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  • Crazy Customer w/ Grooming Chargeback???

    Today our shop a credit card chargeback request for a grooming we did in December 2006. A client with two dogs came in around December 2006. One was a poodle mix and one was a bichon. She requested 1/2 off the length for each of them, a round head for the poodle and a bichon head for the bichon. We used a 3F for the body on both of them. Nothing unsual happened except that the bichon was matted on the ears and the stomach. We called the customer and told her that the ears and stomach were matted. We recommended that she let us shave the stomach since that was a sensitive area and dematting can be painful to the dog and irritating to the skin. Of course she wanted the dematting. So we dematted the bichon and finished the haircut. When she picked up the dogs, she was very happy with the poodle and she was very happy with the bichon except for the ears. She complained that she did not want the ears short. We explained to her that a bichon face involved the ears being blended into the head and it requires that the ears be short. She kept complaining and said she could not stand to look at the dog. We offered her a discount to which she ignored and just kept complaining. We continued to offer her the discount and to ask her what she would like us to do. She continued to rant and rave for a half hour and was near tears. Finally she accepted the discount and left, apologizing for her behavior.

    A week later she called and asked if we had cut her bichon because she had scabs in her ears and she was not urinating properly and was crying in pain. We assured her that no clippers or scissor went near the inside ear and that we only hand plucked the ear hair. We told her that we did not cut the dog anywhere and if we had we certainly would have told her. We told her it was possible her dog experienced clipper burn on the vagina but we used the standard 10 blade and there was no visible irritation when we did it. She said she believed us. We told her to keep us updated.

    We called her a week later to ask about the bichon and she said she was healing.

    Today we received the chargeback claim. In it, she complained that the bichon's belly had a red rash, the ears were nicked and the vagina was irritated. She also claimed that we took the dog so short that she had cuts everywhere and was bleeding and yelping in pain. We used a 3F on the bobdy, That is not that short. And she certainly should have noticed all the bleeding if we had cut her everywhere. The belly was probaly irritated from the dematting. As far as the ears go, we cannot explain it since we didn't do anything to it.

    We suspect that the customer was trying to get a free grooming out of us. Has anyone ever had a customer do a chargeback for the grooming? What can you do in a situation like this when the client lying about everything? She is also trying to get the full amount for the TWO dogs when her complaint is about the bichon. We can definitely argue about that but in truth, we do not think she deserves a refund for either groomings.

    We are considering asking credit card users to sign a satisfaction form. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  • #2
    I was a chargeback rep in my former banking career

    First of all, a chargeback like this is about the "quality" of services. Normally, in order to dispute the quality, there must be a 2nd opinion or the show of a professional who had to correct the problem. IE. if you took your vehicle to a shop and complained that they didn't fix the problem, so the vehicle was taken to another shop who was able to fix the problem, the customer would have to provide the additional invoice to their bank for the dispute to show that the first service work had to be redone.

    In her case, I believe she should've had a vet opinion or diagnosis, and if she did- than a chargeback is really not the right way to seek funds from the groomer. Rather it should be a small claim.

    If I were you, I would contact your merchant bank. Tell them you want to rebuttle the dispute. They will probably ask you to write a rebuttle. You would want to mention the client wanted a proper bichon grooming and that involved a round head- which means that you have to trim the ears to blend them in. Also, I would mention that there were no nicks, burns, rashes, or irritations when she left the shop and had the client seen a vet then you could have atleast had the opportunity to review the vets opinion.

    It is unfair to the groomer to have this thrown at them 4 mos. later. There are time frames involved for chargebacks as well, and if I were you I would inquire about that with your bank. When I was a rep, it was 120 days, it seems as if they exceeded that limit. the limits are because merchants can't always be expected to remedy something that old.

    It's unfortunate that when a client is angry they start picking apart everything and making accusations and exaggerating the situation. Send me a PM if you want.

    Comment


    • #3
      Try not to let this upset you to much. There will always be people like this that you have to deal w/no matter what your profession, they just seem to really climb out of the wood work for groomers....lol...

      I think this lady is dead wrong to do a chargeback this late in the game, especially if there is no vet diagnosis involved. I don't know anything about the credit card business but Crystal sure sounds like she knows her stuff you ought to listen to her and PM her if you need extra info!

      I think it will all come down to how much you feel like fighting and if it is worth it to you to have to do all the "extra's" to get your money back. Let us know what happens, and I do hope you get your money you certainly worked hard for it! That lady should be ashamed. Well, you can take this as a learning lesson and don't dematt a dog in the future that you think it will irritate, no matter what the owner says. Give the owner the option of clipping, dematting the dog themselves or going elsewhere!
      SheilaB from SC

      Comment


      • #4
        I would think that if the woman were really that upset about paying then why wouldn't she have rebutted the charge quicker?

