Massage Heights / Terrible experience
My 23rd birthday present and fist massage ever from Massage Heights has turned into one of the worst retail experiences of my life. It all started back in June when my boyfriend bought me a massage from Massage Heights as a birthday gift. I had never gotten a massage before so he thought it would be nice to surprise me with one on my birthday. I went to Massage Heights, had my massage, and everything was fine until I was getting ready to leave the salon. As I was trying to pay and leave the girl cashier working starts trying to push me to purchase a monthly massage membership. She explained the membership was $50 and that along with reduced prices on massages, the membership also included a free complimentary massage every month.
Considering this was my first massage in 23 years I said I could not justify spending $50 every month from now on to get a massage for myself. I also explained that since I work full-time and go to school full-time I would never have time to come in every month to get a massage anyway. Finally I also said I would be moving in a year so it would not make sense for me anyway.
Oh none of these things were a problem the cashier explained! First of all she said the membership only lasts a year and I could cancel it before I moved. This did not motivate me because again I thought even one monthly massage for myself was way too extravagant and unnecessary.
However next cashier said I did not have to use all my complimentary monthly massages and that I could give my free monthly massages away in the form of gift certificate to anyone I like. Along with this she did explain that I could only give away two of my free monthly massages to the same person. She also said the free unused monthly massages roll-over so if I did not use a free massage one month it would carry over to the next. Finally on top of that she said that my first month of the membership would be free and the gift card my boyfriend got for the massage I had already received would pay for the second month of the membership. So over the year I would have to pay for 10 months of massages plus tips and I would get 12 massages in exchange.
After she explained all this to me I was much more enthusiastic about the membership. I thought to myself how great the free massages would be to give away as gifts to other people. I figured I could use 2 or 3 of the massages for myself as a treat and then give away the other 9 or 10 to people as gifts. I looked at the membership as a prepaid investment in Christmas and birthday gifts for the next year. After thinking it through and asking questions to confirm that I correctly understood everything she was saying to me I decided to sign up for the membership. Things have gone from bad to worse ever since.
I signed up for the membership in June, and has not used any of my free massages until now. Last week I decided to book an appointment for me and my boyfriend to each use one of the free massages I had accrued. I called and booked the appointments for both of us. On the phone I indicated that I the two of us would like to use two of my unused free massages for our appointments. Just to be sure I again confirmed over the phone that it was okay for both of us to use my unused free massages. The girl on the phone said OF COURSE that was fine and confirmed both of our appointments under my account.
Today my boyfriend and I arrived to have our massage appointments at Massage Heights and everything went well to start with. The massage staff was polite when we arrived and both of our massages went fine. We finished with our massages and I went up to the cashier to pay for tips on both the massages. There were three Massage Heights employees at the counter. I believe two of them were managers and one was an employee in training learning to use the cash register. I said I would be paying for the tips on both the massages and the trainee employee at the counter started to run my card for tips on both the massages.
During this time the other two girls at the counter started asking me if my boyfriend wanted a membership. I indicated that he did not and wanted for my receipts. Then one of the managers asked who would be paying for my boyfriend's massage and I replied I was giving him one of my free unused massages from my membership. The manager looked at me and said what are you talking about. I again said I was giving him on of my free unused massages. Both the managers then became extremely rude and again said what are you talking about you cannot give away any of your free massages to anyone else.
At this point I was just dumbfounded. I explained that I was told multiple times when I signed up for the membership in June and once again last week over the phone that I was allowed to give away my unused massages to anyone I wanted as long as I did not give more than two free massages away to the same person. As I was trying to explain this the two managers at the counter continued to be extremely mean to me-interrupting me, rolling their eyes, and saying that this was not allowed, they did not know why I would think that it was allowed, and no one would have told me that this was allowed.
At this point I realized that I had been lied too, the Massage Heights employees could care less, and that there was nothing I could do. I said I would pay for the massage and just told them to run my card. I think it is important to point out that during this entire exchange none of the employees did anything to try to make me feel better about the situation or address any of my concerns. The managers were extremely mean-spirited, stuck-up, and cruel throughout the entire incident. I have never been made to feel worse as a customer at a business. There were other customers waiting in the salon during the incident and the two managers made me feel like a criminal who was trying to fraud their business out of a free massage.
This entire incident was extremely aggravating and embarrassing. First of all I am extremely mad I was lied to about the terms of the membership. Never in a million years would I have signed up for the membership if I had not been told I could give away the massages as gifts. My friends even remember me talking about this as the sole reason I signed up for the membership. Although I take some responsibility because I should have never signed up based solely on the false representations Massage Heights made to me, I still feel I was swindled. I feel completely defrauded out of the $500 I will have to pay this year before I can cancel my membership next June.
I am also extremely worried something will go wrong when I try to cancel my membership. When I was waiting for my massage today I overheard a phone call where a customer had called complaining their card was still being charged even after they canceled their Massage Heights membership. The same manager that was mean to me got on the phone and started explaining something about how the members card would still be charged for two additional months. Although I realize I know nothing about the other members situation and overhearing a phone call is not credible information, but given my experience today I am concerned over cancellation of the membership.
I would please urge everyone to never go to Massage Heights. It was the worst customer service experience of my life. Not only was I defrauded and lied too, I have never been made to feel worse as a paying customer in my life. I do not want others to have to suffer through what I went through.
Finally I think its important to note that I was so outraged by this incident I did call the Massage Heights corporate headquarters immediately when I got home. The woman I spoke to at the franchise was polite and indicated she would call the franchise and get back to me. I called at 2:30 pm today and I am still waiting to hear back. I do not want to ruin the Massage Heights reputation based on the deceitful business practices at a single franchise if it is not warranted. I am hoping the corporate headquarters will look into my complaint and take action to justly resolve this situation.
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