Nail Salon Charges Overweight Customers $5 More

A Georgia woman says a local nail salon padded her bill by $5, and when she asked what the charge was for, she was told it was because she was too fat for their fancy-fragile salon chairs: “[The salon manager explained] the surcharge was due to costly repairs of broken chairs by overweight customers. She said the chairs have a weight capacity of 200 pounds and cost $2,500 to fix.”

The woman told the local news that she was humiliated by the experience, but the salon owner says she tried not to make a big deal out of it (except for the “you’re too fat” part):

[The manager] said she refunded the $5 surcharge, and told [the customer] to take her business elsewhere.

“I didn’t want to argue with her about $5. I wanted to make her pleased with her service,” [the manager] said. “I whispered … I said, ‘I’m sorry, next time I cannot take you.'”

“Nail Salon Charges More For Overweight Customers” [] (Thanks to TJ!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Magspie says:

    This seems stupid. That $5 charge isn’t going to make much of a dent in a $2500 repair and it’s just going to humiliate customers.

    • Sandstar says:

      You’d prefer they added a 2500 dollar surcharge?

      • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

        If a customer is using a chair, is not warned of the chair’s max weight by employees or management, and the chair is damaged, this should NEVER be the customer’s fault.

        • DariusC says:

          Warned? They cannot even let them SIT in the chair since that is a safety violation. If it broke even after they warned them the customer could NOT be billed. Even if they tried, I would let them take the customer to court and see if the court/lawyer fees are worth it for them.

    • DariusC says:

      Exactly… Also, that chair probably doesn’t cost that much anymore (they are looking to upgrade I bet). 200 LBS? How many guys, heck, girls weigh under that? Most guys my height are around 200 LBS.

      Yes, mani/pedicures are for guys too.

      $5 is an “eyesore” fee.

      • Jason Litka says:

        Most office chairs I’ve seen have stickers with a weight limit of 250 lbs. 200 is a bit low for a man as I’m 6’3″ and 182 lbs (so don’t go around saying everyone is 200 lbs or more), but women tend to have a more slight build so 200 lbs for a salon that caters to females (average is 144lbs according to link below) might be OK with that limit.

        A $5 fee is ridiculous though as they’d need 500 overweight clients in order to make up the cost of one repair fee.

    • c!tizen says:

      Maybe the extra cash is so they can buy “heavy duty” chairs?

    • common_sense84 says:

      Humiliate? You act as if they are not fat. He bought stronger chairs and is passing the cost to the customers that need the stronger chairs. I fail to see the problem here.

      • jefeloco says:

        The problem is that the $5 fee (probably) wasn’t advertised before hand along with the rest of the prices. I argue with any fee/surcharge/tax that wasn’t expressly indicated before I agree to a product or service.

        The real issue is that the fat tax wasn’t advertised and unless they shop weighed every person who sits in a chair it is probably entirely at the discretion of the attendant. That is bullsh!t.

      • midniteslayr says:

        Last I checked, that is the cost of doing business. If the owner decided to charge the overweight customers, then the owner now needs to pay taxes on the fees charged. Honestly, if the chairs are an issue, then rise the cost of the manicure/pedicure/etc by five dollars for everyone. By not disclosing the “person of size” fee, then the salon owner is discriminating, and can lose a lot more than five dollars a person in business.

        • mcgyver210 says:

          And why should my wife who is Health conscious pay for a Over Weight Persons damages or extra seat on a flight?

          We need to quit bending over backward for the new trend of being Over Weight in America. My family watches their health & weight yet we pay more for insurance & services for Over Weight unhealthy people . what a JOKE.

      • somepoet says:

        It says that the $2500 was for the chairs that had a weight limit of 200 lbs. No other chairs were purchased.

    • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

      How much do you want to bet they don’t charge pregnant customers the $5?

    • Brink006 says:

      How does it humiliate her? Is there a person who follows her out with a sign that says “OVERWEIGHT?” She knows she’s big.

      And if she were afraid of being humiliated, she certainly wouldn’t draw attention to this situation by making it a news story.

      Fat acceptance is one of the worst things. It masks itself in the idea of “tolerance,” but creates apologists for endangering people’s health. And I hope I can get this in before thyroid problems, as that’s easily treated by medication.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        And if she were afraid of being humiliated, she certainly wouldn’t draw attention to this situation by making it a news story.

        Anger > humiliation
        Pointing out you were treated badly does not increase humiliation.

        Fat acceptance is one of the worst things.

        Yeah, treating overweight people like they’re human beings is just TERRIBLE. /sarcasm

      • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

        Fat acceptance is one of the worst things.

        Really? Is it like murder? Theft? Puppy-kicking? Please explain this statement.

        • Brink006 says:

          Fat acceptance excuses destructive behavior that will decrease their quality of life and eventually kill them. Miserable eating habits should not be encouraged or condoned.

      • AngryK9 says:

        What if the charge was there because:
        The person was black?
        had red hair and freckles?
        was annhorexic?
        was Asian?
        was homosexual?
        was under 20?
        was over 50?
        was pregnant?
        was unattractive to the manger?
        was your mother?

        It’s called discrimination. Look it up.

      • sleze69 says:

        They must have hired Stewie to follow her around playing a Tuba.

  2. georgi55 says:

    This reminds me of Saugatuck boat Cruises in Michigan. One woman ignored these warnings and broke the chair in front of everyone, so funny.

