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Spa Treatments: Your Consumer Rights

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 2 Nov 2020 | comments*Discuss
 
Spa Salon Beauty Consumer Law Legal

So, you've decided to treat yourself to a spa treatment, and you're looking forward to a day - or a few hours at least - of unadulterated pampering. What do you need to know about your rights before you go, so that your anticipated treat doesn't turn into a disappointment?

The Law

A spa or beauty salon is governed by the same laws as a plumber who fixes your shower or a car mechanic. The law covering the way a spa service is provided is the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982.

So, if you have booked in for an Indian Head Massage at your local spa, you are entitled to expect the therapist to carry out your massage with reasonable care and skill; in a reasonable time, and for a reasonable charge. The law is all about what's reasonable.

The Cost of Beauty

Most spas and beauty salons have a menu of treatments that you can choose from, and so you'll usually know in advance whether your massage is going to be expensive or not. It's worth knowing, though, that if you've somehow got hold of an out of date price list, or there's a misprint on the website, or printed menu, the spa isn't obliged to give you the treatment at the price quoted. So if you think you're going to get an hour and a half of sensory bliss for £7.50 rather than £75, you could be in for a shock. A contract like this is formed at the point of sale, so in effect, when you offer the therapist £7.50 for her handiwork, she's entitled not just to be rightfully insulted - but to withdraw the 'offer' you've seen on the price list, and ask for £75 instead. If you refuse to pay the rest, that puts you firmly in the wrong.

A Shoddy Treatment

If you aren't happy with the way your treatment is carried out, you have a right to complain about it, and in some cases you can expect to be compensated. It's best to complain at the time of the treatment, because that gives both you and the spa an opportunity to try and resolve the problem quickly.

If you feel that your therapist was unprofessional, or you have issues about hygiene, you should bring this to the attention of the spa straight away. Bear in mind that some types of therapeutic massage can be uncomfortable when carried out properly (manual lymph drainage or anti-cellulite treatments are two good examples of this.) Remember the phrase 'reasonable care and skill' - and if you still believe you've been short changed, complain.

Because of the nature of the services you buy from a spa, it can be hard to define what compensation you can claim if things don't go as you'd expected. Remember that any goods or services the spa provides must also be as described, so if your 90 minute treatment was over in 65 minutes you'd have every right to ask for a proportion of the cost back - but it's not so easy with a Reiki session where you were promised 'a relaxing, soothing treatment' but were constantly interrupted by the therapist's over active mobile phone.

What to do Next

It is usually considered reasonable to give a trader the chance to put things right if you're unhappy with a service. It could be that they offer you another treatment free of charge - under which circumstances you could be well within your rights to demand another therapist if the first person was utterly incompetent! In some cases, such as worries about hygiene or safety, it could be considered reasonable for you to refuse the offer of another treatment and ask for a refund. The law takes into account what benefit you received from the treatment if there was any dispute, so if you truly had an awful experience, you could reasonably expect a complete refund.

As a rule, most spas are dedicated to making your experience as relaxing and pampering as possible - but it's reassuring to know that the law is there to protect you if things go wrong.

