The Real Deal on Massage Deals
When the lady on the phone told me a couple years ago that they'd bring HUNDREDS of new clients through my doors, I knew instantly it was a bad idea. If I never see more than 20 clients a week, then it was going to take me a long time to work on every person who bought a deal. And what about you, my regular clients? I'd have no time for you, the quality of my sessions would surely decrease, and I'd be exhausted & underpaid. Here's the first blog I wrote on why I'd never sell out to Groupon.
Deal sites like Groupon, Living Social, Deal Chicken, ect. call me almost weekly. Now, even Amazon has their own version of daily deals, as one appeared in my inbox yesterday for a $35 massage here in Rochester.
In New York State, massage therapy is regulated by the Office of The Professions. This board regulates physicians, nurses, chiropractors, social workers, dentists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, accountants, pharmacists, midwives, and more. The state recognized that these professions need to have a standard for entry as well as a standard for continuing education as a means to protect the public using their services.
The Office of The Professions makes it clear that fee splitting is illegal and has recently advised the massage profession that these internet deals can be constituted as fee splitting. Referrals for business should be made because of our reputation and quality of work, not because someone is getting paid to make them. Fee splitting can result in charges of professional misconduct and ultimately, loss of licensure.
So what really happens when you buy that $35 massage deal? You pay the company providing the voucher & they give about half of that amount to the therapist, meaning a therapist is working really hard for $15-20. They'll have to fit more people in a day to make enough money to feed themselves, their quality of work is not going to be very high, and most likely they'll try to sell you other stuff to make up for the lost amount.
One of my biggest concerns is that someone who has never had a massage buys a deal, has a not so good experience, leaves not wanting to have another and gives up on massage helping them all together. This is sad and unfortunate.
These deals really aren't good for ANYONE except the big corporations bank rolling off our hard earned money. Unfortunately, most therapists are uneducated in this arena and the commissioned sales reps working for the companies will say anything to make a deal.
Ever wonder why you don't see the other professions above offering deals? Now you know.