    “The lower deck has padded, cloth seating. The upper deck has 2 styles of chairs. The green chairs with arms have a weight capacity of no more than 275 lbs. Chairs without arms and chairs on the lower deck can support persons weighing over 275 lbs.”

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Th question is, do any of the customers really give a damn about ultra-fancy $2500 chairs that only hold 200 lbs. Would they be perfectly happy with slightly-less-fancy $1800 chairs that hold 300 lbs.? And would they even notice the difference?

    And for $2500, that chair better be able to do a mani-pedi all by itself!

    • Griking says:

      Most chains will comfortably hold a 200 pound person. The article didn’t say just how much the customer weighed. If she was closer to 300lbs and the chain was visibly straining I can understand the company needing to recover their expenses.

      • hotdogsunrise says:

        Your post reminds me of my favorite Kids in the Hall skit. It was about a lazy writer that didn’t have time to read his work (not that you’re lazy, clearly a typo). “Hey, do you want to sit on my favorite chain?” (cut to chain lying on the ground).

        Ok, so it’s really funny if you see it, not so funny if you tell it back like a story.

    • Dutchess says:

      you’ve obviously never sat in a pedicure chair. They’re on a pedistal, have a basin for your feet and recline and move forward and backwards and have massage units in them.

      Think of the massage chairs Sharper Image use to sell but on a platform with a foot bath and there you have it.

  4. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    Okay, wait, they bought these chairs for a salon that they have opened in America and did NOT take into account that we are a nation of obsese people?


    I mean, it is very simple: If a client injures herself in one of your chairs, for example if it should collapse beneath her, she can sue you, and you would be totally liable for buying inappropriate seating, especially if you knew, in advance, the maximum capacity and said/did nothing in advance of the nail session.

    So buy chairs that can accomodate any client.

    $2,500 per chair? If I was spending that much, they had better fit Jabba OR a Jawa comfortably.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      The chairs are most likely chairs made specifically for pedicures. They have the necessary plumbing and drains for water and many of the chairs have massage features. They are pretty costly.

    • pgh9fan1 says:

      I’m curious. How do they handle the customer that’s 199 pounds or 201? Does the manager have some kind of wonderful, calibrated eyeballs that can immediately determine the weight of a customer exactly? Do they put the customer on a scale? How do they know?

  5. shadowhh says:

    Just wow.

    Glad I am a guy and never goto these places. But For me, The outer part of the weight I am supposed to be is 200. I am a little more than that, but if I was what I should be, unless I came in all nekked, I would have to pay an extra $5…..

    • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

      (a) Guys go to “these places”, too (yes, even straight guys), and (b) two words: eye bleach.

  6. jvanbrecht says:

    I’m sure the manager could have handled it better, but at the same time, if there is a weight limit on the chairs, then that limit should be displayed for customers to see, and decide whether or not the use the services of that salon.

    In fact, don’t even mention that someone is overweight, just put up a sign that says an additional charge for persons over 200 pounds. I know women who are 200 pounds or more that are not fat or overweight (atleast in appearance), granted they are mostly over 6 feet tall.. but thats besides the point.

    • jvanbrecht says:

      Umm, well, by appearance I meant they are still attractive, medically, they may be considered overweight.

      Hell, I’m considered overweight.. and I only weigh 180 pounds at 6″ tall (according to my doctor… seriously.. I’m apparently supposed to weigh in around 175)

  7. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    It might be discrimination, but weight isn’t a protected class. The business owner was wrong because it was in poor taste, not because it was illegal. Instead of adding a fee, the owner could have raised prices. It wouldn’t have been fair for non-overweight people, but it would have been an easier way of making up the cost of broken chairs.

    The fact that the salon is charging $24 for a manicure and pedicure means that it most likely isn’t a fancy salon in the first place – $2,400 to fix chairs is a significant financial burden for any business, especially a small one. My question is, why didn’t the business just get sturdier chairs?

    • DovS says:

      While weight might not be a protected class, openly, publicly discriminating against fat people in a country where such a significant percentage of the population are fat is just plain bad business and bad PR.

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      If the business owner were to get some chairs specifically for overweight customers, and charge them more, and be upfront it would be fine.

      As it stands, she needs to turn them away. A surprise $5 fee is never ok.

      And this lady just wanted her 15 seconds. If she were really humiliated she wouldn’t be on the news.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I think it’s bizarre to cry to the news about something like that – if you’re humiliated, why would you want to be in front of cameras where hundreds of people can see you? And maybe recognize you on the street? Whenever I feel humiliated or embarassed, I just want to crawl under my desk and hide.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          Because she’s probably angrier than she is humiliated and wants to call them out on what they did.

          Besides, it’s not like being on TV compounds her humiliation: she’s pointing out that she was treated badly. It’s not really humiliating to tell other people that you were wronged even if the initial experience was bad.

    • TimothyT says:

      Actually bait and switch is illegal.

  8. leprechaunshawn says:

    Why not?

    Airlines do it, medical insurers do it and wal-mart does it.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      I’m not sure why Wal-mart is in that list but airlines and insurance companies don’t hide the fact that overweight people will be charged more. This salon owner didn’t tell the customer that 1) the chair isn’t designed to hold her weight and 2) she was going to be charged extra.

      • leprechaunshawn says:

        Wal-mart charges a few dollars more for clothing in sizes XXL and larger.