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For the products that tracey told me I had to buy serum, sunblock and epidermal repair I paid £150. I think she scams people for their money. I want refund of £800 for the treatments I paid which were useless and £150 for the unnecessary products I paid so total £950.
R - 2-Nov-20 @ 7:23 AM
I went to my consultation at Skin solutions in huddersfield in lepton. The lady Tracey who owns the business did a consultation with me. She said I could gave me a package including, plasma pen treatment on nose 3 sessions, microneedling for face,neck and hands 6 sessions , hifu for neck, and a free peel. She charged me £800 for all these and to top it up she told me that I will need products, serum, sunblock and epidermal repair for my skin. Now, to tell you about the treatment and how it went. I had a free peel done which was so messy the lady who was doing it got it stuck in my hair. Next tracey did the plasma pen, she put so much pressure on my nose when she was using the plasma pen and creating burns on my nose. She put holes all over the nose. It hurt so much my eyes were watering. She took 30mins or more to do this. She said I'd get small burns that would go away in a week as scabs would form. I told her that it was too painful and I don't want scars left and she said there wouldn't be any. I was still not happy. I didn't want to go ahead with the plasma pen sessions anymore. I asked for a refund and she said they don't do refunds. I told her that the plasma pen has burned my nose and I have lines all over it. She instead offered me alternative treatments instead of refunding me. I want a refund for the burns caused by her. She owes me a full refund but isn't willing to pay. I'm not happy with the services given to me.
R - 2-Nov-20 @ 7:20 AM
Hi I went for a freeze fat treatment £39 pair area I had 6 done and when I was on the suction pads she charge me £400. Like an idiot I paid when I questioned her she said it was also for electric pulse pad she used before freeze,none of this was explained before treatment. Or the fact that there would be a screeching sound in my ears. I also told her I had viragos veins but she ever advise me not to treat an now it has drawn them further out. She was in a rush and ask me if I could come back next day to finish so I did after paying£400 Then she tried to charge me a further £160 which I have not paid, please where do I stand
Upset - 27-Jul-20 @ 8:10 PM
I paid for an eyebrow wax upfront and when I attended for my appointment my therapist asked are you well? I replied that I had just recovered from pneumonia and that I’d seen my doctor and we agreed it was ok to return to work. She then asked me to take a seat in the treatment room she had taken me into and didn’t come back for around 10 mins. She returned with another therapist who spoke to me to inform me that my treatment would not be carried out due to sensitivity having recovered from pneumonia. I was very offended by this . I asked for a refund which they said would be processed in 3-5 working days. Personally I think the therapist over reacted what are my rights in this situation?
Kel - 8-Mar-20 @ 10:30 PM
I had eyelash extension at a WOW BAR and within 24 hours experienced itching and burning, by the time I went back to the salon to have them removed my eyes were infected and swollen and my face also swelled. I had to seek urgent medical treatment and my face and eyes took 5 days to return to normal. During that time I was in a lot of pain, even the removal of the eyelashes caused a burning sensation. When I complained to the technician she refused to accept responsibility and maintained that this had never happened before and insisted I had suffered an allergic reaction. However I feel this was due to a lack of hygiene and due care. I insisted on a refund after paying £125 for 2 sets, this was refused.Do I have any recourse, the salon does not display any warning notices about potential allergies to the eyelash glue or the fact that they fall out after 1 day and become uneven.
Linette - 7-Jan-20 @ 8:04 PM
Hi. I paid for eyelash extentions for my holiday. The next day the left eyelashes had fallen out. I messaged the lady and she offered me another appointment but i couldn't do it. She messaged me two days later at 5.15pm and offered me one for 7.30pm that day which again i could not do. She offered me a third appointment for a Saturday wjich is when im on my holiday. I have asked for a refund which she declinded stating i was moving around too much and that she had offered me three appointments to rectify it. I stated that only one eye had not taken and the appointment s offered are not convenient for me and this should not be a reason for declining a refund. Am I in the right to receive a refund?
S80! - 28-Aug-19 @ 10:51 AM
I paid up front for six eyebrow tint and threading treatments at a salon in London. I used two of the six treatments and on both occasions, therapists made the skin around by brows bleed leaving unsightly scabs which took days to heal. They trimmed one eyebrow shorter than the other leaving a big chunk missing from one brow. They dyed my brows black when I asked for brown and dyed the skin above my brows making me look absolutely ridiculous. I had to use stain remover to scrub it off my skin. I was so shocked and appalled, I lost all trust and am too afraid to go back there. I have four pre-paid treatments left and I have been asking for a refund for the remaining treatments since July 2018 but each time I have asked the Business Branch Manager has said she has escalated the case to higher management, but I never hear back. I feel I'm being fobbed off and lied to. I have read many similar negative reviews about this company and think it is high time they were held to account. They have no concept of customer service and their service is not only unfit for purpose but actually damaging to their customers. How can I get a refund if they are not addressing my complaint? I've never experienced anything like it!
Louisa - 9-May-19 @ 4:14 PM
I paid up front for six eyebrow tint and threading treatments at a salon in London. I used two of the six treatments and on both occasions, therapists made the skin around by brows bleed leaving unsightly scabs which took days to heal. They trimmed one eyebrow shorter than the other leaving a big chunk missing from one brow. They dyed my brows black when I asked for brown and dyed the skin above my brows making me look absolutely ridiculous. I had to use stain remover to scrub it off my skin. I was so shocked and appalled, I lost all trust and am too afraid to go back there. I have four pre-paid treatments left and I have been asking for a refund for the remaining treatments since July 2018 but each time I have asked the Business Branch Manager has said she has escalated the case to higher management, but I never hear back. I feel I'm being fobbed off and lied to. I have read many similar negative reviews about this company and think it is high time they were held to account. They have no concept of customer service and their service is not only unfit for purpose but actually damaging to their customers. How can I get a refund if they are not addressing my complaint? I've never experienced anything like it!
Louisa - 9-May-19 @ 3:59 PM
I had micro blading done 3 days ago I did not notice at the salon but when I got home my daughter said one is up and one is down, I studied more now I at home and out of the salon and they look really odd and I HATE THEM, they look ugly and uneven and badly done not even a nice shape, I WAS DUE TO GO BACK IN 4 WEEKS but now am too worried and want a refund to have them fixed when healed, I AM REALLY EMBARRASSED by the way they look, and regret having them done what is my legal situation I PAID CASH BUT HAVE THE DEPOSIT RECEIPT ONLY they only accept cash and did not give me a full receipt
jan - 30-Apr-19 @ 12:32 PM
Booked a spa day by phone a few weeks ago for 6 of us and was made to pay upfront by card. Sadly one of our party has had to pull out due to a bereavement. Gave the business a call to say we need to reduce our numbers by one and they’re saying they will only give a voucher credit, not a refund to the card used to book. What is my entitlement to a refund to credit card? Thanks.
Bea - 15-Nov-18 @ 7:12 PM
Hi, I was wondering if someone could help me with my unfair treatment of a beautician. A month ago I went to a salon for microblading. Microblading requires top up after a month of the initial treatment and the beautician required payment for both appointments in advance which I paid her. We then agreed on a date. I am 100% sure she said 25/10 but she saved it for 24/10. She then messaged me on 24th asking me where I was. I responded immediately telling her that we agreed on 25th. She was very rude, saying she knows what date she gave me. Yet, I know that she said 25th. I remain rather polite and asked her for alternative date. She didn't give me any date, she said she would charged extra £50. It is her word against mine, there is no written confirmation of the appointment. I am now in a trap, because if she doesn't do the top up, I have lost money and she is clearly taking advantage of me. I need the top up though as my eyebrows are not done yet. Further to all the above I found her very unprofessional in a way that she was rather rude. She also never did any skin test, she also took my pictures after the treatment and posted them (including my whole face) on social media. When I paid her she didn't give me any receipt so I also wonder if she claims or her incomes since she only accepts cash. What are my options here please? I am desperate to solve this... Thank you in advance, Sarka
B01 - 26-Oct-18 @ 10:00 AM
My beauty therapist has added a book now to her Facebook page to make appointment making easier. The thing that got me and I'm not sure it's legal is I had to pay for the treatment at the time of booking. Can they do this, is it legal?
Jan19 - 27-Sep-18 @ 11:03 AM
She didn’t do a skin test I’m not sure if you do one with. Plasma micro fibroblasts? My skin is so bad now for nearly 3 months my skin keeps reacting going from pale pink to aggressive red & it burns. Doctors have referred me to see a dermatologist but it is till 31 July & I’m miserable with my skin being like this. My doctor advised for me to send a stern letter to the practitioner for her to pay for me to go to a dermatologist from her insurance. I’ve emailed her & when I get a moment to put it in writing I’ll send a letter too. If she ignores then maybe trading standards & no win no fee maybe. I will go to citizens advice too.
Topcat - 21-May-18 @ 9:42 PM
Topcat- Your Question:
Hi I’m looking for some advice, about 2 & a half months ago. I went for a face treatment it was called plasma micro Fibroblast. Unfortunately I have not reacted to the treatment well & I think she went to deep into the tissue. Where she treated my face I’ve been getting extreme flare ups. When it flares up my eyes are red raw burnt looking & it really hurts my last flare up was 15th may 18 the day after it blister. My face looks burnt & is not healing. I rang the lady who treated me but she offered no after care & said it’s my fault because I did not tell her I had such sensitive skin but I never had any problems with my skin before the treatment. She said I could come & see her but she could do nothing to help. My doctor has referred me to see a dermatologist but it’s a long wait on the nhs. My doctor advised me to write stern letter to the person who did my treatment & request that she pays for me to go privately as there is no notes of skin issues in my doctors records. My doctor said “as a lone practitioner she should have indemnity to cover for issues relating to my treatment & failure to help resolve issues I should seek advise from regulatory body & if she doesn’t help may affect her business. I will do as my doctor advised. Any other advice you could give id be very grateful

