Friday, 24 May 2013

The Dangers of Groupon / My Latest Hair Disaster

This is my first post since I finally finished my degree (!!!) and so I'm hoping that from now on I will be able to post a bit more frequently. As a result, I'm no longer going to post each individual blog I write on Facebook as it will probably start to annoy people - if you enjoy reading my blog and don't want to miss out then I'd love it if you could follow me. You can do so via your Google account, through Bloglovin (simply make an account on their website, it takes seconds), or by entering your email address. All three of these options are displayed to the left. You can follow anonymously if you would prefer.

(Edit: the following post turned into a bit of a rant. Oops.)

So, as a post-exam treat to myself, I decided I wanted to retreat from the dark side and get some highlights put back into my hair, which was a kind of patchy light brown / dark blonde colour from where I'd been trying a few home dye kits with unsuccessful results. The problem: highlights are damn expensive. To just rock up to a chain salon such as Rush or Headmasters you are looking at around the £100 mark for a full head plus cut and blowdry, and this is certainly not within my price range. So you can imagine my delight when I found a Groupon deal for a local salon offering a full head of highlights, a cut and blowdry AND  a conditioning treatment for a mere £36. I snapped up the deal immediately, thinking it was a miracle and far too good to be true. was. Upon arriving at the salon (Envy in Slough) I was ingored by the receptionist for a good ten minutes whilst she was on the phone to another customer. "Oh no, you're lucky you missed the Groupon deal", she told the woman on the line. "To be honest we only use our junior stylists on Groupon customers and they're very inexperienced. You might not have been happy with the results". FANTASTIC START. I was literally standing right there.

I'd noticed in the small print before I headed off to the salon that there was a £10 surcharge on the day for customers with hair below shoulder length - I was hoping that since my hair is only slightly below my shoulders and hardly what you'd call long hair, I might get away with it. No such luck, I was told straight away that I'd be paying £10 extra. Then (after sitting in the chair waiting for a further 15 minutes whilst all the stylists were having a mothers meeting behind me) my stylist came over and made a few suggestions as to what would look good in my hair. "I think definitely two colours would look nice, maybe a bright and a honey blonde or even a few lowlights. We'll use a toner to remove any brassiness. How does that sound?"

It sounds good, thanks.

"Brilliant okay. Just so you know, that'll be an extra £15 for the second colour, and an additional £13 for the toner."


I look grumpy 'cos I hate having my photo taken
If you're no good at maths, this now meant that I was being asked to pay an additional £38 - more than the original cost of the Groupon, meaning I would have paid a total of £74! Against the salon's advice I scrapped the second colour because I literally couldn't afford it, but had to accept that the toner was necessary in order to stop my hair from going orange and stripey. How such a basic thing could count as an optional extra, I honestly have no idea.

Once my stylist finally started putting in my foils, I couldn't help but notice that the client next to me, who wasn't a Groupon customer, had at least twice as many foils as me despite the fact that I had paid for a full head. When I queried this I was just told that I was being given a more natural look as this was what would suit my hair. Total con, of course.

Oh, and the "treatment" advertised in the offer turned out to be conditioner left in for a couple of minutes - brilliant.

To be fair to the salon and my stylist, the end result is fine. It's a very natural look, probably more natural than what I was hoping for - you definitely wouldnn't call my hair blonde, but I guess it will continue to get blonder as I keep topping up the roots. Annoyingly, I think the end result would have been exactly what I was hoping for had I been given a proper full head of highlights like the woman next to me, very annoying. Likewise, I would have walked out of the salon happy with the results if it had only cost me the original £36 rather than the grand total of £59, plus a £5 train ticket to Slough (I would literally never in a million years have been to Slough had it not been for the Groupon).

So, the moral of the story is: if it looks to good to be true, it probably is. If you find yourself tempted by a Groupon, DO NOT BUY IT UNTIL YOU HAVE RUNG THE SALON AND ASKED IF THERE ARE ANY ADDITIONAL CHARGES. Even then, I wouldn't touch Groupon with a barge pole ever again - it was very clear that Groupon customers received very different treatment to regular clients.

Have you ever used Groupon for a beauty treatment, or for anything else? Please share your experiences in my comments section down below. If you can't see the comment box, Click where it says 'X Comments' (depending on how many comments have been left) and it should appear. You can leave your comment anonymously if you would prefer.


  1. My sister had a similar disaster with groupon - it was for a hair cut in the Park Lane hotel up in London, and as they were waiting, my sister understood that the receptionists (who had been speaking to each other in italian) had said 'their appointment is not as important because it was done with groupon' - obviously assuming my sister wouldn't understand.

    1. Wow, I guess it's a common thing then! That's hilarious that your sister managed to catch them out...did she pull them up on it? I'm currently going through the motions of complaining to Groupon because it was pretty riduculous, it just got worse and worse.

  2. I am ALWAYS tempted by the Groupon offers so thank you for such a great post! I agree with the reply above, I'd definitely complain to Groupon too, additional charges really aren't expected with something like that. On the plus side, I think your hair's a lovely colour. :)

    Heather xx

    1. Thanks! I complained to Groupon and they have refunded me the original £36 cost (albeit in Groupon credit, booo) so it worked out slightly better than I'd thought. Definitely not gonna be going through Groupon any time soon for beauty!


  3. I did blow dry deal via Envy in Slough and cannot complain... 5 appts. for £20 bargain... and they even spent curling my hear when requested. I was more than happy and would purchase again. Lucie

  4. I used groupon for cut and colour and paid 24 for half head highlights cut blow dry with Michaela at Definitions.. Absolutely brilliant and very quick... defo recommend xxx Envy has a bad reputation period despite offer xx


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