Sudden closure of Sherwood Park salon leaves clients with gift cards they can’t use

Date:

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Jenn Bredo didn’t bat an eye when V-Va Salon & Spa called her on Jan. 4 to cancel her appointment for the following day, due to a COVID-19 outbreak. 

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But she did not expect the salon would close its doors for good before she had a chance to finish the $350 series of laser hair treatments she had paid for.

The Sherwood Park salon is now listed as permanently closed on Google. Its doors are locked.

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A sign taped to the door says the premises have been secured by a landlord and unauthorized entry is prohibited.

Bredo said she is baffled, since the salon seemed busy during her last visits.

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She said she has tried — without success — to reach the salon’s owner. 

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“I just feel ripped off,” Bredo said in an interview on Wednesday.

“People with gift cards should be allowed to finish up their sessions and use their gift cards — or they should be refunded,” she said.

The salon’s owner, Vivian Abboud, initially agreed to an interview, but has not answered CBC News’ requests for comment.

Two other customers told CBC News they learned the salon had closed only days after they obtained vouchers in late December.

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An Instagram post from the business’s account showed a Christmas promotion: receive an extra $25 on top of each $100 gift card purchased. 

A post on the salon’s Instagram account in December advertised a Christmas gift card promotion. (Nancy Carlson/CBC)

Nicki Drake, a regular client of the salon who has vouchers worth about $1,800, learned the business had closed after seeing comments from confused customers on Facebook.

Though Bredo and Drake said they have not been able to reach the salon’s owner, they did reach a manager, who told them the salon had closed without notice.

“I just want my money back because it’s a lot of money and they’re not doing anything about it,” Drake said.

Mauro Masia spent $140 on salon vouchers for his wife on Christmas Eve, then learned in January that the salon had closed when the couple tried to redeem them.

Mauro Masia bought salon vouchers for his wife, Anja, in December. He has been trying to get his money back since learning V-Va Salon & Spa has permanently closed. (Julie Rohr)

Had Masia made the purchase on a credit card, he could dispute the charge, but because he paid using his debit card, his bank told him there is not much he can do besides pursue the matter in small claims court.

Masia wants his money back.

“I try to work overtime all the time — to make a living — so for me, everything counts,” he said.

V-Va Salon & Spa was opened by Abboud in 2017. Abboud, an award-winning entrepreneur and community advocate, is also the chief executive officer of the Alberta School Boards Association, which represents 61 all locally-elected school boards in the province.



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