MSE News: Wahanda ditches 'free manicure' deal

Beauty treatment booking website Wahanda changed the terms of a £10-off code by introducing a £20 minimum spend, denying shoppers the deal it originally promised.

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Former MSE team member
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  • mrcol1000mrcol1000 Forumite
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    Is this really news? How many times have you signed up for freebie for it not to appear and receive a 10% voucher instead? Endless freebies have never appeared.
    I think in these times of social media where an offer sent to a 1000 customers can quickly be shared by hundreds of thousands of people, I think companies really need to bare this in mind and either put a limit or be prepared to fufil a huge amount of orders.
    Of course its unfair on a small company to try and meet tens of thousands of free orders but don't do it as you risk alienating a lot of potential customers.
    Equally though if you sign up for something that is free then why complain and moan and cry if you don't get it? It was free so give it a go and forget about it.
  • mrcol1000mrcol1000 Forumite
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    Its also interesting if you read the article its due to "fraudulent activity". As normal, greedy people sign up with endless e-mail addresses and in their mums, aunties and friends address and so mean that everyone else misses out.
    Re-reading the article I back Wahanda. If people are going to abuse an offer to attract new customers then why should they bother? I blame the MSE mentality of getting everything you can for as little as possible, whether you want it or not.
  • LChampalimaudLChampalimaud Forumite
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    I am extremely disappointed in the way that MSE have portrayed this. For an organisation that says it is committed to being objective and impartial, I find that this is very far from it.

    First of all, they have claimed that Wahanda pulled a "free manicure deal". As MSE are fully aware, that was never the deal that was being offered. The deal on Stylist was £10 off your beauty purchase. It was MSE that re-shaped it into a "free deal" and this was not the spirit of the offer.

    Second, and in support of the above, MSE completely ignore the fact that the offer had been live on the Stylist website for a week without the minimum spend and without incident. The only thing that changed was the way that they promoted the offer and they now seem to refuse to take any responsibility for this.

    Thirdly, MSE continue to downplay the extent of the fraud. I cannot understand how they can simply suggest that Wahanda "deal with the fraudulent level" when we are talking about 30% of orders being fraudulent. That is a staggering number and is directly related to MSE’s promotion of the offer. We did not have this issue with Stylist or any other partner using the same technology over a period of many years. Moreover, the article completely ignores that when a customer makes an order, they are booking a specific date in a spa or salon's agenda. That time is then blocked out to other customers and the business will draw on resources to support this. To say that Wahanda could simply "deal with" the fraudulent activity I think is to say that MSE do not care about the viability of thousands of small businesses across the country.

    Fourth, the article makes no attempt to mention that the promotion in question is still the best offer Wahanda have ever provided and still entitles the consumer to up to a 50% discount. Nor does it acknowledge that thousands of MSE readers are confirming that this is a good deal by taking advantage of the offer following the introduction of a minimum spend.

    Lastly, MSE’s position with regards to the ASA suggests that Wahanda is responsible for the way the offer is promoted and worded. In fact, because they do not share the wording with the retailer before featuring promotions on their site, we actually had no control over how the offer was positioned. As MSE are very aware, an accurate representation of an offer to the consumer goes far beyond a strict interpretation of the T&Cs. The fact of the matter is that the original Stylist offer (which Wahanda did approve) clearly stated the offer correctly and was problem free.

    I obviously regret that we have had to change the T&Cs of the offer and I am sorry for any issues this has created for consumers. However I am really disappointed that rather than try to resolve matters and sensibly explain to consumers the situation, MSE have taken a biased, erroneous and inflammatory approach, which ultimately does the consumer a disservice.

    Regards,

    Lopo Champalimaud
    CEO and Co-founder of Wahanda
  • tattyboncetattybonce Forumite
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    Well that was a lovely speech. The only thing is, customers, especially new ones, would like to deal with companies they can trust. Not ones that alter terms and conditions of offers. I think you will lose 1,000s of customers through this. A minimum spend should have been issued from day one and it wasn't. It is unfair to the public to start moving goalposts. Anyway, I will jog on ......... Groupon have good deals today ..... :D
  • edited 6 June 2013 at 4:06PM
    WywthWywth Forumite
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    edited 6 June 2013 at 4:06PM
    Let me get this clear.

    Did MSE first contact Wahanda before the email was sent out/published on MSE site and discuss this? Did MSE inform Wahanda they will/might include details in their weekly email in advance? Did Wahanda respond confirming the terms of the offer. i.e. no minimum spend and would be valid until June 12th?
    Presumably there was no mention this deal was exclusively for readers of Stylist magazine ... and even if it were, did MSE simply point it's readers to the magazine website (If so did MSE advise the magaine website of the likely surge in demand before publishing the link?)

