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Trade Secret Salon


Does not pay employees

Complaint Rating:  90 % with 10 votes
90% 10
Contact information:
Trade Secret Salon
United States
I was an employee of Trade Secret Salon in the United States (since threat of bankruptcy, previous owner Regis has sold the brand to Ontario-based Premier Salons).

After several payroll problems including late pay, shorted pay, full days being unaccounted for in the books, and pay periods being suddenly shifted without warning, I terminated my employment with the company.

Despite several requests to have my current address put in my file (something necessary for having pay sent to home or direct deposited), the salon's manager refused and now says I have no recourse since changes can only be made to current employees' files.

As of today, 3 months after I quit, I am still owed over 200 dollars in back pay. The salon's manager has refused to even accept my calls to remedy this situation. I have no way to contact her superiors.

From discussions with stylists still employed at that salon, pay problems are still happening. When the stylists complain, they are shorted hours (my schedule, following a complaint, was taken from 27 hours in a week to 9) and threatened with termination.
Complaint comments Comments (14) Complaint country United States Complaint category Job & Career


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A  29th of Jun, 2010 by    +1 Votes
I also worked for Trade Secret. My checks were late about two straight months in a row, half the time they were wrong and had to be re-sent, and my hours got cut down from 25-35 hours a week to 10-20 hours. And after my manager had been told to cut down on payroll, they hired a bunch of new employees to replace all of us. I was fired because of "low productivity", but you know what? It wasn't my fault our business was bad. Blame the outrageous prices (higher than even most salons), the poor management, the lack of training for new employees, and the fact that the mall we were stationed in was dying a slow, horrible death.
A  1st of Jul, 2010 by    +1 Votes
Yes...they just let go a couple of stylist at my salon, one who was with them for 6 years! I'm still there, but for how much longer I don't know. I am actually seeking another salon right now, I feel like they are going to just go under and close not just my store, but all of them. Our DM doesn't sound very confident anymore about things. My situation, except the paycheck, is the same as yours Dullflame. I had about 32 hours a week, now I'm down to 25 or something, but I'm pretty sure they're gonna let me go. Then they'll be left with only 2 stylists, one of which is RIGHT out of beauty school, and who messes up clients hair (a LOT), and resulted in me fixing it for $0 service. We have 50% off, and I can't get my numbers up for the life of me with that! All over color that took me one hour and 15 minutes for $25...yea...not working for me at all. I've done nothing but put my all into this store/salon, and all I get in return is fired because I'm not productive enough for you, you can keep it. They don't offer me enough training or support anyway. Its not like a real salon, I think I need to move on and work for a real salon that is passionate about doing hair.
A  5th of Jul, 2010 by    +1 Votes
I totally understand where both of you are having a problem, mine is no different. Last week they came into my store and fired everybody except me. I suppose I'm only there to babysit the new staff. I'm the only hairstylist and I have a full book all the time. I have been with this company for eight years and I think I've had enough. This new company is the biggest joke ever! You're right Tradesuckit it is time to work for a real salon!
A  6th of Jul, 2010 by    +1 Votes
I just feel compelled to say that I feel horrible for all of you, and hope that justice is served. I will remember to avoid Trade Secret at all costs, even as a customer, and will pass on this info to all I know to follow suit.

