Online Hairstylist – Fraud And Your Rights
By Hair Advisor UK
Instagram has vastly changed the hair and beauty industry, especially within the black community. With the visually pleasing work of hairstylist encouraging black women to explore and change their hair more. Now with a click of a button, you can have an appointment booked with them within seconds. However, behind the page, many consumers are unaware of who they are giving their hard-earned money too.
Technology & Transactions
Fortunately, it’s become so easy to create a website or Instagram page and post-service within a few days you can earn your first £100. By law, a business that fails to comply and provide a service they have advertised is breaching your consumer rights and can also be fraud. With 60% of consumers preferring a card payment to cash, many of us are willing to pay upfront digitally.
An example of this is paying a hair salon a deposit of £30 for an appointment booked in two weeks, however, on the appointment day the salon is unable to provide the service, in no fault of the consumer. Due to this, the deposit should be returned, despite being advertised as non-refundable, as the agreed service has NOT been provided.
So What Are My Rights?
Firstly, contact the service provider (salon/stylist) and state you are unsatisfied with the product or lack of service, the majority of the time the service provider will be happy to resolve the issue or provide a refund. It is also good practise to allow them to rectify the issue by rebooking your appointment or to fix the product.
In the case that you are unable to contact the service provider or they refuse to resolve the issue and you have been left at a financial loss you can report their malpractice.
The Citizen Advice website provides great information when things go wrong after receiving unsatisfactory service, and how the law can support your case.
Action Fraud website enables you to register a complaint on an individual or a business (including a social media based business) who have failed to provide you with a service and provide you with a refund. After making a report you can use your report reference number to provide proof to your bank who may provide you with a refund.
My Bank Won’t Help?
Paying a business or individual via bank transfer can be the most seamless way to pay a deposit or service however can also be difficult to obtain a refund when things go wrong.
Whether it’s Paypal or a bank you can still raise a fraud dispute case. Don’t forget to always send supporting documents.
How Can I Prevent Myself Becoming A Victim Of Fraud?
Best ways to prevent being a victim of consumer fraud from hair related services are;
- Check reviews on the service provider though Hair Advisor UK, Trust Pilot and Social Media
- Read the hair service providers terms and conditions on refunds before booking an appointment.
- Ensure the service provider has contact details eg email, telephone number, address.
- Keep records of all documents and conversations made between yourself and service provider, the best form of communication is by email or direct messages. Avoid temporary messaging platforms where messages can be deleted, e.g Instagram, snap chat and whats app.
- Check if they are a registered business, review their website and social media pages, do they appear to be legitimate.
- Before making the payment ensure all the above have been completed. Always check the payee name and details when making a bank transfer or payment.
Stay safe everyone!