Posted: 10:45 pm EDT August 20, 2010
Updated: 4:44 pm EDT August 23, 2010
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- Michelle Fonville said her experience at Natural Nails on Covington Highway in DeKalb County turned from pleasant to painful in a matter of moments.
“I was humiliated. I almost cried. Tears were forming in my eyes,” said Fonville.
She said things went downhill on Monday after the salon manager gave her the bill for her manicure, pedicure and eyebrow arch.
Fonville realized that she had been overcharged by $5.
“I said, ‘I’ve been overcharged. She may have made an error,’” said Fonville. “She broke it down, then told me she charged me $5 more because I was overweight.”
Fonville said she couldn’t believe what was happening and recounted the experience with Channel 2 Action News reporter Eric Philips.
“I said, Ma’am, you can’t charge me $5 more. That’s discrimination because of my weight,” said Fonville.
Salon manager Kim Tran told Philips that the surcharge was due to costly repairs of broken chairs by overweight customers. She said the chairs have a weight capacity of 200 pounds and cost $2,500 to fix.
“Do you think that’s fair when we take $24 [for manicure and pedicure] and we have to pay $2,500? Is that fair? No,” Tran told Philips.
Tran said she refunded the $5 surcharge, and told Fonville to take her business elsewhere.
“I didn’t want to argue with her about $5. I wanted to make her pleased with her service,” Tran said. “I whispered … I said, ‘I’m sorry, next time I cannot take you.'”
“The word has to get out there that these people are discriminating against us because of our weight. I mean come on, we’re in America. You can’t do that,” said Fonville.
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