Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
... many of the reviews here in an attempt to better understand how Spa Finder works
on March 25, 2015
I read many of the reviews here in an attempt to better understand how Spa Finder works. I did this because when trying to redeem my Spa Finder gift cards that my mom sent me for my birthday, my spa did not have a clear policy on what I could use them for and gave me a confusing explanation of how I could not use the gift card for discounted packages because I had received a discount when purchasing the gift card. First, my mom paid full price for the gift cards, so there was no discount. I had a long conversation with the owner and did some of my own research. What I learned is that Spa Finder makes money by charging a commission to the spa on the redemption of cards. In essence, Spa Finder only reimburses the spa for a percentage of the card. There is no discount to the client in purchasing the card, so spas should be aware that just because Spa Finder does not reimburse them in full for the gift cards does not mean that client received a discount (it's not a coupon or a voucher). Many of the reviews have advised to either just give the person money or a gift card directly from the spa to avoid these hassles. I have a different take on this. My mom lives across the country and she gave me these gift cards because it is more personal than sending a check or cash, and it ensures that I will use it for its intended purpose.She could not buy a card directly from the spa because of her location. Whatever you think of Spa Finder as a company, spas choose to participate in the Spa Finder program as a way of building their clientele. It is a legitimate business decision, and the price is the monthly fee the spas pay as well as the commissions on each card that is redeemed at their location. While the fees may be higher, this is a similar concept to the charges that credit card companies place on each transaction. Regardless of the transaction charges, business accept credit cards as convenience to customers so they can build their customer base. Similarly, spas participate in the Spa Finder program to build their clientele. The Spa Finder program is not mandatory, and spas know about the charges before they sign up. I do not feel sorry for spas that choose to participate in this program, so talk of "supporting" your local spa falls on deaf ears with me. A spa is not a charity that needs my support. It is a business just like any other, and I expect the spas listed on the website to accept the cards as payment. If the cost of participating in the Spa Finder program outweighs the benefits, they should not participate. Similarly, it they no longer wish to participate, they should remove their name from the Spa Finder website and place a notice on their own website that they no longer participate in the program. Spas should really think about how participating in the program will affect their business rather than leaving it up to the client to wade through the technicalities. I recommended to the owner of my spa that they add a section to their policy page explaining that because of the commissions they pay on the Spa Finder cards, clients can redeem the cards only for full-priced services and cannot apply the cards to discounted packages. Spas can develop any policy that serves their business best, but whatever the policy, it should be clearly stated to the client upfront. I gave this three stars because that means that its OK. Not great, not bad, but OK. I think it could be great, but there are obviously some things to be worked out on Spa Finder's part (based on other reviews) as well as that of businesses participating in the program. Right now, the potential loser in this situation is the client.