What do I do? The Salon I used to work at will tell customers that request me that I will do the work (I no longer work there) and proceed to keep these customers in the dark. I have had heard rumors that one particular groomer does this quite often and that the work being done under my name is not good. This happens to be a salon in a big box company that is not happy I left and opened my own place, so just calling the managers and asking them to correct the offenders is most likely out...as this company would more than not like to see my reputation ruined and my business closed.
For a small fee you can have an attorney make a call on your behalf telling them to stop. Take out a huge ad with your picture announcing your new salon. Contact your former clients with flyers or post cards inviting them to come see you in your own salon.
I would talk to the store manager first. Then follow up with a letter. I can't imagine that what you describe is behavior condoned by the chain where you worked. Possibly the grooming shop employees have taken it upon themselves to do this and upper management knows nothing about it.
Also, if you do hire an attorney, the letter will prove that you made a good faith effort to have them stop.
The problem here is that you have not actually witnessed them lying to customers. You have only heard it through the grapevine. That makes it hard to prove and hard to correct.
I like the notion of taking out ads. You might put flyers on the windshields of folks in the parking lot of the big box store (make sure this is legal). Or have a Mardi Gras party for dogs at your salon and then call the local paper to see if they want to cover the event.
Be creative. Have fun. Quit worrying about what the people at the box store are doing. Starting a new business is nerve-racking enough without wasting time thinking about those people.
Can you put an ad in your local paper that states you have opened your own salon? Somtimes they will do this for free. (They did for me) They came out & did a story on my new business......Just a thought. If not, just put an ad out w/ a coupon or something,and put your name on it as owner.
I know Im stubborn, I learned it from my Bulldogs!
This happened to me I worked for a grooming shop up until last year when I left, They also told customers that I would do there dog well it came to a point that they were doing a bad job on the dogs and those customers just happened to come to where I am now and they are the ones that told me this was what they other shop was doing. But the word got out where i am and now all my old customers minus a few of course are comming back to me. Give it time people will be disapointed and look for a new groomer and word will get out