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Jane T (LLC)
Jane T (LLC), Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 8435
Experience:  Work and studies in privacy, lending, credit, and general consumer issues
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Hello, here is a question I have not seen...The hair salon

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Hello, here is a question I have not seen...The hair salon that I have been going to for 4 years apparently hired a stylist last year who had a non-compete with her old salon. I had visited that said salon approximately 8 years ago for one visit (and not with this stylist). The salon was sued and told they cannot service any customers from this other salon, even if this girl was not my stylist then, and is not my stylist now...I am being told I cannot be a customer of my current salon! My question is, what right does this other salon have to tell me where I can and cannot go?? I never signed a contract with them, and was a customer of my current salon long before this girl was even hired there. What rights to I have as a consumer to choose where I wish to spend my money? Thank you for your help.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Jane T (LLC) replied 5 years ago.



Certainly a non-compete contract is only between the company and employee who sign the contract. However, the purpose of such a contract is to prevent another business from gaining the past clients and services of the salon/employee who agreed to non-compete. You indicate that there was a lawsuit between the "old salon" (the one you say you only went to over 8 years ago only once) and the "new salon" (the one you currently go to). You indicate that the court judgment says that the new salon cannot see any clients from the past salon.


If the new salon has told you they cannot see you because of this judgment (which is what it seems you are saying) then it is not the other salon controlling or preventing a client such as you, but it may just be the new salon's way of avoiding any further litigation. Based on what you describe has been your salon experience it may be that the new salon can make a good case that the judgment may not apply to you, but whether they want to spend the time or money necessary to reach such an agreement with the old salon or go through court to fine tune who is or who is not a former client at the old salon is up to them. The effect may be that the new salon denies serving any person who may lead to future litigation, and a business can deny service to anyone. It may feel as if the non-compete contract is at fault, but it may just be a business decision due to the desire to avoid future litigation and the new salon's choice.


It may be possible for you to get more information to see if there is any clear definition of who is or is not considered a client of the old salon from your new salon. Normally court judgments or such settlements should provide clear definitions of who such a decision applies to. Also, sometimes employees in a business may not fully understand what they need to do to adhere to a court judgment or law, so you may want to see if the management or owners can help you better understand what they mean.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your answer, and I need to clarify a few things. I am close friends with the owners of the current salon.(salon A) They had signed an agreement with the former salon, (salon B) to not service any of the stylists customers. They were then sued for contempt, and realized the agreement read they cannot service ANY customers during the time she worked there, even if they were not her customers. (It seems their attorney failed to see the wording this way, although the judge did hold them in contempt over 5 additional customers) They have to send in a copy of their appointment book every month to salon B , which is where they have now obtained MY name, and they are being sued for contempt once again. (I actually saw the list of names they had) Salon A does NOT want to lose me as a client, and we are trying to find a way to prevent that from happening. (they have even offered to do my hair for free until this is all over) I just feel this is ridiculous and wanted to know what can I do legally as a consumer to go where I wish? thank you.
Expert:  Jane T (LLC) replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information.


As your added information indicates, there is a difference of opinion on who or what is meant by any contract term. That, sadly, is more common than it should be in contracts.


It seems from what you describe that the old salon B (to use your names) is claiming that a person who visited their salon B once, some eight years ago, and who has not returned since and has been a client of salon A well before the stylist who used to work for salon B started working for salon A still counts as a Salon B client. Certainly, as a consumer you may want to try to file your own suit for a declaratory judgment that indicates seeing a salon once does not make a person a client subject to the contract - but that would be at your cost, of course. It may also be possible for you to join a current action, such as the one for contempt, so you can speak at court as to your own situation. That, of course, will need to be discussed with salon A's attorney. Without the language used in the contract or in the court decisions, however, it is difficult to provide any other information.


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the information, one last question...would myself and other customers be able to file some sort of suit or complaint against salon B? It seems like this is a very abusive situation, as they have numerous locations, and salon A is a very small business...
Expert:  Jane T (LLC) replied 5 years ago.



That is a trickier question. A non-compete is contract between only two parties, and both of them freely enter into the agreement. That its effects will be felt by others is not the purpose of the agreement, so while you present a clear situation in which your personal interests are affected, that alone may not be enough to do away with a type of agreement which courts have routinely found fair and legal for general purposes. Other than the direct actions I explained above I am not aware of any consumer protection ways to work through such effects, for, if they existed then the value of such contracts would be weakened. You may, however, speak with your state's Bureau of Consumer Protection, here, to see if your state offers some specific consumer protection laws to assist.



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