“Tell Us Your Worst Client Horror Story.”
And here are a few of our favorite submissions…
“Many years ago, I provided pick–up and delivery to my home salon for an English Springer Spaniel as a new client. The initial interview was typical, as she was unhappy with her last groomer for reasons that were not red flags and it just wasn’t a good fit. Everything was fine for the prep and the dog was surprisingly very good. I wondered who wouldn’t want to do this gem. Then, while in the tub, without any muscle tightness, the dog who was at face level suddenly turned vicious. I noticed his eyes change but not one other sign—no breath stillness or muscle twitch or hard stare or anything. It was like a machine gun went off. I composed myself, and with shaking hands, got him out of the tub, toweled off and drove him straight to his house and dropped him off.
Still shaking, the owner didn’t seem surprised I was back. She said, ‘Oh yes, he does this sudden attacking and I didn’t think he would do it again to another groomer. But we’ve gone through a few groomers and the vet said you have great fitness and skills so I didn’t want to tell you fearing you would say no.’
I said, ‘You should always tell a groomer so we can use proper procedure and protection, as we rely on being told about your pet.’
Turns out, I called the vet and they said, ‘Oh yes, that dog has a bad case of Rage Syndrome. His chart has all kinds of red flags, we need three people here, and a muzzle is given to the owner in her car. We’ve recommended he be euthanized but the owner thinks we are making a big deal out of the alligator that is a little nippy.’”
“During a house–call grooming, I finished one dog and hated to turn on the dryer because it was so warm in the house, but I had to fluff him up and get him dry. The housekeeper came past and saw how sweaty I was and asked if I was ok. I asked her, ‘What happened to the air conditioning?’ And she replied that the owner turns it down when it is just us in the house. I think my mouth fell wide open. I did the second dog in record time because I was close to passing out.
The housekeeper again came by and asked what was wrong. I said, ‘I am diabetic and not well.’ She gave me a diet Pepsi but asked that I please tell the owner it was mine from my own bag.
I was out the door with my stuff put away when the owner pulled in. She came out with her checkbook and paid me. I looked at the check and it was $1.25 short. She said, ‘For the diet Pepsi. I know it was mine.’ I folded the check, put it in my pocket and said, ‘I will not be back.’”
“About 10 years ago, early in my grooming career, I had worked at a corporate grooming salon. One of my fellow groomers had mistakenly rescheduled her regular client to a day she was not in. When the client showed up, I had apologized on her behalf and told him I would be more than happy to groom his pup for him. The man became extremely combative all of a sudden and took a step back and shouted ‘He’s going to hit me!’ Which of course was not the case since I had simply reached my hands out to pet his dog. He continued to scream then yelled to the General Manager that I was threatening to hit him. Needless to say, this gentleman was banned from the salon and store for his actions.”
“My worst grooming client story would have to be when I had just graduated from grooming academy. All of the clients I had booked were made aware that I was a student groomer, and if they wanted someone with more experience, they’d be more than welcome to book with those groomers. It was my first week of being on my own and this woman comes in with a Havanese mix. She explained that she wanted a 1/2” GC all over with a classic teddy bear head, and that it was crucial since the dog was supposed to be in her son’s wedding in about a week.
The dog was pretty much a nightmare to work with for some aspects of the groom, and to top it off, she had some matting. I decided to be nice and brush out the matting, and to try my best on this groom since the mom was worried about the wedding. When mom came to pick up, she saw the dog and was elated, saying how cute she was and how much she loved the haircut. I excused myself to go to the back to grab the dog’s things, and when I came back up front, she had done a complete 180, saying how horrible the haircut was! According to her, I ruined her dog and her son’s wedding. She called me every name in the book and said I do not know how to groom and should never have become a groomer. I was pretty much in tears as I went to the back, and my coworker asked for the manager to come talk to her. She left with a free groom.
Funnily though, she tried to request me a month or so later, so I guess I didn’t do THAT bad of a job. But I refused to work with her ever again. It’s been two years since the incident, and I have to say, it did teach me that no amount of money in the world is worth being put down or verbally abused over. Even if you are a new groomer or a seasoned pro, never let someone make you feel worthless like that.”
“We had a client with a Chihuahua call in for a nail trim. She had mentioned on the phone he was a bit sketchy and she was going to have a hard time putting him in his carrier to head over to the shop. An hour or so later the client walks in with a pillow case. I greeted the client, and all of a sudden notice she’s holding a pillow case…and something is moving inside. I said, ‘Ma’am is your dog inside of that tied pillow case?’ She replied with, ‘Well yeah, where else would I put him?’
I took this poor little Chihuahua out of the pillow case in complete shock and completed the nail trim, which was by far the easiest nail trim and the sweetest dog. I instantly grab my phone after having my bather hold the dog and run into the bathroom to call the police. As a new business owner I had no clue what to do other than get help.
After calling the police, I walk up to the register where I overhear my bather and the dog’s owner chatting about how she shouldn’t put the dog in the pillow case. The owner is then angry that my bather wouldn’t put the dog back inside. I offer her a crate to take with her and keep but she still refuses. She then put the Chihuahua back into the pillow case, spins it shut and ties it off with a rubber band, while saying, ‘This is so he can’t get out until we are home,’ and walked out. She then puts this little dog on her floor board and drives off.
At this point I’m in tears thinking about how wrong this is and how scared this poor little dog must be while praying for the cops to quickly come. Not much later I got a call from the cops saying that they did finally stop her. It was the scariest most horrible thing I’ve ever been involved in in my entire life and still to this day she probably has no idea I was the one who called the cops on her. And, I have it all on video!” ✂️