Our Cancellation Policy- An informal Guide

I’ve run a small business for 9 years now and have learned a lot. I’ve also screwed up a ton and am thankful there is no one here to fire me. It surely would have happened by now, I’m a terrible employee. It seems that one of the most hotly contested issues of being in the service industry is a cancellation policy. Lets be real, cancellation charges suck when you’re a client, and canceled appointments suck when you’re a business owner. Its not a win for anyone. You may have been charged a cancellation fee before and thought “Sure, easy for you to say, you just made $60 without having to do the service.” Actually, I lost money, and you’re probably pissed at me for the charge. Pull up closer and settle in for a bit, I’d like to explain.


Heres the short list of why cancelled or no show appointments stink for our small business-

Most clients tip at their appointment. This is great and much appreciated, especially for my employees who work hard and depend on those tips to make up a good portion of their wages. A no show or cancellation charge means there is no tip for them, and that appointment could have gone to another client who would have been here and tipped. Bummer.

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Sales Tax. Guess who pays it on your cancellation charge? We do. So we have lost a potential gratuity and a few bucks in sales tax that we now pay. No big deal right? Multiply that by hundreds of cancellations a year. It adds up. We would much rather have you here than take the cancellation charge. No one revels in lost revenue.

Imagine planning your whole day around your clients. There is no 9-5 schedule, you fit things in when you can between appointments. You’ve got one small sliver of time for lunch. You’ve put off a doctors appointment for weeks because you don’t have quite enough time to get back for your next client. The gym is so close but so far, and your ass is widening by the day you swear. You cant have dinner with your boyfriend because you’re working until 9pm. Ask any hustling small business owner, this is life, this is what we signed up for. So when I have arranged my entire day, down to 20 minute increments in order to fit the rest of my life into it, a cancellation policy is the only way to protect my time. I can not even count how many people have called me to cancel or move their appointment 5 minutes after it should have already started. Now imagine that was my only client of the day, and its Saturday, and I just arrived at my shop after dragging myself out of my warm bed, in the middle of winter. Been there, done it, and just no. Nope. Can you imagine your boss making you come into the office on a Saturday, telling you never mind once you got there, and then not paying you? Welcome to Sweetheart Tan, thanks for joining us on this ride.

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Reschedules- See above. My whole day (or when my employee is scheduled to come in) has likely been planned around you. Yes, you are that special darling. Sometimes its no big deal, we are here already and the schedule is open so you can come in later or earlier. However there will likely be a reschedule fee. WTF, Audrey why?! This is really quite simple- because you have now occupied two different appointment times on our schedule that may have been booked by someone else. This is mostly an issue on a busy day or with late notice. If you call me at 5pm, and have a 6pm appointment, and move your appointment down to a 7pm, and its my last slot of the night that could be booked by another client, guess who has lost on that deal? Did you guess Sweetheart Tan? Re-read if you still feel like the 25% reschedule fee was too much. We lose 100% of a potential appointment, 25% is covered by you for the (in)convenience. We feel like its fair, and as always, we would rather you just keep the appointment you’ve already made for the time you’ve made it.

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We have a 5 minute late max policy. If you’ve been here you’ve likely always been taken at or before your appointment time. One of the biggest complaints Ive heard about other tanning businesses is the wait time, as long as 45 minutes after your appointment time! This is unacceptable to me as a business owner and as a client and I do value your time, and ours. If we allowed clients to roll in at any time they chose, only bad things will follow. I don’t want angry clients waiting 45 minutes past their appointment throwing waves of shade and daggers at me on my little waiting room couch. I can hear the Yelp review now “Why bother making appointments if you can’t even stay on time for them?!” Instead we choose to be consistent with our policy and take the heat about that instead. Alas, you can always count on us to care about your time, and take you when we are supposed to. To do this, you can’t be later than 5 minutes, nothing personal. Call if you will be, like a perfectly nice and polite human being.

 Hurry up Miss, you’re late for your appointment!

Hurry up Miss, you’re late for your appointment!

So you’re running past 5 minutes late. You’ve (hopefully) called to let us know. Its a busy night and we are back to back with clients. You have options- lose $60 on a cancellation charge, which is super lame, or you have a shortened appointment which means losing some of your drying time. Recently someone complained that their appointment was rushed after they were late. I wonder if they would have preferred the charge instead? Of course not, so something has to give. If you are running late to the extent that it will affect my next clients appointment, those are your only two choices (Unless we can fit you in later which will incur a reschedule fee). You forfeit your full 20 minutes when you show up late to it and I will now have to give you a speedy tan with abbreviated dry time. If you prefer a leisurely pace and extended drying time you should show up on time for that. If you need to wash your face and take an extra few minutes for using the bathroom, you should show up early for that. Your tan should start at your appointment time, otherwise the session is abbreviated. Again, nothing personal, this is strictly out of respect for my client after you who has shown up on time. And the one after that, and the one… you get the idea.

