Why Aveda Doesn’t Suck (Even Though I Told All of Twitter That They Do)

Back in April, you probably don’t remember, but I threw a fit on Twitter after receiving some exceptionally crappy customer service from Aveda.

Here’s the short story: A couple of years ago, my sister-in-law gave me an Aveda gift card for my birthday. I had it in my wallet, must have switched wallets at some point, and completely forgot about the gift card. In April, I found the wallet and the gift card and thought: Perfect timing! I need to get my hair did and so I can use the gift card towards the cost!

So I jumped on the computer to find the salon’s phone number. And then found out that they went out of business. So I called another Aveda salon and was told that they don’t accept gift cards from other Aveda salons…huh? I was then told to try to call Aveda headquarters to see what could be done to help me.

I called headquarters and spoke with someone who was very nice. She really was. However she basically told me (obviously not in these exact words) that I was screwed. Turns out that each Aveda salon is individually owned and operated. There were many customers in my same boat and Aveda (the real Aveda, not the individual salons) couldn’t possibly afford to give us all our money back or make another salon honor the card since they didn’t get the money for it. My only option? I could try to sue the owner of the individual salon that had went bankrupt.

Um, here are my issues with all of this:

1. What the hell kind of customer service is that? They wouldn’t honor half of the card’s value or even have something as a way to say sorry?

2. Every Aveda salon I’ve ever walked into looks the same, offers the same services and products, is all Aveda-branded…how would I as an everyday consumer have any idea that it wasn’t Aveda I was handing my money over to?

I very nicely told the headquarters lady what I thought, she again apologized but could do no more for me. So I told her I would go ahead and share my story with everybody on Twitter. She got nervous then, but I said goodbye and hung up.

And went to Twitter.

After ranting and raving for a few minutes, I was contacted by someone from Aveda on Twitter. Someone who was actually very helpful! She went out of her way to try to find a salon who would honor my card, and ensured me that she would make it right.

And she did! She ended up sending me a variety of Aveda products and I’m more than happy with the outcome.

Nope, Aveda is not paying me to say this. Nope, they didn’t ask me to share this with you. But I wanted to also make it right on my end after slamming them on Twitter.

Aveda is back in my good graces now, and I will continue to visit their salons and buy their products…and I would recommend that if you haven’t tried them out, you really should! Every time I use their products, I feel like I’m at a spa!

So Aveda, thank you for helping me, for your incredibly fast response to me on Twitter, and for your amazing Digital Community Manager who bent over backwards to help me.  AK, I’m looking forward to meeting you at the Evo Conference next week!

To all of you, follow Aveda on Twitter @aveda, on Facebook facebook.com/aveda, and check out the Aveda website at aveda.com.

Also…who is on your Free Pass list? My Free Pass List post was such a hit that people wanted a linky for it! Write about your Free Pass List and come link up this week!


