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Last week I purchased a Living Social deal: A pedicure from Midas Nail Spa here in Portland. After hearing for months about how great Living Social deals were, I decided to take the plunge and buy my first deal. Because it was my Mom’s birthday, I bought one for her and my aunt who was visiting from Seattle purchased one too. On Saturday morning, our “Special Girl’s Birthday Weekend” was launched. First stop, Midas. In short, the whole experience was a disaster.

Here are the highlights:

They were overbooked. We arrived at 11:05 a.m. for our 11:15 a.m. appointment and weren’t seated until 11:40 a.m.

It was filthy. I’m all about places off the beaten path, but this was a whole different story. I’m not an expert on salon health or cleanliness codes, but this place was crawling with germs.

Employees were unprofessional. The employee who did my pedicure was also the front desk person (again, overbooked), so each time the phone rang, he was up to take the call or greet a customer who came in the door. He would leave for 5-10 minutes at a time. This made my pedicure take much longer than it needed to. In addition, the employee who worked on my aunt never said a word to her the entire time.

It was the worst pedicure I’ve ever had. I have a thing about feet and general about hygiene. I am a VERY clean person and pride myself on this. It is because of this that I do in fact get pedicures very often. I know a good pedicure and this was so terrible it shouldn’t have the decency to call itself one. It wasn’t relaxing and my feet don’t look or feel pretty. Now in all honesty I have always had champagne taste on a beer budget. I usually splurge on beauty treatments, but this time I caved. Maybe some things are worth paying a little extra for? I think yes.

Now, I hesitate to say this last bit, but it’s honestly what turned it from a bummer experience into a nightmare. The technician working down the row from me had terrible bruises all over her face and scrapes and scars on her arms. It was so disturbing that I actually called the PDX non-emergency police line to report this. I have no idea what’s going on there, but it’s certainly sketchy. I do hope that Living Social will discontinue business with Midas in the future.

The only reason I didn’t turn around and walk out was that it was already paid for. It was seriously so terrible and I was so uncomfortable, that I had the technician put clear polish on my toes, just so that I could leave ASAP. Looking back, I should have never sat down for my appointment. I should have left.

On Saturday, I tweeted: Pretty sure I will never use @livingsocial again. This experience is past redemption.

That same afternoon, Living Social direct messaged me on Twitter saying: Yikes! We’re sorry about that. Would it be OK if we extended you a refund for both vouchers?

Living Social went the distance to make things right. I’ll be honest and say that initially, I thought that I would never use Living Social again. I had lost trust in where they’d be sending me. This response however, certainly gets me back on the road to trusting them again. This is all because of their timely and thoughtful response (on a Saturday no less.)

Lessons Learned: When managing a social media channel, listening and engaging are vital. Today is Community Manager Appreciation Day and I for one appreciate the CM at Living Social. Oh, and don’t ever go to Midas Nail Spa.