a99kitten's Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

This is:

1. Darn funny
2. Accurate representation of a husky brushing
3. Amazing…that there was no howling! Stormy doesn’t stop!!

I took the boys in to get groomed today. They were scheduled to go in last week but then Angelus got hurt so I re-scheduled for today. So I let them get extra sandy and wet at the beach yesterday and today :)

I took them to a new place for us. Normally, a friend of ours has been doing it (she does it for a living up in SF) but she can only do it on Sundays and it’s just been super-tough to schedule a Sunday afternoon for the both of us.

The place I found is close to work so I can drop them off in the morning and just run over and grab them when done. Seemed simple! They also sell my impossibly hard to find dog food, Eagle Pack. So double bonus!

I Yelped the place so that I could see what has been said about their grooming (they also offer doggie daycare.) Or, if they hadn’t been reviewed yet, I could be the first one (dork!!) hehehe…but they did have reviews. And the reviews about the services were fine, but there seemed to be a couple issues with communication about pricing, timing, etc. So when I called to ask what they charged, I asked specifically what they did for that charge. Also how long it would take. The girl I spoke to said the charge was $68.00 and that would be for a bath, blow out, brush out, nails clipped, ears cleaned, teeth checked and a “hygiene clean” if needed (the huskies would not have appreciated that!! She said it would take about 6 hours. She asked me when they were bathed/groomed last and I told her. She asked if they were up-to-date on their shots and told me that I needed to bring in their vaccination certificate. It all seemed very organized.

Now, I have paid $45-$50 per dog in the past. But that didn’t include ears or teeth plus this place was very convenient so I thought the premium was acceptable.

When I dropped them off today, I went over the check-in with the girl at the front desk and explained Storm hates being brushed so make sure they weren’t too rough or impatient with him. I asked what time I could pick them up and she said would call me but expect about 6 hours. And then I left (and boy was I sad…it was like it must be for new parents leaving their kids at daycare!)

So 6 hours later at 3:30 I called as I had not heard from them. They told me to come around 4:00-4:15pm. I showed up at 4:15 and got some dog food and went to the counter to pay. The groomer’s assistant was the one helping us at the counter. The groomer walked by with another dog and asked if we were sure they were huskies and not malamutes. I said yes, they are pure huskies. She seemed shocked and said they were so big and fluffy. She was eastern European or something with an accent that made her tone seem very clipped so not sure if that was a joke?

Then the assistant told me my total and it was almost double what I was quoted! WHAT? The groomer then interjected how she had to spend a lot of hours on them as they had very thick and matted fur and I said yes, I know that, which is why they were here. She then said well maybe if I brushed them regularly, it might not be as bad. Or if they got groomed more regularly. I told her they get groomed twice a year and huskies don’t typically ever get more than that. And that I DO brush them (Angelus more than Storm) but obviously a good bath is what gets the fur up and able to come out better.

I added it was hardly fair to to just charge me an extra $60 per dog without asking me first and that this was not how to run a business. She said well, she had to miss another appointment to spend so much time on them. I said I specifically asked the cost, what is covered and how long and was quoted $68 for a full wash, blow out and brush out in the 6 hours – which was basically how long they were there. And if they knew it was going to cost more than that, they needed to call & ask and not just assume someone can afford a double charge like that. She said well, just see them and see how nice they look. I said I had no doubt they will look nice but they looked great when they got groomed for $50 too. She said well maybe I should take them there next time. Then she added that she should have taken her other appointment instead.

To say I was shocked at how this woman was treating a customer is an understatement. Clearly this woman was not an owner and she didn’t care if I ever came back.

At this point I turned around to pay and the the assistant looked mortified. She was on the phone trying to get a hold of the manager. She did and got the extra “de-shedding” charges waived. She then kept apologizing for the groomer’s rudeness. She was obviously embarrassed. She was being very helpful and polite. I paid the original quoted fees (plus for the dogfood) and I gave her a cash tip and told her it was for her. No tip left for the groomer.

Later this evening, the manager called me. She said she had heard everything that happened today when I picked up my dogs and how the groomer had been to me. She said she wanted to apologize for everything and let me know that she was leaving a gift certificate for me to use there anytime I wanted. I told her that was very nice but unnecessary as the grooming assistant had taken the charge off and apologized. She insisted I use it and said that she really wanted to make sure I was happy with the service and to let me know that she had sat her staff down and went over this situation as it had come up before and it was not acceptable. I told her I was happy with the dogs and appreciated the call. I hung up thinking that was really a good way to handle a customer.

So folks, note to business owners and managers – customer service is key. I walked out of there this afternoon thinking I would likely not go back if I had to deal with that groomer again but now I would consider it. And the buddies do look and feel great :) The grooming assistant said Storm did howl & talk quite a bit (I did warn them) but she said quite normal and even on the “quiet-ish” side compared to other huskies! And Angelus was a perfect gentleman the entire time…what a buddy :)

Angelus all clean!

Angelus all clean!

Stormy all clean!

Stormy all clean!