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The Great Clips Saga
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This response came from one Sandra Trenda with Great Clips. She wrote:
I am writing in response to your email identified below. As I discussed
with you during our recent telephone conversation, Great Clips salons
have a LIMITED SERVICE MENU and are operated with no discrimination on
the basis of race, religion, color, creed, gender, national origin,
marital status, affectional preference, age, public assistance status,
disability or veteran status.
Please feel free to serve any legal process to me at the following
Sandra A. Trenda
Vice President and General Counsel
Great Clips, Inc.
1) Here is the kicker...I have never heard of this woman, much less spoke with her.
2) She obviously intended to intimidate me by listing her "titles." Whatever. Didn't work...Besides, it must be some sort of rinkadink company to have a Vice President also serve as the General Counsel.
3) She is not speaking to me. She is talking AT me. She has spoken but has not addressed any of my issues or concerns. As has been the case from the beginning, this company is illustrating that it is not interested in customer service, but only in the almighty dollar - which they apparently need to hire a new General Counsel who can throw around a bit more weight. Their current General Counsel has failed to intimidate me.
To Whom It May Concern:
The attached Word Document lists the specific damages of which I seek recovery. Please note that the document is a rough draft. Additional changes will likely be made in terms of the order and overall presentation of the information. The present content is expected to stay in tact.
And, just in case you need a reminder of the damage for which you are responsible, my before and after image is also attached.
Today marks the 2-week anniversary of the hair butchering that I received courtesy of Great Clips of Garner, NC. This is the last time that I will initiate contact with your company. If no response is received by Friday, April 13, 2007 at 5pm, specifically addressing the issues raised in the attached Word document, you may expect subsequent communication to be in the form of formal legal documents. You may also expect the media to become involved and for this to become a more highly publicized issue.
I will not be ignored.
Miracle L. Smith
You will find listed below the correspondence that I sent to the Consumer Affairs division of a local television station:
To Whom It May Concern:
On Thursday, March 29, 2007, I went into the Great Clips of Garner facility and requested a light dusting of my ends, and specified that “it should not even be a full trim,” as I had been in the facility just 8 weeks before. What I received can only be described as a hair butchering.
I picked up some of my hair from the salon floor and immediately went home to take pictures and begin to prepare correspondence for Great Clips executives. Various forms of written and verbal communication have been issued to Great Clips, but the company has largely ignored me.
By profession I am a classically trained professional singer and a vocal instructor in the area. My debut album is scheduled to come out this year and I do a great deal of singing and making public appearances. I have been commissioned by the NC Governor’s Office on many occasions to sing and have been a favorite performer at the NC State Capitol over the past decade. I have also had the distinct pleasure to sing on the same platforms as Fantasia Barrino, Mary Mary, Yolanda Adams, Vickie Winans and other notable singers.
The company is aware of my profession. They are also of the fact that for the past 3.5 years I have maintained a popular hair website with fans and visitors from all over the country and a few dozen in other countries. There are currently over 400 photos of my hair in my online album. I have taken advantage of this venue to advertise my recent hair woes. The response has been great. In one day, individual picture hits increased 87% from 191 to 1451. The next day there were 1982 picture hits to my site. Comments and support have flooded in from all over the country. Great Clips is aware of these statistics as I personally provided that information to them. However, they have continued to ignore me and have offered no restitution other than to cut off more of my hair.
The signature hairstyle that I have used as a singer over the past 3.5 years has been completely destroyed. The time, energy, and financial resources invested over the past year to promote healthier and longer hair for my image as a performer were discarded with a few snips of a stylist’s scissors.
That is my story. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Miracle L. Smith
Miracle’s Haven, Inc.www.miracleshaven.com
Still no word from Great Clips. They have continued to ignore me. This Thursday makes the one week anniversary of my hair butchering. The only restitution offered thus far has been a nicer haircut, when the whole point was to have as much hair as possible. They have neglected to address any type of restitution to address the damage that has been done to my public image as a singer, or to the amount of work and heart that have gone into my natural hair over the past...lifetime! But what was cut off was hair that had been nurtured and encouraged (to grow) over the past 12-18 months. A great deal of hair was cut off. They have not addressed any of these issues.
The longer they ignore me, the more upset I become.
The longer they ignore me, the greater the measures I will take to get their attention.
Great Clips, you need to fix this. You will not be allowed to ignore me forever. I WILL get your attention.
Ladies, ladies...do I seem like a fool?...
Angie Meeks, General Manager of GREAT CLIPS OF GARNER, NC (the salon which butchered my hair) sent me a message on Monday night around 12:35am (Tuesday morning). Surely she could have contacted me during the work day or during a decent time of the evening. But, she contacted me when it is assumed that most people are sleeping. Here was her message:
I am writing you to try to find out when we can meet. We had discussed on the phone that you were willing to meet me with Felicia at the Timber landing salon. I have reviewed the schedule for that salon and have determined that Felicia is working March 4th from 4-9, March 5th from 3-9, and March 6th from 10:30-6. Are any of these times acceptable to you? I can make arrangements with my schedule for any of these said times. I do hope that we find an acceptable solution to your dissatisfaction of your hair.
My response was as follows:
It would have been acceptable to me to have this entire issue resolved by visiting your salon and having Felicia treat my hair, as we agreed via telephone on the afternoon of Friday, March 2. However after: 1) Not receiving email communication from you on Friday, March 2, as we discussed, 2) Receiving no response to the message I left on your cell phone for three days, 3) Not receiving a sincere apology from your company, 4) Having to present myself in public with this butchered hair the past four days, and 5) Feeling largely ignored by the Great Clips organization, that solution is no longer acceptable.
