Furious customer shocked at salon upcharge for ‘special needs’ children | UK | News

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A salon has issued an apology after a furious customer shared its “disgusting” prices that appear to charge extra for children with special needs. Customer Leanne Caffrey, from Sutton, London, shared a picture on Facebook showing the salon’s price chart after taking her own children for a haircut.

The caption said: “I never out small businesses. But this has made me really cross.” The price list separated girls and boys services, with a cut and style for a boy under 10-years-old costing £12. But just further down the list is a cut for “special needs boys” under 15-years-old costing £17.

Rayna Unisex Salon in Wrythe Lane, Sutton, has since issued an apology after the post caused uproar from an array of parents. In a statement issued on social media, the salon sought to explain further why those prices were on the wall.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, the owner clarified that the salon has been in business for 17 years, adding: “The idea was to show that we can give special needs children extra time and attention that they need.”

The unnamed owner added: “My apologies to everyone this is a total misunderstanding on my behalf, please allow me to explain what i mean by this. I treat all adults and children the same. I don’t discriminate any children or adults that have learning difficulties and disabilities.

“The prices sign shown in the picture has been in the shop for a long time and I can assure you we haven’t charged any special needs children that price.

“However sometimes we do charge an additional £2 just to help towards costs, due to [the] length of time that it can take for me to cut hair as this can vary from child to adult but nothing to do with any disability and is communicated at the time.

“We are very trained to deal with disabilities and try and make we try our best to make having a hair cut a happy place for everyone. I’m saddened by the way this has been taken, me personally and my staff have always done our best to be strong members of the community and we love to speak with you all on your visits. Thank you for highlighting this, we will remove that pricing from our board and I’m so sorry for the misunderstanding.”

But the apology has been ridiculed by some, with one person writing: “If you are charging extra to someone with a disability it doesn’t matter if its £1 or £2. It is discrimination which is against the law.”

Another wrote: “As a trained progessional SEND specialist – this goes against many laws such as Equality act 2010, which is lots of acts a main one being disability into one. A person does not need to disclose a disability legally, what if they didn’t declare their disability? Would you presume it’s a disability?”

A third added: “What if it doesn’t take longer despite a child having additional needs? Do you still charge extra? I really think you need to be fully inclusive and charge the same rate regardless.”

A review from May 2023 further highlighted the issue, with one mother condemning the salon for a “traumatising” haircut her autistic son had.

She wrote: “Please do not go to this hairdresser he is awful to autistic children. I was told to never bring my child back again in front of my son which caused him to have a meltdown.”

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