        I bet if you asked around you would find that she is a problem child to every groomer in town.
        There is one lady here with a bichon that went through every grooming shop and every mobile groomer. I had been warned about her. She would have the dogs clipped, tell the groomer how happy she was and then call them up later and accuse them of something. She would accuse of cutting, clipper burn, hitting...whatever it was she needed to do to get the groomer to NOT cash her check. The other mobile groomer warned me about her and told me sooner or later she would run out of shops and mobile groomers and have to travel miles and miles and miles out of her way. Sure enough this woman did call...I told her I had nothing open anytime soon but I would call her. I advised her there were other groomers around to try. She told me they were all booked up and what is going on? She ended up calling me several times during the next few weeks trying to get an appointment.

        Through the grapevine I had heard she had to travel quite a ways and is very nice to her latest groomer. I had also heard that the dog was purchased from a breeder and the breeder was taking her to court for non payment. It seems the woman was disatisfyed with her dogs quality that she decided not to make payments anymore.

        So there maybe more to this woman than you think. I am guessing she is a problem child all around. First of all the dog was matted which means she is not keeping her up. If she was that concerned about her dogs appearance she would never allow her to get matted up in the first place.
        I have bicons that are groomed once every three weeks to avoid that.
        So right there is a red flag. The fact that she was willing to put the dog through brushing and not shaving just so the dog would look good - is another red flag.
        When this happens I tell people up front that I will shave the matts out. I am very forward about that and have lost a few clients because they want me to brush their dogs matts out. I have seen one to many brush burns and cuts with this process and also its time consuming and stressfull for both the groomer and the dog.
        Isn't it funny that all of a sudden the way the dog looks is now important but it wasn't important enough to ensure the dog had no matts in the first place.
        So you have to wonder about that one.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jlee0101 View Post
          Today our shop a credit card chargeback request for a grooming we did in December 2006. A client with two dogs came in around December 2006. One was a poodle mix and one was a bichon. She requested 1/2 off the length for each of them, a round head for the poodle and a bichon head for the bichon. We used a 3F for the body on both of them. Nothing unsual happened except that the bichon was matted on the ears and the stomach. We called the customer and told her that the ears and stomach were matted. We recommended that she let us shave the stomach since that was a sensitive area and dematting can be painful to the dog and irritating to the skin. Of course she wanted the dematting. So we dematted the bichon and finished the haircut. When she picked up the dogs, she was very happy with the poodle and she was very happy with the bichon except for the ears. She complained that she did not want the ears short. We explained to her that a bichon face involved the ears being blended into the head and it requires that the ears be short. She kept complaining and said she could not stand to look at the dog. We offered her a discount to which she ignored and just kept complaining. We continued to offer her the discount and to ask her what she would like us to do. She continued to rant and rave for a half hour and was near tears. Finally she accepted the discount and left, apologizing for her behavior.

          A week later she called and asked if we had cut her bichon because she had scabs in her ears and she was not urinating properly and was crying in pain. We assured her that no clippers or scissor went near the inside ear and that we only hand plucked the ear hair. We told her that we did not cut the dog anywhere and if we had we certainly would have told her. We told her it was possible her dog experienced clipper burn on the vagina but we used the standard 10 blade and there was no visible irritation when we did it. She said she believed us. We told her to keep us updated.

          We called her a week later to ask about the bichon and she said she was healing.

          Today we received the chargeback claim. In it, she complained that the bichon's belly had a red rash, the ears were nicked and the vagina was irritated. She also claimed that we took the dog so short that she had cuts everywhere and was bleeding and yelping in pain. We used a 3F on the bobdy, That is not that short. And she certainly should have noticed all the bleeding if we had cut her everywhere. The belly was probaly irritated from the dematting. As far as the ears go, we cannot explain it since we didn't do anything to it.

          We suspect that the customer was trying to get a free grooming out of us. Has anyone ever had a customer do a chargeback for the grooming? What can you do in a situation like this when the client lying about everything? She is also trying to get the full amount for the TWO dogs when her complaint is about the bichon. We can definitely argue about that but in truth, we do not think she deserves a refund for either groomings.

          We are considering asking credit card users to sign a satisfaction form. Does anyone have any suggestions?
          Do as Chrystal suggests. Then, refuse to groom any of her pets in the future. This way she won't get away with playing her games. She evidently chose a responsible grooming salon in that you care about the quality and if she is happy with the groom. Don't let her get away with it, sounds like she does it on a routine basis.

          astrordog

          Comment


          • #6
            Anytime a consumer wants to deny a credit card charge their bank has to follow it up like they did with you. She paid you to groom her dogs and signed (I assume) the credit card slip. You groomed the dogs. As far as the credit card company is concerned that is all there is to it. All you need to do is respond to the credit card company promptly with a brief explanation and that will be the end of the matter as far as they are concerned. It is not up to the credit card company to decide if you should get paid or not because the customer decided she was dissatisfied with the service. Don't lose sleep over this. I used to own a retail store and occasionally got a charge back request for one reason or another and would get all stressed over it but it's really not a big deal. Just know that if you don't respond to the request in a timely matter they could take the money back on that basis.

