Monday, June 30, 2014

It's Customary.

I found a Groupon the other week to get eyelash extensions at this place called ModVellum and I thought it'd be fun to do right before our trip to Mexico - spruce things up a bit, you know? (Lord knows I need all the help I can get in the eyelash department.) Anyway, the Groupon deal included the initial appointment + a refill appointment, all for $125. A pretty decent deal (especially because I also had a $25 off code and only paid $100 flat for the whole thing).

I was instructed in two different emails to show up 15 minutes early to my appointment, which was at 11:25am. Being the prompt individual that I am, I walked in at 11:05 to an empty reception area. I sat down and waited about 10 minutes before a lady finally came in and said she'd be with me shortly.

"Shortly" turned into 40 minutes.

When she finally came back, 20 minutes past my appointment time, the first thing she said to me (without any introductions):

"I see you have a Groupon here. So, just so you know, gratuity is about 15-25% on the ORIGINAL price. So (whips out calculator), you're getting the lashes plus a refill, that's going to be $375 worth. But the Groupon was only $125. So make sure you tip on the original."

I was literally silent for a good 20 seconds with my lashless eyes wide open, I'm sure. I was so taken aback by her.... tackiness? She barely said two words to me, it was already 20 minutes past my appointment time, we hadn't even gotten to the services yet, and she's telling me what I need to tip?

So I finally said, "Is that mandatory?"

Nodding her head she said, "Yes, it's customary. Plus, the owners aren't making any money on these Groupon Deals. It's basically just a marketing tool to get people in the door. They're actually losing money on these deals."

Seriously, why was she telling me this? We all know it was HER that would be keeping the tip. Tips are not taken by the owners. This woman was really leaving a bad taste in my mouth. The more I thought about it, the more irritated I was getting with her.

After I finally mumbled something about having to tip on my credit card because I didn't have cash with me, we finally went back to the room and I was trying to just let it go and relax.

No big deal.

But then, as I'm laying there on the table, she says, "I'm going to place this primer on your eyelashes. NORMALLY this costs $25, but since you're going on vacation near water, I'm going to just throw this in and I won't charge you."

Uh...okay? (I highly doubt a few little swipe-swipes of 'primer' costs $25.)

About 40 minutes later, she was done. (Which if you've ever gotten your lashes done before, that's super quick. It should be about an hour and a half, or more, if they're doing it properly because they should be applying a lash to each individual lash of your own. It seemed like she was just sticking them on at the base of my eye, not really attaching to anything.)


As she finished and took off the tape holding my lower lashes down, she asks, "Does it burn?"

And I said, "Nooo."

Then she replied with a shocked sound in her voice, "Really?? Are you sure it doesn't burn?"

Me: "Um...yeah?"

Her: "Wow, I've been doing this for a year and you're the first person to say it doesn't burn!"

FIRST OF ALL: Why are you telling me this?
SECOND OF ALL: That's not really information you should want to be broadcasting.
THIRD OF ALL: If I HAD said it burned, would you then try to upsell me on some anti-burning cream??

By this point I just wanted to get out of there.

I ended up giving her $30 for a tip. I REALLY wanted to give her zero. But it was just me and her in this vacant office and I just couldn't not give her anything. Especially because I have to see her again in a few weeks for my follow-up refill appointment (that I may or may not attend). And other than those really awkward comments, she was being nice enough. So..... I don't know man.

Oh, you want to see my lashes?

They're okay. I've had better. MUCH better. We'll see how long they last. If she did them properly (which I doubt she did), they should last 3-4 weeks. I'll be happy if they last two.

Anyway, because I'm a dumb dumb, it wasn't until AFTER this experience that I thought to check out the Yelp reviews for this place, and turns out, I'm not alone in this poor customer service experience! I don't know why I didn't think to check before. (face palm)

Oh well. $100 Lesson learned. And at least I have semi-okay looking longer lashes. Plus, I'm going to Mexico on Tuesday, sooooooo I should probably stop complaining.

Anyway, if you're in the San Francisco area, I recommend that you do not get a Groupon to ModVellum for your eyelashes. And if you do, remember that it's CUSTOMARY to tip 15-25% on the ORIGINAL, G-D'it!


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  1. That is just so tacky! I can't even believe she said all of those things to you! I would be HAPPY to tip generously on a good service but everything she said would make me want to walk right out of there with a big fat zero on the tip line. I am just shocked.

  2. that is insanely tacky; i feel like id want to say- well you know its customary to NOT demand tips from your customer! but on another note, i have always really wanted to get eyelash extensions, so other than this experience would you recommend??

    1. I WOULD recommend! They're super fun and I feel like I can wear less (or none) make-up because they're just POPPIN. Just make sure you find a place that has good reviews! ;)

  3. Clearly they don't understand the power of yelp. Negative review the shit out of that.

  4. Customary does not mean mandatory. Tips (aka GRATUITY) is meant to be a thank-you for services performed well. I seriously wish I could've been there with you to set this beezy straight. She has to earn tips, not demand them.

  5. Ew! Is she for real!? What kind of person demands a tip? I would love to get lash extensions someday. I tried a lash tint once and it didn't seem to make much of a difference.

  6. Gotta go to Neva's next time!

  7. Wow that is crazy. And sucks. I would be so mad about the whole thing and I probably would have tipped too because I would have felt super weird not doing so but I wouldn't have liked it one bit. But they made a huge difference! I like. I can't imagine how it looks when done right.



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