10 Tips to Protect yourself from Losing Money at Unethical Salons in Singapore

Published on Sep 03, 2015

As we've realized from the article on What you can do when a salon closes, it can take substantial amount of time and effort to even start a claim with the Small Claims Tribunal.

If the salon has terminated the company, you may even have to start your own civil proceedings... and you might still not be successful in getting your refund.

Although these occurrences are rare, we believe that you should always err on the side of caution and protect yourself with the following tips!

1. Read Reviews online

Always try to learn from other people's mistakes, not your own. It's cheaper that way!- Donald Trump

Trump may not be the most popular person out there but his words often hold an undeniable sliver of truth.

If a salon engages in unethical sales practices such as hardselling or unclear pricing, chances are, there is someone else out there in Singapore who has already been an unfortunate victim of such practices. It is therefore recommended for you to search for reviews online before you purchase a coupon deal or even step into a salon.

Some salons however engage so many bloggers that genuine customer reviews are often drowned out in Google. That is why Beauty Undercover takes the effort to carefully screen the reviews to make sure as far as possible that the reviews published on our site are genuine.

As it is not physically possible for us to review every single salon out there in Singapore, we need your help to share your experiences (both good and bad!) with others so that others can make a better salon decision!

If the salon you have recently visited is not yet listed on our site, feel free to share your experience with us here: http://www.beautyundercover.sg/submit-review/

Submit Review

2. Research on the Service

Many hair and beauty salons often make claims on the effectiveness of the service. It is therefore up to you to differentiate truth from fiction by researching on the service beforehand!

Most of the services offered by the salons are by no means new; many of them import foreign technology and use machines that are long available overseas. Therefore, give them a call to ask them about it or drill the therapist in question to know more about the services you are getting... and to make sure that your therapist knows what she is doing!

Limitations of Keratin Treatments

Limitations of Keratin Treatments

3. Avoid Signing Long-Term High-Value Packages

It is hard to tell if a salon is doing well financially or not. It may be operating normally one day and suddenly closed the next... things can get so bad that even stylists are kept in the dark about the company's financial troubles!

Therefore, it is IDEAL to pay each time you visit the salon to avoid the risk of monetary loss due to unused packages.

In order to encourage loyal customers to return and reward loyal customers, it is common for salons to have short term packages of 3-6 services. If you really trust those salons and the monetary outlay is not huge, it may make sense to go ahead to sign the package.

However, if it is the first time you are at the salon and the stylists / therapists / salespeople are trying really hard to sell you the package which promises significant savings of 50% or more, your suspicions should be aroused instead of letting yourself be tempted!

   ⚠ If the salon is doing well, why does it have to give so much discount on its prepaid packages?

   ⚠ Why are they so desperate to sell you their packages?


4. Take your time to consider

Even if you are really keen on the package, take a few days to think over the offer. Purchases made on a moment of impulse might not be financially viable in the long run.

Although the therapists and salespeople like to use the sales tactic of "this promotion is available now", this is often not the case!

Remember, a good therapist who is truly on your side would never pressure you to sign up for the package right there and then!

Pressure Selling 2

5. Resist the Hardselling


We have all heard of salons which lock us up and sell us packages or add ons in the treatment room itself when you are possibly half naked and vulnerable.

Try to avoid these salons in the first place by reading reviews beforehand but in the situation that you're already in such a circumstance, you can threaten to leave the session and call the Police.

Exerting undue pressure on a consumer to enter into a transaction is an unfair practice under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act and the offence is punishable by law!

You can also let a friend or your partner know that you are going for a treatment and get them to check back with you after a specified time to see if you need help!

Alternatively, try to go for the beauty service with a friend if it is the first time you are trying out the salon!

If there is no one else to help you, let them know that you will be writing a review online to tell others about the experience if they don't let you go!

Remember, don't give in if the treatment is not what you are intending to go for or you will be dreading each of the next few sessions you've signed up to!

Refund Policy

6. Ask about Refund policies

In the situation that you would voluntarily like to sign up for packages, do remember to ask about refund policies.

What happens if I regret the purchase in 3 days? Would the salon refund the amount?

What happens if I get pregnant? Can I delay the expiry of the contract?

7. Read the contract and appendices before you sign the contract

Before you actually sign the contract, do READ the contract and appendices carefully! If you are not sure what it means, ask your spouse or children to come along with you to help you scrutinise the fine prints!

Many contracts drafted by beauty salons state that "all payment made is not refundable" or disclaimers such as "The salon is not responsible for any failure of the treatment". Do consider these unfavourable terms before accepting any offer made!

Also, note that verbal promises are notoriously hard to enforce so do get them to write what they promised you in the contract as well!

Read Contract

8. Check prices before accepting

Before signing on the credit card slip or keying in the NETS PIN, ensure that the amount showed on the ATM or Credit Card machine is accurate!

This is to prevent any credit card dispute which can take much time and effort to undo!

Check Amount

9. Keep Receipts

When starting a claim at the Small Claims Tribunal, it is imperative that you have supporting documents such as receipts and contracts available. It helps accelerate the claims and increase the chances of success. Therefore, take the extra 10 minutes to file your receipt in a safe place!

Keep Receipts

10. Monitor credit card statements

Other than hardselling, some unethical merchants may charge your credit card twice without you knowing. Therefore, it is a good practice to monitor one’s credit card statements for transactions made so that you can contact your bank immediately after such a situation!

Credit Card Statement

Do you have other tips to share with us?

If not, share your recent salon experience with us here: http://www.beautyundercover.sg/submit_review/

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