Stick it to the man, ladies (and/or gentlemen if that's the case).
D  8th of Jul, 2010 by    +2 Votes
I work for Trade Secret in Canada. Yes, I will be the first to admit that there were some issues when Premier took over Trade Secret from Regis. There was issues with stock and pay checks weren't correct but one phone call to Area Supervisor and the paychecks were made right immediately and stock is coming more often. There is always going to be problems and issues in any company. Sorry that's just the way it goes. In our store payroll had to be cut back because a lot was going out to stylists and BAs that weren't busy and there wasn't a need. The promise always was for stylists if you can book, then you can have the hours. With BAs, if it's busy then have more staff on. Perhaps what's going on in the salons you work in isn't the fault of the Trade Secret company but maybe your salon isn't busy and perhaps it's the fault of a not-so-good manager. If your salon isn't busy how can you expect the company to put out wages and full time hours for staff when there isn't any money coming in for that particular salon? If you have any problems why not talk to area supervisors or better yet, talk to somebody higher up. There is head office phone numbers that make it easy to contact people within the company. Instead of b*tching and whining, do something to find out what is going on and how to fix it. That's what we had to do in our salon. Everybody's hours get cut from lack of service and customers especially with the recession. You can't expect companies to put out more money then what is coming in. That's life. Trade Secret has it's faults just like any company but I still think that it is a fairly good place to work at and as long as I'm able to work there, that is my plan hopefully.
A  15th of Jul, 2010 by    +1 Votes
Because when you do bypass the area supervisor, you get fired. Trade secret owes a lot of money to a lot of people. They are not professional in anyway and things that are meant to be confidential is blabbed to everyone and everything that has an attentionspan. Policy are constinantly being broken. The good employees are thrown under the bus. The reason to the bankruptcy is horrible business skills and horrible managing skills. Start treating your employees better and maybe you wouldn't be filing for bankruptcy. Get rid of the dead weight. Not the employees that bust their [censor] for the company. I'm not talking about the employees that say they bust [censor] because if they have time to say their busting [censor] then they aren't working.
A  23rd of Jul, 2010 by    +1 Votes
Bad managers? Ha! Mine was on E and showed up to work tweaking more than once. I know speed freaks are frequent in this industry, but she didn't even have the "gotta keep my services up" excuse - not only was she NOT a stylist, but she hadn't even graduated HIGH SCHOOL!!!
I'm happy to hear of the bankruptcy. Bad managers like mine - and the others that didn't stand up for their stylists - are what ran that place in to the ground. NOT the economic depression.
A  18th of Aug, 2010 by    0 Votes
I worked for Trade Secret when it was owned by Regis and when it was owned by Premier. I have nothing good to say about either corporation, but of the two, Regis was the lesser evil. While under the Regis corporation, our salon received no direction or support from "supervisors". The managers of our stores were left without proper training to figure things out for themselves. When the district managers would make their bi-annual visit (quarterly... at most), they would immediately walk into our back room, get on the phone for a few hours, go out to lunch for 2 hours (which was charged to the company credit card), and when they returned they would shop in the mall for 2-3 hours before saying they needed to be on their way. The salon never received the recognition it needed and the highly talented stylists were left sitting for most of the day. Regis only had the salon attached to the store which the salon because it's illegal to sell salon products without one. The salon we had was hidden behind a wall... customers were shocked when they found out we had one. The managers of Trade Secret are worked harder and paid less than any other manager I've ever spoken to. At least with Regis we were paid to attend product knowledge classes and received many samples of the products so that we could sell based on personal testimony. Premier salons do not give samples. In fact, there is no product training for any new employee other than the videos that Regis left. New employees are left clueless about what they're selling unless they buy one of every single product in the store. I've never had any problems getting paid by either employer, unless you count the horrible state minimum hourly wage as a "problem". We were told it was reasonable because we could commission if we sold enough, however the goals for commissioning were so outrageous it was impossible to reach. The managers and the employees work their [censor] off at Trade Secret and receive ZERO credit for their hard work. Once Premier took over we stopped getting the products and supplies we needed. We got chewed out for sales when we had EASILY $1000 of sales lost a week due to corporate not shipping products we were out of. Our store had over half of the light bulbs burned out, but despite repeated ordering, they never sent them. Premier is a JOKE. They have NO idea how to run a salon. They hire supervisors with no salon or product knowledge to lead salons. How can you be in a business you know nothing about? If they would have listened to their employees and treated them better they wouldn't be going under. If they treat every store like they did ours, the company will be completely bankrupt soon. I can guarantee it.
N  29th of Oct, 2010 by    +1 Votes
