If you have a hairdressing business, you should consider having a set of customer terms and conditions drawn up, and placed in your salon where it is visible to your clients. The terms and conditions will set out the rights and obligations of you and your clients, and it will form a legally binding contract between you and your clients. Common clauses for hairdressing businesses are outlined below.

Acceptance

Your terms and conditions should start with an acceptance clause. This can be a simple sentence which states your customers accept these terms and conditions when they request the services which your salon offers.

Changes and cancellations

How will you deal with clients who need to make changes or cancellations to their appointments? If your customer changes an appointment, you can help avoid disputes with your customer by clearly stating in your terms and conditions that if the customer changes his or her appointment, you cannot guarantee that a time or a particular hairdresser will be available for the rescheduled appointment. Alternatively, a disputes policy that addresses these situations would also provide a means of dealing with these clients. For cancellations, you may wish to indicate a notice period. If a customer cancels within 24 hours, it could, directly or indirectly, cause you to lose money or business. In those circumstances, you can set out in your terms and conditions that a cancellation fee will be charged to the customer’s credit card or it will be deducted from their deposit, if they have already made part payment.

Unsatisfied customers

What will you do if your customers are unhappy? As with any business, there will be times when customers are unsatisfied at the service provided. Your terms and conditions should outline a procedure that a customer can follow if they are unsatisfied with any of your services. This will help you resolve disputes. You may wish to offer, that if any customer is unsatisfied with their cut, colour or other hair service, that the service will be re-done at no extra cost by the same or different hairdresser. You could offer a refund if a customer is quite dissatisfied.  You are required to provide resupply or a refund in the circumstances set out in Australian Consumer Law, including major or minor fault.  You are not required to give a refund for change of mind.

Limitation of liability and disclaimers

What are you not responsible for? You should list what you will not be liable for. This is subject to the consumer guarantees (discussed below). Whilst you are expected to take all reasonable care when providing your services, you can state that you will not be liable for any factors caused beyond your control.

Consumer guarantees

Do your terms and conditions comply with the law? The Australian Consumer Law applies to any business which provides services to a consumer. You need to state in your terms and conditions that your customers will be entitled to a refund or resupply, if there is a fault or failure with the services that your business has provided. To protect your business, you can exclude a number of circumstances where neither a refund nor repair will occur, such as if the failure is due to the customer’s own mistake or negligence.

Website Terms of Use

If your business has a website, you need a Website Terms of Use. These apply to every website visitor, protect your website and limit your liability for your website. The Terms claim your copyright and intellectual property rights, and set out permissible and prohibited uses of your website, including that competitors cannot use your website information.

Privacy Policy

If you collect, use and disclose personal information from customers, including using the information for direct marketing, you need a Privacy Policy, to assist you to comply with the Privacy Act.  The Privacy Policy is between you and each person that you collect personal information from. It sets out what personal information your business collects, how this information is used, and under what circumstances the information will be disclosed to third parties.

To conclude

If you run a hairdressing business, it is important to have terms and conditions to set out the rights and obligations of your business, and to protect your interests. A good business lawyer can help you prepare terms and conditions which will protect and strengthen your business interests.

Ursula Hogben

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