Dear Massage Envy:
I never should have started a relationship with you. If I hadn’t received an unsolicited gift card for that first massage, I would never have darkened your doorstep. That gift card coincided with my decision to make regular massage a priority, though, so…when you came on with the hard sell, I thought I’d give you a try anyway.
I should have walked out. I should have realized that the hard sell is your business model and that you have absolutely zero concern for your clients’ needs or preferences…as long as you have their credit card number.
(Just so you know, it’s in extremely poor taste to ask a client to leave a tip before a service has been provided.)
That first massage was a red flag, by the way. That guy was really, really awful. You should probably fire him. I redirected him and did not feel unsafe, but I came close…which, hey! stresses you out and completely negates the purpose of a massage. It was the first time I’ve ever considered walking out of a massage, and I should have just done it instead of being determined to give you a fair shake.
The second massage was with a woman who made me think of Jennifer Hudson. She was pretty good, and I thought perhaps I’d made a good decision after all.
When I called to schedule my next appointment with her, she was gone.
Instead, I was scheduled with Parcy, who is the only reason I haven’t dumped you before now. Parcy is an excellent massage therapist, if still young and learning. Her manner and technique are spot on — she listens and is responsive, and she has managed to dig out even some of the toughest knots in my back. I don’t know if massage was her first choice — in fact, I think it may not have been — but she’s really good at it.
The problem is, it’s gotten harder and harder to schedule appointments with her.
I’ve mentioned this to her, and she says that you load her up with new clients first rather than giving priority to her regulars. Although she has complained, that’s just your standard practice.
Oh, and I don’t actually believe you when you say she’s on vacation or out until a certain date. That explanation would work better if I didn’t hear you scheduling other appointments with her within that date range, or if you didn’t magically find a 90-minute appointment with her that I could take rather than wait two and a half weeks for a 60-minute one.
(I don’t believe anything your front desk says about a massage therapist anymore, anyway. All they do is ask what you want and tell you that the person they want to schedule you to see has that specialty.)
I tried someone else once, while she was out. His massage was barely passable (although better than that first guy) and he finished each upper back stroke by wiping the lotion on my hair, but at least he was a willing ear for my complaints.
Incidentally, he told me that you accept people who are not completely certified. You don’t tell clients this, but you make sure that those people only see same-sex clients. Frankly, I wouldn’t put it past your front desk to disregard that rule in order to close the deal on an appointment.
The long and short of it, Massage Envy, is that I don’t trust you. I don’t trust you, I don’t like you, and I don’t like Parcy enough to put up with your crap. I lost the battle and took that 90-minute appointment, but I’m winning the war and taking my business elsewhere.