Local News


Local salons rethink payment policies after manicurist's death

Posted at 8:19 AM, Jan 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-18 11:19:52-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — We've seen it in the valley before -- employees who chase after people who rob them,

Back in December a suspect pulled a gun on an employee who chased after him. And then, most recently the tragic death of a manicurist who was run over by a woman she chased after for not paying her bill.

We're still waiting to see when Krystal Whipple will be extradited here to Las Vegas. The arrest is putting new focus on people who skip out on bills. Now, some beauty professionals are rethinking the way they do business.

Beauty professional's income depends on how much work per customer they're able to do in a day. Every dollar counts. Unfortunately, customers skipping out on paying is all too common.

Kimberlee Ruggerio of The Paint Beautique recalls the shocking story that outraged people across the country.

Investigators say nail technician, Ngoc Nguyen, died after she tried to stop Whipple from running away without paying for her $35 manicure.

"It may sound like 35 dollars to you but that's huge. that is huge to us."

Ruggerio had had a customer skip out on a bill before where she lost hundreds of dollars in income.

"She had said that she was going to get money from her car and next thing i know a car had sped off with her in it."

She immediately filed a complaint. but after Nguyen's death she's even more careful thinking about making changes on how she takes clients in.

"One is I'm going to start taking deposits. when a client calls and i make an appointment I'm going to ask for a deposit... (create) a client intake sheet. getting their name and their number maybe their address. finding out a little bit about their lifestyle.

Professionals at Blo Las Vegas are thinking along those lines too.

Manager Nancy Ayala says, "We don't always ask for the credit card ahead of time but i think i might."

All beauty professionals are asking for is courtesy.

"We give 110 percent to you guys and we just ask for the same courtesy back. you know we have families and we have bills and we have things that we want to accomplish in our lifetime," says Ruggerio.

There's no guarantee a customer will not try to skip out even though extra precautions are in place for some salons. But owners say they tell employees not to run after a thief. Instead, they should get a description of the suspect and try to write down their license plate if possible.