Everyone knows the saying, “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!”. A simple part of our culture, but so easy to forget. Beware of what you are purchasing. You are a consumer, as well as your clients. What you may be purchasing and using in your business gets passed down to your clients. Keeping your costs down is prudent; however, purchasing some items may result in a surprise of unexpected costs. Make sure you have the Business Insurance Advantage by talking to your Beauty Insurance Broker.
This saying is part of our nomenclature and for a good reason. If you go back 50 years, there were land deals in Florida, Rolex’s for $25.00, and so on. All seemed like great buys; however, they were schemes. “Too good to be true.” Today it is email and internet scams. Have you ever received the classic email from a long lost relative with $1,000,000 of inheritance waiting for you? Or have you been asked to “click here” to win a free trip to a spectacular destination? We have all seen these and some of our clients have even fallen for them. So what does this have to do with your business?
Here are two recent examples (2019) that we have come across. The first is when a Spa owner, who bought her beauty insurance from us, found a great picture on the web that she thought would be great for her website. She copied it and added it to the front page of her website. It looked great! It was crisp and clear with great resolution and wait for it owned by one of the big internet image companies. She didn’t know you couldn’t use any pictures from the web or about copyright laws.
Many image companies have a program that crawls the web looking for illegal use of their images. Once they find the image, they get the business name and address off the website and send an email. Her honest mistake resulted in an email advising her that she owed $1000.00 for the use of the pictures. She immediately took down the picture and got one from a different website offering images for free. She ignored the email and thought she was OK. She then got a legal looking letter saying they were taking her to court unless she paid $5,000. She had to call a lawyer to get some help. The great picture she thought was “free” was too good to be true.
Recently we had another call from a client. A spa owner in Windsor saw a laser hair removal machine from China for 25% of a North American price. The advertisement stated equipment manufactured by a big brand name company. She could save $10,000! She sent the money and (surprisingly) got the machine. She called us to add the equipment to her policy and make sure her beauty insurance policy would cover it. It had the brand name on it but that was all so she thought everything was great. Unfortunately, it was a cheap knock off. To make matters worse, she advertised on her web site she was using this big brand name machine at her spa.
Just like above, the big brand company crawled the web looking for people misrepresenting their product. They found her website, cross-checked their sales and warranty logs and determined the equipment was a knock off. The first letter she received was a demand for $125,000 for damages and misrepresentation. She immediately stopped using the machine (she was not going to get her money back from overseas) and called her lawyer. With legal assistance, she got the matter resolved (and could sleep again!).
In 2020 we are inundated with information and “cookies” on our iPad, phones etc. The web knows exactly who you are and what you are looking at and tries hard to show you advertising (good and bad) about your interest. So be careful and remember, “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” Make sure you have the Advantage Insurance Protection. Contact your beauty insurance expert or obtain a free quote to make sure you have the proper insurance coverage.