A few months ago, I was in desperate need of some sort of a hairstyle or change.  And It was time, folks.  My hair is naturally blonde, but I do need a little help here and there.

And- let’s be real- looking this good takes work.  (I kid, I kid)

Fortunately, I found a super sweet Groupon that would help me save more than 50% on my new hairstyle.  For $55 (plus tip), I could get the cut, color, and style I wanted and at a salon just ten minutes away.

So I totally pounced on that deal and made an appointment immediately.  And since I’m not too picky about how my hair is done, I absolutely loved the results.  (Anything was better than the way it looked before anyway).  I told the lady who did my hair that I would definitely be back, and I really hoped that I was telling the truth.  The problem?  That place is not cheap.

Groupon Part Deux

It’s been a few months since I had my hair did, and frankly, it’s starting to look awful again.  The roots that were once hidden by my fancy new highlights are sprouting in all their glory and the color is looking pretty mousy and blah.

So that’s why I was so excited to see that the place that did my hair a few months ago was still participating in the whole Groupon thing.  Even better, I didn’t see anything in the fine print that said I couldn’t purchase and use one a second time.  In fact, the rules simply said “One Per Visit,” unlike the many other Groupons I’ve seen that say “One Per Customer” instead.

Since I want to get my hair done by Thanksgiving, I went ahead and called the salon to see if they had availability before buying the Groupon again.  Unfortunately, I experienced one of the most…awkward…conversations…ever.  Here’s how it went down:

Me: “Hi!  I’m Holly Johnson and I want to make an appointment with Sarah for this week or this weekend.”

Sarah: “Hey Holly!  It’s me, Sarah!  I have availability on Saturday.  What time?”

Me: “Any time is fine.  Why don’t you pick?  Oh, and I am going to buy your Groupon again.  That ok?”

<insert awkward silence here>

Sarah: “Well…errrrr….yeah.  I mean, we don’t make any money on those.  But fine.”

Holly: “Are you sure?”

Sarah: “Yeah, I’m sure.”

I hung up the phone and immediately felt like the world’s biggest jerk.  After all, this lady is simply trying to make a living and she can’t make a living if she’s constantly fixing wigs for free.  But, I was also confused.  They don’t make any money on them?  The Groupon still costs $55, people!  I could only assume that she meant the salon didn’t make any money after expenses or after paying her salary or something.  I also wondered if I should care.  Hmmmmm……  Should I care?

Is It Wrong to Use a Groupon Twice?

To be honest, I’m pretty torn on this one.  First of all, I don’t think the salon should be giving people a hard time for using Groupons since they are obviously participating in the promotion of their own free will.  I also believe that, if they want to limit the Groupon to one per person, they should say so explicitly in the fine print.  And to be honest, I’ve seen plenty of Groupons that make it clear that each customer can only buy and use them once.  No big deal, right?

On the other hand, the friendly hairdresser made me feel really, really bad about my desire to save money.  At this point, I’m wondering if she gets a reduced pay rate when one of her customers shows up with a  Groupon in hand.  At the same time, that doesn’t seem fair.  Would her employer do that? 

Either way, I have been shamed out of my Groupon strategy at this point, and plan to pay full price.  After all, I don’t want to cancel on her either since my appointment is this Saturday.  I also don’t want to save money at someone else’s expense, and am willing to fork over an extra $50 to avoid that situation, even if that isn’t the case.

Also, the stylist in question is not an independent contractor at her salon.  She’s an employee.  I know this because she told me about her history as a hairdresser during my last appointment and complained that she hated being an independent contractor at her old job.

What would you do in this situation?  Have you ever used a Groupon twice?