Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Summer Glow and Corporate Greed

I went tanning for the second time today. Each time I was told completely different things about what I should try as a new tanner, but I took today's advice because...how do I know which one is right?

The whole thing with Malibu Tanning, I'll tell you why Malibu Tanning is evil:

In January I signed up for the Malibu Tanning VIP membership. I was told that you sign up for three months of unlimited tanning, $20 each month. It was a wedding expo and my friend was getting married, so I thought it would be nice to be tan for her wedding. The nice, tan girl at the Malibu Tanning booth told me they would need my credit card number then in order to get the deal, but that I could come in to any Malibu Tanning and activate my account any time in February.

I never came in and figured that since it was not activated I wasn't being charged. Now, I should check my bank statements closer, I should. But I didn't notice until much later that I had been charged every month for a service I'd never activated.

When I called I went through a lot of rigmarole with unfriendly people...only to find out that Malibu Tanning has a policy against refunding people for services that they haven't used.

Because kids, because I could have come into Malibu Tanning and used the service I did not know I had at any time. It's not Malibu Tanning's Fault

I can't find the contract I signed. Legally Malibu Tanning may be in the clear - and certainly the amount isn't worth hiring a lawyer over. But, if Malibu Tanning had even the ethics of Wal-mart, they would have refunded the money they took...for a service I was never provided.

Malibu Tanning would not lose out by refunding my money, because they never provided any service. Not once. But evidently getting something for nothing appeals to the owner of Malibu Tanning.

I begrudgingly offered two months of unlimited tanning "free". Two months when I paid for seven. I pressed farther and got three.

When I complained that lady on the phone kept saying, "I'm sorry you feel that way." I told her it was unethical, "I'm sorry you feel that way." I told her I'd be informing all my friends that Malibu Tanning enjoys cheating people out of their hard earned money, "I'm sorry you feel that way." I told her that she knew perfectly well it was unethical and that if it were her she wouldn't be taking any lousy three months when she'd paid for seven, she paused, "I'm sorry you feel that way."

In the end I took the three. I don't suggest that anyone do business with Malibu Tanning. I will be writing to the owner and describing my experience. I'll post the contact info when I find it, in case anyone reading this has also had a bad experience with Malibu Tanning.

When I went in to Malibu Tanning a couple weeks ago my roommate came with me. She had also bought the VIP plan, but they'd stopped charging her after a couple of months so she stopped going in.

When she went to buy a package (I didn't think she should, but she wanted to keep me company) she was old that Malibu Tanning had been charging her card for the past several months and it was about to be sent to collections. Malibu Tanning hadn't been able to actually charge the card because it had been reported lost or stolen. But they kept charging a lost or stolen card.

Her case is stronger than mine. She wasn't paid up so she never would have been able to use the service those months that they've charged her for. Malibu Tanning's argument with me was that I technically could have - even if I was hindered by knowledge. They wouldn't have let her use their service - so she shouldn't be charged.

And that kids, is why - if you're going to tan - you shouldn't choose Malibu Tanning.


Emily said...

Point taken. Malibu Tanning = Evil.

Melody said...

Not to overstate it - yes.

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