I worked for Trade Secret August 2007- March 2009 as a beauty advisor. I was 20 and attending college. The company worked with my school hours and was very flexible with me. I was always given perks by my general manager for my hard work. I met commission goals and even once received a Chi blowdryer and flat iron set from my general manager for my efforts. Our store manager was not management material and I was just a regular part time employee picking up her slack until they felt they could find someone better. I attended manager meetings because our store manager was not punctual and always had excuses for why she couldn't make it to management meetings. I loved my job for the most part. I loved learning about the products we sold in the salon and I loved sharing stories with the regular customers who would always come in.
I worked for Trade Secret while Regis still held reign over it. The only things I disliked about working at Trade Secret were that the salon was almost hidden away... All there was was a small opening in the wall behind the front counter that led to the salon area... Therefore, many people were unaware there was an actual salon if they were just walking by. I also did not too much care for the system the company used to keep up with its sales and service sales. I think the system could have been modified to keep up with modern times, but it wasn't a huge deal. The paperwork involved overall was easy and not too time consuming.
I quit in March of 2009 due to the fact I had just started a tattooist apprenticeship and all of my time needed to be focused on that since I had also quit school to live out this "dream job." Tattooing wound up not being what it was all cracked up to be and the majority of the people were horrible to work with. I thought there was shop drama in a salon... I thought once again after working in a tattoo shop until July of this year.
I am wanting to go back to school to become an art teacher and am currently looking for a job. I came here to look at the reviews from other workers because I was thinking about going to the local Trade Secret near where I am in NJ or even in NC to see if I could maybe even just get some temporary work for the holidays. I will have to go out and talk to the managers of both the nearest NJ store and the NC store to see how much things have changed.
Overall, like I said before, I liked my job and I wouldn't mind giving it another shot while I went back to school. Hopefully all looks well with the store I choose to work with if hired.
N  13th of Apr, 2011 by    0 Votes
Isn't Trade Secret going out of business anyway? They are having huge sales that seem like the beggining of liquidation of stock!
N  23rd of May, 2011 by    0 Votes
All I know is, here in Tampa, there are four stores & only one of them currently has a manager because the other 3 quit over the last month due to the company sucking so bad! Take a hint, Premier! No one is happy! its just that there are only a few of us who have the balls to stand up for ourselves.
N  19th of Dec, 2011 by    0 Votes
I currently work in a trade secret...have been for 5 years an let me tell you the last 2 have been like watching a very slow plane crash. We went from not getting new merchandise to not getting anything! We had the business but there are only so many times you can tell them "we'll get it in and call you" before the customers jut stop coming in. If trade secret actually put effort into keeping the customers instead of this gimmick bull ### it may have been saved. A few weeks ago...shortly after the second bankruptcy...all of our staff received a letter in the mail. I chocked it up to just another standard corporate bankruptcy letter. But my boss read over it and it said something about the company being auctioned off jan 13th I believe. And then sadly just 2 days ago I am told our store...the last in its area is being shut down December 26. Day after Christmas I get to come in and pack up for $100. It's sick and disgusting that they would do this not only to its employees cuz I know for a fact had I known they were shutting us down so soon I wouldn't have spent so much on gifts. And for the customers buying gifts they won't be able to return. Our dm actually told us to still sell gift cards even though the closest store is 3 hours away. This company is sick stupid and overall heartless. Thank you premier salons for ###ing me royally this year after everything I have done for you. Merry ###ing Christmas.
N  27th of Dec, 2011 by    0 Votes
I work there and I wonder from day to day if we will stay open. The chapter 11 letter I am quite used too however the Auction date was quite disturbing. I spent time now in a store that had a DM who did not do anything...however I have worked my tail end off making sure that the salon is up to code and the retail area looks impeccable. I was rewarded with a write up on Christmas Eve...ater raising my inspection by the new DM by 10 points bringing my salon into the perfection raise. There are no thank yous, "way to gos" or even a gift like most companies do at the holidays...mine was a write up threatening to fire me. I have always in previous jobs been considered the best employee but I have to say that I am devestated. We even received an eviction letter from the mall...and than the letter that was sent to us from corporate almost sounded smartass...basically Brian if you do not give a crap just do not bother. It said from us to your from ours to your from his to hers...Happy Holidays. I do not know about the rest of you however I do not deserve this type of disrepect. I have been in the beauty business for many years and have been here out of some twisted loyalty I have for my workers...I would like to know since when is flying to Cancun a good place to have a meeting when the ship is sinking??? I heard that Chi paid for the tickets however it is bad form when Rome is essentially burning.
N  8th of Feb, 2012 by    0 Votes
If anyone is interested in pursuing a class action suit against Trade Secret/Pure Beauty, please send an email to: EmployeeClassAction@live.com

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