The lovely people at Wahanda contacted me a while back asking me if I would like to review a deal with them, I of course jumped at the chance! For those of you who have not yet heard of Wahanda they offer huge discounts in spa day type activities.
The site is very easy to navigate and I easily drilled down to just Spa Days in Cardiff.
I opted for the 2 for 1 Deluxe Makover Including Professional haircut and photoshoot at Burlingtons & New ID, Cardiff. The voucher cost £50, we also had to pay a £25 per person deposit to the venue direct when booking. The package included :
- Burlingtons hair consultation
- Cut & Finish with a top stylist
- Hair styled
- Professional make-up application
- Photo shoot with top fashion photographers with up to 4 outfit changes
- View your images
- Complimentary 12×8″ branded print
- Drinks will be served throughout the experience
The booking process was quite straightforward, although they did try the hard sell as they had an offer on where any pre-paid credit was doubled. The photos were very expensive, we’re talking £50 for a 5 x 7 print, the offer meant that I could have had two 5 x 7 prints for £50 instead of just one. I politely explained that as I’m getting married in November I can’t really justify spending much more money on photos this year!
I took my friend Emma along with me and the day itself was lovely. We were booked in for 4:15 on a Saturday afternoon. The salon was quite quiet when we arrived and the atmosphere very friendly and relaxed. We were sat down and given some forms to fill in where we had to state any preferences, allergies, etc.
First off we had our hair cut. They sat me and Emma next to each other and we enjoyed pleasant chit chat between us and the hairdressers. They did both of our haircuts dry, is it just me or do more and more hairdressers to do that lately? I stated that I wanted wavy hair on my initial form but explained to my hairdresser that I had debated an up do. She curled my hair and then put it up, but did give me the option to take it back out if I didn’t like it. I LOVED the finished result though and Emma looked great with her big, bouncy curls!
My hairdresser suggested that I went for quite intense eye make-up as I had my hair up. I’m really indecisive and really do appreciate when being told what would look best so this was a great help.
We were again seated next to each other for the makeover and both kept peeking at what the other one looked like! I must admit that I initially hated my eye make-up, I thought it was way too over the top compared to Emma’s lovely natural looking make-up. I had read beforehand that the make-up often does look too drastic but that this is purely for how it looks on the photos so I didn’t moan about it. The favourite part of the makeover for both of us was our eyebrows. Emma ended up buying their eyebrow pencil which did work really well. We were each given a price list on which they had ticked all the individual products used on us which is a great help and means that if I decide to purchase anything in the future I know what suits me.
The photo shoot was brilliant, the photographer really made us feel at ease as we were both very anxious about it before going in. We were given the option to take up to 4 outfit changes, as we had both decided that we only wanted the one free photo we didn’t bother to take any outfit changes. The photographer took a great selection of photos, some single and some together.
We went back into the waiting area while the photos were being uploaded onto the computer. At this point we had been there several hours and hadn’t been offered any of our complimentary drinks! We gave in and asked for a drink as we were both quite thirsty. I asked for the bucks fizz which was clearly displayed on the list in front of me, I was informed that they no longer do bucks fizz. I settled for water instead. Disappointing. It actually all seemed to go downhill from here!
We went into the viewing area where we found out that our ‘free’ photos were in fact going to cost us £25 each! We would have to pay £5 P&P each + a further £20 each for the editing. We would each receive one photo in the post and this photo would be watermarked to prevent you scanning it. This also meant that the photo could not be placed in direct light. You could also have the photos on a CD to take away that day for £25, you have the copyright for this. The ‘free’ photo also had to be an individual photo and not one of the two of us. This hidden charge really, really annoyed me. I told the editing guy that I was really angry at how sneaky this was, he told me that the charges are in their small print. I had read the small print on the Wahanda voucher and no such charges were mentioned. Maybe I should have checked their website too.
I told the editing guy to just delete all the photos of me because at this point I was very angry and did not want to give them any money. He then said that if I opted to have the photo on CD he could let me have one of the two of us as having it on the CD would mean no one would find out. I debated this for a moment. While I was making my mind up he went on to tell me that the salon will be going into liquidation and I’ll probably loose my deposit so I’d be stupid not to spend it on photos. This sealed the deal and we both used our £25 pre paid deposit on our ‘free’ photo. He didn’t bother trying to sell us any more photos, I think he knew not to mess with me ha!
I’m still unsure about whether he was telling the truth about them liquidising or if this was a very underhand way of making us spend the money :-/
It is such a shame about their sneakily hidden charges as this really did ruin a lovely day. Aside from the fact that we weren’t offered any of the promised complimentary drinks the day had been perfect and we had discussed going back with more friends. The hidden charges have now clouded over an otherwise fantastic day. I have since googled the company and it seems that they have a nasty habit of liquidising and then re-opening under a slightly different name. They have been on both Watchdog and X-Ray.
One of the worse things is that I actually wanted more photos after seeing them but was just too annoyed. I’m now kicking myself for not buying one more photo of me on my own.
It is such a shame that a great firm like Wahanda risk their reputation by working with a firm like this. I would use Wahanda again as I don’t think you can judge an entire company by one unfortunate event. Wahanda work with some very reputable firms such as The Vale Resort and The Village Hotel. Next time I would opt for one of these firms.