'So disrespectful.' Small business owners lose money after being duped by customers

Diane Wilson Image
Friday, May 19, 2023
Wake County business owner says they were duped by customers
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Wake County small business owners are speaking out about customer disputes that are costing them hundreds of dollars.

"Validate the ID, and credit card. Be vigilant."

Two Wake County small business owners are speaking out about customer disputes that are costing them hundreds of dollars, even after having proof the customers got what they paid for.

Tina Vora owner of salon and spa in Cary says, "I'm standing up for myself. I'm standing up for my staff." Vora is speaking out after a customer disputed getting more than $500.00 worth of hair services at her salon. "Like how can you be so disrespectful to the stylist to the salon to the small businesses that are struggling after Covid," she adds.

The customer, who Vora says has gotten her hair done at her salon before scheduled an appointment.

"There are some text reminders when you see she confirmed," she said.

Vora even has time-stamped video of the client arriving for her appointment at 4:25 p.m. "We did disclose these charges to this client it was not a surprise to her," Vora added. The customer had several services done to her hair. Vora says they went above and beyond for this customer.

"It took about five and a half hours and the stylist was here until 10 pm that night." Vora says the customer paid $543 for the service.

"You see the service amount and the tip amount and the time stamp. She was very happy. She even posed for social media," Vora said. The before and after transformations are still on the salon's Instagram page, and a week later, Vora got a dispute from the salon's payment processing center.

"I was very shocked. I tried reaching out to her, but no response."

Vora provided everything to prove the services were performed. "We have so much evidence, the camera recordings, the client checking in and checking out, taking the service, taking payments, and confirming their appointments and I was hopeful we will win at this time too, to my surprise we did not," Vora said.

ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson got in touch with the payment processing center, who said once a dispute is finalized and can't be overturned.

"My heart sank."

This also happened to Elisa McLean who owns Flavors Ice Cream in Raleigh.

"They got the product. I sold them the product." A customer bought an e-gift card on the Flavors Ice Cream website. That same day, McLean says she has a video of a customer using that gift card and then returning several times that week, leaving only 26 cents on the card.

Then about a week later McLean says, "There's a dispute for a credit card that was used to pay for e-card online."

McLean says she sent in the proof she has to prove the customer got the product but eventually got this notice that she lost.

"My heart sank because I was like is that $50.00 I won't have in my account? That $50 may seem small to some, but to a small business like this--it hurts."

"Small business owners just have to be careful, not everyone has our best interest at heart"

Both of these owners say, despite taking several steps already, they're now taking extra steps to protect themselves even further from credit card disputes when it doesn't involve a reported stolen credit card.

When it comes to Tina Vora the salon owner, she's taking the customer to small claims court to try and recoup her more than five hundred dollars for the salon services performed.

"I definitely want to warn all of the business owners to validate the ID, and credit card and be vigilant of clients like these," she stresses.

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