What To Do When You Don’t Get What You Paid For

You guys? Last week I saw the most tragic thing I’ve ever seen. Not tragic like “Anderson Cooper saving that kid’s life in Haiti” tragic, that’s real tragic. I’m talking about one of those “*gay gasp* O.M.G.”  tragic moments. The kind you can’t stop thinking about for weeks because it’s so crazy deeply human yet wild.

So, of course it happened at a nail salon because that’s where most of the things in my life outside of work go down. This woman, probably just a few years younger than me, came into the salon hysterically crying. Nothing unusual. Then she went up to one of the manicurists and, all wobbly, was like, “I’m so so so sorry, but these just weren’t what I thought they’d be. I thought the glitter was going to be smaller. I’m so sorry. I’ll pay for you to fix them. I’m so sorry.”

The manicurist immediately hugged her then sat her down and fixed her nails but she couldn’t stop crying. I was sitting there in the pedicure station and I thought about intervening. Like, telling her she’s fly and to stop feeling sad or whatever because it was Christmas week, but my feet were wet and I thought I might make it worse.

So that’s why I wanted to talk to you about this, because I think a lot of us have been there– when we saved up for some dope gels or a delicious meal or a blow out before a big party or highlights for the summer or a used-but in good condition Elvis mug on Amazon and then hated it and didn’t know what to say. By the specific examples in the previous sentence, you can probably tell that I personally have been there and didn’t always handle it well. For my eighth grade graduation, my mom’s friend who cut my hair, she gave me this little Chola side bang, and even my mom said it was like a Chola side bang. And I completely hated my life and I wore one of my mom’s old dresses to graduation and it made me look like I was in a maternity dress and like, eight of my classmates told me their parents asked who that pregnant girl was.

But things change. These days I’m great at an ol’ “Hey, this isn’t exactly what I paid for, can I holla at a re-do?”, so I made you a little list of ways that I say things so that I don’t go hyperventilating in my car every time I get my hair cut anymore.


This one’s the easy one. I think some people abuse the right to return food, actually, but we can talk about that another time. Just tell the waiter that your meal wasn’t what you were expecting and switch it out. Waiters don’t care. They want to make you happy so you tip well.

Beauty Treatments:

Recently I got a blow out at a hotel where my girl was staying for the weekend and the stylist who blew out my hair never asked me what side I parted my hair on. And because I was getting my nails done at the same time and texting and drinking and doing like four other things that make me a horrible person, I never got around to telling her that my hair needs to be parted on the right side of my head. It needs to be or all of the planets will collide and everyone will die, promise.

The stylist took off when she was done and I stayed getting my nails done and talking to the manicurist when I realized that my entire head felt wrong. I looked in the mirror. A left part, obviously. On a very expensive blow out that I only got because I was supposed to be meeting my girlfriends there then plans changed but I didn’t check my email so I was just alone there and felt obligated to follow through with my appointment.

So I rolled up to the front desk where I’d been mad polite before (another incentive for always being mad smiley and nice when you meet people) and just said, “My stylist left but my part is on the wrong side and I didn’t realize it until now. Can you please have someone fix this?”

And it was fixed. And I wasn’t thrilled with the final result by any means, it just didn’t have the flavor I was going for, but there was no drama for asking.

Same for nails– if you smudge, if you’re doing gels for the first time, if they chip after one day, etc.,  just go back and tell them. It happens all the time.

eBay, Etsy and Other Small Online Shops:

There are two ways of handling a purchase from a small online retail shop or auction site that shows up bogus or doesn’t show up at all:

1) Forget about it. Sometimes I find it easier to just cut my losses. So the weird magnets from the college student in Kansas I ordered on Etsy never showed up, so the Spudz Mackenzie Christmas CD came with a scratch on it. At the end of the day, that kinda stuff is your gamble.

2) Go hard. Sometimes I get real mad when I get something that I ordered online and it’s FAR from what was advertised. A few weeks ago I ordered two sets of Elvis Christmas mugs that came with hot cocoa and when they showed up, four of the eight mugs were smashed and the cocoa expired in 2008. That’s just egregious. So I reported them to Amazon and then also wrote a nasty comment on their page. I was quite colorful with my language, you know? Sometimes you can go that way, too, because it’s the Internet and you don’t always have to say please & thank you. You can go buckwild. That’s why I love the Internet, and that’s why Catfish is a show.

I hope these tips/rambling anecdotes make you guys feel more comfortable going out there and getting what you paid for. You deserve it!

Image Credit: ShutterStock.

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