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So you're saying you don't want my money?

March 19, 2010 - Ron Deuter

I went to an in-town full-service spa to purchase a gift for my wife’s 30th birthday. My plan was to buy a package including a massage, manicure, pedicure and facial. I wanted to pre-pay for such a package, including tip, so all my wife would have to do is schedule a day, show up and enjoy a few hours pampering without worry. I did not want my wife to know how much I was spending. Simple, right?

Upon arriving at this local spa, I was first surprised to learn they don’t offer packages. OK, no big deal I thought. I could create my own package based on the list of offerings available. I looked through their menu of services and found a one-hour massage, manicure, pedicure and facial that all looked good. I told the lady at the counter I would like to puchase those four services on the spot, with tip, and present my wife with a gift card so she could call and schedule the date. Again, I did not want my wife to know how much I was spending.

I was told that was not possible. In order to purchase a gift card, I would only be able to specify a dollar amount, and that dollar amount would have to be written on the gift card because, “our prices change so often, we need to setup an account so your wife knows how much she has to spend and what she can get when she schedules her appointment.”

After a few minutes of back-and-forth with the lady at the counter, she offered to run it by the owner to see if I could do what I wanted. About an hour later I received a phone call back telling me that the owner wouldn't budge on her policy.

In other words, despite me standing at their counter with my wallet open and ready to spend a decent amount of money, they determined they weren’t interested.

I didn’t call back.

Instead, I picked up the phone and dialed a spa in another town in a bordering county about an hour and a half away. I asked the lady on the other end if they offered packages. She immediately began detailing a few of their package deals. I selected one, gave her my credit card info to pay for it.

They offered to mail the gift card to my house since I wasn’t local. I then asked if the dollar amount could be left off the card. They said no problem. They would just write the name of the package on the card so when my wife calls to setup the appointment, she could just tell them she has the so-and-so package and she’d be all set.

Amazing how easy that was.


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