PJ’s Hairdressing Group opened Krazy Kids salon in Somerset’s Puxton Park only last week, on Monday, December 7, but there was an instantaneous backlash when the booking page for the Weston super Mare venue read that if your child has special needs or additional needs they need to book additional time so they can give their full attention to the child – online prices also seemed to show an additional £5 charge for those children.
And after a succession of complaints the children’s hairdressers is now moving away from the park, even though it claims the pricing was a misunderstanding.
Jess Walker, a North Somerset mother whose son has autism, said she was furious and resentful and she told the BBC that she rang the shop and enquired about an appointment.
The woman on the phone explained that they charge £14 but that there could be an extra charge of £5 if it took longer because of her son’s condition and she said that it made her furious and upset that her son was growing up in a world where his special needs are still seen as a burden and something to be exploited.
Director of Krazy Kids hairdressers, Lizzy Tucker said she was horrified by the reaction and that labelling the additional charge was a misunderstanding and that it was never their intention or policy to charge those that needed special assistance.
But she said that through their online booking on their website additional time could be requested if needed, but that this was not chargeable for those with special needs and that this was a misunderstanding as a result of a badly worded flyer that’s now snowballed into a social media shower and that she’d decided to remove her business from Puxton Park.
Lizzy Tucker added the controversial content had been removed from the website and new flyers would be printed.
But Fazilet Hadi, head of policy and research at Disability Rights UK said that the Equality Act is clear and that proper adjustments must be made by businesses for disabled people – this would also involve additional time being needed as an adaption for a disabled person.
Puxton Park has insisted that although the salon was situated on their grounds in Hewish, they had no say in the pricing advertised by PJ’s Hairdressing Group, which is based in Bristol.
A statement on Facebook said that if people had any comments, queries or concerns about PJ’s Krazy Kids Hairdressing that people please direct them to PJ’s Hairdressing Group and not Puxton Park.
The rate should reflect all customers requirements, one rate for all because how would you like it if you had a disabled child and had to spend more than an able-bodied child?
It’s immoral and it’s disgraceful. What will it be next? Demanding wheelchair users pay extra fare on the bus. This is just opening a can of worms if this sort of thing is being allowed to happen.
PJ’s Hairdressing Group have only got themselves to blame because when they came up with the idea and pricing they must have realised that this would generate a lot of outrage amongst their clients.
They should have weighed up the actual costs, the occasional hair cut that takes a while longer and they must have realised that they would irritate the locals with their discrimination.
Generally, an autistic or aspie adult would sidestep the hairdressers due to the environment, but they certainly wouldn’t expect the business to be discriminatory.
Hairdressers and other places alike should have a bit of give-and-take for someone who has these kinds of sensory needs and it’s disgusting that they’re inclined to charge extra and a hairdresser shouldn’t be taking on a challenging child unless they’re qualified to do so and to charge extra for just a bit of patience, understanding and kindness is insulting.