Not so long ago, my husband gave me a voucher for any treatment I fancied from my favourite salon. Not ever having had one, I boldly booked the “full body massage”. Head to toe treatment with oils and all the trimmings. After all I had been working pretty hard and thought I deserved it. SO with great anticipation I turned up at the salon.
Imagine my horror when the receptionist announced quite casually that there had been a slight change of plan and my massage was now with Mario. I double checked whether she hadn’t meant Maria? No, it was definitely Mario who, I was assured, was excellent and very good with his hands…!
I didn’t have the heart to protest and allowed myself to be led along the dim, candle lit corridor, incense wafting seductively in the air to a cosy little room with more candles, a bed ready laid with fluffy towels for the impending massage. Very matter of fact, I was told to take off all my clothes, slip on the robe and Mario would be along shortly! As I proceeded to do so, I felt like Bridget Jones, fretting about what knickers I was wearing and oh my god, had I shaved my legs..?? I found myself breaking out in a cold sweat and felt anything but relaxed! I duly stripped off, donned the robe and sat almost formally as if for a job interview in a wicker chair in the corner. I fairly jumped out of my skin when Mario knocked at the door and enquired if I was ready? “Ye-yes”, I answered trying to sound ultra-cool about the whole thing and in he came.
Now I have to laugh at my stupidity because he was the perfect gentleman and there was nothing in the slightest bit dodgy. The massage went very well. Putting my legal hat ( or should I say clothes) on, I told myself that this is precisely the sort of thing I provide for in my contracts for service providers –not full body massages- but the right to provide a service in a slightly different way.. This occurs in the clause that describes exactly what service will be provided by when etc. If I am acting for the service provider, this is often deliberately phrased in somewhat fluid terms allowing the service provider a little leeway should any unforeseen circumstances arise. If acting for the customer on the other hand, the service provider is pinned to the wall with the exact detail of the service being provided, along with time lines and miles stones.
Applying this rule to my salon, if I had been acting for them I would have stated that service being provided is a full body massage of one hour. Full stop! If on the other hand I was acting for customers, I would have drafted the contract to state that the service was a full body massage of one hour provided by a qualified female masseuse, with soft hands, short finger nails, no body piercing ….You get the idea! So next time you book an appointment, check the service description!