Bay Area salon confused why booking app 'ClassPass Concierge' lists business without consent

"Those kinds of appointments don't exist at all." Booking app response down below

Liz Kreutz Image
ByLiz Kreutz KGO logo
Thursday, October 14, 2021
Bay Area business upset with appointment booking app
EMBED <>More Videos

The owners of Pursuit Salon in Los Altos say a booking app listed their business with no actual appointments available.

LOS ALTOS, Calif. (KGO) -- The owners of Pursuit Salon in Los Altos say they had an unusual encounter with a client this week who came in saying she had an appointment even though they had no record of it.

"Someone came in and said they had an appointment booked on ClassPass," Claire Sternberg, one of the owners of Pursuit Salon, told ABC7 News. "I told her we didn't have ClassPass."

The woman had used ClassPass Concierge, a beta program that allows members to book beauty services at local businesses. It's an expansion of the more well-known ClassPass app for fitness classes and gyms.

The problem for Sternberg and her co-owners? They had never heard of ClassPass Concierge and never consented to having their business on it.

"We did have a profile that ClassPass actually made for us," co-owner Whitney Ratigan said. "They took some lingo from our website, and then took photos from our website, and then uploaded some stock images that we didn't even do the hair for. So, it was kind of alarming."

Their profile on ClassPass also showed they had several openings for appointments that were not actually available.

RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: FTC shuts down Beam mobile banking app, CEO calls decision unjust

"She showed me the app and it showed tons of lists of times for available cuts and color," Sternberg said. "Those kinds of appointments don't exist at all."

A spokesperson for ClassPass told ABC7 News that they do list businesses who have not yet agreed to partner with them. They said the way the platform works is that a ClassPass member can book a beauty service on the platform with a local business. ClassPass will then call that business to confirm if the appointment is available. Depending on the response, ClassPass will then follow-up with the member to confirm or deny the appointment.

ClassPass said they did call Pursuit Salon to confirm the appointment and that they were told there was no availability. They said they then contacted the client to let her know. But Sternberg and Ratigan said they never got a call and that the woman who showed up said she had confirmation of the appointment.

The woman was so upset, they ultimately offered her a free treatment. It turns out the woman had been a client there before, and after only recently reopening after the pandemic lockdown, they want to retain all of their clients.

RELATED: How to save money when you book a hotel

"Our treatments run $55 to $95, and we're more than willing to give them away to her to make her happy," Ratigan said, "But ClassPass should be doing that. She showed up through something we didn't even know about."

Per their request, ClassPass has since removed Pursuit Salon, along with another nearby salon owned by their friend, from their platform.

A spokesperson also said ClassPass does not make any revenue off concierge services.

"They are a way for us to offer additional services to our members and help to discover local businesses," the spokesperson said.

RELATED: Outdoor dining, hair salons among businesses allowed to reopen in San Francisco

The Pursuit Salon owners understand that but said the platform should get permission from business owners first.

"It's like DoorDash signing a restaurant up and asking for food delivery that's not available, you know?" Sternberg said. "It doesn't make sense to us."

They hope sharing their experience will bring awareness to other small business owners.

"Check and see if you're on there," Ratigan advised.

"If it works for you, then you can sign up," Sternberg added. "But if it doesn't work then you should probably get off it because you don't want to be in these situations where people come in upset with you."