        • BridgetPentheus says:

          They should, that XXL has a whole lot more cloth than my xxs, wake up and realize you are fat America and do something about it

          • Riroon13 says:

            Yet when asked why baby clothes cost as much as adult sizes, the manufacturer responds it’s not about the material used as much as it is about the labor

        • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

          Charging more for larger sizes like that is pretty common and not a Walmart only phenomenon. I’d imagine their justification is that the larger sizes take more fabric and cost more to produce. Whether or not that is accurate, only the clothing manufacturers know. Some stores even charge different prices for the same item in a different color, I wouldn’t call that discrimination either.

    • Wombatish says:

      It’s not so much that they did it, it’s that they let her sit in the chair the whole time (which was apparently not designed to hold here and therefore (and yes this is stretching a bit, but still) unsafe), and then charged her for the privilege.

      A small sign up front by the register, or “can I show you to one of our roomier chairs so you will be comfortable” and bam, good to go. Yes the business has to protect it’s investment in the equipment, but that doesn’t mean they need to be sneaky about it.

      • Wombatish says:

        her of course, and hell, they don’t even have to say something if they’re afraid they’ll offend. Just the sign or when a customer walks in make a mental note to take them to one of the big chairs.

  9. tresser says:

    [The manager] said she refunded the $5 surcharge, and told [the customer] to take her business elsewhere.

    i don’t see the problem.

    • BuyerOfGoods3 says:

      “surcharge” was an illegal Fee added for no reason. The overweight lady should sue.

      Just put a damn weight limit print on the chair, and she wouldn’t have sat there. Smells like Nail Lady is running a SCAM where she doesn’t report that extra $$ for fat customers.

      • Skellbasher says:

        The questionable fee was refunded. She should not sue. There’s no grounds to do so.

        It’s not illegal to be a dick in this country. The owner can be one all she wants.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          There’s still the safety issue: They put her in a chair not designed to handle her weight and didn’t warn her. What if it had collapsed and she was injured in the fall?

          Not that I think this is worth suing over, just pointing out that there’s more wrong here than just the surprise fee.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      You don’t see the problem with a business adding undisclosed fees after a service has been rendered? You’d be OK with your cable company adding “just because we can” fees to your bill and not warning you?

    • damageddude says:

      The problem will be when she loses all her fat customers and sells her expensive chairs for pennies on the dollar when she liquidates after her business fails. A smarter business person would have purchased cheaper, more sturdier chairs to accommodate her customers.

      Hmm, now that I think of it, you’re right there is no problem. Business Darwin will take care of this soon enough. Some people should just be employees, not employers.

      • tundey says:

        Oh please. Just like people are leaving facebook over privacy issues? Or people refusing to take planes because of the 2-must-buy-2-seats-if-you-are-fat rule?

  10. jason in boston says:

    I see no problem with this. Just make sure calories in is near or less than calories out and you won’t get fat. It’s simple math.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      And you’re very ignorant of the whole topic, so you should shut up about it.

      If you’re not too stupid to understand written English, and you have any desire to become less ignorant, there is plenty of information to be found from reputable sources about the problems and causes of obesity.

      • jason in boston says:

        I disagree with you.

        Please enlighten me on how you can break the laws of thermodynamics. Weight gain is literally a math problem. It is that simple. If calories in > calories out, the body will store that excess as fat.

        I am about 10 pounds heavier than I was when I was Active Duty because I like to drink Harpoon IPA after work in the city and haven’t had a chance to run it off. What is your excuse?

        What did I do after I went to college after the military and literally gained 20 pounds that year? I bought a food scale! This device has made the math geek in me figure out what I actually put into my body. The first week was scary. Those cheese + crackers whilest watching House…700 calories. I switched to peanut butter + celery. Those little changes add up.

        • LadyTL says:

          I’m glad dieting works for you. However a single person is not the total representation of the human race. What are people who gain muscle more than fat supposed to do? Not exercise so they can fit a non medical standard? Or those who have dense bones (not just saying have big bones but a denser bone structure that is resistance to bone loss) are they just supposed to have surgery to shave off a few pounds of bone matter to also conform to a non medical standard? Or those having medical conditions that alter hormonal balances, are they supposed to starve to death on the basis of a quirk of science? And those who have weight gain from medication they have to take? Calories in, calories out does not always work when there are other complications in play. Weight can be affected by a large number of variables that cannot be simplified in all cases down to just what they eat.

          • jason in boston says:

            Like I said, it is a math problem. If your body cannot burn off more calories than you put into it…stop eating so many calories. I don’t “diet”. Weak people diet. I changed the way I live / eat / work out.

            I’m not talking about a good healthy weight (think more strongest man competition and less bodybuilding competition). I am talking about fatties that cannot control what is going into their body because they don’t care. I am a short guy – I failed a PFT because my neck was much too big for my height. It isn’t because I ran the 1.5 mile in 9 minutes or maxed out on pushups and situps. I got a perfect score, however because I worked out too much, I failed and had to get a waiver to pass. Then again, I had nothing to do for 9 months except eat, lift, go on watch, sleep and repeat.

            Are things external to your body causing your caloric expenditure to decrease? Then stop the calories from coming in. Where are these calories magically coming from? Are people really that lazy that they cannot go for an hour walk or even do some jumping jacks or 8 counts to burn the delta of calories off? Even when I was injured, I would still hit the elliptical machine because it is damn easy to use and I can still watch tv / listen to podcasts.

            Your excuses are not valid because the person is still taking in more calories than they are burning off. Thusly, they are fat.

