What exactly is the COVID-19 fee on your hair salon bill?

Visiting your hair salon may never be the same again. Not only is social distancing expected to be in full force along with mandatory face masks as a result of the COVID-19, but the price of your hair treatments may also be about to change, too. “The cost of reopening includes all the extra supplies that we need and all the cleaning supplies that we need,” Rachel Gower, owner of Upper Hand Salon in Houston, explained to KTRK. She says she spent thousands of dollars preparing to reopen. 

In other words, there are new costs that the salons now need to cover to ensure your safety, and they need your help to do it. And this is where the COVID-19 surcharge comes in. As Barry Moore, president and chief executive officer at Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia told Yahoo Life, “Any private business can put any surcharge they want on any service they provide, because of the COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise.” It’s totally legal and may be worth paying without griping, especially for all those businesses you’ve been waiting, wishing, and hoping will reopen.

COVID-19 surcharge covers the costs associated with opening a business during a pandemic

While the COVID-19 surcharge will presumably only be temporary, and is probably only a few dollars, Forbes points out that you should do your research before booking your appointment, so you don’t go to pay, and find any nasty surprises in the form of an additional fee. As Moore told Yahoo Life, it works two ways, and business should be clear if they are going to introduce a fee. “I strongly urge businesses doing so, if they want to keep their customers coming back, to post an easily seen public notice to the fact —on entrances, menus, websites— they’ll be adding a ‘COVID-19’ temporary surcharge to the bill. Always being upfront with consumers on charges, including surcharges, is just good, honest business.” 

But ultimately, If you don’t agree with the surcharge, you’ll have to look for a salon that isn’t adding it to your bill. Just be sure the establishment is safe.

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