I was taken today to a high street department store by one of my favourite PRs (oh, I’m not meant to have those!) for what was supposed to be a treat – a manicure. Right now I’m not going to say which store, but I will say the concession was Nails Inc. The experience was SO bad it ended up being downright funny, but the serious side of things is that if I had been a bone fida paying customer, I’d be livid and let down by such a shockingly bad level of service. It’s made me wonder (in my cocooned world of press priviledges) if that’s really what paying punters have to accept as grooming ‘service’. First of all, the ‘nail technician’ – and I use that title in the loosest possible sense, and largely because it was what it said on her badge – could not have been less interested making the experience anything more than basically functional. Orders to sit and wait at the nail bar were followed by lots of chatting with her colleagues about what items they needed to stock up on – in fact, other than barking a couple of orders for me to turn my hands over, wipe off the excess hand cream, and clean under my nails myself, she never spoke to me at all. No hello, no please, no thank you, no nada. She did, however, hum and sing to herself, chat with the nail technician seated next to her and wander off mid-manicure to find missing items. The manicure itself was kind of brutal – she hurt one of my fingers removing the cuticles and didn’t so much as bat an eyelid at my obvious flinching. When it was over, I was told to sit and wait for it to dry. Not even a goodbye. In fact, she did yell across the bar (before she’d even applied my colour) to a waiting customer that she’d be free ‘in a couple of minutes’. Sorry, but two colour coats and a top coat should take just a tad longer than 120 seconds. I think that the fact she was wearing latex gloves is fine, but she made me feel embarrassed and kinda grubby that she wasn’t prepared to clean under my nails (wasn’t expecting to do it with her teeth, by the way, just an orange stick as normal) and I’d have to do it myself. My PR friend who looks after the store died a million deaths while this took place – the best that could be said of the experience was that at least I got to have a nice chat with her! It’s appalling to say the least that someone looking for a luxury, an indulgence or a relaxing experience could be expected to pay for something so shoddy with a professional clearly so detatched from her job there’s no chance of her returning to base. Please, if you get this kind of service, don’t just sit there and take it – leave. Manners are a plain life basic and if you can’t even get that very fundamental level of service, you’ve really nothing to pay for. It’s worth mentioning though that my friend had a different experience; although she was right next to me, she was offered her file and orange stick to keep and didn’t have to clean under her own nails. Her manicurist was chatty and friendly and definitely ‘involved’ in providing the service being paid for.
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what terrible service!
Ooh man sorry you got such crappy service. I think however there’s one group of people who get manicures to be relaxed and pampered, and others just want to get in and get out. So maybe this woman has had more of the latter type of clients and has learned to just screw the manners. At least you didn’t pay for it. 🙂
That is disgusting service!
She clearly doesn’t want to be in that job, to which someone needs to tell her to ‘do one’ before she starts driving customers away!!
That is terrible and have to say, I have had similar experiences- but never at a well known chain such as Nails Inc, where I would expect a certain level of service (not that bad manners can ever be excused). Such a shame- but at least it wasn’t paid for!
That is really bad – although I have to admit I have had similarly bad service! I do tend to just sit and take it too – I’m always too embarassed to make a fuss and I usually also hand over my money and say thank you too! I’m such a wuss! xxx
Whether that ‘technician’ was catering to a lunch-break client or a leisurely lady-who-lunches client, there are some basic standards of service to be upheld.
Funnily enough, I had a very very (uncannily so) similar experience at the Nails Inc. nail bar at House of Fraser on Bond Street about a year and a half ago… and left stunned (scooping my jaw up as I was rushed out) that someone would pay 35 quid for that experience.
It’s time the UK picked up the New York habit of corner nail bars where they have you in an out within thirty minutes with a perfect set of ten for under fifteen bucks…
Completely agree with Jessica. I had a similar experience at the nail bar in Harvey Nichols, can you believe! It is so expensive in the UK – I lived in the US some years back and had weekly leisurely Saturday manicures for less than $10… Shocking.
I’m not a big fan of Nails Inc either. There’s one on South Molten Street and I went in there to get a gift card for a friend and was giving a photocopy piece of paper as my gift card. No envelope just an option of a big carrier bag. The sales assistant said people don’t want cards anymore as they usually buy cards themselves – excuse me but if I’m buying a gift for a friend, I would expect it to look presentable and NOT a photocopy piece of paper grrr.
I ended up walking out of the store even after the woman moaned that she had already written out the expiry date on the piece of paper. Never will buy anything from Nails Inc again, it just completely puts me off spending a penny with them.
That’s disgraceful – you’re so right manners are a basic expectation in this type of situation. But imagine if you’d come up to town for a lovely treat and got that sour faced numpty ‘looking after you’.
Boo all rude people in shops/bars/cafes and public transport. BOO!
That’s part of the reasons I like to do my own nails and spending the money to buy my own nail treats. 🙂
I’ve only been to Nails Inc once (Top Shop flagship store in London a few years ago) and vowed never to go back after an experience.
It was so disappointing because we were treating a friend who was leaving the country and spent £40-50 each.
My mani-pedi was so poorly executed that I called Nails Inc HQ to complain. I had the manicure redone for free, and got a free nail polish and cuticle oil pen as an apology. I couldn’t bring myself to buy Nails Inc products for about 4 years after that.
I had a very similar experience at Nails Inc South Molton Street. My husband offered me a pack of 4 pedicures (the promotion, pay 3 get 4) and I went there for my first. Everything was wrong!
As you, I asked if she would clean under the nails and on the sides (I thought this was a standard basic in pedicures) and she said I could do it myself. She commented I didn’t have much hard skin on the soles and I said, yes, but I have hard skin on the heels and she totally ignored and didn’t use the file on the heels. I told her I wanted the nails really short and she filed about 4 strokes and asked if it was fine, I said no, please use the clipper. She spent the whole time chatting with her colleague.
I was so upset about the whole thing but I didn’t have the courage to complaint. And I don;t have the courage to tell hubby his wonderful gift is actually crappy but I can’t bring myself to go through this again… so I have 3 pedicures left in the card….
Bahhh should have complained really…
That’s a shocker..bad manicures are so off putting. I had one recently which cut my cuticles really badly and left them bleeding and she literally did not even mention it and now the thought of anyone going near them gives me the chills! Your poor PR friend, how mortifying.
Oh dear, perhaps the one I have arranged for us will be better!
Wow – I hope someone from Nails Inc read your post all these comments because they don’t come out looking very good do they? I say put in a complaint, that nail tech needs a kick up the patootie (and possibly a career change).
I can clearly state that not all nails inc employees take such low standards in their work as the vast majority of them are very good at what they do and don’t have such low standards of themselves and their manners as they don’t cost NOTHING!!!
This `NAIL TECHNICIAN` that you so kindly are slatting has a very re-pour of good customer service and of regular returning customers.
Just on a lighter note under the westminster council legislation U R NOT and I repeat
`U R NOT` ALOUD TO DIG OR GET DIRT FROM UNDERNEATH A CLIENTS NAIL.
This comment mentioned the name of the manicurist so I’ve had to cut and paste to delete it out which is why the below is posted directly by me. BBBX
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “Comedy Manicure: We Got That Nailed.”:
I have been reading the numerous complaints about nails inc which i find not fare, because i have been a regular client who has the three week manicure by XXXX who is very professional, polite, helpful extremely excellent customer service.So please peeps do not put all technicians in the same basket.