Travel Zoo is a website similar to Groupon. It works on the basis of high volume sales to increase business for new or smaller companies. The last time I used it was for a deal with Marriott in Niagara Falls. That turned out well.
This time around, I bought a voucher for spa services at Cirillo’s on Dufferin St.. $65 included a 30-minute manicure, 30-minute pedicure, 45 minute facial and a 30 minute massage. It was an awesome deal. A 30-minute massage alone can cost at least $45. So I booked it.
This purchase has taught me so much about vouchers. Fine print. That’s one. You have to be a stickler because people will take advantage of the situation. Like in our case.
Here’s an account of our experience so far. We requested to use the facial service because we were short on time. It was a Classic Facial that was to last 45 minutes. I let M go first because he had to be at a doctor’s appointment in about 1.5 hours.
He was out in less than 45 minutes. Granted, I didn’t have the exact times of when he went in, I’m fairly good at estimation. I noted that by the time M went in, it was around 1:05pm. He came out around 1:37pm.
To test my theory, I checked my watch for the start time. It was 1:55pm by the time I laid down after getting changed. My session ended at 2:25 pm. That’s 30 minutes of session time.
During the course of the “facial”, she left 4 times. Twice was to replace the water in the bowl for washing the wipes she was using to clean my skin. Each absence was roughly 2 minutes.
Subtract 7 minutes from 30 minutes, that’s 23 minutes, less than half of the Time indicated on the voucher.
The facial consisted of the following actions:
– initial cleaning of the face with water (2 min)
– brief examination under lit magnifying glass of visible blackheads and upselling of blackhead extraction ($15) (2 min)
– application of exfoliant (judging by the feel of the dots, there were about 8 dots, each the size of a pink finger tip) (2 min)
– washing off the exfoliant (or wiping rather) (2 min)
– waiting for her return (each time she left and came back, I kept track of the time) (2 min)
– application of mask and lame shoulder, chest and neck massage (5 minutes)
– wiping off mask and excess oil from massage (2 min)
– waiting for her return (2 min)
– application of moisturizer (2 minutes)
– waiting for her return (2 minutes) (found out after she came back that she went to go get the cream to try to sell it to me and after I declined, my session ended and was informed I could get changed).
After I got changed, I confronted the receptionist about the discrepancy in the session time length. She claimed she wasn’t aware of it and she couldn’t do much – until I quoted the times our sessions started and ended. She asked if i would like her to speak to a supervisor and I agreed.
While I was making my payment, she informed me she would be back in a moment, and she disappeared behind a set if doors. A couple of minutes later, she emerged, offering me a free hand paraffin treatment with the mani on my next visit. For both M and I. I happily accepted and thanked her.
On my way out, I felt so proud to have advocated for myself and spoken out about inconsistency. It felt good and integer M to tell him. He was proud, too.
Another fine print on the voucher claims that the tip should be on the full value of the services. If thats the case, then shouldn’t the quality of the service also reflect the full value of the services?
Here’s some math I did with the numbers. The bracketed values are my estimates on how much the discounted services cost in the end.
Classic Facial – Original value $75 ($15)
30 min massage – $45 ($20)
Manicure – $25 ($10)
Pedicure – $38 ($20)
Total – $183 ($65)
Be wary of discount vouchers. They are not what they always seem.