Christmas Promotional Gift Card RIP-OFF

Massage Envy recently opened in Duluth, MN in Fall of 2014. They had regular live radio spots on local radio stations promoting a special deal just before Christmas.
The message went something like this:
“Give FREE massages for Christmas! Buy 3 Massage Gift Cards for $150, and get a FREE one for yourself. You can give 3 massages to one person, or give a free massage to 3 people, PLUS get a certificate for a free massage you can either use yourself or give away too. And the gratuities are included in each gift card!”
I bought this deal for my wife as a Christmas gift. The cards have no $$$ value amount mentioned either on front or back, just says “Merry Massage, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, etc.” on the front. The cards have no expiration date, but the paper certificate was good for only 3 months (exp. March). She used the paper cert. first and left a tip since it wasn’t one of the cards. When she approached the checkout counter, she was advised that she qualified for an extra 1/2 hour on her next visit. Then the high pressure sales pitch for the regular membership began, but my wife declined it. She reported to me that she loved the massage and was looking forward to the next visit.
After a few weeks, my wife decided to go for her second visit yesterday. Types of massages were offered, she chose the “deep tissue” massage, no extra charges were disclosed. After the fine, relaxing session, she left a tip in the provided envelope for the therapist (despite inclusion in the gift card), then went to check out where she was presented with a $149 bill.
My wife handed the clerk one of the gift cards, where the clerk rang it up and informed my wife she owed a balance of $99. My wife said the certificate was for a “FREE” massage. The clerk then proceeded to “explain” that the offer was “introductory” and she had already been there before, so now the card was only good for $50 off, but she could apply her “points” earned from the last visit (previously described as “Free Extra 1/2 Hour”) towards her bill leaving her with a $77 balance). My wife, getting annoyed and upset, then asked if she could apply a second gift card. The clerk accepted it and charged my wife $27 in addition to the 2 “FREE massage” cards. She reluctantly paid the $27, and the clerk had the gall to ask, “Don’t you want to add a gratuity?” My wife informed her she already tipped the therapist in the room.
Now after all this with my wife already very upset, the clerk proceeds with the schpeil about buying a membership, not wanting to accept “No” for an answer, and saying “Just think how great you feel right now!”
On the contrary, the clerk was being very pushy at the point of becoming rude, making my wife very uncomfortable before finally walking out the door.
There’s one card left that will likely not get used now. I feel ripped off by purchasing these gift cards as they are certainly not good for what they were advertised being good for, and I feel bad my wife had to have this type of experience that I gifted her with. She also feels taken for having to pay for something she believed she was getting as a free gift from me (plus having to surrender an extra one of those freebies).
They make you feel physically great, then follow it up with making you emotionally stressed and ripping you off.

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  • Patrickwinz

    If people could just come in anytime they wanted and get the membership rate then it wouldn’t be beneficial to have a membership. Your allowed to have the membership rate once every 6 months ( twice a year) but anymore then that you have to pay the non member rate. It’s on the price list on the wall in every massage envy. The correct verbiage should have been give 1 gift card to 3 family or friends as gifts and keep the free one for yourself.