The last part of this account relates my larges complaint, however, I would like to give the full story.
I found this "spa" through a Groupon deal for a 3-facial package. I looked at the website and it sounded promising.
The homepage offered a special for a combo facial and lymphatic drainage. I called and booked it.
There were a number of unorthodox occurrences, to which I gave the benefit of the doubt.
Sherry took my credit card number, and said she would charge for a no show. Just before she called and asked me to bring cash as she doesn't have a credit card machine. fair enough, she is trying to protect herself from no-shows, but here I establish she has no problem lying.
she booked me in for New year's eve evening (6pm) which I thought wasn't too strange as she was booked up from the Groupons. She later called and said to come at 3.
On the day, she called me as I was en route and then when I arrived at the address and described it to her, she said it was the wrong place and directed me around the corner to another busy road. After several calls between us, I finally found her in the original building. There is no signage for her "salon" on the building or its environs. She said she rents a room from her friend, an endodontist, Dr. Liwen Tao, DDS.
There is no way I would have found my way there had I not had this appointment. I mention this because later, Sherry insinuated that I may never have even been her client.
I filled out the necessary forms and she asked me if I was allergic to some common edible ingredients. (no)
She began to perform the facial and turned on her steamer.
After a short time, her steamer started shooting out very fast a large amount of very hot water. I mostly escaped it as I heard her scream and I moved just in time. I did get a few splashes and it was extremely hot, plus a drop in my eye. She was extremely concerned and apologetic, saying it had never happened before. It seemed she was quite a new business. I said no harm done, please do not worry. I am an understanding person and this was a freak incident, clearly not intentional.
I just wanted her at ease so I could have a relaxing experience after all the driving. I realized most people would have left by now, however, benefit of the doubt, etc.
She mixed a mask of egg, milk and some other ingredients. It was runny and was dripping. She placed cucumber slices over my eyes.
(Despite a bit of discomfort, I chatted with her and encouraged her to advertise the fact that she uses natural products. I like to promote small business people.)
I do not know what got into my eye but I did feel some discomfort and have done ever since. The same evening I went to my family's house and was bathing my eye.
Anyway, facial over, I thought there was another "massage" type room as this one only contained the facial chair, and perhaps another therapist, but no, same room same person.
She told me to disrobe and lie face down. She watched me undress, which I thought was unusual and later also made a comment about my body, which I was not comfortable with but tried to deflect by changing the subject. I am not holding this against her, but it added to the lack of professionalism that became shockingly apparent later.
To say lying face down on this "table" was uncomfortable is an understatement. There was no type of headrest or face rest. I tried several positions but found my neck was forced to turn too far to the side if I were to lay flat, as in a massage.
Some time into this treatment, she asked me if I was uncomfortable and I explained. She went out and returned with a giant, pleather or vinyl covered bolster pillow. Firstly it seemed unsanitary, and secondly, there was no way to put any part of my head, face or body on it and lie down, so I gave up.
I had explained that in the past I had been to an upper cervical chiropractor for my neck, and after much time and money had felt better. When I went in there, I did not have my neck problem. When I came out, and ever since, I have been in severe pain in the neck and shoulder from straining unnaturally for an hour and lying on the facial chair in an unintended position. The pain has been bad enough to keep me up at night, and send me back to the chiropractor. I have an X-ray that shows the new damage.
(I also had a recent knee injury, which became excruciating from the pressure of lying on it during that session. In my discomfort, I suggested to Sherry that I turn around and she could massage my knee instead.
I was so extremely uncomfortable. She said "not yet" to which I still believed she must know what she is doing as this is her job.
After leaving and paying in cash with a tip, I still thought it was a temporary strain that would go away. After a week of pain and not being able to turn my head properly or use the arm of the strained shoulder, I decided that I would contact Sherry and request a refund. I fully believe that this no where near compensates me, however, as a principle of the matter, I shouldn't have to pay for a service that left me in this pain.
I left two voice messages and two emails which went unanswered. As I hate confrontation and the place is far, it took me another month to finally go to her office in person.
She was not there, and the receptionist, Laurie, for Dr. Tao was extremely rude, telling me they had nothing to do with her and trying to brush me off.
I was very upset but still attempting composure. I said I would prefer not to call a lawyer, but to speak to someone in charge. She left and I heard her telling the Dr that I said "I am going to call a lawyer," Etc. I add these details because they illustrate the twisting of what had really occurred.
The doctor came out and called me to the corridor. I thought she was going to address me cordially as is befitting a professional, which would have appeased me. I was not there to cause trouble, just speak to someone. She surprised me by being curt and rude, reiterating that they had nothing to do with this person, it was not their business and she jabbed me in the shoulder with her hand and told me to leave.
They all said Sherry was in after hours and they did not see her or know her schedule, nor have any way I could reach her.
I was very upset and confused as to why these people would be so rude when they had an opportunity to just find out why I was there. The entire office ganged up on me and threatened to call the police. I insisted on writing a note to Sherry outlining all of this and asking her to respond. They told me she was away in China, and the person in charge was the doctor's husband but he was out with eye surgery and not to contact him that day.
I was unable to get a receipt for my note, however I took a picture of it taped to the door.
It took two months for Sherry to return my call. Finally I thought, she wants to find out my concern. How wrong i was.
She informed me that the office "told her what happened, the doctor never touched you, she has witnesses" and continued to talk over me. She claimed that "their" policy is no refunds, she has no idea who I am and what I am talking about, and that she has many clients. (I know this is not true, as she remembered me when she called me by mistake thinking she had a missed call. At the time I said I would have to call her back as I was in a meeting.)
I reminded her about the boiling water incident and she said I don't know what you're talking about, and I don't remember you. I find this hard to believe as I have a very distinct accent and wondered how many people in fact were hit by the steamer, if she didn't remember a freak accident like that.
(One of the most upsetting things about this is that I was and am an unusually empathetic person. I was so understanding and kind about the incident, when others would probably have made a fuss, left without paying, or tried to sue. My concern at the time was that she would not panic that I was going to sue her. The treatment I've received from her and her office is a kick in the teeth for my kindness.)
During the call and in my letters, I had mentioned a "massage" and not having the correct table and her argument was that she doesn't give massages, it is a lymphatic drainage.
Also, I inquired about a licence, which she said she didn't need as she doesn't do massage. (Fair enough, but not the point.)
I did not have the chance to mention that is not the issue, it is merely semantics. My complaint is the injury and pain resulting. The conversation was at a frustrating impasse so I let her go, knowing that my only recourse is to make my experience known.
I am truly baffled as to why these people think this is a good way to run a business. I urge you to stay away from Melaiya Skin Care Spa. I would have bent over backwards to make my customers happy and would have considered a lousy $65 refund a no brainer.
I also asked her for a last name, which she at first refused to give, and later said Casey. I have not found her listed by that name.