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My hope is that after reading this you can empathize just a little with how challenging it can be to run a business efficiently and keep everyone happy. Unfortunately its impossible to make everyone happy, but we try, and we bend rules when we can or when it isn’t hurting our small business or employees. Otherwise we love having a well oiled machine that gives you consistent results and makes you feel like a valued client. We hope you appreciate that about us too!

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Even the owner ruins her Spray Tan- this is why we dont wear tight clothing.

You've heard us warn you a hundred times not to wear tight clothes to your appointment. You're convinced we have a personal vendetta and nothing satisfies it like seeing you walk around in public with no makeup and ugly pajama pants on. Alas no, even we screw up and don't follow the rules. 

Tight clothes will ruin your tan. Yes, you look adorable in yoga pants and a sports bra, but if you're planning on wearing them while your tan is still developing, don't say we didn't warn you. On the day you get your spray tan, you must commit to being in loose clothing no matter the weather. If the idea of walking around in an ugly outfit is unbearable (barring cute maxi dresses) then plan on getting your tan in the evening so you can sleep in it and avoid any fashion disasters. 

Fun things that have happened to clients who don't heed this warning-

  • Pulling a sports bra over their head after the tan and leaving criss cross marks all over their chest and shoulders. 
  • White marks all the way down their legs where the seams of their skinny jeans or yoga pants rubbed all the tan off 
  • A tan line in the shape of tight denim shorts, and when I say tan line, I really mean a complete lack of color in the shape of her shorts. 
  • A girl who rode her bike home in hot weather only to have a white mark clear across her stomach from where her skin made contact with itself as she was riding bent over. 
  • Or my personal favorite, (because it was my stupid mistake) of driving home with my seatbelt across my bare skin and it rubbing my tan off across my chest. Pictured here. 

So please do us a favor and wear appropriate clothing. No sports bras, leggings, yoga pants, tight jeans, ballet flats, or anything that is digging into or rubbing your skin. If you screw up, we will take care of you because we love you, but there is never a guarantee we can fix it completely. Help us make the world more beautiful one spray tan at a time!

 

 Even the owner ruins her own spray tan when she's not being vigilant. A tshirt between her skin and seatbelt would have avoided this mishap. 

Even the owner ruins her own spray tan when she's not being vigilant. A tshirt between her skin and seatbelt would have avoided this mishap. 

So you're worried about being orange...

If there's one thing I can guarantee every new client will say to me, it's some variation of "I don't want to be orange," or "Will I be orange?" Outside of installing a sign in the dressing stating "No, you will not be orange," there is little we can do but soothe those concerns with these facts...

There are terrible orange tans out there, awful. Even our President is a fan of orange war paint on his face. Can you get an orange tan somewhere? Absolutely. Are we going to give you one? Probably not. Did you check our reviews? Look at all of our client pictures on Instagram? Don't take our word for it, let our clients speak for themselves. You are special indeed, but probably not unique in that you'll get the only orange tan we've ever given. 

Here's what makes a good tan go orange- 

  • Bad formula. There are hundreds of formulas to choose from, and we are constantly trying new products. Instead of carrying 10 options that are mediocre, we carry a few really good ones. Yes they are expensive, but my goodness they are worth it. 
  • Poor Spray Technique. Its possible you've already had a bad spray tan somewhere. The technician was super sweet, and you feel bad for complaining, but she spent 30 minutes coating you over and over again until you were sopping wet and the color of a pudding pop. There is a good chance you also developed way too dark and possibly orange.
  • Over Development. More is more, right? You decided that leaving your tan on for 30 hours before showering would definitely make it last longer. Except what you didn't count on is that you stink like hell and you've turned a lovely shade of burnt orange. Less is more, 24 hours max for development, and only if you can handle a darker shade that *may* start getting a little warm toned. 
  • Skin PH. You're not going to want to hear this, but some of this is out of our hands. The PH of your skin can have a massive effect on the way a color develops. So even if you get the same spray tan multiple times, it can develop slightly different each time. What affects your skins PH? Well, damn near everything. What kind of soap you use in the shower, whether you're on your monthly cycle, what kind of food you've been eating, whether you showered too close to your appointment time, medications, etc. The higher your PH, the more warm the tan can develop. 
  • Color Perception. If I were blind, could you describe the color Purple to me? Go ahead, just try it for a second. You cant, because color is perception. What is dark to one person is too light. What is tan to one, is orange to another. Do I know anyone else's perception of what orange looks like to them? Sure don't. We do our best by making sure we choose the right color for you and apply it appropriately. No one can do better than that in spray tanning. Its science, not magic. 

So if you want to help yourself out, give your tan the best hope of developing well, here's what you can do. 

  • You're not going to shower right before your appointment
  • You will stop using any bar soap at least a few days before, and definitely not during the week of the tan. Dove included, its garbage for spray tans.
  • You'll rinse off your tan in a desired amount of time, 8-24 hours max. 

Help us make the world more beautiful one tan at a time!