After not hearing from any Great Clips representatives the entire work day yesterday, I decided to maintain my current hair "style" for documentation purposes. I will keep my hair in its current state as evidence, until it is no longer deemed necessary.
I have started to prepare news releases to distribute to the local media regarding my story. I printed out dozens of flyers with my "before and after pictures" and taped them to the windows and doors of the shopping center where GREAT CLIPS of GARNER, NC is located. And I have been busy networking with nappy websites and individuals soliciting support in spreading the word about my butchered hair, courtesy of GREAT CLIPS of GARNER, NC.
Thanks so much for your help ladies! I really do appreciate it :)
How do I thank you? Not only have you responded, but you have responded in droves. Thanks for the much love and support that you have given me over the past two days. Your encouragement and support are priceless. I know that I will not let this issue rest, but for people around me who do not understand the struggle that we have had to go through for our hair, this is a pointless venture.
But, thank you all for understanding and for lending me your support. I knew that the bond that we had was different from many online networks, but I have been truly shocked by your response.
I cannot thank you enough,
I had indicated that I would pursue legal action against Great Clips, but I changed my mind. Now, don't get it twisted. I am NOT copping out. I worked with lawyers for several years and have sat in many courtrooms during trials. I am not impressed. In lieu of my own experience with the legal system and according to feedback from law firms in the area, I have a case but it would be a lot of hard work, much of which would be tied to legal technicalities and arguments over whether or not something is admissable or not.
Well I am not a lawyer and I am not particularly trustworthy of our legal system, but I do have a marketing and PR background. My degree is Media Studies with a concentration in Documentary Filmmaking. I am comfortable communicating with the media and have a clear understanding of how things work in media. In addition to that, I am one persistent lady. I have designed professional websites and graphics for notable groups and individuals. I have developed and implemented many a media plan.
I will use every single gift, talent, and opportunity to bring attention to this matter. Hairstylists HAVE to stop doing this to people. Companies HAVE to stop allowing their employees to get away with this type of behavior. By opting to NOT take this issue to court, I am have more freedom to speak and get the word out to as many ladies as possible. This matter could likely be settled in court without anyone outside of the city or state knowing about it. But, by using the media and the online hair network, the word is already getting out all across the nation and to a few other countries as well.
So, I have decided to use my time, enegy, money, and resources to spread the word about my experience at GREAT CLIPS OF GARNER, NC to women around the world. This company will not ignore me. Every single day will bring something new in regards to sharing the news of this ordeal with different groups of women.
March 29, 2007
Yawl, it happens to the best of us, but I thought that I was taking the necessary precautions to prevent it from happening to me. So, what happened?...
I went in for a trim and came out with a haircut. I am too disturbed to go into it now, but I can tell you that I am steamed. Fortunately, I caught her before she made me bald-headed. But, she did get the back. She got me good...
March 30, 2007
Angry is not the word for what I feel. I have spoken with various representatives at Great Clips (both at their main headquarters and at the local facility that I visited last night). They are trying to play games with me. "Well, I don't have the telephone number or any contact information for the owner of that store, but I will be sure to forward the information to that person." What kind of sense does that make?
Then they call me and "listen politely" and go through the mandatory "I'm sorry this happened to you", then ask me what they should do to help me feel better. What kind of mess is that? Someone at your facility did me wrong, how about come up with some ideas. So, when I could not think of anything they could do, on the spot, to help me in this predicament, the conversation was over. At least that is what they thought.(I'm sorry this happened to you, each time, has sounded almost like they were reading it from a script. It did not sound as if they meant it at all.)
They are playing with the wrong one. For every sister (especially the nappturals) who has ever gone in for a trim and come out with a cut, I'm doing this for me as well as for you. Maybe this will get these hairdressers' attention. They can not go around taking their jealousy out on people who have more hair than them. They can not continue to do whatever they want to OUR hair instead of listening to us.
On Monday I will look into filing papers in Small Claims Court. She will not get away with this. And Great Clips will not get away with playing these juvenile games with me. I am not the one to try to ignore. I am not the one to try to play around with. I WILL get your attention.
Stay tuned ladies. I'll keep you updated. By the way, I washed my hair and tried to wear it out. I look jacked up. The sides of my hair hang longer than the back. I look straight crazy. And the back is all chopped up and sticks out because it is so short.
*taking a deep breath*
I fought too long and hard for the right to be able to wear my natural hair. I am not going to let some hater get away with destroying several months of progress. I am not going to let this organization ignore me. They will ALL know me before this is over.
March 31, 2007
I have spoken to a couple of representatives from the company now - Angie the General Manager, Tisha an Assistant Manager, a representative from headquarters...they have all simply listened and collected information (likely to provide to their legal team to be used against me in case a defense needs to be established). No apology has been provided from any representative of the company.
In correspondence and communication, I have indicated several times that I have an online hair album and that I would be sure to share this ordeal with visitors to my website in a highly visible way. Angie wanted the website address. I dind't give it to her. I understand very well that they are not trying to help me. They just want this issue to go away. And, since it is apparent to them that I am not going to go away, they want to collect as much information on me as possible.
Angie was supposed to send me an email several hours ago so that I could have her email address on file and send her some before and after pictures. She never followed up. I called and left her a message to the effect that I had not received an email message from her and therefore had not been able to follow up by providing the before and after pics to her. No response as of yet.
Well, she may not want to see what her company has done, but I want the rest of the world to see. Pictures being posted tonight.