Great Clips Sucks
This is my personal account about why Great Clips Sucks. Now, it takes a lot for me to sit down and write an article putting a business on blast, especially a business I have been a customer of for over 10 years. They really have to annoy me, botch the job, drop the ball, screw the pooch, for me to take my valued time and write.
Furthermore, being as I am both an internet personality who specializes in short form reviews, and a legitimate blogger on many sites, they sort of screwed the pooch multiple times.
So, if I have taken the time to write an article, you can bet I have already blasted the business on Yelp and Google. So, here I will break it down for you.
About 10 years ago I walked out of Fantastic Sams by Winco on Florida Avenue after walking in, not being acknowledged, and left sitting, waiting for close to an hour. People walked in after, were acknowledged, no appointments either, and were taken right in. My money is every bit as green as anyone’s is, so I left, wrote a Yelp review, and never went back. Fantastic sams at that location no longer exists, by the way, so others felt as I did, obviously.
That’s when I found Great Clips in Hemet, off of Stetson. I was an instant advocate, with their “check in” system, there would be no silly long waits, no line jumping, the workers, while not very talented, were pleasant and fairly efficient. I have taken my wife there. The kids have had haircuts there. I have taken my granddaughter for hair cuts there. Hair cuts are as personal as dentistry, so when you find a provider who you’re comfortable, to stay with them until you no longer feel that way.
Hair cuts in my Valley and Great Clips
Here in my valley there are two “Great Clips” hair cutting shops. Just outside my valley are a couple more, but I have only been to the local shops. Now, Great Clips is a franchise operation, much like Super Cuts and Fantastic Sam’s, whereby an entrepreneur, or in this case, a Hairtrepreneur, opens up a shop for the general public to, well, get bland and uninspiring hair styling services. Best I can tell, due to their turn over, there are always new “stylists” who appear to have recently graduated hair cutting school. In other words, these are entry level stylists, usually with little skill, looking to acquire skills, and grow a client base to start their own place one day.
Basically Great Clips is McDonalds for hair. And what does McDonalds routinely do? They screw up. They get your order wrong. The ice cream machine is down. Again, entry level workers sans any business sense.
Competition Fills the Void
Over the last few years a number of hair joints have popped up, none of which are the cookie-cutter-one-stop-generic-cut places like Great Clips. These places tend to lean towards fades and, to me – an old guy (I can get senior discounts but never ask) these are funky haircuts that are more suited to today’s youth. Nothing wrong with these, but I’m old, and loathe looking like I’m trying to capture some sort of second childhood. That, and I’m a nonconformist. “I’ll get a wild haircut like everyone else so I can be unique!” Ok, say that again. Slowly.
Oh, sure, there are beauty salons that abound, both in Hemet and San Jacinto, but that just feels weird. “Do you cut men’s hair?” is not a question I’m willing to ask. “Whattya think, freak, see all the old ladies? See the beehive hair-doos on our sign? What do you think you old fart?” is certainly not a way to start a foray into my personal grooming.
Why Great Clips Sucks
I touched on this earlier, but let’s expand. In this area there is the San Jacinto store, which has always been, well, sort of crappy. You only went there when the Hemet store was far too busy to make it a practical stop on your time off. That is where the Check In at Great Clips shines. Open the app, check the local stores, Hemet has a 66 minute wait, can I fit that in? San Jacinto has a 10 minute wait. Well, they are really bad at cutting hair, but maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll have someone new. Odds are 10 to 1 that will happen, but an hour saved… At the Hemet Great Clips the odds have always been 50/50 that you will leave with a decent cut. Hey, hair grows out, right, so if it’s bad, which half the time it is, i a couple weeks most any haircut looks okay.
Yet, over the years the check in app has become increasingly unreliable at the Hemet store. I have seen it say over 60 minutes, arrived way early to find the joint nearly empty. Other times, 25 minute waits, arrive about 10 minutes early only to have to wait an additional hour.
What makes Check-In work?
I can go onto google, search any business, and somehow Google knows when most any business has its busiest times, and when they are slow. What I don’t know is how the Great Clips check in works, how it tracks volume. Best I can tell it is by direct input by some in store flunky who is basically regulating the flow of business. Everyone hung over? $120 minute wait, that’ll keep customers away. Little Billy needs a new baseball uniform, 10 minute wait, damn the upset clients.
However, maybe it is based on the number of people who check in, inflated numbers of no shows making the wait seem longer on the app? Yet, it would be illogical to not have a built in method for the local salon owner be able to adjust this feature. If your business model is built around an app, there must be an over-ride, right?
No matter, however the mechanics of hoe it work, it is clearly broken. Enough so that this article exists, and they will never see a dime of my money ever again. Why is that?
Because great clips sucks, that’s why
I “checked in” to the Hemet Great Clips at 11:55AM. the app said the wait was 25 minutes. Ok, perfect, I’ll get there about 10 minutes early. Time to go! Finally going to get this shaggy mane under control. I’m # 5 on the list. “Oh, yes, you’re hear, it will be another 15 or 16 minutes” the lady said at the counter.
I arrived just as planned. I was still number 5 on the list, both on their screen and on my app. Okay, it is what it is. I had a seat and waited, making my insta-cart list for later in the day. But I did not stop tracking.
