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Discussion Starter #1
So my groomer cut Levi's tummy last week. And the owner of the shop has just gotten back in town and left a message on my hubby's cell phone (did not even talk to one of us) that she heard from the woman who groomed Levi that the reason he got cut is that he jumped up while she was clipping him.
So the shopowner is willing to pay half of the charges it cost to get him stitched up. I was told by 2 people from the shop that they would be totally responsible for the bill. I was also not informed when it happened-only by the apprentice when I picked Levi up (the groomer had left already) and the groom was not done to my satisfaction (messy choppy-looking legs). Groomers and consumers=your opinions???
 

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If it was that bad, I kind of think they should pay the whole thing. Grooming shops are supposed to have insurance for these things, and I don't see why it makes much difference to the owner whether the insurance pays all or half. Does she even know how much it was?
 

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Looking at Levi objectively, would you say that he stands quietly on the grooming table when you brush him at home or does he tend to get squirrelly?

If he jumps around at home, then I would think that you hold some responsibility because he was not trained to stand well (I'm not trying to be harsh, I'm just looking at this as an outsider). It is the responsibility of a Poodle owner to instill good grooming habits in their pets.

I think paying 1/2 is reasonable for the grooming shop to do but clearly paying the full amount would have made you a happier customer. Something for all pro-groomers to consider when a customer is paying $75 every 8 weeks.

The grooming job was poor. Ok, has it been poor in the past? I think grooming costs too much to stay with a groomer who does not do a good job. Options? Find another groomer or start doing it yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Levi is a sensitive dog but I am able to put him on my grooming table and brush him without problems. I have not clipped him yet. But my points were that both the actual person who did the grooming and the asst. said the shop was responsible for the bill if I had to take him to the vet. I called Sat. to tell them I was going to have to do that and the groomer said OK. And you mentioned that paying $75 every 8 weeks-but it is actually double that as I have two minipoos-and she does not give a multi-dog discount.
 

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Isn't this the situation where they glued the injury?
OK, so I'm a groomer, and I've had accidents, including cutting a dog, so I'm not speaking without sympathy here.
But, dogs wiggle when they're groomed. We'd love it if all owners were to train their dogs to be groomed, but reality is, most don't. I would say it's more likely the groomer that trains the dog to be groomed.
So yes, perhaps Levi did wiggle, and yes, I'm sure it was an accident, but, first of all, they definitely should have told you, and secondly I think they should be responsible for the vet bill. They didn't charge you for the groom did they?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes-full charge for the groom-$57 with tax-it goes without saying I did not tip this time but usually do.
 

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There is no way I would accept half not just for what they said they would do by paying for the vet. BUT they accepted the responsibilty when they agreed to groom him (not that he's awful I'm sure)

This is bad customer service. If they are licensed they have insurance. I would demand they take care of this as the other 2 ee's stated they would. I would be documenting the conversations, who said what and dates. JUST IN CASE........Sorry I an HR Manager, but some people are just not trustworthy.
 

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Not sure how to word this, but would half the bill plus a refund on the grooming, cover it? If so, I would ask for that. Accidents happen and that's what insurance is for. If this were minor and the dog only needed stiches, I might feel differently, but he had to have surgery.
 

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It sounds as if the whole episode was handled badly. I would be upset if there was an accident with my dog and was not told when it happened. Especially if it wasn't important enough to the groomer or owner to talk to you at all.
I would think that they would come to an agreement just for customer satisfaction if nothing else. At the very least not charge for the grooming.
Lucy is awful when I bath her around her face so I knew it wasn't going to be easy for her first grooming so I told the groomer to do whatever she could comfortably & forget the rest.
I hope Levi is healing and happy!
 

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I feel it is a the groomers responsiblity- 100%- to pay for the vet bill. All groomers know things can happen, but it is up to us (groomers)to ensure they dont. And if it does, well, how in the world is it the dog owners liability.That would be like someone taking their child to daycare, the child breaks their neck and the daycare is only 50% culpable...I dont think so.
 

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As a groomer if i EVER cut a dog and it needed to get stitches you can bet I would pay the vet bill in full AND not charge for the groom. This is my feeling reguardless of the reason I cut the dog. *knock on wood* I have never had an injury like that.

If a behavior issue resulted in the injury and I felt like I was likely to cut the dog again during future grooms I would refuse service and refer you to another groomer, most likely one located within a vet clinic. It is a strict rule of mine that if I feel I cannot safely satisfy you as a client I will refuse your business.