            • jason in boston says:

              Logic fail. There are no external forces. They are all internal. What I meant to write is: Are things that are out of the norm to your normal health causing…

            • LadyTL says:

              So if a person is overweight due to muscle mass from exercising to eat what they want, how is that solved by calories in calories out?

              • jason in boston says:

                Eat less? That would mean that calories in

                • jason in boston says:

                  And I think that comments are broken :(

                • LadyTL says:

                  But the calorie count has nothing to do with the muscle mass. Unless you deliberately starve yourself to near death so your body eats up your muscles, reducing calories in is not going to affect having alot of muscle mass from exercising frequently.

                  • jason in boston says:

                    That is what the rest of my comment should have posted (it got cut off somehow), but if you were to keep on working out and running, then muscle would indeed be burned because there is no caloric intake to sustain the energy expelled. Indeed, I think that a world’s strongest man would eventually have an ironman’s body after enough time.

        • megafly says:

          I would rather be the fattest slob in the world than a self righteous prick who weighs his crackers and cheese.

    • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

      Not that you’re wrong. You’re merely being an ass by mentioning this. That is all.

  11. Willnet says:

    G lswhr thn Ms. Pgg. ts lf gt vr t.

    • HRGirl wants a cookie says:

      Wow it took a whole 17 minutes for someone to blame the customer / call her names! I guess no one’s had their coffee yet.

      • indeeme says:

        Why is it OK to publicly chastise people for smoking, but not for being overweight? Even for those whose obesity is the result of some other health condition (and those people are in the minority, btw) it is just as deadly, and that doesn’t mean they get a free pass on their Big Mac. The fact that obesity has to do with so much more than just bad health choices, only underscores the need to point out when people are making them. Society is just as harmfully affected by obesity as it was/is by smoking. And there is just as powerful an industry behind it as well. You never hear people whining about being humiliated because someone told them they shouldn’t smoke.

        • jaya9581 says:

          How exactly is society harmed by someone being overweight? When someone is smoking, their smoke affects everyone around them. Is obesity catching?

        • Verdant Pine Trees says:

          You mention fat people (like me) who got that way because of illness/health issues, and insist that they are in the minority (of course, nothing to back it up).

          Then you say that they still don’t get a pass to eat “Big Macs”. Dude, that’s pretty ignorant.

          First off, people who are grossly obese almost certainly have something going on healthwise that got them that way. Yes, it’s medical. One theory is leptin, which regulates appetite control – or (a link to prove this is actual research, not something I’m making up). The theory is that these people keep eating because they never reach a limit. The switch that tells the rest of us, “That’s enough”, doesn’t work properly. They are trying to figure out why some people are habitual overeaters, usually from a young age.

          As for the rest of your claim about “Big Macs”, I haven’t eaten meat for years. I have great “numbers” (cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, etc). I am still overweight. I won’t bore you with the specifics of my diet, but I eat a hell of a lot better and a hell of a lot less than most skinny and average-sized people. Same with the people I know who have PCOS, insulin trouble (non-diabetic), thyroid issues, etc.

          What’s wrong is discriminating against a whole class of people for “bad behavior” they may not take part in at all, or only take part in occasionally, while giving anyone who is skinny or average sized “a pass”.

          (I haven’t had a Big Mac in at least six or seven years, and could never finish one of them anyways without feeling sick, but if someone wants to eat one on a special occasion, who am I to judge?)

    • DovS says:

      That would be about 64% of all women. At $24 for a mani, this isn’t a very upscale salon so raise that percentage up a few more points since lower-income people tend to have higher weight. Telling 64% to 80% of your clientele to beat it probably isn’t a sound business strategy.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      And you’re very ignorant of the whole topic, so you should shut up about it.

      If you’re not too stupid to understand written English, and you have any desire to become less ignorant, there is plenty of information to be found from reputable sources about the problems and causes of obesity.

      Also – you’re a dick. Too bad there isn’t a solution for that.

  12. shepd says:

    In Canada this is illegal, because overweight is a recognized disability (because not all overweight people are that by choice, although many are).

    But, honestly, 200 lbs is pretty weak for a chair of any kind, especially one that costs $2,500 to repair (what is it new, $10k?) However, if you want to use such lame seating, perhaps you should inform the customer and, if the customer is obviously too heavy, just turn them away. The $5 doesn’t even begin to cover the repair fee and makes no sense.

  13. MaelstromRider says:

    This was handled completely wrong. If the weight limit of the chairs are 200lbs, then customers over 200lbs should not be allowed to sit in the chairs because it could endanger the customer. At a business, you cannot let the customer choose to endanger herself and you certainly should not be charging the customer an extra $5 to do so.

    I’m sure the business’s insurance company would love to hear about this crap.

  14. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    Wow…A little forewarning, and I’m sure she would’ve been happy to NOT sit in the chair. As a fat person, I can tell you – We DO NOT like breaking things we sit in.

    I’d sue.

  15. HRGirl wants a cookie says:

    “I didn’t want to argue with her about $5. I wanted to make her pleased with her service,”

    Because publicly body-shaming someone and demanding more money (in a sneaky manner, mind, she didn’t say up-front that this would be an issue) is an example of stellar customer service?
    I think this manager lady has the Southwest Airlines Customer Service Guide on her nightstand and “Comcast Cares” tattooed on her ankle.

  16. Bernardo says:

    Unless there was a separate chair for overweight customers and signs posted explaining the price you cant really charge people like this without them knowing beforehand.