  1. JDaniel4's Mom says:
    How cool that it all worked out! A twitter rant was the right call!
  2. A good example of the power of social media!
  3. It's so amazing how social media has changed a company's customer service. If I have a problem with a company twitter is always where I go, and low and behold, they usually get back to me right away. I've never tried Aveda before but have always heard good things about it.
  4. Yay for you and Aveda! I had a bad experience with Colgate toothbrushes and then sent me all kinds of coupons and stuff after I blogged about it. They literally sought out my blog and sent me an email asking to make it right.
  5. I have to be honest: I find it foolish that you thought that Aveda owns and operates all 5000+ "Aveda" salons in the US and 1000+ international locations. It's extremely generous of them to help you, considering they did no wrong here and made no money on the original sale of the gift card. Just a thought.
    • mommyofamonster says:
      You are absolutely right! Though I thought of Aveda as more like McDonald's...a franchise I guess. If I got a gift card from McDonald's, I would be able to use it at any McD's, and it would never lose its value. It was extremely generous of them to help me, which was my point of the entire post! I was trying to right my wrong, just as Aveda did for me :)
      • It's nice that you're recounting your negative feedback but instead of just saying how generous they've been, you should admit that it wasn't their responsibility to compensate you in the first place. What would you have done about a giftcard to a local restaurant that went out of business? Even franchised stores don't legally have to honor each other's/corporate's promotional programs.
        • mommyofamonster says:
          I completely understand that, which is exactly why I wrote this post! As I stated in my previous comment, I was trying to right my wrong of blasting them on Twitter. Aveda went way above and beyond, and I was trying to express my appreciation ;)
  6. I always feel like my hair is so dry after using their conditioner. However, we have an Aveda salon in town and I have a coupon for it so....I will likely be trying out their salon services soon.
  7. It is Amazing the power of social media to help us use our voices! Like the recent news with the soldier coming back from the middle east and having to pay for his extra luggage on the airline until he used YouTube to voice his frustrations, his rights. Good job using your voice and thank you for sharing with us how it all got resolved. We've got to stand up for ourselves :)
  8. I love Aveda salons, too - best massages because it really is like a spa! I can't believe they don't have one centralized way of dealing with gift cards, though - that's a crock! Like you said, how would you know? I would still use their services, but now I will be a smarter consumer.
  9. You think you could do anything with my Sharper Image gift card?
  10. Glad it worked out for you, Natalie! I love my Aveda salon, and would be very bummed out if they went out of business!
  11. Ah the positive side to social media. LoL Glad it worked out for you. :)
  12. I love when people stand up to companies and get results!
  13. Glad they resolved it... though I'd still be very hesitant to buy a gc from them!
  14. I love, love LOVE Aveda! Getting my hair cut/colored there is almost like a religious experience. Mimosa? Yes Please! Neck massage? Sure! I'm so glad they came around.
  15. I LOVE Aveda. Thankfully I have never had any problems with them like you have but I commend them for taking the time to help a customer out. That is some great customer service. Now if only Apple would jump on the bandwagon......
  16. I am continually amazed at the power of social media. Wow! Way to go, Nat. PS - hope all is well with you!
  17. I actually love their mint and rosemary shampoo and conditioner...smells so amazing! It is so great what twitter can do and glad that you were able to use your gift card!
  18. I'm happy to know that they made it right for you, but it really stinks that they can't do anything to better the gift card side of things. They shouldn't allow GCs to be sold then! Or, something. It's a little sad that you had to reach out to Twitter to find help, but I'm glad you did!
  19. So glad they came through for you in the end. There is nothing more frustrating than a useless gift card! It was also very nice of you to post this! Just found your blog...new follower!
  20. Awesome they took care of you!!! I love walking into Aveda at our mall and smelling everything. They smell so good.
  21. you're the epitome of dumb. aveda isn't a salon, it's a product brand just like coke isn't a convenience store, it's a drink. it's your fault you don't understand, really. let's put it like this....you buy a named brand shirt at a boutique called 'sparkles'. two days later the shirt rips. in those two days 'sparkles' closes.....wtf, you're out of luck. just because the boutique 'pink' carries your named brand shirt doesn't mean they have to honor your receipt. get it? it's a different business that carries the same product. the business carries the responsibility, not the brand. sorry i'm using big words on you. you only received positive responses from your friends because they're your friends. you only received a response from aveda because you have more than 3 followers and they understand social media as well. i don't capitalize (it's stylistic), so don't try to call me out on that. not as many people follow me, but you can hold that back as well......i'm smarter than you and my sites aren't named stupidly. (are you a stay at home that has never worked? just wondering.)
  22. And that is the beauty of Twitter. Glad that made you happy in the end. And that comment above... wow! Someone forgot to take their meds. Geez.
  23. Glad you retracted it but you do realize that Aveda is a hair product company, not a hair salon. What you likely received was a gift card from a defunct salon who happened to carry Aveda products. What you demanded of Aveda makes very little sense. If you'd purchased a gift card from a music store that carried Fender guitars that now happens to be out of business. Would you then demand that Fender find you another store to accept the gift card? It's just a weird request. I guess it's noble that some confused person at Aveda helped you by convincing another salon to give you a free service. I hope you at least go back to the salon someday to actually buy something.