Our Response:
Did the practitioner do a skin test first? Do as your doctor advises, you may have to consider the smalll claims court if she refuses to refund you.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 21-May-18 @ 10:36 AM
Hi I’m looking for some advice, about 2 & a half months ago. I went for a face treatment it was called plasma micro Fibroblast. Unfortunately I have not reacted to the treatment well & I think she went to deep into the tissue. Where she treated my face I’ve been getting extreme flare ups. When it flares up my eyes are red raw burnt looking & it really hurts my last flare up was 15th may 18 the day after it blister. My face looks burnt & is not healing. I rang the lady who treated me but she offered no after care & said it’s my fault because I did not tell her I had such sensitive skin but I never had any problems with my skin before the treatment. She said I could come & see her but she could do nothing to help. My doctor has referred me to see a dermatologist but it’s a long wait on the nhs. My doctor advised me to write stern letter to the person who did my treatment & request that she pays for me to go privately as there is no notes of skin issues in my doctors records. My doctor said “as a lone practitioner she should have indemnity to cover for issues relating to my treatment & failure to help resolve issues I should seek advise from regulatory body & if she doesn’t help may affect her business. I will do as my doctor advised. Any other advice you could give id be very grateful
Topcat - 18-May-18 @ 4:55 PM
i bought a voucher for a spa treatment for my grandmother that consisted of a 50min treatmentincluding a luxury facial,back massage,arms shoulders and hands massage that we paid £50 for. When my grandmother went to the spa they said they dont offer this treatment anymore at that price and told her she was only entitled to a 30min facial or she must pay and extra £25 even tho it was stated on the voucher what we paid for and it was still in date. She did pay the extra money am i within my right to make a complaint i feel like they have taken advantage of an elderly women.
chelsea - 21-Apr-18 @ 6:28 AM
Kate- Your Question:
Hi I booked a spa day for myself and my mum as a Mother’s Day gift it was sold at a spa day at Bannatyne Bristol showed picture on the third party site that we purchased it on but when arriving it was in a leisure centre with just beauty treatment rooms nothing like we expected for our spa day so we complained to the manager and asked for a refund as this was so Mis sold according to the pictures on the third party website we didn’t have our treatments or high tea we the relaxation place was in a cafe at the front of the leisure centre wo there was no relaxation place to go as shown in the photos the pool area was cold the two seats they had there where dirty and had seen better days the pool was divided off in to lane swimming with the pool being so cold the sauna and steam room was between the men and ladies changing rooms it was so not a spa day as indicated I am being given the run around from both parties trying to get my money back as this was so Mis sold please can you advise me on this thank you so much in advance

