Monday, November 18, 2013

Dolcissima Salon and Spa North Wales and the Groupon Coupon

2/28/2014
I'd given Dolcissima a 2 star review on Yelp. Nicole (the owner) called me to tell me that Yelp was a scam. Funny, I've been using it for reviews and rely on Yelp to find new things I haven't tried. I generally find that a place lives up to it's good/bad reviews. I always cancel out the glowing 5 stars given by people with 1 or 2 reviews and do the same for the 1 star (and few reviews).
I've found business owners who don't give a customer a great experience point the fingers at EVERYONE else (the Reviewer! Yelp! Facebook! Don't believe any reviews! Unless they are glowing!!) - that really really ticks me off. Take responsibility for the fact YOU, the owner, need to address criticism.
Anyway...Nicole called me and went into this tirade against Yelp. Then she told me that Karen had been new, but she has come a-llllongggggg way and is doing awesome. Then she told me she would love to do my hair (free of charge) for a hair class. I told her to contact me in January or February. In the meantime, I noticed all her "bad" reviews on Yelp were hidden. I guess she couldn't hide mine because I have been reviewing (both good and bad) for a few years.
Well, she never contacted me. What Ev. There is nothing worse than a business owner who blames the customer or makes excuses for a poor experiences or so I thought until I ran into the business owner that blamed the customer, promised to 'make it right' but never carried through.

11/18/2013 Review: I'm torn about how to review this place. Ultimately, though, unless things change, I can't recommend based on my experience, which was quite an experience!
Though I love Blue Hair Studio in Huntingdon Valley, I'm always looking to find something closer to home so I take advantage of Groupon or Living Social Deals when they come along.
I recently tried a Groupon (29.00 for haircut and conditioning treatment) for Dolcissima AFTER reading the Yelp reviews (most of which are hidden). Because many hidden reviews are often either friends or family of business or competitors leaving a bad review - I thought, eh, I'll try it despite many bad reviews. I've since come to the conclusion that many bad "filtered" reviews probably come from customers who were so upset or dissatisfied that though the rarely write reviews, they had such a horrible experience they wanted to alert other people.
Okay. Here is what happened when I took a chance on Dolcissima.
When I came in for my appointment no one was at the reception desk. I looked in to the hair studio and two stylists were working, both looked up at me, but no one even said hello. No one came out to ask who I was or who I was there for. I started to get nervous when my appointment time came and went and 20 minutes later a stylist came out and introduced herself as Karen.
She sat me in her chair and I explained I was trying to grow out my pixie and had pictures of how I wanted my haircut. Karen seemed unsure about the cut I wanted (I had pictures of Victoria Beckham) and asked the other stylist if the cut I wanted would "look right."
The other stylist assured Karen the cut would look great.
When Karen was washing my hair, she didn't talk to me at all. Then she put conditioner on my hair which had to soak in for about five minutes and left me with my neck on the uncomfortable sink bowl .
After I was back in her chair,  with me trying to make small talk (I asked all the questions...was she from the area, did she ever eat at the Tex Mex, etc - I felt like I was the one putting her at ease) she began cutting very nervously. She kept looking at the other stylist who was chatting away with her own customer and asked her if when she got to the nape of my neck, would she (the other stylist) mind cutting it for her because she (Karen) had fat fingers.
Oh. My. God.
That was when I realized this stylist was either totally new or totally incompetent (I'm hoping new). Karen was not a heavy person, and as far as I could tell, her fingers looked normal. In all of my many many years of haircuts, I've never ever had a stylist ask another if they could cut part of my hair because their fingers were too fat.
The other stylist said she would help after she was done with her customer. So Karen made little snips in my hair and I could tell she was trying to go very slow, waiting for the other stylist. I actually wondered if I was on a hidden camera show.
Karen looked at me in the mirror and asked me if the cut that she had done so far seemed "even."
Finally, a different stylist walked in and I believe it was the owner, Nicole. Karen asked Nicole if she could cut the hair around my nape and then Nicole took over and was demonstrating to Karen how to cut my hair the way I had requested. She totally took over (thank god) and started REALLY cutting my hair and explaining that she'd done my cut a million times because people growing out pixies often ask for the same style. Nicole chatted all about how Groupon works and her families place at the shore. I totally relaxed and was so very very very thankful that she arrived when she did. This is why I'm a bit torn about my review.
I feel  just because I used a Groupon was no excuse to throw me to a new stylist and then used my hair as a lesson in how to cut.  I believe that’s wrong on so many levels and I think, even if you went to a hair styling school, it would be cheaper and overseen by a teacher.

I’d give Nicole five stars for the cut she gave me, but one star (if she was the owner, I’m not even sure) for allowing a brand new stylist (who was very nervous and unsure of herself) to cut a customer’s hair without asking the customer if they were okay with it. So, I'd say, if you're going to use a Groupon, make sure you ask for Nicole - but I just can't trust a business who doesn't value a customer's first impression enough to make sure they are getting the best impression and best service.