As for the choppy haircut I am split in my opinion on that. What I do at present is if I don't like the haircut you don't have to pay for it UNLESS I warned you it would look bad to do what you asked for and you insisted I do it anyway. If it was something I suggested you get or if I made a judgement call on a length or style and it came out badly no charge unless you happen to like it lol. However if the haircut is the best because of your dogs behavior, skin conditions, coat quality, matts or something like that, I do the best I can and expect to be paid. A few months back I attempted to fix a really awful miiami clip on one of my spoo clients that a previous groomer had messed up. I wasn't able to get the look I was really going for and did not charge for it. I'm not in the habit of sending poor haircuts out my door if I can help it nor am I at all ok with even small nicks or cuts on dogs. I nicked a mole on a dog last month and cried for hours, hormones maybe? LoL.

In your position here is what I would do, I would call the owner of the shop back and let them know you will accept nothing less than payment in FULL for the vet bill and your money back for the groom. If you have to seek legal advice on this issue you will. You will also type up a letter detailing what happened to your dog at their shop, how you were not notified of the incident, what you were told when you upon pick up and the shop owner's response to you about the vet bills. Your letter will be mailed and/or faxed to EVERY groomer, vet clinic, aniamal shelter/rescue group, and pet store in your county. So long as you stick to the truth and only the facts you can do this without fear that the groomer will have legal recourse for slander. If she argues, and most likely she will remind her that if you wanted a poor haircut that resulted in injury to your dog YOU could have done it yourself at home. (don't be offended by that, I'm not saying you would hurt your baby I'm just saying it is possible here). You chose to come to a professional because you expected the results would be better than what you would have achieved at home on your own with less stress to you and your dog. You expect her to act in a professional manner, she doesn't have to say the injury is her or her groomers fault, accidents happen and you understand that. However, you shouldn't have to foot the bill for somebody's else accident.

A guy I worked with up until reccently had a bad experience at a groomers she didn't cut his dog but he came back early and observed her grabbing his dog by the throat, shaking it and screaming at it. She made no apologies for her behavior so he paid and left with the dog unfinished. He sent a letter to other pet professionals in the are and said groomer is no longer in business... He also got serveral responses from area groomers offering to groom his dog a safer manner.
 

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Oh I have another question for you mandi, did you sign anything when you took Levi to be groomed? I have a release/ hold harmless form that you fill out and sign every visit, some businesses only have you sign it once but I feel like it doesn't give you nearly the protection that way. I keep the forms on file for 18 months, just in case.
Anyway the point of the form is to protect me from legal action if an injury or illness occures. It's not 100% protection which is what insurance is for, but it helps :) There is even a list of questions about your dog that you have to answer each time so if say you answer NO to the question about allergies or skin issues and request whiting shampoo and your dog breaks out and has to be treated by the vet for the rash you are at fault there, not me.

If you don't have any signed agreement with this groomer they could be in real trouble legally, you have not agreed to hold them harmless so to speak. A lot of groomers in my area don't have release forms at all, heck a lot of them don't even keep client records, which is why I ask if you've ever signed anything with them. Not that I feel like you should run off and file a lawsuit over a pet that is still alive and basicly well, but your groomer doesnt know that you won't. Some people would....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have never been asked to sign any release forms. The only paperwork the groomer requires is to check the vet record for vacs. I hate to push this but I am so surprised at her. We have done business with her for so lon, have 2 previous dogs she serviced (now deceased) plus 3 dogs now (although the GSD just gets bathed and nails trimmed). If she is not willing to pay in full I guess I will take her to small claims court. Besides the expense, this has been a real hassle for me keeping the other dogs away from Levi. Not to mention poor Levi wearing this dumb collar all this time.
 

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I feel the groomer should pay it all. Really, its because of the groomer that this is even an issue. They caused it=they fix it (i know accidents happen, but you need to be responsible for those accidents). Plus, groomers deal with wiggly dogs all day long. They are used to grooming jumping and wiggling dogs.
 

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Not to mention the fact that Levi could now be a little clipper shy about the area that was injured. Some dogs don't seem to notice or remember things like that but some dogs do. The dog I wrote about in another thread in the grooming section where I cut the ear with a slicker brush trying to dematt it was always a little iffy about her ears from that point onward. Poor thing :( I felt soooo bad.

From my perspective I try and keep as many happy clients as possible, thats just good business sense when you are an industry based on selling a service. The service has to be better than the other guy. Unhappy clients can really do some damage to you. A happy client is very likely to tell two or three people about their experience with you, an unhappy client will tell ten people lol.

