A hairy quest

  • Last week of January I saw a promotion at an Aesthetician Doctor's office for hair laser removal. It was three armpit sessions for $2400.

    I had already a consultation there two years ago, but the Doctor (owner of the office) said that since I have reddish hair, no laser treatment is truly effective.

    I appreciated her honestly since I had already spent wasted a considerable amount of money on IPL and laser treatments both in Italy and in Argentina and nobody ever told me so.

    In fact, I went there last January for armpit hair removal, since it was growing back after two years from my initial treatment. I am aware it may not be effective at all, or not as effective on other skin/hair types, but there is really nothing like laser, anyway.

    I explained over FB Messenger that I had already been there two years before, and that I was aware it may not work at all with my skin/hair type. They decided to let me do a trial session one ONE armpit, to see if it was effective.

    I went there on Jan 28 and I got the treatment on my right armpit. I had to report back in 15 days. During that consultation, I was asked where I wanted to receive treatment to prepare a cost estimate. I told the doctor (not the office owner, another lady doctor working there) that I was interested in doing chin, mustache and armpits. The quote I was given was $9,000 and it was valid for 15 days. She also explained that they are not doing face treatment during summer because the sun is too strong. Okay - I thought I could pay now and do the face sessions later, taking advantage of the offer.


    After 13 days, since no hair was growing on my right armpit, I called to report back but nobody answered. So I wrote to their FB Messenger that the trial session was effective and I wanted to buy the treatment for $9,000. The person replying to Messenger mechanically replied that they do not offer face treatment this time of the year. I sent them a picture of the cost estimate, listing 'axila+bozo+mentón' and after two days they replied that 'hubo un malentendido'. I asked if I could buy the package now, start with the armpits sessions and later do the face and I was told okay.

    So, today I go in for my first session, $9,000 in hand freshly exchanged just to buy this package. I wanted to pay and the receptionist told me to wait because 'I am not sure we're letting you pay for anything but armpits'. I was confused because we had exchanged messages two days ago agreeing on paying $9,000...

    I went in for my session. I get a third doctor this time. Again, she asks me if I was made aware that laser removal may not work at all on red hairs. I told her 'yes', and that I already did some laser treatment in the past, and albeit it was not as effective as on dark haired people, it was somewhat effective, and there was no real alternative to laser, anyway.

    The session is over and I head to the counter to pay. And they say I can't buy the $9,000 pack because they don't treat the face in summer. I said 'But we agreed the other day that I was going to pay everything now and do the sessions later' to which the doctor said 'I can't let you pay now for a service we are providing later'. I was confused because these packs are for one session per month, so the pack I am buying now is actually for services that are provided months later...

    She also went on to say that's it's really wasted money on fine blonde/reddish hair, and that I could be not effective at all. Thanks for lecturing me on how to spend my money...

    Anyway, I thought: they don't want my money? Fine. I asked: 'Do you mean that I am going to buy the armpit package now and I will have to buy a face package later?'. 'Exactly' happily replies the doctor.

    But... surprise! The armpit package is now $3200. I told her 'But I came in to buy the $2400 promotional price in January... look: this is the quote you emailed me in January!".

    the receptionist said 'exactly, that was a January promo price, now we are in February'.

    I scoffed and paid anyway, but I asked for a receipt for the sessions I paid, to keep track of them. I was given a card with the date of the next session (that I had just added on my phone anyway). Are you f***ing kiddin' me?!


    The only reason I paid is because that laser technology is quite scarce in Argentina and that's the closest doctor's office that is equipped with it.

    But seriously, are these people for real? And this is a top notch aesthetic doctor of Buenos Aires in Recoleta.

  • Indeed, UK Man! Despite hand-picking what seems to be the best and with a broader view of business, you always end up dealing with the bottom chain, who is inevitably product of the local society.

    Personally, I loathed that they made fun of my accent during my trial session. I was standing right in front of them.

  • Made fun of your accent? A paying customer? Outrageous.

    I wish you had asked if they preferred that you speak to them in Italian or in English.

    Yeah, they were giggling. But sometimes my communication issues are not merely a question of language but real communication issue. What seems important or critical to me, is completely non relevant to Argentinians, so when I try to make myself understood, there are usually two issues: I use too difficult words and I use a too difficult reasoning.

  • Yeah, they were giggling. But sometimes my communication issues are not merely a question of language but real communication issue. What seems important or critical to me, is completely non relevant to Argentinians, so when I try to make myself understood, there are usually two issues: I use too difficult words and I use a too difficult reasoning.

    Sounds like some of the conversations my Wife and I have!!!!!

  • Inflation and devaluation have given unscrupulous Argentines carte blanche to charge what they want and to increase prices arbitrarily with bare-faced shamelessness.

    It's like a beggar complaining that the food you just gave them isn't up to standard or the $50 you just tossed into their grubby hand isn't an acceptable amount.

    It beggars belief, quite frankly, but taking the piss out of someone's accent like that is beyond the pale. In what way were they doing that serafina ?

  • In what way were they doing that serafina ?

    I was at the reception, standing in front of the counter, while on the other side there was the receptionist and behind her another girl fiddling with a mobile phone in her hand. They were looking at each other and giggling, while I was talking. I am not annoyed at the mobile phone because many businesses use whatsapp to communicate with their clients, but I was annoyed at the giggling... because I was right in front of them.

    I asked to repeat a couple of sentences, and the receptionist repeated them without the minimum effort to sound more clear. Porteño Spanish can be quite hard to understand if spoken with a slur. There are some people I understand 100%, but some are hard to follow because the sounds blends into each others too much.

    I wouldn't be that pissed if it was in a bakery or another shop, but since we were at a posh doctor office, it was quite inappropriate.

    What really puts me off is that there are people who understand 100% of what I say and I understand 100% of what they say, and there are people that seem they cannot understand a single word of what I utter, and I cannot understand them. The frustrating bit is that this can happen even in totally ordinary situations that I have faced many times, where I am trying to say very basic things (like ordering bread in a bakery) or to understand very basic questions.

    I also don't like when people brutally ask where I am from after we have exchanged messages and meet in person, like they've been scammed because they didn't imagine I was a foreigner by my written Spanish. I feel like a freak when they cut in what I am saying just to ask where I am from. I don't mind if they eventually ask, but I don't like it to be the second sentence they say to me. I perceive it as pretty aggressive.