Q: “I have a customer that said she cancelled a year ago and is still being charged for her monthly tanning membership. She said she came in and signed a form. We have no cancellation form signed, no entry on her account and no notes of any kind of her cancellation. How would you handle this?”
I’ve seen this scam before. I call it a scam because if you’ve been collecting her payment for a year and she says it was cancelled a year ago, why did she wait so long to report the issue? (I would check her account and see if she has tanned in the last year of course!)
Managing their commitments is the responsibility of the consumer who makes a subscription purchase. You did not hold a gun to her head, after all. You should not be responsible for managing this tanner’s financial commitments. Frankly, her claim does not pass the “sniff test,” from my point of view.
This sounds like someone who forgot they had an auto draft, finally woke up to the fact, and now wants a big refund. The best approach is to talk with her about the fact that you have many members who are on auto draw. It’s impossible for you to oversee every tanner’s “intentions” as they relate to their desire to continue to tan. You could offer her free tanning for the next six months if that might mollify her. The upside here is that you and your staff can still sell her tanning lotions and upgrades during this time.
I would not get into discussions about a refund. I don’t think any amount of money less than what she spent will satisfy her. Hate to be cold, but contrary to some popular notions, you are NOT your brother’s keeper in a financial sense.
Three Important EFT Tips
Since we’re discussing EFT memberships, I’d like to share this with you. These are the two most important things tanning salon owners should know about EFTs. These tips form the bedrock of every successful EFT membership program:
- Get rid of your signup fee. The idea, especially during peak season, is to sign up every tanner you can. To make that happen, you must reduce as many barriers or objections as you can. Waiving your signup fee makes your membership more attractive to clients and walk-ins.
- Be realistic about your EFT membership program. You have to accept that some people won’t bank draw some months, while others will take the cheap tanning for a while then leave. These things happen. But with what you throw against the wall, so to speak, most will stick and reward you months from now.
- As a tanning salon business consultant, I always tell my clients to offer commissions on EFT sales. And when I say “commissions,” I’m not talking about some paltry bonus like two or three dollars! Tanning salon owners should make the reward substantial enough to inspire the employee to push for those EFT sales.
Good Luck, and Thanks for Your Question!
Selling EFT memberships is important to the survival of any tanning salon. Just as important is retaining the EFT memberships you have. Use these tips to improve the EFT offerings at your salon. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask this tanning salon business consultant.