Unethical Electrolysis Practice? (Falsify Minutes)

I’ve been attending a hair removal clinic. I’m very satisfied with the electrolysis work that the esthetician has done on me. We get along very well, no problem at all. Excellent work.

I’ve only been doing electrolysis sessions with her. In the past, she also did laser on me. I buy the big package (100s of minutes) because it’s cheaper than smaller packages. I tip her 15%.

In the past, she used to try to sell me their skin care products (she makes commission). I have zero interests in these products, so at some point, she stopped doing the selling tactic seeing that I don’t buy anything. No problem here so far.

However, there is one thing I’ve noticed. She “mistakenly” writes fewer minutes on my paper sheet. For example, let’s say, I have 400 minutes left. I do a session of 10 minutes. After the session, she writes 390 minutes. If she does a “mistake,” it would be, for example, 290 minutes (instead of 390 minutes). So the mistake is that she accidentally subtracted 100 minutes.

Paper sheet would be something like this.
Week 1: 400
400-10 = 390
Week 2: 290 (opps, wrote 2 instead of 3)
290-10 = 280

This happened once in the past (subtracted 100 minutes), but it may have already happened twice (I really don’t remember). I just remember that the last time it happened, it raised a red flag. I suspected that it was done deliberately. Today, the same mistake happened. She had subtracted 200 minutes (done a few weeks ago). When she mentioned the number of minutes left (traditionally, she mentions it, but hasn’t for the past few sessions), I was shocked and said it’s not possible. So she looked at her paper and said “ohh, there’s a mistake” (same reaction as last time). This time, she mentioned that her manager is on vacation: “She normally checks the sheets. This wouldn’t have happened if she were here…”

I find this very suspicious. If this is done deliberately, I would like to know what would motivate her from doing this? What does she gain? Or is she pressured from management? Because maybe the larger packages don’t bring enough profit? Or maybe, because I don’t buy the products and she loses commission? Competition among employees?

Are the big packages designed to keep the clients coming back, so they can occasionally buy their skin care products? What if a client doesn’t use skin care products or uses a different brand?

How can I protect myself? Simply by keep asking her the minutes and I do the math to reconcile?

I doubt we will ever find out the real reason, but we can speculate. Let’s see how many reasons I can come up with:

  1. She get’s a commission on sold courses of treatments and she’s trying to get you to the end of your prepaid sessions quickly, so she can score another sale ( I have worked at a reputable place where the new management tried to get us to pull similar tricks, as a result the whole team of practitioners left and the business went downhill.)
  2. She is fabulous electrolysist and a lovely person, but has discalcula, or in other words, is not good with numbers and makes mistakes even with simple sums. Maybe that’s why the manager checks her records, because they know she finds sums tricky.

I would think it may be the latter reason, because making a mistake by 100 or 200 min is too much of a difference for the patient not to notice. If it was maliceous, she would try to be smarter about it.

The thing is we’re only human and everyone makes mistakes. I used to always advise my clients to keep track of their prepaid sessions. It doesnt take long to create a note on your smart phone and make a new entry for every appointment writing the date, minutes used and updating the remaining balance. Cross check with her records occasionally.

Geri does both laser and electrolysis and she knows what she say-eth here! Thanks, Geri for the information. I had no idea how to answer this. There are a lot of dyscalcula people in this world.

I’m surprised that you guys only listed those two reasons. I’m not familiar with beauty clinic or how exactly they function. My thinking was that as a client, I maybe don’t bring them enough profit. By always selecting the largest package and not buying their products, in the long run, maybe they aren’t making enough money and that’s bothering them.

Per minute, it comes down to $0.83 (Canadian) for the largest package. Half of the largest package, it’s $1 per minute. For 15 minutes, it’s $1.53. Can a clinic make profit off a client like me with these numbers?

They can, but actually thats cheaper that my rates, though mine also include taxes.I can say that although I try and be very fastidious about properly recording treatments, and time remaining, errors can happen. If it’s happening a lot,keep track and go over the record as geri suggests.
I like to think that most electrologists are basically honest.

Dear 1sep1969,

You shouldn’t have to be concerned with whether the price is covering their cost or not. You are a customer paying the price they have asked for for the services they provide. That’s a contract under which they are obliged to deliver. If the price doesn’t cover their costs, that’s their problem to look into and sort out by increasing the prices. If they don’t do that, they’ll go bancrupt. It’s basic business sense. And it shouldn’t be affecting your consomer rights.
In my practice, as I work on my own, I don’t offer courses for 2 reasons: 1. It requires too much admin and it will eventually push the price up ( i do my best to maintain affordable rates); 2. I’m terrified what will happen if I die suddenly, it’s too messy.
So, I’ve looked at the pro’s and con’s and the calculations and have taken a decision that works for my business. They should be doing the same.