Like I said before if they don't have a release or hold harmless agreement they are in trouble with you because there is nothing standing between you and legal action, even for mishaps much more minor than this one. Pretty dumb of your groomer in my opinion. There are tons of people out there who would sue you for something as minor as an ear infection that they are blaming on you. I read something about it reccently on one of the groomer forums I go on from time to time. It was an older thread but in it the client had taken this particular groomer to small claims over a minor ear infection. I saw another thread somewhere, it might have been the same forum, where a groomer was being sued because the dog had issues with it's anal glands two weeks after the groom. My release is specific and is for my protection as well as to set up a prearranged agreement on what I will do in the event your pet is injured or becomes ill while in my care, I know I've shared it to a couple of people here. There is a part that says if your pet is injured or becomes ill you give me permission to seek medical attention for your pet at your expense. Thought like I said in my pervious post I wouldn't expect a client to pay for my mistake, I would certainly cover the vet bill on an injury I caused. I've only ever had to take one dog to the vet, and it wasn't for an injury so I didn't pay the bill. The dog collapsed in the tub and went completely limp, I thought it had died. It was an 18 yr old toy poodle matted badly enough for me to report the owner to animal control. Anyway turns out the dog had a mild seizure and had not only a history of those but also a history of heart problems. On my release form there are two questions pertaining to medical history one asks about a history of seizures and the other asks about heart conditions. Both were checked NO but this dumb owner. Had I known the dog had a history of those conditions among the other things I found out about via the vet I would never have accepted it for grooming. The owner made noises about possible legal action to make me pay the bill and more but she signed the release (and lied on it) so she really had nowhere to go with that.
 

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I'm new to the boards, so you may take what I say with a grain of salt. But there is NO WAY you should be held responsible for the groomer cutting your dog. Groomers should know how to handle a rambunctious dog, just as they should know how to handle one that gets grumpy when they are being clipped. That is not to say your dog was jumping around, but if that seems to be the defense they are using.

I hope everything works out for you. And that Levi is feeling better real soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Went to see the groomer who is back from vacation-she left a message on our cell yesterday that she would pay half the bill. Hubby and I took Levi into the shop today and she wanted to look at Levi's tummy-she asked if he had some kind of hernia as there is a slight protrusion. I said never before or my vet would have told me. She said she would only pay half because she was standing on principle??? And when I told her what her employees had said about being totally liable and for me to get him to vet if I needed to, she said she would have to talk with them (as if I am lying). Meanwhile, other customers were coming into the shop and watching us argue as my husband and I left with Levi (in his Elizabethan collar). I told her this was bad business practices and asked her if she had insurance to which she said yes. We are talking the difference of $157 of her to pay to meet our total. Needless to say, I left fuming-she is just making this worse than it wd have been for I wd have cont. to use her services if this had been handled correctly.
 

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Needless to say, I left fuming-she is just making this worse than it wd have been for I wd have cont. to use her services if this had been handled correctly.
What a shame. Unfortunately she showed her true colours when things went wrong. Often people can seem great until you run into problems, then it becomes evident which side is up. :(

I really hope she does step up to the plate, not that she can now retain you as a client. If she'd handled it correctly, she essentially would have been doing 4 free grooms for you then would have started making money again. Now she's lost a customer for good. It's just bad business.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Groomer called this evening....said she had talked to her employee that I had gotten the go-ahead to get medical care that wd be taken care of and thanked me for being honest. She said the whole bill wd be her responsibility and she hoped we wd still have a good relationship. She asked if I wd take half of the repayment back in free grooms. I said I wd think abt it-the thing is she is losing the groomer I normally use (moving out-of-state) and I am not feeling really happy abt the whole thing at this time. I recommended the forms (like Wonder Pup sd she uses) and she said that is what her lawyer told her (today!?) Evidently a talk with her lawyer was what made the difference. Not that I threatened anything to her as far as lawsuits-but I def. discussed it with my husband.
 

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Getting you to agree to taking half the repayment in free grooming is her way of trying to keep you in the shop AND avoid really paying the bill. Honestly it doesn't cost much to groom one dog in the grand scheme of things. Thats one of the reasons I am so quick to comp a groom if something goes wrong. Not just because I feel bad but because really I didnt loose all that much money in the first place. I would ask for a totaly reinbursement for your vet bills in the form of cash or check with a recipt so there is never any question about what you got and didn't get.

It would be totaly up to you about going back to this person for grooming but given the situation I doubt I would. I might try some of the other places around your area and see if you like any of them. Honestly I'd have to agree with the statement that she's showed her true colors and that her behavior throughout this ordeal has shown that she really doesn't care much about the dogs, only the $$$
 
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