Big Scams in a Lousy Business (Part 1)

Part One, Consumer Alert

The founders and specialists of Lice Happens have treated thousands of clients battling head lice over the past several years.  Our in-home head lice treatment business is based on trust, which we’ve earned by focusing on educating our clients, calming their anxieties, and teaching them how to deal with the crisis.

Lately, we’ve seen the lice removal industry grow, with individuals and companies entering the market hoping to start a “recession proof” lice treatment business.  They also find a client base that is primarily made up of people who are in various states of emotional distress, who are looking for the quickest solution to an “icky” problem.

Unfortunately, this situation lends itself to scammers, and to a proliferation of undereducated lice removal providers who, out of ignorance or even malice, spread misinformation and strengthen myths rather than educating and empowering their clients.

This is the first in a 2-part series of blog posts dedicated to some red flags that may save you time, money and headaches when choosing an in-home lice treatment service.

We recommend that anyone considering hiring an in-home lice removal service be aware of these three PAYMENT red flags when choosing a lice treatment provider:

  1. The company gives you a total price over the phone before assessing the extent of the infestation on site. Ask for an hourly rate instead: a moderate infestation typically takes 1-1½ hours to treat, while those with very short hair can be treated in ½ hour. Severe infestations can add time to these estimates.
  2. The company requires a credit card and nonrefundable deposit to reserve an appointment. This limits your ability to cancel.  You should be able to change your mind within a timely manner, for any reason, without a financial sacrifice.
  3. Payment must be made in cash only. Most legitimate businesses are set up to accept whatever form of payment is most convenient for the client—cash, check or charge.  A cash-only business leaves you little recourse for unsatisfactory work, while making it easy for the business to disappear.