but there would be a $25 cancellation fee she would need before additional services would be provided.”
“I get it. This is her small business that provides for her family and no call no shows add up.”
“My issue is I was not aware of this policy. It is not my character to do that to people.”
“I wasn’t trying to blow it off but was really not trying to pay an extra $25 for a $30 kids cut.”
“I asked her for a warning which she declined. So, I let her know I understood her why and would be taking my business elsewhere.”
“She could go ahead and cancel the services I had scheduled for my other children.”
“She responded stating I was not respecting her time and it is a problem in the industry. She did not think it was an unfair policy.”
“My issue is that I have been a good customer, this was an honest mistake and I was blindsided by the additional fee.”
“So tell me reddit, AITA?”
OP then came back to her post to add a bit more context.
“There is no website. The cancellation policy is not posted in the space.”
“It is an independent hairdresser not associated in a salon.”
Redditors were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Their opinions varied, but most agreed OP was right to feel a bit perturbed about how it all went down.
“NTA. My salon has a similar policy but it starts with a warning instead of a fee. Life happens. She didn’t pay you $25 when she had to reschedule.” —OneSuspect1
“…Please make accommodations for her, but you make a mistake and she can’t waive a charge?”
“Plus, its your money. As a consumer, you can take your business where you please.”
“She just lost how many customers over $25??? Not too business savvy if you ask me.” –Toph0420
“Meh…. Gonna say NTA for this reason only…. If there hasn’t been any advanced notice of this policy AND you’ve never had a problem in 15 years of knowing her…. Then it’s her lack of communication and she should eat it this one time….” –cysluvme
“While I think $25 is quite a steep cancellation fee for a $30 haircut (I think $10 would be more appropriate), no shows are a massive problem in all small businesses that provide a service like this and it can’t be a surprise to you that she would have something in place to mitigate her losses.”
“Even if you’ve been a good customer, she’s still lost that hour that she could give to someone else and it mounts up.”
“I’m an online tutor and have a pretty firm no-show/cancellation policy for new students so that I can set expectations, which allows me to be flexible later on, and it’s great if she could offer that but it’s also her business.”
“So I’m going to go with NAH because you’re perfectly within your rights to take your business elsewhere, of course you are, just as she’s within her rights to charge a cancellation fee even to good customers.”
“(On an unrelated note, $30 is hugely expensive for a kid’s haircut! I pay €30 for a wash and blow dry as an adult woman in Europe so her pricing seems all over the place!)” –monkeyatthewheel
“NTA. You missed an appointment and the stylist wants to charge you a cancellation fee. You asked her to waive it because you were a long time customer, she said no.”
“You told her you understood and cancelled the appointments you had scheduled. Seems fair. You didn’t make a scene or a fuss.” –Slugdirt
“How does she know you didn’t miss the rescheduled appt due to your own illness? Did she pay you $25 for cancelling your original appt?“ –fargoLEVY13
“NAH. I think the hairdresser is right to hold firm in requiring people to respect her time. But I also think you are fine for taking your business elsewhere.” –ForgottenTroll
“NAH. You weren’t aware of the policy and didn’t miss the appointment intentionally.”
“For her part, most independent service providers do waive fees for loyal customers who don’t have a pattern of this behavior, but they’re not obligated to.”
“She did lose money, and if she is lenient even once it opens the door for customers to take advantage of her in the future.” –thelioness0809
After reading her fellow Redditors’ responses, OP came back to add another update.
“Listening to all the feedback I decided to pay the fee but continue to move the business. It was my error and I do owe her for the time I wasted in spite of it being a human error.”
“Moving the business because I do feel it is bad business to enforce policies not previously communicated.”
Hopefully things go better for OP and her new hairdresser.