    It was nice that the manager gave her the money back and apologized when she told her she cant take her business anymore. It makes sense. I bet there was something more to this like maybe the woman was really annoying or something and maybe the staff was just sick of her.

    In the end the store got extra press and maybe this woman got some motivation to lose some weight. I just hope she posts signs and starts using a plus sized chair for these people.

  17. osiris73 says:

    I’m fat. I know I’m fat. I know that breaking things because I’m fat is a possibility. Is it fair that I pay an additional $5? I think so. Honestly, it’s more fair that raising the price $2.50 for everyone. *shrug* Am I fat by choice or by genetics? A little of both I think.

    Should they have posted this surcharge in their price list? Yep. Are you paying for a completely unnecessary service there anyway? Absolutely. So quit bitching and go elsewhere, or better yet, avoid that unnecessary expenditure and save your money instead.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Are you paying for a completely unnecessary service there anyway?

      Completely irrelevant. That the service isn’t “necessary” doesn’t mean it’s OK to add a bunch of fees after the fact.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Careful, your bias is showing. Is a mani/pedi necessary to survival? No, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s her money, not yours. Who cares where she was or what she spent her money on? If she was charged an extra fee for sitting in a restaurant would you have told her to save her money on such an uneccesary expense as eating out? It would have still be entirely irrelevant to the issue.

    • Wombatish says:

      They didn’t tell her beforehand, so by your own logic she has every right to complain.

  18. Blueberry Scone says:

    I think they could have solved this whole thing by having a sign that states the weight capacity.

    And yes, I can see why those chairs cost so much. These aren’t run-of-the-mill chairs that you see in, say, an office. As mentioned elsehwere in this thread, they have plumbing, massage features, etc.

  19. El_Fez says:

    While I’ll admit that I’m not in the best shape (but I am getting better) – 200 pounds is ridiculous! If I were absolutely ripped and didn’t have any extra fat on me, I’d still come in at about 215 pounds.

  20. UltimateOutsider says:

    After watching the news clip at the linked site, I believe it’s clear they really did not want that woman as a customer. I think the surcharge was a passive-aggressive way of starting the conversation, and they intentionally humiliated her to try to ensure she wouldn’t come back. The fact is they don’t want to serve her- and I’m not sure it’s even really about her weight.

    • jenjenjen says:

      Of course it is. Who wants to touch a fatty? Even doctors don’t like to touch us – one of the confounding factors in the obesity/health muddle is that fat patients put off getting medical care because we can TELL we gross the doc out, then we get less thorough exams. My doc touches me as little as possible, even for things that are best practice for cancer screening etc (sparing you details). I have to initiate everything because I gross her out. And I’m not even “obese” just pudgy.

      • Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

        You need to find a new doctor. They are not all like that.

        • LadyTL says:

          True, but a large percentage of doctors are like that. I’ve actually had notes put in my records by my doctors about weight stuff because I refuse to accept their generalizations about weight.

      • PunditGuy says:

        You might be projecting. Just slightly. If not, consider a new physician. I’ve been on the larger side all of my life and I’ve never had an issue like you describe.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          I’ve been on the larger side all of my life and I’ve never had an issue like you describe.

          You’ve been lucky.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        In my experience, a lot of doctors err on the side of caution because they aren’t sure how big your personal bubble is. You seem to be uncomfortable with your own skin – the doctor might be sensing your own discomfort and may be reacting to that with more tact, which you interpret as disgust.

      • BridgetPentheus says:

        actually the problem that most doctors complain about is that when you’re fat it’s much harder to find where organs, etc are and feel if they are correct through all the layers of fat

      • UltimateOutsider says:

        “Who wants to touch a fatty?”

        *raises hand* You single? :)

        Anyway, not everyone is revolted by overweight folk. Seriously. If you regularly get vibes like that from your physician, I agree with the others; you should find someone else. You need someone who’s more concerned about your health than your appearance.

      • varro says:

        The cruel (or delicious) irony is that to turn “fatties” into “acceptable weight” people, they often go to gyms, where we turn into Mr. Sweaty Guy (or Ms. Sweaty Gal) and drop our Crisco-like drippings all over the place. (As compared to the tanorexic skinny chicks, who don’t sweat, they *glow*.)

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Maybe she’s a bad tipper. Or were you implying it had to do with race? I’m not saying you were, I’m actually asking you what you think the salon’s motivations were for not wanting her as a customer (supposing that it had nothing to do with her weight).

  21. Griking says:

    Who else should be responsible for the customer being over weight?

    This is one of the reasons that our nation is mostly over weight, we make excuses to justify why we’re over weight. It’s pretty much becomes taboo to acknowledge that a person is fat. I’m sorry but being fat is not normal and should not be acceptable. Take some personal responsibility and go to a gym. Stop making the rest of the nation pay for your disability. Stop making excuses and start making solutions.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      I think you miss the point.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        Griking would rather whine and cry about how fat people hurt his feelings than make a relevant comment.

        • Griking says:

          They don’t hurt my feelings and my problem isn’t specifically with fat people. My problem is with people would rather play a victim and sue others rather than take any personal responsibility.

          So let me get this straight, a salon is responsible for not paying for steel framed chairs to hold over weight people but the individuals who allow their weight to grow out of control holds no responsibility at all? Really?

          • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

            No, they’re responsible for telling customers up front that they don’t have chairs to accommodate them. They’re responsible to not let a customer sit in a chair that is unsafe for their body. And they’re responsible to not charge an undisclosed fee after the fact.

