A post on a South Korean online community site went viral recently. A South Korean netizen was taken aback when their foreigner friend visited a popular Korean salon in Gangnam and was billed ₩1.01 million KRW (about $746 USD). After they were told about the total amount, the netizen contacted the salon on their friend’s behalf to ask about the bill. A photo of the final bill was sent to them.
The bill was as follows. The salon also implied that they had initially tried to sell a few take-home products to the friend, but did not manage to in the end.
- Setting perm ₩380,000 KRW (about $281 USD), 10% discount = ₩340,000 KRW (about $251 USD)
- Root perm ₩120,000 KRW (about $88.70 USD)
- Dye ₩220,000 KRW (about $163 USD), 10% discount = ₩190,000 KRW (about $140 USD)
- Scalp and hair treatment ₩350,000 KRW (about $259 USD)
- Total ₩1.01 million KRW (about $746 USD)
The post named Juno Hair Salon Gangnam 2nd Branch as the salon in question. Juno Hair is a chain of salons in South Korea with many different branches. They are especially popular with foreigners visiting the country. Netizens claim that this is a clear form of discrimination, as the prices are hiked up from the usual.
A look at their price chart available on their Naver page shows that the original prices are much cheaper.
A setting perm costs ₩300,000 KRW (about $222 USD) opposed to the ₩350,000 KRW (about $259 USD) charged to the friend. Dye jobs also are listed at ₩150,000 KRW (about $111 USD). Although these prices are base prices and may vary with length, Korean netizens claim that the stylists usual provide instructions for customers on how to receive discounts and cheaper services.
- This is not the first time. I’ve heard many instances of that, but they were buried all this while. It’s baffling how they even pretended to give her a discount.
- Isn’t Juno Hair a super famous franchise? We need to see how the HQ responds to this…
- What’s up with their conscience?
- Thugs. What dye is ₩220,000 KRW (about $163 USD)? Ugh.
- Can’t we report them? They’re insane. They’re the cancer of the tourism industry.
- I went to another branch of Juno Hair and if your hair is long, then that price is reasonable, but they need to tell you the price in advance, and they also tell you the different ways to get discount with payment and give you free take-home products. That’s the norm. They’re so mean. If they applied the discounts to that friend, she’d probably get ₩300,000 KRW (about $222 USD) off that total.
- Wow, insane. At this level, they’re not just thugs but scammers.
- Are they nuts?
- Why did they do both a setting (heat) perm and a dye job at the same time? And even if they did treatment, a root perm and an overall hair perm, they shouldn’t be charging individually but a package price. Why did they charge them individually? Did they do Hagrid’s hair or something? Insane.
- They scammed a foreigner of their money. Can we report this?
- If they say they didn’t try to scam a foreigner, then they have no conscience.
- At this rate, that’s the price of buying a membership there already.
- Thugs. Anyone can tell that’s a scam.
- Insane. They really raised the prices to scam them.
- They really have no conscience. They’re just doing that totally because it’s a foreigner.
Some services in South Korea charge a “foreigner premium.” This was especially prevalent even just a few years back. With more foreigners speaking the language now, as well as more regulations put in place, establishments cannot do so easily anymore. Even so, it is good to be aware of the market rates before going to any salon, clinic, or service.