Monday, July 17, 2006

The Ugly - Nails & Day Spa at Citrus Park

While the prices are of average value, the service is absolutely poor. I was injured during my massage, resulting in severe pain, sleeplessness, and a migraine attack lasting days. (I have never had such an experience with a massage in my life. She actually pinched a nerve in my neck during the procedure.) It took three calls and several hours to get a return call and when I explained the situation to the massage therapist, I was told to come back in and pay for another massage at a $10 discount. There was no manager on duty to speak to until the following Monday.

Upon arriving in person to speak with the manager, she was unbelievably rude. She demanded x-rays to prove I was in pain. She said they would not do any refund whatsoever. (There is no refund policy listed on their brochure nor in their store. There are nothing to indicate this to the customer.) They refused to provide me with the contact information of the owner, only providing a first name - "Cindy" - and telling me to try sometime the following week to reach her.

This is one of the single worst and most rude customer service experiences I have ever received. Avoid at all costs.

The Store Information and Details
This store is listed by several variations of name:
Nails & Day Spa @ Citrus Park
Day Spa @ Citrus
Day Spa at Citrus Park
"Relax, Beauty @ Wellness Salon!"

It's address and phone number is as follows:
8101 Citrus Park Town Center
Tampa, FL 33625

It's located within the Westfield Shoppington Citrus Park Mall
"Across from JC Penny next to Marks & Morgan Jewelry"

The brochure states:
"A full service salon featuring high relaxation for your mind, body, spirit & beauty from head to toe."

The services include an assortment of standard massage therapy services, men's package services, manicure/pedicure services, facial services, waxing services, and permanent makeup applications.

Details and Personal Experience
I had been in pain due to a stiff neck and sore shoulder for several weeks. Upon urging from my boyfriend, I decided to book an appointment for a massage to help loosen the soreness and alleviate the stiffness. I was unsure where to go when I remembered there was a day spa in the local mall. The prices were of average cost and it's a nice, upscale mall, so I booked an appointment for Friday, July 14th at 2pm.

I arrived a little late (darn traffic) and was asked if I could return back in an hour. So, around 3:15pm, I met with the massage therapist, "Gigi" and brought into a small treatment room. I explained to her why I was there and the nature of the pain and she asked if she could do some deeper tissue work. I told her that was what I preferred. I explained to her that I don't mind being a little sore afterwards if it means the knots/stress/tension is worked out.

My massage was supposed to be an hour, but she finished up at 4:05pm. I was shorted around ten minutes of time. I didn't mention it because I was there to relax afterall, so I let it slide. It should have been an indicator. I paid ($65 plus $15 tip for a total of $80 - they didn't have change for me, forcing the amount of my tip) and left.

The massage itself was nothing special. It was more "relaxation" then "deep tissue" or "therapeutic" like I asked. She didn't focus enough I felt on the problem areas and overall, she was far too minimal in her touch. I barely felt her as she briefly rubbed my feet for example. When I left, I was a little disappointed but I figured I'd just go somewhere else next time. Chalk it up to luck of the draw.

Within an hour or so, my neck felt tight. Within a few hours, I couldn't move my neck and it got so stiff it seized completely up. It was entirely pinched and it hurt so severely, it triggered a horrible migraine attack. (A side note. For those who do not know, a migraine is not a "headache." It's a neurological condition in the same family as epilepsy. Calling it a "headache" is like saying a seizure is when someone gets a little jittery. Migraines cause a host of extreme symptoms during attacks including light and sound hypersensitivity, nausea and vomiting, fever, pain in the neck, head, temple and eyes, and can also cause visual distortions known as "auras." There is an entire classification of medication to shorten the duration of an attack, which, left on it's own can last anywhere from eight hours to several days. It is, quite simply, a hellish experience.) I was in so much pain, I couldn't even sleep. Normally, I try to sleep through the worst of an attack, however, my neck was so stiff and seized up, I could not get comfortable. It wasn't until sometime after 2am, I was finally able to fall asleep.

