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question about a sticky situation.. (might be a small claim issue)

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  • question about a sticky situation.. (might be a small claim issue)

    ok.. so we got a call from a owner regarding a Pomeranian..

    he came in to get groomed on the 24th of jan
    (HORRIBLY MATTED... the blades refused to go in!
    left with major skin problems which the owner knew about)
    on the 15th of feb he went to the vet..
    early march owner calls and complains and tells us to pay for it saying it was OUR fault... and that she was going to talk to the cc company and get her money back since she didnt like the grooming after all
    (which i explained that she cannot do since she said she was fine with cut and that she didnt give us much to work with)

    the vet wrote a letter stating that it was the groomers fault and that he lesions on some parts..
    and we just got the letter today.

    i did talk to the vet regarding this and she apologized about the letter since she didn't know about the full situation and told me to have HER CLIENTS CALL HER if they call us one more time.

    any advice on how to go about this? hate to do bad customer service
    (but people like this pisses me off when they dont take care of their dog!)

  • #2
    My only advice is get a signed release form, and always take before, during and after pictures. I do get sick of vets that never get the full story before blaming the groomer. My release form also states you have 48 hours to bring any complaints to my attention, so a month and a half later would be acceptable. Great owner that waits three weeks to take the dog to the vet. Have the vet write you a new letter.


    • #3
      go speak with that vet in person and get a letter from that vet negating the letter they sent to you. Stupid vet for getting in the middle of things, but if you do end up in small claims, a letter from that vet negating the first letter and the reasons why will assist the judge in throwing out that "evidence"


      • #4
        Do you have a policy that she signed which describe shaving matted dogs and not being responsible for skin or other issued uncovered by grooming the dog?

        Do you have in your policy about the owners needing to contact you within 48-72 hours regarding any problems they attribute to the grooming of thier pet?

        If not you should have at least these two things.

        Seeing as they did not take their dog to the vet for three weeks and they never called you prior to now letting you know there was an issue I would have tell them you spoke with the vet who now that she/he heard the whole story would like to speak with them again.

        You should always have a camera on hand also to document the condition of matted pets and pets with skin or other issues that pop out at you that may be blamed on you (red ears, bumps etc.).

        If you have a business attorney call them and let them handle it.

        If you have no written policies and would they have called me within 72 hours and I confirmed with the vet the problem was caused by grooming I would have paid the bill but as they didn't seek treatment for three weeks and now the vet has changed thier tune as to the cause I wouldn't pay anything.


        • #5
          Go talk to the vet and get the vet to recant in writing the previous letter. a Vet visit 3 weeks after the fact is BS and the owner knows it. Take your records so the vet can review them and make sure the vet puts the facts as misstated by the owner in the letter. Have it notarized as well. You need to protect yourself and the vet hopefully will come clean on this and encourage the vet to review their policy and call the groomer before taking a clients word as truth. Bet most clients blaming the groomer will change their story if the vet picks up the phone and calls the groomer!


          • #6
            Can anyone post an example of their matted dog release, please?


            • #7

              i did talk to the vet and she apologizes for it and told me to tell them to call her if they call again.. which i did today

              she starts yelling that the vet wrote the letter and i told her i talked to HER VET already and the VET HAD APOLOGIZED and told me to tell them to call the vet.

              the vet is pissed about them.. and then she starts saying that she never agreed to the dog being shaved. and just wanted it to be trimmed around and thats how petco does it?

              i mean seriously..


              • #8
                All good advice, and I hope you won't be grooming this dog again.
                Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

                Groom on!!!


                • #9
                  This is a live and learn situation. Even if it should happen to go to small claims court (which I seriously doubt), make sure to have all clients sign a waiver, have a different waiver for matted dogs that HAVE to be shaved and keep a camera to document before and after picts on all dogs that you groom.
                  SheilaB from SC


                  • #10
                    Hind site is the release form and pics.. I do both. The clietns sign a form that speaks both of coats in severe condition and the 48hr time limit. I usually have my camera and I always have my phone.

                    for this circumstance I would really speak with that vet. IMO it could have fueled the client.. had the vet backed you up initially, or at least called and got your side, the client may not have jumped the gun like this.


                    • #11
                      Here is a copy of my Matted Pet Release form. I also take photos before, during and after the grooming.

                      Date: ____________
                      Pet’s Name: _______________

                      Your pet is important to me. Because I care about your pet’s safety and well being, I want to assure you that every effort will be made to ensure that your pet’s grooming visit as pleasant as possible.

                      Because your pet is severely matted or tangled it will be at greater risk of injury and stress during the grooming session. All precautions will be taken, however problems occasionally arise during grooming under these coat conditions such as clipper irritation, nicks or emotional and physical stress to the pet.

                      Pre-existing skin problems may also be revealed after the hair has been clipped short and XYZ Mobile Grooming assumes no responsibility for medical treatment related to these problems.

                      Your signature below indicates that you have read and understand this statement and will not hold XYZ Mobile Grooming Salon responsible for any accident, injury, or other medical problems with your pet.

                      XYZ Mobile Grooming Salon

                      Signature of Pet Owner: ______________________
                      Date: ________________


                      • #12
                        Do you have insurance? If so, let them handle it. That's what you pay them for.

                        If not, stop talking to the owner and wait. If they file suit, handle it. If not, I'd pretend I was a dead fish, and go with the flow. But either way I probably would not groom this dog again.