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Customer stormed out after I charged extra for extremely matted dog. Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by pawfectionpetboutique, Sep 19, 2013.


  1. pawfectionpetboutique

    pawfectionpetboutique PetForums Newbie

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    Hi guys

    I run a pet boutique and grooming salon and I'm getting allot of very matted pets in lately. I charge an extra £10 per half hour to de matt and Iv had lately a few customers give me abuse and moan about the charges.

    What are your thoughts and have any other people had this issue?

    It takes so much care and time to dematt a dog and in some cases I will just clip it off as some dogs do not tolerate the process but in most cases its because its not the first time the dog has come to me in a state so I don't allow them to have a style as if they cannot look after their dogs coat I don't think they shouldn't be allowed a long styled cut, owners then bitch about my salon stating I shaved it off etc...


    People don't tend to realise the implications of what goes into de matting a dog and that it takes extra time and care and its upsetting me seeing dogs in such a state. I only charged £40 to dematt this one bichon and they stormed out so what's your thoughts and what prices do you think reasonable?

    Thanks guys

    Please note I have replied several times but waiting for admin to approve. And may I please point out that I did not charge them on the return this charge was given to them when they arrived and I seen the state the dog was in as they lied over the phone. They then stormed out. It takes up to 3 hours to dematt and restyle a matted dog such as bichon and if I were to charge only £5 per extra half hour I wouldn't make money to pay my shop bills :( sorry it looks like I'm not replying but admin won't approve my posts quickly and they are all nice replies just explaining what Iv just said lol its interesting to see your views so thank you. Iv been grooming 10 years and been featured in top grooming magazines and have all legal posters up explaining but its still interesting to hear people's feedback as it seems people don't realise the amount of work that goes into de matting a dog and how long it takes to justify the costs. I also attached a picture of another persons matted bichon but still waiting for admins to approve so apologies for delay :)
     
    #1 pawfectionpetboutique, Sep 19, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  2. babycham2002

    babycham2002 PetForums VIP

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    I think that is perfectly reasonable
    Can you add an artocle to your website? or even in store

    Maybe have a breifing before the groom and explain that it will cost more

    failing that keep the huge pelts you get off the dog and show the owner and say would you prefer i left that on!!!
     
  3. babycham2002

    babycham2002 PetForums VIP

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    an exerpt from another groomers site
    Why do groomers always shave my dog?
    When dogs are matted, groomers will generally shave the dog. This is done for the sake of the dog. It is painful and stressful to ask a dog to sit still for a lengthy period of time and have a metal brush repeatedly taken over his skin. It causes brush burn in many cases. In order to save the dog from a very stressful situation, groomers will generally shave the dog. Most importantly, I try to make the customer fully aware prior to their leaving that the dog will be shaved. There are no shocks or upsets upon returning when owners have been told that the dog will be shaved. Owners can expect to pay an additional fee for severely matted dogs. It is a painstaking procedure to do safely and properly. A dog's skin is thin like tissue paper. When the coat is matted, the skin becomes loose and hangs due to the weight of the matting. When passing clippers over the body, the skin will often slip between the blades of the clippers resulting in a terrible cut.
    What are mats? My dog is not matted?!
    As professionals, we have our hands in every different type of dog hair that there is. For this reason, we can see matting from 50 miles away. For some unknown reason, many dog owners have absolutely no idea that their dog has any mats whatsoever, or the extent of the mats. This is very common. When we separate the top layer of hair that is often brushed and combed out nicely, we then expose the matting underneath. Owners are often completely shocked at what they see before their eyes.


    Precious Paws Grooming


    TBH I get extremely frustrated with it, I belong to a cocker/poodle group on facebook and someone asked the other day if it was okay to leave the matts in its hair as they liked it long!!! well you can imagine the answer from me!!
     
  4. LolaBoo

    LolaBoo PetForums VIP

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    I pay £25 for my Shih-tuz X Jack Russell
    £10 for my bigger girl just to have a bath

    I think its totally fair to charge more, id put something on your website tho stating so
     
  5. babycham2002

    babycham2002 PetForums VIP

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  6. Tigerneko

    Tigerneko PetForums VIP

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    I don't think some people realise (or care) what a state their dog is in and certainly don't realise how much work it takes to get rid of the matts.

    I think it is pretty normal within the grooming industry to charge extra for a really badly matted coat, but I dunno if £10 per half hour is a bit steep, perhaps just charge them an extra £15 or £10 for the process. I think they are perhaps annoyed that the dogs groom has cost them quite a lot more than they were originally planning. Maybe just charging them a little extra will make them think, rather than charging them a lot more and sending them into a rage!

