How Important Are They?
There has been a fair bit of talk about Client Consultation Cards/Waivers in a number of Facebook groups of late and I thought I would give my opinion on them.
Do I think that Client Consultation Cards/Waivers are important? Yes
Do you need to make sure you are completing them for each client on their first visit? Yes
If anything changes from their initial client consultation ie. They become pregnant or anything else changes with regards to their circumstances… do you need to get them to sign an updated Client Consultation card/Waiver? Yes
Do you need to have insurance for your business? Yes
If you have insurance and aren’t using Client Consultation Cards/Waivers you are potentially leaving yourself open to not being covered if a claim occurs.
The reason for the Client Consultation Cards/Waivers is not to potentially stop any lawsuit from happening directly from the client to you, because honestly … there is nothing that they can really sue you for that wouldn’t be covered on that card by your insurance company. Your insurance company should be looking after anything in that kind of situation… You are providing a service and that service is covered by your Insurance Company, and that’s what you pay your Insurance Company for.
Consultation cards/Waivers cover you for everything to do with the application process and anything that happens after the spray tan solution has been applied to the skin. This is why it is so important to make sure that you are covered with Insurance.
If you are insured you are covered for anything to do with your service… from before their spray tan, during their spray tan and after their spray tan (if an allergic reaction occurs)... but... you have to remember that you need to make sure that you are getting your clients to fill out their Consultation Card/Waiver on their first visit... because the insurance company will ask for these and any other paperwork you have if/when a potential claim happens...
If you don't have signed consultation cards/waivers, it is likely that the insurance company might not be able to cover you for that particular claim, especially if you have indicated to your insurance company that you get your clients to fill them out when you first applied for your insurance cover. A lot of insurance companies insist that you do client consultation forms/waivers so if you aren't using them when you stated that you do, this could lead to trouble down the track if an insurance claim needs to be made. Some insurance companies can or will cancel your insurance policy all together should you do differently what you have stated when filling out your forms.
Some of the important things that you need to make sure are on the consultation card, that have been missing from the ones I have seen online in groups lately are:
Asking if the client is pregnant or breastfeeding
Asking if the client has consulted their doctor prior and/or got their doctors permission to have a spray tan.
Are they providing written documentation from their doctor stating that they have permission from their doctor to get a spray tan?
If they don’t have written documentation from their doctor did they receive verbal permission to get a spray tan.
Are they over 12 weeks pregnant?
The above is important to make sure that you are covered. You need to make sure that you are doing this as a caution in case anything happens down the track with their pregnancy and/or baby.
Grief can do a lot to a person, and the last thing you would want is a grieving mother coming at you stating that it was your fault and/or your solutions fault for something happening... when that might not be the case.
It would be extremely rare for this to occur but you need to make sure that you are backing up your business and service by getting them to have permission from their doctor to get a spray tan. You need to make sure that you are covered for every possible scenario… even if there is only an extremely small chance of it happening.
I don’t spray tan clients who are under 12 weeks pregnant and only spray tan those clients who have got their doctors written permission. If they tell me on the phone when booking in their appointment that they are pregnant, I ask them to get their doctors approval prior to their appointment. If their doctor doesn’t want them to be spray tanned, then unfortunately I can’t spray tan them.
Obviously I also tell them that there is no written documentation stating that spray tanning is dangerous for them or their unborn baby, but every doctor has a differing opinion when it comes to pregnancy and spray tanning, and I like to abide by what their doctor says, not what I say is right or wrong to do.
Another thing to make sure that you are including on your Consultation Cards/Waivers are the questions:
Have you used a solarium before?
If so, please give details ie. How often?, How many years?, Have they used tan accelerators?
It is very important to make sure that you ask this question and they answer. Reason being is if down the track, for some strange reason, it comes out that spray tans can or have potentially caused cancer you need to make sure you are covered?
You ask how am I covered by asking this question?
Well.. If they have previously used a solarium, and have used a solarium on a regular basis, or even just once, there is another probable cause for them potentially getting cancer, so the liability is lifted from you directly/solely. They cannot sue you directly for anything or put in an insurance claim because they cannot prove 100% that it has come from spray tanning alone.
It’s a clever way of removing full blame from you and your business.
Other questions you should be asking are:
Have they exfoliated and with which product?
When did they exfoliate?
They should be following the correct pre-tan prep procedure, which means exfoliating the day prior to their appointment, and a light exfoliation with water only the morning of their appointment (if more than 3 hours prior to their appointment time).
The reason why you ask what type of product is because over the counter products that are purchased in supermarkets and similar places can potentially send the tan orange due to the harsh ingredients in the products.
What body wash do they use?
Did they use any body wash the day of their appointment? If so, when?
Body washes being used the day of the appointment can cause a barrier to be placed on the skin and stop the tan from potentially developing properly… they can also elevate the pH levels of the skin which can cause the tan to develop lighter and/or orange.
Have they showered within 3 hours of their appointment? If so, what time?
Clients should not shower within 3 hour of their appointment time slot to ensure that their skin is in perfect condition for their spray tan appointment. Showering right before an appointment is a huge no-no, due to skin temperature being elevated, skin being clammy, potentially containing water (so nothing else will absorb in), and pH levels rising (yes even showering with just water can elevate the pH levels of your skin due to the waters pH being between 7 and 8).
What moisturiser do they use?
Have they used any moisturiser the day of their appointment? If so, when?
Using moisturiser on their skin the day of their appointment can put a barrier on the skin causing the tan to develop lighter and/or streaky… It can also potentially turn the tan golden or orange due to the high pH level of the product.
What shampoo and conditioner do they use?
Have they washed their hair the day of their appointment? If so when?
Washing their hair prior to an appointment is a huge no-no, and is known to affect the outcome of the spray tan, potentially blocking the tan and leaving “reverse drip marks” on their body where the product has dripped down and hasn’t been washed off properly.
If clients are going to wash their hair the same day as their appointment they should not do so within 3 hours of their appointment time slot and they should also give themselves a light exfoliation afterwards (with water only) to ensure that no product is left on the skin. Product build-up mainly happens around the shoulder and lower back area where the hair can sit directly on the clients skin, and drip down the body in these areas. Client need to be super careful when it comes to washing their hair the same day as their spray tan appointment.
As you can see from the above it is very important to ask these questions, especially if you are guaranteeing your spray tan services, so you need to make sure you are asking the appropriate questions, not only in case a client needs to put forward an insurance claim, but also to ensure that your clients have followed the correct pre-tan prep to get the best results possible.
I think Client Consultation Cards/Waivers are not looked at as being as important as they actually are… so if you aren’t using them currently, I would look at getting one made up and using them as soon as possible.
This topic and many more are covered in our upcoming and very soon to be released online Standard Spray Tanning Course.
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