Saturday afternoon I called and explained I needed to speak to someone about this issue. I was told someone would call me back within 30 minutes. Around 6pm, I called them back and was told they would call me back shortly. It was after 7pm that I finally had my call returned. I had wanted to speak with a manager, but instead, the therapist, Gigi, was the one to call. I explained to her about the pain - which was on-going - and the migraine. I told her I was suffering and that I felt ten times worse then when I went in. At first, she was a bit gruff, saying that some soreness was common after a massage. I told her this was not the kind of muscle soreness you expect. This was not the slightly "tenderized" feeling that's a by-product of a deep tissue massage. I explained this was a pinched feeling; an extreme tightening in my neck which was preventing full range of movement in my neck and which triggered a migraine. She said that definitely did not sound right and that she'd never have this kind of problem before. I told her I never have either. I stated that I was very upset having gone in for relief, but having come out in more pain. She became more polite as we talked and said she recommended I come in and have one of the other therapists try to loosen it back up. The catch was that I'd have to pay for it again. She said she was not authorized to refund my money and that I'd need to speak to a manager for that. (Who was not available until Monday.)

I made an appointment for Monday to meet with another therapist and completed the call. But the more I thought about it, the more it gnawed at me. Here I was, already out $80 and they expected me to spend another $35 (a $10 discount) for thirty minutes of massage to undo the damage that was done? I'd suffered a horrible migraine and was still in pain from the experience. I decided that this offer wasn't acceptable.

Sunday, I tried to call but there was no manager on duty.

Monday, I went in at my appointment time and asked to speak with the manager. A very rude Chinese woman with poor command of English stated she was the manager. I explained calmly to her that I was in on Friday and had been in pain since. That I was not comfortable with their services and did not want to use another one of their therapists. That I needed to get another massage to undo the damage done and thus, I wanted a refund so I could take my business elsewhere. She demanded I give her x-rays to prove I was in pain. She said I couldn't come back after the massage and decide I didn't like it. I told her that it wasn't that I didn't like it, it was the fact that it left me feeling worse than when I came in. Additionally, there was no way I could have known that before the massage, so obviously, it would have to be after the massage that I would ask for a refund. I explained to her that I called several times on Saturday, that I spoke with Gigi, and that I tried to call on Sunday but no manager was available. She refused to offer me any help whatsoever. She wouldn't even give me another massage, she would only give me a $10 discount.

I asked to speak with her manager or the owner. She told me that the owner was out of town until sometime the following week. I asked who the manager was and was only told, "Cindy." No last name. I asked for contact information for "Cindy" such as a phone number or email address. They refused stating they would not give that information out. I asked when and where I could contact this "Cindy" then and was told to call back the following Tuesday (July 25th) "sometime in the afternoon."

I left the store and went to the Mall's management office. I explained to the very nice lady there about the problem and wanted to file a complaint against the store. She was appalled at their attitude, how rude they were and how unhelpful. She asked me to wait a moment.

A few minutes later, she came back. She told me that normally, they would get the owner on the phone right that moment, but that he (I was told a "she" remember) was on vacation and would be back next week. She apologized, gave me a $25 gift card for the mall just to give me something today, and said she'd be in touch with him next Tuesday and get me the remaining amount. I gave her my contact information and thanked her profusely.

I'll update this next week with a status result.

While I was waiting, two ladies who work at the Dillards department store overheard part of my story and asked where I referring to. One of the ladies who works in their own salon and spa within their store said she wasn't surprised. That she had heard of a LOT of negative comments about them as well as issues and complaints. Her commentary was part of what prompted this blog. I only wish I would have found a review of the spa relating these issues before I dealt with them, saving me this pain and stress.

At the moment, I'm still in a lot of pain. The pinching from my neck has now moved down into my left arm and is causing pain even down into my hand and fingers. I've been unable to get any decent sleep the last several nights, tossing and turning because I wake up, uncomfortable. I am disgusted that not only am I out $80 and that I now have to get another massage to try to fix the pain from this one, but that their attitude was so horribly poor. I have to say I've never experienced such terrible attitudes and service as I have by this shop and the manager within.

Avoid this store at all cost.

An Introduction

There are many times in one's life where you encounter a store, or a service that is unbelievable. Sometimes, it's for the good. Sometimes, it's not. It's often hard to find a good, personal commentary on a service on the web, despite the plethora of information out there. This is especially true when it comes to the smaller, local places. After having experienced the absolute worst service ever at a local "day spa," I was prompted to start this blog. I had looked for information on the location, but found nothing (good or bad) about it. I took a chance and now regret it. I can only hope that others searching for information and feedback on stores and services will find my reviews in the future and know places to avoid, saving themselves headache and trouble.

Reviews will include the name and contact information of the store or service in question. And it will be listed as either "The Good" (meaning it's recommended), "The Bad" (meaning it's not recommended) or, "The Ugly" (meaning avoid at all costs.) I'll try to include a brief summary as well as a more in-depth reason for it's rating.

Comments, feedback and personal experiences are always welcome as well.