Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Lifestyle Deal Experience


Hello girls… all of you must have seen the snapdeal ads on TV unless you’ve been living in oblivion. The 60%, 70% and 80% off on things like restaurants, spas, gyms are pretty tempting na? I got tempted too and me and hubs being the net junkies that we are, we searched for more of such sites and came across Koovs.com in addition to snapdeal.com and bought a multitude of deals. My experience has been mixed and there are a few learnings too. Let me start off with my experience at the Magnolia Spa, Gurgaon (Koovs.com)

Img Source: Koovs.com

You can see that the deal is quite tempting. And I snagged it up even though this salon was quite far from my place. Kuhu fell ill the weekend I was supposed to go and the coupon was due to expire. So I called the owner and she agreed to stretch it for me.

When I finally reached there, my first impression was UNKEMPT! I figured this place to be at least a decade old and later on when I chatted with the owner, she told me she has been running the place for sixteen years now! So, the place could do with an overhaul…. There was seepage on the walls, the paint was peeling and the place did have a general air of disintegration. When this place would have been new, it might have looked quite posh. There were stylish cut mirrors, wood paneled booths and a separate area for haircuts and separate for wax/facials etc. But the years had taken their toll.

Coming to the service, I have mixed feelings. The staff was courteous and polite and checked up on me twice or thrice if things were going well. There was an attention to detail like putting cotton in my ears before the shampoo so that water does not seep in, a foot and leg massage post waxing and so on. At the same time, another girl just lifted the magazine I was reading from the arm of my chair and handed it to another customer. She did not even bother to ask me!! How utterly rude is that????

When I reached the place, the owner was not there and I found the girls slacking off a bit. There were four ladies on the chairs to be serviced and all of them were waiting for something or the other. Two of them were even complaining! My attendant took an hour to wax my arms and legs… An hour!!! Even with the massage thrown in, that was way too much…

By that time, I was irked by the service. I had made the decision to not get my facial done and had told the lady in charge right away. Despite that, at least three different girls came and asked me if I was getting my facial done. My attendant told me that haircuts were done by the owner and she may or may not come. Now, I was pissed. I had called the previous evening to take the appointment and called the owner asking for directions as well. She should have told me she wasn’t gonna be available. But then, I was told that her son was not well and she had rushed out to attend him. When I called her, she told me that she would be there in an hour. She made it in an hour and a half and even though I had to wait a few minutes for her, I am glad I did! She set to work as soon as she came in, asking me what cut I wanted. I asked her to trim and get them into shape without sacrificing the length. She snipped and snapped and her experience at handling hair was evident. She casually chatted up with me while she cut them and advised me to do something abt the premature graying. I told her I use henna in summer. She said it wud spoil the texture of my hair and if I did want to use it, I should add lots of eggs to it! Now almost all stylists who have cut my hair have told me not to use henna, but no one told me about the eggs. Most get me to sell me the colouring services. This one told me I could even colour at home. It’s no big deal! I liked that she was not trying to sell me too many services. And then, when she was doing the blow dry, she asked me whether I wanted it curled in or out. She gave me a nice spirally sort of blow dry. I liked the end and I might say that the haircut was the saving grace of this deal.  I still have to see how it behaves when I have just shampooed it and left to air dry but I do have a good feeling about it. Not the best experience but not one to give me nightmares either.


And now, my wisdom from the various deals -
  1. When buying the coupon, look for deals close to your home, workplace or someplace you visit often. If the deal is disappointing, you wouldn’t feel about the time and effort spent in getting there.
  2. Always read the fine print carefully before you buy the deal. There could be some exclusions or conditions that the merchant will not relax.
  3. If possible, check out the place beforehand. If not, at least read some reviews on sites like mouthshut.com. Reviews give against the deal could be written by the merchant or their close ones and are generally glorious ones
  4. Even if the place does not meet your expectations, give them a chance (unless you feel it’s a shady place). They just might surprise you
  5. Always take an appointment before you land. This is especially true when the Merchant has two or more outlets and the deal maybe valid for only one of them. This happened to me with another deal. While taking the appointment, declare that you have a coupon and carry the coupon with you to the outlet.
  6. When you buy a restaurant coupon, taxes may not be included. Understand beforehand how the calculation works. A club we went to, added taxes to our food and beverage, applied discount on this total and calculated what we need to pay. Then they levied tax on the amount again! We had to pay tax twice!
Overall, I’d say that these are not bad and definitely worth checking out; we just need to be careful while purchase and be prepared for the possibility that one odd deal could be a disappointment. Even if you don’t get 70% - 80% off s in the ads, the effective discounts of 40% - 50% too are good enough. Now, will the makeup brands please wake up to such deals???