Unfiltered Story #154765

, , | Unfiltered | June 16, 2019

In our particular salon, there is a price for puppies under 5 months to have a basic “clean up” trim. It’s just the visor, the feet, and shaving the potty area. If the puppy requires an all over trim, or is over 6 months, the price goes up considerably. The reason for the lower price is that we’re trying to encourage owners to bring the puppy in frequently, to get used to being in the grooming environment, and to the processes and noises that go into the groom, plus being held and sitting still while scissors are near their eyes. The difference in price between the “puppy trim” and the full adult price is really steep, however, and more than one owner has been floored by the difference. Our prices are really competitive, however, and the groomers in my salon are often head-hunted by other salons because our quality is really outstanding, so even if a person has gone elsewhere, they usually end up back with us. On this day, a man comes in with a Shih-Tzu, who will be my client.

Me: Hi! Is this (dog)?

Him: Yes. Now listen: we just want a puppy cut.

“Puppy cut” is a term that only applies to poodles, where a poodle is trimmed all over, with a clean face and clean feet. It has no other purpose, and yet customers often use this term to refer to just about any haircut you can imagine, from a complete shave-down to a drop coat trim.

Me: Puppy cut means different things to different people. Why don’t we just go over what you want me to do. Are you wanting me to take any length off of your dog’s coat?

The dog has actually a really well maintained drop coat, but those are really time consuming, so I would never assume that a customer wants to continue with a long coated dog.

Him: NO! No, I just want a puppy cut! Like you did last time!

I look into his history on the computer.

Me: Okay, last time, you had a puppy trim, which is just the face, or visor area, rounding the feet, and shaving the potty area. I will brush his coat out as well, and of course he’ll have a nice bath and nail trimming and ear cleaning too.

Him: Yes, and that’s $16.00.

Me: For dogs under five months, yes. Your dog is now seven months. Your price will be $36.00.

Him: No, it won’t. $16.00 is a fair price.

$16.00 is actually really, really low, considering that we work on commission. The time it takes to complete a puppy is usually longer than a full grown dog who has been doing this for several years because the puppy gets upset, is frightened, and generally doesn’t know what’s going on. It’s the whole reason we encourage people to come in often.

Me: I don’t have any other option. Your dog is over the age limit, and the puppy price is not available to me.

Him: Fine! He’s under 6 months then!

Me: Your file says he was born on (date seven months ago). Is this not correct?

Him: You people are unbelievable! I can’t believe this!

Me: Sorry.

Him: I tried to come in last month, but you all kept saying  you didn’t have any openings! And now you’re trying to gouge me with this price? Because you wouldn’t take me last month?

We do book up quickly, but as long as customers don’t want same-day appointments, we can usually accommodate a dog within a few days of the customer calling. We do have customers, though, like this man, who think our work isn’t hard, and that there can be no reason why they can’t have a same-day appointment. Because I’m used to this, I don’t say anything, because I know anything I say will only make him more angry. I also don’t point out that if he had managed to make it in last month, he still would have paid the full price as the dog would have been six months.  At this point I just want him to leave, even though the puppy actually seems really cute and sweet.

He seems to realize that his yelling at me is getting him nowhere, so he tries one last dig.

Him: This is outrageous! I can’t believe you people! I sure hope I can complain about you on the internet!

I call out to him as he leaves: Have a nice day!

When my boss came back, I told her what happened on the off chance that he might try to call and complain. Thankfully, one of my coworkers was in the salon with me, and vouches for everything I say.

My Boss: Seriously? I booked this appointment for him last night, and we had almost the same conversation! I told him he had to pay the full price because the dog is now fully grown! He knew he’d have to pay that much!

The best part was that he didn’t hurt my business at all that day. There were people on the waiting list who wanted to come in, and they ended up being awesome folks who now come in a lot.