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Ask for a refund

Fingernail mutilation.

I  paid $22.00 in cash to have acrylic nails put on each of my ten fingers. The nails were long and green and pointed. The store did exactly what I asked them to do.

The day after I had the nails put on, I paid $8.00 to have the nails removed. I didn’t want long fingernails anymore. I realized long nails are stupid. I  couldn’t open my own front door,  button my own coat, tie my own shoes,  discreetly pick my nose, or type efficiently on my computer.

And, my nails hurt. They ached.

The store opened at 10:00 a.m.  I was waiting in front of the store at 9:50 a.m.

“Why are you back?”

“I want my nails off. My fingers hurt.”

“Oh, it just takes a few days. It won’t hurt after a few days. ”

My fingers were crying to me, “I can’t breathe, please help me. I need air.”

I did not just get the fake nails shortened. I did not have green nail polish put on my own nails. I did not have a clear polish put on my nails to hide the sanding marks where they roughened the surface of my nails. I did not do any of the things the woman at the Nail Establishment suggested. I wanted my own fingers back.

The Nail Establishment kept my $30.00 and I walked out of the store buttoning my own coat.

When I got home I had a shower. As I was drying my fingers and pushing back my cuticles, I saw why my nails hurt. It wasn’t just because they were covered in acrylic and couldn’t breathe. The woman at the Nail Establishment had sanded my nails along the contour line of my cuticles almost to the soft tissue underneath.

The Mayo Clinic recommends not allowing the surface of your natural nails to be filed or roughened before the acrylic nails are applied as it weakens your natural nails. Good information to know. Next time I try something new, I will research on-line first.

I walked into my oldest daughters room.

“Look what they did to my nails!”

“Oh gross. I can’t look.”

With a completely wet head, I drove to the Nail Establishment. I prayed as I drove.

“God, help me to be kind and firm. If they don’t refund my money. Please help me accept their refusal, and not be angry.”

A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
Proverbs 12:16

“Hello. I want to speak to the manager.”

“What is wrong?”

“My fingers hurt. I know I didn’t want the green nails anymore. But, you damaged my nails. I want my money back.”

He handed me a twenty and a ten out of the cash register and said, “”Next time, know if you really want them.”

I shook his hand, and thanked him for being honest and having integrity.

I walked out thinking, There won’t be a next time.

Have you ever asked for a refund? What happened?

Please let me know in the comments. I would love to chat.

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Phil

    I dont understand, why did you go with the acrylic nail in the first place, have you been to a restaurant and order a dish finish it and then ask for a refund? common, you came in asking to have acrylic nails put on. and the nail salon did what you want and after that you want a refund. give me a break. people like you should not be around

    • Gracey T

      I agree with you Phil. I think people think too much of themselves but not others. You dont make up your mind and decided to have fake nails put on, then realized that you dont like the feeling…then decided to take them off. All of that need LABOR, and there are people providing the service, time, skills, etc. for free because of customers like these.

      • Hi Gracey,
        I asked to have the nails taken off because my fingers actually hurt. Yup, hurt. I couldn’t figure out why because the fake nails were hiding my damaged nail beds. Yes, literally sanded away almost to the soft tissue underneath.
        They harmed me. And I asked for a refund.

    • Phil, I asked for a refund because they damaged my nail beds. My fingers hurt because the woman had sanded my nails almost to the soft tissue.
      I wouldn’t ask for a refund if I ate all of the food, but if I got food poisoning, then I would go back and ask for a refund.
      Have you every asked for a refund because of bad service?

      • Anna Y

        Phil, you are stupid and so is this person that agreed with you. Have you ever had them done? Do you understand what she went through? There is a different between the nails and food. If it truly damaged her nail she deserves the refund ALSO if they had the time and skills etc Gracey, her nails would not hurt.

  • I love acrylic nails, but cannot afford them at the moment. I loved your story though. I ask for refunds as a matter of course whenever things aren’t right with a product or service. It’s as it should be.

  • I’m such a researcher that I’ve never gotten something that I really regretted, but I have asked for my lattes to be made over occasionally when they mess them up. I wasn’t always comfortable doing that but now that they cost an arm and a leg, I’m assertive about wanting them to be right.

  • Nanc

    I’ve never done it. But I have heard about the acrylics doing that. I love this line …
    My fingers were crying to me, “I can’t breathe, please help me. I need air.”
    It is just awesome that that guy gave you the 30 back…I am so impressed. xo

  • Kristen

    Congrats in having the courage to ask for what you believed. It is not always easy.

  • Kristen

    Good for you for speaking up. I think I would have considered it my fault and called it a day. But the fact that they so freely gave you the refund, demonstates that they were aware that they damaged your nails. I never have and now after reading your post will not be getting acrylic nails.

  • I don’t think I’ve ever asked for for a refund for a service, and I’ve only just recently began returning things and not feeling really guilty about. For some reason I always feel like I’m going to get in trouble or something. I have no idea why!

  • I asked for a refund from our hotel room that had dog poop in it. I didn’t like the refund portion the front desk gave to us, so I took up to social media to complain and tagged the corporate offices. Thankfully their people stepped in and gave us a much better refund. I also learned to complain right away when something isn’t right instead of wait.

  • Pamela, I am proud of you. It was hard to do, but you prayed as you went, it wasn’t just an impulse idea. I have asked for money back. It’s hard, but having the right attitude does help. So does asking kindly. I recently had gone with my daughter as she got her license renewed. We had called ahead to find out about the types of payment accepted there. While we were on the phone we hung up because we found the website had the needed info. When we got there we found out they did not accept the type of payment. It was on a note taped to the front door. I decided to politely ask a cashier about it. Within seconds she got her manager. It ended up being a good conversation where I just voiced my concerns. It turned out I got to fill out paperwork, she thought her supervisors might listen. Why did I tell you this story. She thanked me for being kind. She said right before I got there some guy just blasted her swearing and everything. We both had the same issue. I felt heard, and I even got to encourage her for being kind enough to explain it to me. Glad your nails can breathe again! 🙂

    • Hello Anne. Thank you for telling me your story. The right attitude does help and it reflects on who we represent as well.

  • Good for you–love this story. Need a nail salon laugh? You must check out comedian Anjelah Johnson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsWrY77o77o.

  • As I was reading the end of your post, I kept thinking to myself, “Good for you!” Now, when I read the comments, I see that several others had the same thoughts. 🙂 I’m glad you stood up for yourself and went to get your money back. I’m glad the owner gave you the money back. Lesson learned! 🙂

    • Hello Julie. I am glad they gave my money back too.

  • Glad you went back! Sometimes we forget to listen to our bodies!

  • Good for you. I love asking for refunds when it is justified (and only then.) I work for a small cash-strapped nonprofit that cares for desperately poor children. We wanted to cancel a service from Dell and they said “no refunds after 30 days.” Which was ridiculous, because all they had to do is stop providing the service. No one would talk to me or help me, so I wrote to the executive in charge of that service. Within a week, I got an email telling me our money would be refunded. I’m not afraid to ask for discounts either, if it means more money for the children.

  • elsie

    Good for you Pamela! I’m glad you were able to get your money back. It’s good you listened to your fingers.