            Are you so angry at fat people that you’ve lost the ability to even read the article above?

          • Rectilinear Propagation says:

            They don’t hurt my feelings

            And yet you insist on complaining about it even when it is not the point. The point is that the fee was not disclosed to the customer beforehand. The point is that the owner should not be putting overweight people in those chairs in the first place if the chair isn’t designed to handle their weight.

            You can’t throw undisclosed fees at someone after the fact just because they’re fat.

            • Griking says:

              It’s more than fair to complain that they didn’t disclose the fat surcharge up front but don’t tell me how humiliated the customer was because of it.

    • LadyTL says:

      Who else should be responsible for the customer being an asshole?

      This is one of the reasons that our nation is mostly full of assholes, we make excuses to justify why we’re assholes. It’s pretty much becomes taboo to acknowledge that a person is an asshole. I’m sorry but being an asshole is not normal and should not be acceptable. Take some personal responsibility and learn about other people before jumping to conclusions. Stop making the rest of the nation pay for your disability. Stop making excuses and start making solutions.

      • Griking says:

        Last I checked you’re insurance premiums weren’t going up because I was an asshole.

        • LadyTL says:

          So the insurance companies give you a chart showing how they went up because of other people and how much went up because they want more profit?

    • whatdoyoucare says:

      I don’t want to sound insensitive, but I agree. I know several firefighters and paramedics who are looking to get out or have gotten out of their fields because of the physical strain of lifting overweight people. One of our friends, who was a paramedic, has terrible back and shoulder problems. He said when he first started out in his profession (guessing in the late 70’s early 80’s) gurneys were rated at 200 lbs maybe 250 lbs (my bad I forget which). Now they are rated up to 500 lbs! A firefighter my husband spoke with recently said that they had to borrow a gurney from the zoo to lift one guy who weighed even more than that. I can’t imagine trying to lift an 800 lbs person. Sad and disturbing.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      And you’re very ignorant of the whole topic, so you should shut up about it.

      If you’re not too stupid to understand written English, and you have any desire to become less ignorant, there is plenty of information to be found from reputable sources about the problems and causes of obesity.

      • El Chicharron says:

        Copy and paste much?

      • Griking says:

        Yes, I sure that there are some diseases out there that can cause a person to become over weight. So lets use them as another excuse. How many of these disabilities were caused by obesity in the first place? Do all of the people waddling up to the counter at McDonalds have these diseases? Better yet, what about the people pulling into the drive-thru because they’re too lazy to get out of their cars? Yes, I’m sure that there are exceptions but a vast majority of the obesity problem is due to a lack of self control and discipline.

    • Redeemed says:

      Wow everyone seems to be flaming this poor guy. Umm lets see here. Our nation is pathetic at maintaining a reasonable healthy lifestyle. We love being victims and we love attention. The US is an obese nation and it is not a virus that you can catch by being sneezed on. Some few people are overweight from things like thyroid disorders. The rest of us are just plain undisciplined and lazy. Yup I said it. i have some baby weight to lose to be truly at my best weight. But guess what??? It is my job to lose it and be disciplined about it. If I am not it will not go away. Wow, what a concept. You mean I have to get up and exercise and limit the amount of scrumptious chocolate that I eat? Say it isn’t so! The horrors of personal responsibility. I can’t take it. I think I’ll go have some waffles with extra syrup.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        Wow everyone seems to be flaming this poor guy.

        Because everything you and he just said is completely irrelevant to the discussion.

        • Redeemed says:

          Then how come you aren’t going after all the people who attacked the salon for not having big enough chairs? There is no good reason to have to get abnormally large chairs because people choose to not control themselves. It might make good business sense but no one is entitled to a bigger chair because they are obese. The chairs they have are appropriate for a normal sized female. That is the point and why it is relevant. If she is damaging the chair then a fee is appropriate.

        • Griking says:

          It’s not irrelevant to the story. The customer went out of her way to point out that she was humiliated by the event and I’m sorry, I won’t be shamed because another person has no self control. She should use her humiliation as motivation to lose weight rather than writing letters to The Consumerist complaining about how people look at and treat her differently because of her size.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      This topic isn’t about why the woman is overweight, who’s responsible, or why most of America is fat. It’s about a ridiculous, hidden fee charged after the fact in a manner that embarrassed a customer. If you could get off your soapbox and stop condescending long enough to read the post, maybe you’d understand and be able to contribute to the discussion.

      • Griking says:

        Um, I know what the original post was about. Of course the woman should never have been charged the surcharge without being notified of it beforehand. However the original post goes on to tell us just how humiliated she was by the experience and I’m sorry, she has every right to be humiliated by her weight but not because a person acknowledges her weight.

  22. Hoss says:

    I hope the shop owner was ready to quit business anyway. If costly repairs were the issue, she needs to buy a special chair for heavy customers. I mean, look around, heavy folks are pretty common. Any other hidden agenda? Racist maybe?

  23. Master Medic: Now with more Haldol says:

    I’m calling BS. The economy is in the tank and people are spending less for luxury activities. I suspect the salon is trying to increase their earnings without increasing their base price.

    It’s the “bag fee” ala airlines.

  24. DanKelley98 says:

    Very short-sighted on the part of the salon owner.

  25. qbubbles says:

    I think one of my boobs weighs 200lbs…

    If they’d tried that with me, they would have had a pregnant humiliated fattie on their hands. Great PR.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      So what if you’re pregnant? Weight is weight, whether you’re fat or you’re pregnant. It has the same effect on a chair designed to safely support a finite amount of poundage.

