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Akron: Woman told she was "too fat" to tan by salon

6:12 PM, Apr 18, 2013   |    comments
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AKRON -- A woman was told she was too fat to tan at a Norton tanning salon.

Kelly McGrevey said she purchased a tanning package at Aloha Tanning in Norton on Monday after a quick tour of the salon.

When she returned to tan on Tuesday, McGrevey says the man working at Aloha at the time turned her away.

"He said, "Sorry, but I'm not going to let you tan today because we've just implemented a new policy where anyone over 230 pounds can't go in one of our beds,'" said McGrevey.

"I was just so shocked and embarrassed and humiliated."

On Monday, McGrevey tanned in a standup bed. When she returned Tuesday, that bed was broken and she was told traditional beds were off-limits to heavy customers.

"It really upset me. It's discrimination," said McGrevey.

McGrevey asked for a refund of the nearly $70 month-long tanning package so she could take her business somewhere else.

"I said, "Okay, I'd like my money back then. He said, no, we don't give refunds. I said, 'You're not going to give me a refund, I paid for a service that I'm not getting, and he said no, you can't have a refund," said McGrevey.

She then called the police, filing a report against Justin Hileman, the owner of Aloha Tanning.

"He asked if I was aware of how many times he had to replace the acrylic on those beds because of heavy people?"

Lie-down beds are made of bulbs, topped with acrylic.

"I told him that I wanted to see this new policy about the tanning and poundage and whatever, and he said, no, I don't have to show you that," said McGrevey.

Channel 3 News asked to see it, too.

An employee who would only identify herself as Nicole said there was a 230-pound weight limit on acrylic beds.

"Do you have that written down anywhere?" asked Channel 3's Sara Shookman.

"No, we discuss that with the people," said Nicole, explaining there was also no posted signage with the policy.

BBB gives Aloha an F rating.

"We do have a lot of bigger people that came in here and they know that they can't go into the laydown beds because they are so, you know, they are bigger," said Nicole.

She said only the manager, a man she called Gus, could approve a refund.

When we called to speak with him, a man told us that Aloha doesn't plan on refunding McGrevey's package. He suggested that she simply cancel her credit card purchase.

"I'm humiliated. I'm embarrassed. I don't want to face this guy for 30 days. I just want my money back," said McGrevey.

She also wanted other people to know her story.

"Maybe there are people that have come here before, or that are going to come here, that are overweight and I just want them to know that you could be mistreated," she said.

Channel 3 News asked several Northeast Ohio salons about their weight limits.

Most of those salons said they don't have weight limits or restrict heavier patrons to certain beds.

One other salon did mention a weigh limit of 300 pounds, which an employee said is made clear before a customer offers up cash.


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