    If so, it sounds to me Wahanda wanted the free advert that is read by millions, but didn't want to pay the resultant price.

    Go after them with both guns blazing, MSE! And I hope the ASA will do likewise.

    Where the company can prove individual cases of fraud, they should deal with the fraudsters involved ... or at least not honour those applications. But to not honour genuine applications (or where they cannot prove fraud) is unforgivable.
    If the company cannot identify individual cases of fraud, how can they claim to know what percentage of applications are affected?

    Wahanda - A company I'll be avoiding in future, thats for sure.
  • edited 6 June 2013 at 4:21PM
    Former_MSE_DanFormer_MSE_Dan Former MSE
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    edited 6 June 2013 at 4:21PM
    We have responded to the points Wahanda make above via email prior to publishing this news story. I will do so briefly again here, just to demonstrate to our readers that the assertions Wahanda make are untrue.

    1) and 2) The Wahanda team approached MSE with an email containing the following sentence:

    " We usually do % or £5 discounts so it’s the highest we’ve ever gone, also there are sevral (sic) thousand treatments on site that are less than £10 so you can be getting a totally free mani, wax, chair massage or fitness classes."

    We did not reshape the deal - it was presented to us this way. In addition, the T&Cs of the deal did not state a minimum payment, and in fact stated "All code value has to be used in one transaction, any remaining value will not be stored as credit." which implies they foresaw the code being used on treatments costing £10 or less

    3) MSE does not support anyone who used the code fraudulently, and obviously did not encourage that. As Wahanda is aware, we were not asking it to 'deal with' the fraudulent purchases in terms of taking the cost on the chin. We would have been happy for it to cancel any transactions they knew were genuinely fraudulent, in order to allow bona fide customers to take advantage of the original offer.

    A good deal of MSE resource has been spent over the past 2 days trying to resolve this problem, as Wahanda is well aware, to enable our users to use the offer as it was originally structured, so it goes without saying we reject the final point.

    This is a discussion thread for our users to discuss the story, and as we have dealt with these points over email, and now again on here, we do not intend to respond again on this thread.

    Dan
    Former MSE team member
  • I had never heard of Wahanda before seeing it on the MSE site. I thought it was a good offer and would have been using the voucher on a treatment that's over £40 so would have been paying them still. I could have got £10 off had I used the code. However being as this company seems to have changed the terms and conditions of the offer after advertising it on MSE then I have decided not to book with them. Wahanda should have known that with the massive advertising boost that MSE gives companies That their terms and conditions should have been fully confirmed and procedures put in place before this was live. Very unprofessional company.
    I'm sure this site makes me spend more than I save :think:
  • edited 6 June 2013 at 10:00PM
    JuicyJesusJuicyJesus Forumite
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    edited 6 June 2013 at 10:00PM
    One has to wonder how someone who doesn't intend to actually spend any money and just wants a free manicure could possibly be a "bona-fide customer".
    urs sinserly,
    ~~joosy jeezus~~
  • Exile_geordieExile_geordie Forumite
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    JuicyJesus wrote: »
    One has to wonder how someone who doesn't intend to actually spend any money and just wants a free manicure could possibly be a "bona-fide customer".


    Its the something for nothing culture that this country has though.


    If I could ask those who have said they will avoid this company, have you ever or were you ever going to use the company before the discount was advertised? Would you have carried on using them if the offer was valid sitll and then ran out?

    If no then what you moaning for? Yeah its nice to get something for free but at what cost to the company itself if you were never going to use them again anyway?

    Happy to maybe bankrupt a company and force people on the dole are you? Thats nice.
    Dont rock the boat
    Dont rock the boat ,baby
  • edited 6 June 2013 at 11:01PM
    gentleorangegentleorange Forumite
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    edited 6 June 2013 at 11:01PM
    I had never heard of Wahanda before seeing it on the MSE site. I thought it was a good offer and would have been using the voucher on a treatment that's over £40 so would have been paying them still. I could have got £10 off had I used the code. However being as this company seems to have changed the terms and conditions of the offer after advertising it on MSE then I have decided not to book with them. Wahanda should have known that with the massive advertising boost that MSE gives companies That their terms and conditions should have been fully confirmed and procedures put in place before this was live. Very unprofessional company.

    I've regularly had treatments at their Oxford Spa, and they are a very professional company I assure you.

    Believe it or not there are still companies who have not been forewarned of MSE members 'Gimme it now and gimme it for free - whatever it is' mentality. This is a great site, but the grasping attitudes on the freebie board are shameful to witness.

    A friend of mine runs a gluten-free website. After they offered sample packs to coeliacs and it was mentioned on MSE, they were swamped with hundreds of requests in one morning. The company would have gone under if they'd honoured them all and genuine coeliacs would have lost a supplier, but who cares about that when there is a free piece of cake to apply for?
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