      The salon should have advertised the fee beforehand or should simply raise prices on everyone, but don’t think you’re special because you’re pregnant. Or that the chair won’t collapse. Or that I’d feel any sorrier (or less sorry) for you if it did.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        Weight is weight, whether you’re fat or you’re pregnant. It has the same effect on a chair designed to safely support a finite amount of poundage.

        Which has nothing to do with PR. You might not care but a lot of people would see this situation differently had the woman’s weight been due to pregnancy. A lot of the comments are about how this woman deserves every bad thing that happens to her because she’s fat. The same people would not be arguing that she deserves every bad thing that happens to her because she’s pregnant.

  26. tjthayer says:

    If you’re a woman over 200lbs, getting your nails done isn’t going to make you any more attractive.

    Save up and get a treadmill.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Wow. Horrible, horrible comment. You take the cake for ‘crappiest comment of the day’ and it’s not even noon yet.

      • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

        For all you know, her manicure was her reward to herself for staying on her diet for 6 months, getting on the treadmill every day, and losing 50 pounds.

        Oh, wait. You’re a troll. Never mind.

      • GinaLouise says:

        I think us replying to this guy is the most attention he’s ever had from a real, live female. For some reason I’m imagining him perma-hunched in a computer chair and crusted with Cheeto dust.

    • tmitch says:

      And I suspect that NOTHING could make you anything but a jerk. What a horrible comment. I hope you get banned.

  27. tmitch says:

    I don’t understand why Consumerist won’t publish the name of this establishment so other people can decide if they want to spend their money there (or NOT).

    • Hoss says:

      DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Michelle Fonville said her experience at Natural Nails on Covington Highway in DeKalb County….

  28. juniper says:

    My local nail spa has a bunch of fancy pedicure chairs. They massage your back, have little pools for your feet, etc. I can imagine that this is the kind of $2,500 chair the spa in question has. My spa has, on its menu, a note under the pedicure section, which says, “Please let us seat you in a different chair if you are a person of size.” I’ve only seen them stop a person of size from getting into the pedicure chair once; she pitched a fit, the salon owner came out and explained that the weight limit of the chair was 250 lbs and she would break the chair, and the lady walked out in a huff.

    I’ve seen plenty of fat women in the spa, sitting in other chairs, getting pedicures without the massage chair. Once I paid right after one, and saw that hers was $5 less… probably because she didn’t get to use the massage chair.

    • GinaLouise says:

      This is really the ideal solution. Everybody knows the deal up front, and a larger woman can discreetly use a different chair.

      Any good consumerist should be angered by that Georgia salon — surprise after-the-fact charges are absolutely unacceptable. For example, I’m really short. If a stylist tried to charge me $5 after a haircut for making her stoop over, I’d throw a fit.

  29. Mike says:

    At 6’6″, my healthy weight is about 200 lbs., for sports purposes I stay around 215, so I would be screwed at this place.

  30. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    I think it’s more like a way to dissuade fatties from coming to their salon.

    Which, although perhaps distasteful, is not something I’m sure I’d argue about. Business owners can choose to serve or not to serve whoever they want to…and obviously you can go to another salon to get your nails done.


    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      If they wanted to “dissuade the fatties” they’d just put up a sign saying their chairs can only handle people under 200lbs. This is just about ripping people off.

  31. smo0 says:

    It’s pretty simple…. what the owner did was rude… borderline extortion… secondly – if the chairs pose a danger, it’s in the owner’s best interest to put a disclaimer on the chairs… $2500 per chair is gonna look like chump change compared to a $250,000 liability claim.

  32. flip says:

    is shes’ embarrased why did she run to the news?
    Maybe she should look at the bigger picture. Drop some weight! It’ll help you in your life and wont be charged 5 dollars.

  33. grapedog says:

    They definitely shouldn’t raise the price for everyone. Why should I pay for someone else chosing to be fat?

  34. ChuckECheese says:

    A couple angles I don’t see here yet:

    1. Beauty salons and upscale boutiques frequently discriminate against those they consider unattractive. The $5 seems like a punitive fine to discourage overweight people from returning.

    2. I’m suddenly finding surprise upcharges in a lot of places. In the past week, 2 restaurants found ways of sneaking extra $$ onto my bill, both times without telling me first – a burrito place charged me an extra $2 on a $3 burrito. A barber shop here charges more $$ depending on what day you get your hair cut.

  35. El-Brucio says:

    That customer has every right to be upset – they should have told her about the fee before taking her on as a client, though I’m guessing she still would have been offended.

    I’ve seen a few people in the comments talking about the dangers of the chair collapsing – that isn’t the concern of the business owner. Those chairs won’t collapse and injure someone who is overweight. The concern is that a person who is too heavy will damage the motors used for adjusting the chair and it’s massage.

  36. Pax says:

    Who the heck buys $2500 chairs that can only hold 200#?

    I mean, if they were $200 chairs, I could _maybe_ believe it. But office and commercial furniture is not $2500/chair. It’s more like $100 to $150/chair for most of it. $400 or $500 for chairs specifically rated for people up to ~400 pounds. But never, NEVER, $2500.

    Maybe they need to stop shopping for furniture at, I don’t know, TIFFANY’S …??

