Nail salon bills heavy customers more because of the risk of broken chairs - is this reasonable?

Given the weight range of women is 200 lbs a rational weight limit for nail salon pedicure chairs?

Re this article Weighty issue: Georgia woman ‘humiliated’ by surcharge for broken chairs - Nail salon charges her $5 extra for being overweightI was surprised by the weight limit of 200 lbs for a professional pedicure chair.

I estimate At least 10% of the women I see or walk by daily are at, or above, this weight range. You’d think they’d have a more robust chair for $ 2500.

$2,500 is what the repairs to the chairs cost, so I’d imagine that the chairs themselves cost quite a bit more. And yes, I would think that the chairs would be a bit sturdier if they cost more than $2,500.

I think that salon owner just bought herself a whole heaping helping of very bad publicity. Even women who weigh less than 200 lbs might be wary of going to her salon, because she might misjudge their weight (and who wants to step on a scale in public?), and she’s probably going to charge other little fees, if she thinks she can get away with it.

How flimsy are these matchstick chairs that the salon is using? You’d think they’d get a normal chair that can support a few hundred pounds

What do they charge a 200 pound man or someone who looks like they weigh 180 but really weighs 205? Do they weigh people before the pedicure?

I think it’s ridiculous. Either get a sturdier chair or buy some sort of chair insurance and charge everyone an extra few cents. The 200 pound limit is pretty low. I can see asking someone who weighs a lot more, like over 300 pounds, to sit in a different chair but that’s all.

I wonder if it’s the chair itself that breaks or some sort of motorized feature. For heavier clients they could arrange to not have to use a motor when the person is in the chair.

I went to the barber the other day, same guy I always use, and they had new chairs. When I stepped in (they have footrests on barber chairs) the while assembly noticeably leaned forward. Sitting in the chair I felt like I was going to be pitched out the whole time. The barber noticed my look and commented that the chairs were from China and they had to put support under the footrest to keep it from leaning but then couldn’t rotate the chair. He wanted the rotation.

Maybe cheap chairs have driven quality chairs out of business? Or maybe businesses are saving a few bucks and blaming it on the Chinese, I don’t know. I am just over 200 pounds BTW and I would have left if he had tried to charge me extra because of his crappy chair.

Ah, so it’s really a £ of prevention that’s worth announcing for manicures.

It sounds like crap to me, too, for all the reasons listed. 200 pounds is a ridiculously low weight limit in North America where a large percentage of women and huge percentage of men will be over it.

One more reason I will never get a manicure or pedicure.

This appears to be the chair in the video. If it is, $2500 would be about the replacement cost after tax. Unfortunately I can’t find a weight capacity and the manufacturer’s website is junk (and at least one page caught the attention of my virus scanner).

ETA, the link isn’t to the manufacturer. The manufacturer of that chair I linked to is Pro Spa. Pro Spa is the website I was having problems with.

I weigh over 200 lbs and get pedicures on the regular-- even in the ghettoest of nail salons, the spa tubs for pedicures are some hardcore machinery. To be honest, you’d have to weigh a lot more than 200 lbs to break those (or maybe be 200 and fling yourself at it at full speed).

Truthfully, this is the type of thing that should be built into the price of the pedicure for all people, because wear on the salon supplies is a normal, predictable expense. The fact is, if 65% of Americans are obese and obese people wear your chairs more, you need to factor that into your original pricing. If you know the chair’s life is X years, you break the replacement cost down and up the price of every pedicure by a dollar or two.

As someone else said: do they charge men that weigh over 200 lbs more? Doubt it. What about someone whose weight is distributed differently (when I weighed about 205 lbs, no one believed me- everybody thought I was 170 tops)? Bullshit, pure and simple.

**Edit:**Looking at Joey P’s link, my ass has been in many a chair like that one (perhaps even that exact one) and even at well over 200 lbs, there wasn’t an inkling of a wobble from the chair.

200 lbs. is obese for anyone under 5’9" and overweight for people under 6"3’. I’m kind of surprised that it’s being considered such a “normal” weight- 200 lbs. is pretty darn big for just about any woman. If they buy more expensive chairs, that cost is going to be passed on to the customers. Why should I subsidize your bariatric equipment?

It isn’t ‘normal’ in the sense of where it falls on the health scale, but it most certainly is ‘normal’ in that it is regular for most Americans. Remember, 65% of Americans are obese (some say more than that), so a majority of Americans are creeping up toward that 200 or well over it.

Sort of like how a size 14 is the average size for an American woman. Is that a healthy weight/size? Maybe, maybe not- most women who are a size 14 are overweight medically, though. Even though it isn’t the job of a salon to dictate what’s healthy weight wise, it is in their best interest to monitor the needs of their clients. If most of their clients are overweight (and since most Americans are. . .), well, there ya go.

A business who doesn’t factor in the needs of their clientèle is a business who is not going to do well in the long run. Particularly a spa/beauty business, whose #1 job is to make their customers feel comfortable.

LOL. Bariatric equipment? C’mon now. And you’re missing the point, as Diosa pointed out. Also, even if the majority of your clients are under 200 lbs, why would you get such a flimsy chair anyway? You want to have a big (heh heh) cushion, weight-capability-wise, for those who do come in and are overweight, or those who have kids with them and said kids hang off of the arms, etc.

What happens to the lady who weights 170, but has a 40 lb kid hanging on her. IS there going to be a “kid” fee, too? What about the lady who used to be obese, but lost the weight… but thinks she still looks fat? She’s not going to go there for fear that the lady is going to misjudge her? Or the pregnant lady who isn’t over 200, but looks like she might be?

Geez, that nail salon owner is a real jerk.

I think maybe it’s the whole thing of not wanting to fight with every fat customer over how big they are exactly. In other words, women who weigh 200-250 probably aren’t harrassed, but when someone wobbles in at 400+, the owner has some concrete number to point to that justifies the extra cost, and that number is ‘200’.

Once I went into a Cheesecake Factory restaurant, and I had to admit that the wicker chair stool that I was in was in danger of some damage. I had to admit that to myself and request a booth. I am sure that restaurant has had some damage to those chairs that they wish they could charge the culprits for.

ETA: some would say, I could have chosen to just not have the cheesecake, but…come on. It’s cheesecake.

I know plenty of guys, Mr. Levins among them, who weigh more than 200 lbs. I also have a morbidly obese friend whom I’ve gone numerous places with…he’s never broken a chair anywhere.

This is the goofiest thing I’ve ever heard. Chairs don’t know the gender of the person sitting in them, and if you’re a guy and you’re over 6 feet tall, you may easily weigh 200 lbs or more. The idea that chairs are even made for people under 200 lbs only, and that people over that weight should be held liable (and/or charged extra) is patently absurd.

65% of Americans aren’t obese, that’s higher than the combined number of overweight and obese people. 1/4th of people are obese, not 2/3rds.

I just can’t see how 200 pounds (or 300 pounds even ) would break the chair in question.

And lulzy haw haw on something over 200 pounds being bariatric equipment. Holy crap, that is funny

I could see if they charged the person who actually BROKE the chair the cost to fix it – that would be only fair. But in this case, I would think it would be better just to raise the price in general and avoid the negative publicity. (How dumb are these people?)

Cheesecake Factory? The national shrine to gluttony has inadequate chairs!?