Rockingham day spa closure leaves customers in lurch

Headshot of Pierra Willix
Pierra WillixSound Telegraph
Email Pierra Willix
Urban Retreat Day Spa owner Carol Frieling is one of several business owners who have offered to cover or partially cover the costs of gift vouchers from My Pure Indulgence customers.
Camera IconUrban Retreat Day Spa owner Carol Frieling is one of several business owners who have offered to cover or partially cover the costs of gift vouchers from My Pure Indulgence customers. Credit: Pierra Willix

The sudden closure of a local day spa has left frustrated customers questioning why gift vouchers were being sold just days before its closure, however several local beauty businesses have offered to cover the costs left behind.

My Pure Indulgence Day Spa closed its doors two weeks ago, with customers reporting the business had been selling hundreds of dollars of gift vouchers up until the day before closing.

The Sound Telegraph attempted to contact the business, however its phone and email address had been disconnected.

Urban Retreat Day Spa owner Carol Frieling is one of several business owners who have offered to cover or partially cover the costs of gift vouchers bought from My Pure Indulgence, saying the closure of the business “destabilised” the industry and made people wary of buying gift vouchers.

“This year is one of my busiest times for selling vouchers, and I sell hundreds in the lead-up to Christmas and no businesses can afford to have unsettled customers,” she said.

“We as beauty-based businesses need to protect our own reputations when things like this happen.”

We are honest business people who do the right thing by our customers.”

Ms Frieling said she had about 40 people on a waitlist to use their vouchers at her day spa and urged anyone else with vouchers to contact businesses helping out as soon as possible.

Renew IPL & Skin Clinic in Secret Harbour is another business stepping in to help customers, and therapist Kristy Zaglas said it was important to look after customers and “give them what they paid for”, despite the fact many businesses would be left out of pocket in doing so.

Consumer Protection commissioner David Hillyard said business closures could leave many people out of pocket, so customers needed to be aware of the risks involved when paying for goods or services in advance, even the purchase of gift vouchers.

He said the way a consumer was affected by a business closure would depend on whether debts can be paid.

“In the event of a business closure, consumers who have paid a deposit, been making lay-by payments, or are in possession of a gift voucher become ‘unsecured creditors’” he said.

“In our experience, an unsecured creditor’s chances of getting anything back are often slim because you are generally last in line to be paid after employee wages, taxes and secured creditors such as banks.”

Mr Hillyard advised customers buying products like gift vouchers to stage payments if possible so that in the case of a business closure, any potential losses were minimised.

“It is horrible what has happened but it had pulled the local beauty businesses together and show people there are businesses out there doing the right thing,” Ms Frieling said.

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