  37. Tracer Bullet says:

    This is great. It’s about time fatties started getting charged more, it only makes sense. They take up more space and put more strain & wear and tear on chairs for sure. Why should I, someone who is not overweight, foot the bill for those who gorge themselves uncontrollably and pay for chair replacement? As a smoker I have to pay extra tax to pay for your kids books in school, and the states failing economy. The reasoning is that smoking is bad anyways, so if you tax them more maybe they’ll stop. Maybe if fatties have to pay more for basic services they’ll stop eating so much. Same principal, right?

  38. TabrisLee says:

    That’s a hard thing to deal with. As a person owning their own service business (tattoo and piercing shop) we have had to replace one expensive chair because of an obese client. We didn’t make a fuss about it, but c’mon, man, you broke the chair. They’re not cheap!

    I don’t think the $5 charge is unfair. I certainly won’t be buying an expensive chair to hold up the very few obese customers that come in. It’s unaffordable to buy decent furniture that will withstand everyday wear and tear, let alone obese customers. Besides, “plus-size” clothes generally cost more anyway, and with good reason; they use more fabric. “Plus-size” chairs are unaffordable for most businesses, so I’m not opposed to the “plus-size” charge in order to get chairs fixed.

  39. somepoet says:

    I don’t see why a different chair couldn’t be brought over for overweight clients. This happened to me once. I went to see a masseuse and I asked her before coming what the weight limit was on her table. She said it held up to 500 lbs, and that was way over my weight! When I tried to make another appointment later, she said that she found out the manufacturer lied about how much weight it could support. I was embarrassed, but I can see why because a massage table can’t be easily replaced for someone working out of their home. But it seems like a nail salon would be full of other chairs to use.

  40. davidc says:

    I don’t see a problem with this. Nails and Hair (and other things) are service related. When it costs most to “service” a customer, they get charged more. Period. If it’s unpleasant to service the customer, they get charged more. If the service persons comes in on their day off, they get charged more.

    There are a whole host of reasons why “service” professions charge more for services and, as a whole, there don’t provide a “menu” of services and extra’s. Heck, a large majority of these “professions” rent their own space and charge whatever they want and the prices change from one customer to next.

    Pretty common practice … and there is really nothing wrong with this scenario. The person didn’t like the charge, got their money back, as was asked not to return. No Harm, No Foul.

  41. vonvand says:

    Did you see the butter hog customer – she is luck it was only 5 bucks.

    Lose some weight – quit complaining.

  42. MrBobo says:

    Maybe the generally tiny Asian salon workers are uncomfortable dealing with the morbidly obese.

  43. fairywench says:

    “‘then rise the cost of the manicure/pedicure/etc by five dollars for everyone.”

    WHAT?!?! Why the hell should I have to pay a surcharge because other people don’t exercise self control? And it’s not discrimination when it’s something the person has control over. People choose to be fat. You made the choice, you pay the price. I’m not paying for your bad decisions.

  44. khooray says:

    I had gastric bypass surgery and I’m now 143…down from 280 at 5’9″ tall. I’m a female, and let me tell you that when I was fat, I ate once a day and never lost anything.
    So your theory that it’s “simple math…calories in/calories burned” is BS.
    There are a million other things that factor in to affect how your body functions regarding weight and everything else it does.
    If everyone was meant to be skinny or ‘normal weight’, it wouldn’t be so hard to do….all we’d have to do is eat less.
    Ask the millions of people who’ve dieted just how much weight they’ve lost by watching calories.
    If it was that easy, we’d all be slim.

  45. khooray says:

    I had gastric bypass surgery and I’m now 143…down from 280 at 5’9″ tall. I’m a female, and let me tell you that when I was fat, I ate once a day and never lost anything.
    Now I’m so skinny it freaks me out when I look in the mirror.
    So your theory that it’s “simple math…calories in/calories burned” is BS.
    There are a million other things that factor in to affect how your body functions regarding weight and everything else it does.
    If everyone was meant to be skinny or ‘normal weight’, it wouldn’t be so hard to do….all we’d have to do is eat less.
    Ask the millions of people who’ve dieted just how much weight they’ve lost by watching calories.
    If it was that easy, we’d all be slim.

  46. BytheSea says:

    We don’t mind that you snipe news tips from Jezebel, but it would be classy and less ethically questionable if you actually credited your tip source. Considering you do this at least once a week. After all, they cite you when they bring over your stories, just like you both used to when you were part of the Gawker network.

  47. PupJet says:

    Seriously, a $2500 chair that can only handle a max load of 200 lbs? Somehow I SERIOUSLY doubt that. It seems they just want to rape people of more money. I could understand it if her nails were larger than average and therefore had to charge extra for product, but at least let them know.

  48. jojobreckinridge says:

    Why would you knowingly allow a client over the weight limit to get in the chair in the first place?

    Also, I call B.S. on the 200-lb. weight limit the salon owner claims. I did a little searching myself trying to see standard weight limits for these ubiquitous pedicure stations.

    In the process, Here’s a great article I found published on an industry blog. It was written in response to this story, and has some great tips for salon owners.

  49. giantspbpk says:

    No matter what you think about people being fat, the Salon is 100% in the wrong. Watch the video – the woman is not what would consider to be grossly overweight anyway – she’s not really fat, just a big woman. As is her right.

    I know the shop doesn’t have to serve any individual they don’t want to, but there are laws that they have to be ACCESSIBLE to all groups of people. If this shop is not able to handle large people, that’s an accessibility issue, and maybe ADA should get involved. In any event, a fee like this, at the very least, should be disclosed prior to service.