Our Response:
Do you have copies of the description? Did you read any reviews? Were the pictures placed by the third party or Bannatyne? Have you tried contacting the third party you booked through? Sorry we would need more information before being able to advise you.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 9-Mar-18 @ 11:43 AM
Hi I booked a spa day for myself and my mum as a Mother’s Day gift it was sold at a spa day at Bannatyne Bristol showed picture on the third party site that we purchased it on but when arriving it was in a leisure centre with just beauty treatment rooms nothing like we expected for our spa day so we complained to the manager and asked for a refund as this was so Mis sold according to the pictures on the third party website we didn’t have our treatments or high tea we the relaxation place was in a cafe at the front of the leisure centre wo there was no relaxation place to go as shown in the photos the pool area was cold the two seats they had there where dirty and had seen better days the pool was divided off in to lane swimming with the pool being so cold the sauna and steam room was between the men and ladies changing rooms it was so not a spa day as indicated I am being given the run around from both parties trying to get my money back as this was so Mis sold please can you advise me on this thank you so much in advance
Kate - 8-Mar-18 @ 10:15 AM
Hi - I purchased a spa treatment at a hotel chain this offered for two dinner bed and breakfast with a 55 minute spa. We have to call and book the spa on calling we have been offered one treatment on the Saturday at 2.30pm and the other one on the Sunday at 1pm. My thoughts are this is unreasonable as we have booked the spa together and expect to have the treatment on the same day and on the day that we are staying at the hotel?
Hugo - 5-Mar-18 @ 10:19 PM
Ap - Your Question:
Hello, I purchased 8 ipl sessions and paid for them all in advance. I started early october and have only had 2 sessions so far. I habe had 2 appointments cancelled. One of which I went to the salon and waited 20 minutes to be told the owner would not be coming for my ipl session. Was meant to have a session in december but the lady went on holiday without informing me and so I arrived at the store and it was closed. Tried chasing her calls and visited shop multiple times. Im frustrated with cancellations and my ipl is ineffective as the gap between sessions exceeds 6 weeks. Asked owner for a refund she said she will get back to me and now is no longer answering phone calls or responding. Is there anything I can do? Thank you

