Marketing wisdom says that writing about negative aspects of a business is a bad idea. It’s a downer and it can put people off. However, we believe that talking about it all – the highs and the lows – is important in establishing trust. So this time we will talk about the times when the massage proves disappointing. What it’s like, how to avoid it and when to complain.
And here’s a note on complaints: whilst a baseless/frivolous complaint is a headache for any business owner, a legitimate complaint is a gift and an opportunity. It’s a gift because the client raises a flag at a point when the issue can still be fixed and before many clients are lost. It’s also an opportunity because there’s no better time to earn your client’s loyalty by turning a terrible situation around.
Masseur does not look like his photos
Masseur’s physique informs your choice at least in part so it’s no surprise that you feel short-changed if a completely different man meets you at the door. Some unscrupulous people will use stock photography (or even stolen photographs!) to deceive. You’re less likely to back out once you’re already ‘invested’ – i.e. once you have arrived for your appointment.
Others are not looking to deceive and choose stock photographs to protect their privacy or because they have not had professional photographs done yet. These masseurs choose models that look as close to them as possible in order to give their clients a good idea of what to expect. Many masseurs prefer to use model photographs even when their own physique is better than the model’s.
In order to avoid being misled, ask direct questions about the photos before you book. Any good agency or professional masseur will be upfront about their photographs. If unsure, you can do a reverse image search on the photo to ascertain its ownership.
Massage is more expensive than expected
Ouch! We’ve heard some bad stories from men who were robbed (no other way to say it) by shysters pretending to be masseurs. Sometimes there was a ‘deposit’ to pay after which the ‘masseur’ vanished. At other times the client would get charged extra at the end of the massage. Luckily, these horrific cases are very rare. Usually payment disputes are simply misunderstandings, especially if one or both of the parties are not fluent in English.
Here’s how to avoid this. Obviously, the easiest way is to book with masseurs and agencies that you know and trust. When this is not possible, follow these simple rules. Never pay a ‘deposit’ prior to your massage unless you know and trust the masseur. Make sure your massage details are confirmed in writing (e.g. by text) prior to your massage: how long, how much and what’s included. If you don’t know the masseur/agency well, get an additional confirmation that there will be no hidden extra fees.
This is why we always confirm the details before and after the massage is booked. We also display prices prominently on our website.
Massage is shorter than expected
Again, this is usually down to misunderstandings and rarely to dishonesty. Communication does break down at times.
Most common reasons why a massage session gets cut short:
- Client requests it (e.g. because they have to be somewhere).
- Misunderstandings about the agreed massage length.
- Misunderstandings about whether shower / talking time is included.
- Client was not punctual and the session started late.
- Masseur is dishonest and wants to earn more for less work.
Showering time & misunderstandings
Getting a confirmation in writing prior to the massage will address issue #2. You won’t have any issues with #3 unless you like to take a very long shower or prefer to converse for a while before/after your massage. Generally this time is not charged if it doesn’t take long and there is no other booking scheduled afterwards. If you take a while or there’s another booking planned later, the masseur might include your shower and conversation within the massage time. If this is important to you, please check in advance. At Touch of London, we leave this at the masseur’s discretion but we can check with the individual masseur on their policy and let you know.
Client is running late
If the session starts late, it’s up to the masseur how to treat the ‘lost’ time. Most commonly, they will excuse slight lateness (we’re all human after all). However, you might have a shorter massage if you arrive very late. Again, it also depends on what the masseur’s schedule looks like. If there is another massage planned afterwards, he might not have that extra time. He will need enough time to tidy up, shower and rest so that he can provide a high-quality experience.
#5 is the most problematic of all situations because you’re dealing with a dishonest person. Over the five years since our agency was established, we’ve seen this a couple of times. Whilst we have successfully dealt with this issue and it’s a very rare situation, it’s always hurtful and upsetting, both to us and the client. If this happens to you, inform the agency straight away so they can act.
Massage room is cold
A chilly room can be a real mood killer! If the temperature is too low for your liking, ask the masseur to turn it up. It’s hard to gauge what temperature would be ideal for each individual as preferences vary. If you’re one of those rare people who feel unwell in a heated room, you can also ask for the temperature to be turned down. This is an easy fix, just speak up.
Massage itself is not enjoyable
There can be many reasons why the massage might not be what you expected. Lack of skill on behalf of your masseur is an obvious one. When that happens, the best thing to do is to bring it to the attention of the agency as the masseur’s training is their responsibility. Often, however, it’s not about lack of skill, it’s about lack of communication. Ticklishness, a wish for more or less pressure, a preference for some parts of the body over others, all of these issues can be resolved through communication between the masseur and his client.
In our experience, whilst complaints about the massage quality are very rare, occasionally a client might feel disappointed because they ‘expect more’. This is another issue of miscommunication that is prevalent in the sensual massage industry. Due to the uncertain or unfavourable legal situation, agencies and individual masseurs tend to obfuscate and it’s hard to know how to read the service description.
Our advice for clients who are looking for ‘something more’ would be to either look for escorting agencies that specifically advertise as such or to specifically (but discreetly!) ask what the service includes. We never make a booking if there’s a feeling that the client expects something more than an erotic massage as that would be misleading and therefore unethical.