    Do you contact the owner prior to upping the charge, or do you just give them a large bill when they turn up? I would perhaps make a point of contacting them BEFORE you start the dematting process, explaining to them that their dogs coat is very heavily matted and will take double the time you thought, so there will be an extra cost incurred.

    I would also give people a '3 strikes and you're out' approach if they have a bad attitude or are rude to you - you do not want or need customers with a bad attitude when they are the ones at fault, i'd just send them elswhere if they take a bad attitude with you on a few occasions.

    How would you feel about perhaps explaining to the owner (if they make a habit of bringing in a badly matted dog) that you feel you have a duty of care for the dogs you groom and that you are considering reporting them to the RSPCA? I don't know how it works but I would certainly mention it if they can't look after their dogs coats.

    I would also suggest perhaps making up a leaflet or a poster explaining the health problems that a badly matted coat can cause.
     
  7. pawfectionpetboutique

    pawfectionpetboutique PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you guys I do state it on my website and I have all the info on it and I ask the condition of the dog on the phone in which majority of people lie or don't realise the fur is matted close to the skin. Problem I'm getting lately is there are so many groomers who charge less as they just starting up or not qualified or have several people working in their salons and mix the dogs I'm finding it hard to explain the customers that I do one dog at a time and that I give their dogs full attention, I also hand dry all dogs and have no cages.

    I feel like I'm competing against people who will work for £6 an hour. Saying that majority of owners lie to try get away with the extra charges. It upsets me seeing dogs in such a state :(

    I'm very good at my job and been featured in Progroomer magazine amongst others and I think I'm cheap for my experience and effort I out into dogs
     
  8. pawfectionpetboutique

    pawfectionpetboutique PetForums Newbie

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    Do you really think £10 per half hour is steep? Considering the amount of work that goes into de matting a pet? That's basically saying then that I should work for £10 an hour, that's covering my bills, rent, insurance. It can take up to 3 hours to dematt for example a matted bichon and restyle :( I'm curios to hear people's views and understanding on a what you think groomers should charge and live on considering grooming isn't a strait forward job. If they needed to get their dog/cat done by vet it can cost around £100 so I'm allot cheaper an option but now I'm worried with that answer. And by no means am I annoyed by your answer as its very interesting to get your opinion :) I also give customers the price on arrival and inspection where they sign a contract stating the extra charges for matted pets etc...
     
  9. SleepyBones

    SleepyBones Banned

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    Providing you tell them before hand if a) there is an extra charge b) the full charge they have to pay or c) you dont add an extra 'surgcharge' without telling the first then its their problem, no one elses.
    .
     
  10. Tigerneko

    Tigerneko PetForums VIP

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    Also - totally out of interest.... say if a customer refused to pay you, where would you stand? Could you legally keep their dog until they paid for the service or could they get away with not paying?
     
  11. pawfectionpetboutique

    pawfectionpetboutique PetForums Newbie

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    By the way I am answering quickly but they have to approve my posts so sorry for the delay and here is a picture of a matted dog I done which took 3 hours and charged £40 for another dog, I also know some grooming parlours in London that charge £80 to dematt but then it is London lol[​IMG]
     
  12. SLB

    SLB PetForums VIP

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    I'd happily pay extra if they showed me how much matting came out of my dog. Jack is a pain to groom, especially his trousers and they do get quite matted. But I have to grin and bear doing it. However I think I'll splurge and get him done properly at a groomers so I can keep on top of it from then on.
     
  13. Sarah1983

    Sarah1983 PetForums VIP

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    This, I would have thought you'd be obliged to mention something like an extra charge for matted dogs rather than just springing it on them when they come to pick up the dog.

    I see nothing wrong with charging extra, just don't think it's right to simply spring an extra charge on someone at the last minute.
     
  14. LolaBoo

    LolaBoo PetForums VIP

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    My girls groomer is amazing been doing it about 20yrs so has a lot of experience, she has her own grooming spa at her home, i actually wouldnt trust my girls with anyone else, there was one incident in southend where a dog groomer was charged because he was drugging the dogs before grooming them it horrifies me , so glad ours is a very good friend
     
  15. pawfectionpetboutique

    pawfectionpetboutique PetForums Newbie

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    Omg!!! That's so bad! See I won't even accept drugged up dogs, someone turned up where the vet had drugged the dog and I turned it away as 1 my insurance would never allow it and two the vet shouldn't never have allowed the dog to leave in the first place drugged up as they require constant supervision of heart rate etc... At least you got someone you can trust :)

    Iv learnt over the years to de matt painlessly its takes longer but it works and dogs are pain free :)
     
  16. pawfectionpetboutique

    pawfectionpetboutique PetForums Newbie

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  17. missRV

    missRV PetForums VIP

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    As long as you warn people before agreeing to take their dog that you'll be charging extra.