Our Response:
You haven't received the service/product you would expect from the purchase so you should be able to claim a refund/partial refund. If the company is not cooperatingyou may have to take it to the small claims court although it's worth looking at Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods
ConsumerRightsExpert - 15-Jan-18 @ 10:23 AM
Hello, I purchased 8 ipl sessions and paid for them all in advance. I started early october and have onlyhad 2 sessions so far. I habe had 2 appointments cancelled. One of which i went to the salon and waited 20 minutes to be told the owner would not be coming for my ipl session. Was meant to have a session in december but the lady went on holiday without informing me and so i arrived at the store and it was closed. Tried chasing her calls and visited shop multiple times. Im frustrated with cancellations and my ipl is ineffective as the gap between sessions exceeds 6 weeks. Asked owner for a refund she said she will get back to me and now is no longer answering phone calls or responding. Is there anything i can do? Thank you
Ap - 12-Jan-18 @ 1:55 AM
I had HIFU 3D treatment on my face & neck costing £549 my face showed no change after the 12 week period they said you should wait to see results. My face was supposed to be firmer reducedfine lines & tighten my skin. Nothing happened. The company state in their terms & conditions: Due to the nature of non invasive treatments associated with our company, we cannot guarantee results. In in the refund section state: We cannot offer refunds regarding our treatments. Are they allowed to do this? Surely if treatments haven't worked they haven't fulfilled what they advertise. Do I have any consumer rights?
Ax - 11-Jan-18 @ 8:16 PM
Efie - Your Question:
I was bought a spa day with full body massage for Christmas. I hate spa days and I asked if I could have a refund. I was offered other alternatives of which I do not want, the request for a refund was refused. What are my rights please?

Our Response:
Check the terms and conditions of the voucher, it's not usual to be able to claim the money in place of treatments etc. You're probably not entitled to a refund unless the item/service is faulty.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 3-Jan-18 @ 11:48 AM
I was bought a spa day with full body massage for Christmas.I hate spa days and I asked if I could have a refund.I was offered other alternatives of which I do not want, the request for a refund was refused.What are my rights please?
Efie - 30-Dec-17 @ 11:28 AM
Farah - Your Question:
I stupidly purchased a VIP PACKAGE on impulse for a significant sum of money. The package includes treatments, products and electronic device. I am yet to have a treatment and not opened the product or the device. I recall a 14 day cooling period when signing the paperwork but was not given a copy of the paperwork. I have changed my mind and wanted to know what my consumer rights are. I have called the salon and they have said I need to make an appointment to come in cancel/bring back the goods (which sounds particularly odd to me). I would be grateful for any advice, I have a feeling they are going to make this as difficult as possible!!