Down the List and Down the Drain
AH, number 1 went. but I stayed #5, because the AH did not come off the list as served. BT, CL, MH all went, and the little check mark as “in salon” marked them off, but they never dropped off, and I was still number 5 on the list, no check mark as “present” would indicate I was there, although I did let them know I was ;present.
40 minutes after arriving they called my name, then zipped to Zippy Pinhead, and took him back, then called Albert PigSty, who jumped right up.
Hold on guys, why am I still number 5 and you skipped right past me?
“Well, obviously, sir, these people checked in before you.” the snot nose, trying to be “patient” stated. “Well, no,” I retorted, as Albert Pigsty eyeballed me like he wanted to go until I stood up and my 6’2″ 238 pound frame uncoiled, then he wanted to look elsewhere, “I am number 5. I have been number 5 since I arrived 40 minutes ago, I’ve been number 5 singe I online checked in 55 minutes ago. You have not taken 7 in, so what gives?”
“Sir, obviously others checked in before you” said she, not having heard anything I just said. Now, I know you can’t fix cross-eyed stupidity, which really is rife in this valley. I considered maybe speaking s l o w l y so she could comprehend the issue, yet I decided that not one more second would be burnt on this trip. That time would come later, with Yelp and this article.
What I did do
I asked the lady to take my name off the list and left. When I got back in the car, nope, dingy could not even do that right, so I cancelled my appointment check in. On my way home I google voice searched for 1) that store’s yelp page, and 2) alternatives in the area. By God I’ll give someone else my hard earned money before Great Clips see a penny. I found the founders info (hey David Rubenzer and Steve Lemmon!) and the current chairman’s info, Ray Barton. I considered reaching out to any of these living folks, but you know what? It isn’t wholly their fault that one of their franchisees is the scab on the ass end of society. <– that is me being polite.
So, I got onto Google and Yelp
I left the first review on Google, where they were not doing so bad at a 4.8 star tally. It’s 4.6 now (4.4 as I write this). I searched Yelp Great clips Hemet, but the first place to review was Google. On to Yelp.
Once on yelp I found it interesting that this store has 2 different yelps, one at 2.8, for 2.5 stars, and a newer one which is now down to 3.8 stars. A common occurrence with Yelp is a business will get creamed on Yelp, which threatens their reputation. so they open another yelp and try to safeguard it. Guys, you will ALWAYS fall until you learn your lesson, simple as that.
On the second lone, Yelp took to Not Recommended. but you can read it here. I will post over and over until it sticks.
For those of you who don’t want to soil yourself visiting Yelp, this is the actual review. This is as much so I don’t lose track of it later as for your edification. :
With the amount of turnover they have, it should come as no surprise that they really have no idea what they’re doing. good example is their checking on their app. it’s a great idea. However, it’s highly Ina accurate and they don’t even follow their own list. I checked in at 11:55 this morning. I headed to the salon. I got there at 12:10 PM. I was told I was 5th in line, which corresponded with their screen and mine. I was told it would be about 15 minutes. I sat and waited and watched 6 people be taken in, and remember I’m number 5 on the list. When the sixth person was taken, I asked why am I not moving up the list? It showed the 4 ahead of me as being in salon. The list did not show me as being in salon. When I asked I was told as if I were an idiot that well, other people must have checked in ahead of you. I let them know that I’ve watched 6 go through while I was number 5. how exactly does that work? I was told again the 6 must have checked in ahead of me. I asked them to take me off the list.
I’ve been going to this store for a good solid 10 years at least. In this region it is the better of the 2 stores. So, to encapsulate, if you can’t service your clients in the time that you yourself alot and then you treat them as if they’re the problem you lose the client.
By the way, by the time I left, I should have already been in, had the haircut, paid and been on my way home. Enormous waste of my time.
So, what happened then?
Well, here’s my review of Off the Top Barber Shop
My first visit yesterday. I had been at Great Clips earlier in the day when I finally got timed of the lameness of Great Clips and their dumb check in nonsense. So I google and yelped around for someone nearby who did good work.
This place was super cool! I was maybe the only old guy, with the music blasting, but you know what? LOVED it!
The tool chest stations with ring lights, the big screen TV, the quick help, the air compressor hose used to blow off cuttings. All man, all primo.
Definitely recommended to give them a try.
I’m an old guy, so I just needed a hair cut, but they do all ages.
The whole time the 2 1/2 men theme kept coursing through my head. I have included my guy’s card here too.
You can find this review here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/off-the-top-barber-shop-san-jacinto
This place was pretty great, although maybe not the sort of place I might have considered visiting save for necessity, however, they have gained a new customer.
Support your local, and locally grown, businesses. Franchises and chains that have little to no supervision, give the illusion of competence. It’s like the two dairy queens we had when I moved out here 15 years ago. 45 minutes a 2 soft serves was cray cray. And bear another thing in mind, for every 100 people there’s one like me who will make it a public fight. So there are 99 who simply consider stop coming to your business. For every 1 who actually lodges a complaint, there are 6 more who fee exactly the same. You are weighed on every visit, and I find you lacking, not so Great Clips.