    We took Rosie to her normal groomer and there was a new girl working there, she did have a few tats although she gets brushed daily, they didn't charge us extra but shaved the tats out which left 2 patches on her back.... she also couldn't be bothered to get a small tat out of her tail which I had 1/2 way done anyway so shaved that so it was like a pom pom.... I left it 1/2 way assuming that they'd be able to do it pain free!

    Now I'd much rather have paid extra (pre agreed) than to come to such a surprise! Thankfully her coat has grown back and her tail is coming back 6 weeks later. We spend a lot of time on Rosie's coat every day and any tangles she develops are small but unavoidable given the nature of her coat. We were very upset to conclude simple laziness on the part of the groomer.
     
    #17 missRV, Sep 19, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  18. shirleystarr

    shirleystarr PetForums VIP

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    Oh that poor dog looks very matted but what an amazing job you did on the dog
    I have 4 Bichons One I got in rescue was matted never seen a brush since the poor girl was born she was 18 months old when I rescued her
    It took me 5 hours to tease the matts out gently with a de matting comb making sure I did not pull her skin I would have taken her to the groomer but she had the runs (bad tummy infection) and she was in season too that's why she was dumped I should think
    I brush mine every 2 days so they are never matted
    If you did tell them when the dog was brought in then they should pay what you charge
    :London by the way folks is much more expensive in everything so no I don't think you charged too much at all
    OK I am in south wales and my groomer charges £18 per Bichon but then again its an area where there are not many jobs She does a great job too
    You trained for this job you have overheads, you do one dog at a time and that takes hours if they are matted You don't crate them so sounds to me like you do the job because you love animals sure you have to make a living to pay for the over heads the cost of electricity when you blow dry the dogs so no I don't think you over charge Serves them right if you ask me if they are too lazy to brush and comb the dog every day I would put a notice up telling them the prise and if they don't like it you will shave the dog down
     
  19. Pointermum

    Pointermum PetForums VIP

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    Wow that dog looks amazing after, so much more comfortable and happy . I don't think £40 is unreasonable i get charged £22 for a 10 minute trim of my hair :rolleyes:
     
  20. DirtyGertie

    DirtyGertie PetForums VIP

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    A subject dear to my heart as I have a Bichon and no way would I want to be a groomer!

    I've always thought that if you choose to have a dog with a high maintenance coat then you should be ready to commit to what is required to keep your dog comfortable. If I couldn't commit to that I wouldn't have had her, I would have had a dog with a Teflon coat :D.

    I like to keep Poppy's coat short, easier and quicker for me to do a daily brush and comfortable for her because it doesn't get matted. I was really pleased when my groomer said to me recently "You know, your dog's coat is in lovely condition" :).

    If a dog turns up in a matted state my groomer will spend the time to de-matt the first time. If it turns up like it a second time she will tell them how unfair it is to the dog, will spend the time and charge them extra and tell them why (more time needed). If the dog turns up like it a third time then she will just clip right down and refuse to put the dog through the trauma of trying to de-matt again. If the client doesn't like it they don't have to use her again but she really does only have the dog's comfort uppermost in her mind.

    I have a friend with a Bichon who "doesn't have the time" to brush him regularly, in fact I don't think she owns a brush, she's only ever mentioned a comb. She used my groomer once but never went back because she was told her dog's coat was matted, friend didn't agree and said groomer had a cheek talking to her like that! She is now on her 4th groomer and takes him twice a year and has him virtually sheared like a sheep each time. Costs her £10 more than my groomer and it's a one hour train ride.

    Even my own son and d-i-l don't bother brushing their Bichons and always argue that they're weren't matted when they've been clipped right down or charged an extra £5 for the extra time.

    I'm in fairly rural north Wales and there's only one groomer within easy reach. She charges £25 (not changed in 3 years) to groom my Bichon. She did charge £30 when she spent extra time on my son's but when she clipped them right down she just charged the £25. She could charge more as there's no immediate competition but she likes to keep it affordable (and her "salon" isn't as pristine as it could be so maybe that's taken into account).

    Poor Bichon on your Facebook page, it must have been so uncomfortable. It looks lovely following the grooming and I think worth the £40 you charged. That's how my Poppy looks when she comes back from the groomers. I take her every 5 weeks.
     
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