Our Response:
Ask for a copy of the terms and conditions. You're not necessarily entitled to a refund in this case unless you ordered it online in some cases. Sorry but you've not given us enough information to give really good advice. The salon might want you to go in to cancel, so that you can sign something and return the item.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 4-Dec-17 @ 2:54 PM
Ratty - Your Question:
Hi can anybody offer advice please?I went to a clinic and had Botox to 3 areas of my face, however they didn’t work at all. I informed clinic of this and they said to come in and they will top it up which I did, again it didn’t work so I contacted them again. They have a Dr at this clinic so I asked to see him, he repeated the treatment but it has failed to work at all. I contacted the clinic to advise them of this and asked for a refund, however they have refused saying sometimes treatment doesn’t work and they already given me a repeat treatment as a goodwill gesture. At no point was I told this, there isn’t anything on their page to say occasionally treatment doesn’t work or was I ever messaged to say repeat treatment was goodwill gesture. I might add it does state that they do a free top up of treatment 3 weeks after initial treatment. Final note I have had botox previously at other clinics which worked perfectly. Am I entitled to a refund?

Our Response:
if the treatment didn't work and there was no information given at the time of the treatment that this might happen, then yes you should be refunded. If the clinic is refusing to refund you, you may have to take action via the civil courts.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 4-Dec-17 @ 12:25 PM
I stupidly purchased a VIP PACKAGE on impulse for a significant sum of money. The package includes treatments, products and electronic device. I am yet to have a treatment and not opened the product or the device. I recall a 14 day cooling period when signing the paperwork but was not given a copy of the paperwork. I have changed my mind and wanted to know what my consumer rights are. I have called the salon and they have said I need to make an appointment to come in cancel/bring back the goods (which sounds particularly odd to me). I would be grateful for any advice, I have a feeling they are going to make this as difficult as possible!!
Farah - 4-Dec-17 @ 5:14 AM
Hi can anybody offer advice please? I went to a clinic and had Botox to 3 areas of my face, however they didn’t work at all. I informed clinic of this and they said to come in and they will top it up which I did, again it didn’t work so I contacted them again. They have a Dr at this clinic so I asked to see him, he repeated the treatment but it has failed to work at all. I contacted the clinic to advise them of this and asked for a refund, however they have refused saying sometimes treatment doesn’t work and they already given me a repeat treatment as a goodwill gesture. At no point was I told this, there isn’t anything on their page to say occasionally treatment doesn’t work or was I ever messaged to say repeat treatment was goodwill gesture. I might add it does state that they do a free top up of treatment 3 weeks after initial treatment. Final note I have had botox previously at other clinics which worked perfectly. Am I entitled to a refund?
Ratty - 3-Dec-17 @ 7:38 PM
I purchased a course of facials from my local branch of a small salon chain and the salon owner sold the branch without telling any of her clients.The new salon owner had stipulated in the agreement she signed with her that all courses of treatments would be re-imbursed.However, the former salon owner won't pay up (there are solicitors involved but us clients are seeing no progress) and is claiming the courses have expired.I have been attending the salon for 13 years and have purchased multiple courses of treatments during that time.There has never been any mention of courses expiring, nor has there ever been a written agreement.In fact, the salon often encouraged bulk-buying during their special offer periods, and the type of treatments on offer are ones that would be safe to have without a certain period of time to elapse (i.e. peels, skin needling).Can you please tell me what my legal rights are with regards to getting a refund from the former salon owner (who is still running another branch elsewhere in the country)?Any references to legislation that I could use would be helpful.Also to note that there are a fair number of clients who are facing this issue. Thank you.
N - 26-May-17 @ 8:59 PM
SC - Your Question:
Please help. I have paid a 50% deposit for my bridal hair and make up for myself and my bridesmaids and the lady now has a bug. Not willing to risk getting ill I have asked for a full refund and she is saying it's non refundable. She will be risking allOf our health so this is not a cancellation because I am going elsewhere!! Should she be giving me my money back?

Our Response:
Yes she should be giving you a refund if she is the one who is unable to provide the service. Does she know how long it will be before she is better? Might this still be in time for the wedding? If you have to go elsewhere, you should seek to reclaim this 50% deposit via the small claims courts.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 8-May-17 @ 11:13 AM
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