            Comment


            • #7
              There are many different reasons for a chargeback, just because the customer signed the slip, doesn't always make it a done deal. Chargebacks are there for the protection of the consumer as well. There are rules and regs with visa and mc, so the signed slip is usually only protection for the merchant in a case where there is question as to whether the goods were received. IE you could go to a furniture store and buy a sofa to be delivered, sign the cc receipt to authorize the charge, but maybe the sofa never shows up. That is a right to a chargeback. The dispute process is meticulous, kind of like state laws, there's alot of ifs, and, or buts about it.

              However, this woman has abused that right. The ball is in your court now. The time frames in which the chargeback was issued may be because of delay at your bank, or her bank. But it is worth asking your bank why so long now.

              Regardless, she has no supporting references. If she believes the issues were related to the groom, she should have seen a vet to get a diagnosis, end of story!

              To me, I know it almost doesn't sound worth fighting for, but the principal that she disputed the charge is wrong. Also, her problems weren't related to the poodle groom right? So did the chargeback include the amount of the poodle as well? If it did, I would tell your bank that that amount is out of the question and the chargeback amount should have only been for the amount of the bichon. IE if they were 40.00 each, with a total of 80.00 on the sales slip, the chargeback amount should have only been 40.00, for the actual groom in question.

              Also, you offerred a discount, just for the sake of arguement, maybe the discount was 1/2 off due to her being dissatisfied. Well at the time of the grooming transaction, she accepted that 1/2 off and paid the difference. You did perform a service and your entitled to your payment. I would refuse the chargeback to your bank and tell them why.

              When I was a rep, if the chargeback was presented back to the bank, I was the one who had to explain to our cardmember why we were rebilling their account for the charge. That was a fun job! They just loooooooved me. Every day there would be messages on my phone from my admirer's, wanting to know why their dispute claim is back on their bill.

              Comment


              • #8
                Just sent in our reply

                Thanks for all the great advice and support. I did send in a reply outlining everything that happened and the fact that she is asking for a credit for two groomings when her dispute was about one dog.

                I know that something like this is bound to eventually happen. But it really pisses me off that someone would just outright lie like that. And for what? A little over a $100?

                I wrote a very strong reply and I hope everything works out. I just don't want her to win. I want vindication.

                I will let you guys know what happens.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Take her to small claims.

                  Dear jlee0101,

                  Get a copy of the small claims filing in your county and fill it out. Ask for triple damages, time out of work, reasonable attorneys fees and court costs.

                  Turn that $____ grooming into a $472.16 claim and in the cover letter (certified return receipt request) give her 10 days to pay the $____ or you will file the $472.16 claim.

                  Most people see the Legal County Court Filing Papers and fold. Bet you she will pay for the cost of the grooming. Do not accept a check or credit card. Cash only. What do you have to loose? Mom said don't get mad get even.

                  Good Luck.

                  Chuck

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Having two salon and Mobile we have had maybe 3 chargebacks over the years, it does happen and generally these people do this to many companies. Fax a copy of the signed receipt, also do you have them sign something saying dematting is extra or is it printed anywhere? If so, fax that as well. Because we are service industrym we only have to prove the service was completed.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I second Chucks advice.

                      This grooming was 4 months ago. Now you get the charge back. From your post I read that before the charge back you did not hear one complaint from this lady. I also understand that she appears not to have had the "injuries" checked by or treated by a veterinarian. She does not have a case.
                      As I said in a former post, I save these for filing during my slow periods(January to March) and deal with them then. As Chuck stated most pay up IN CASH once they recieve the court summons. I also take on any filing fees. If they don't respond I go to court and many don't show up and I win a default judgement. I can then garnish wages or attach liens, or go for a non-wage garnishment and remove it from thier credit card anyways.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Gracy is right, the one's who generally dispute a charge are one's who dispute charges all the time. Except the cardmembers who had a legitimate claim.

                        I can help you if you have to continue the rebuttal. There are many steps for chargebacks and since you submitted your rebuttal, it's just a matter of time as to the final decision which is made by your banks, unless it gets as far as arbitration.

                        Arbitration is the step in which Visa or MC will review the case and make their decision. If it gets that far and their Arbitration panel decides in favor of the customer, then you would have to remedy with small claims after that.

                        I personally have never had a small claim, so I have no experience there, but perhaps you could get that started on as Chuck mentioned, of which you do ask for your time and transaction costs as well.

                        Let me know if I can be of any assistance to you.
                        crystal

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