Cancer patient slams wig store for bad service, rude comment

BROOKFIELD (WITI) — A 30-year-old woman going through radiation treatment says she was given bad customer service at a Brookfield wig store Thursday, February 6th. She took her complaint to the internet — where her message went viral.

Alison Ziebell, a mother of two, will lose her hair during radiation for the brain tumor she has. Zibell was shopping for wigs with her sister-in-law when, she says, workers in the store made her feel terrible.

“We’re not just out shopping for fun wigs. This is a sensitive situation,” said Ziebell’s sister-in-law, Amy Seckinger.

The women say they felt the consultant at Sharon’s Wig Salon was already irritated when they walked in the door. When Ziebell and Seckinger told the saleswoman why they came to the salon, they say she was anything but sensitive to the situation.

“I picked up the catalog and simply said ‘do you mind if I look through this catalog?’ and she grabbed it out of my hand and said ‘no, you cannot look at the catalog,'” recalled Seckinger.

The women told the consultant they’d like to see a variety of wig styles. The saleswoman allegedly still refused to let the two browse her catalogs.

“She said ‘no, because girls like you come in here and when you look through our books you waste our time and then you order online,'” Seckinger said.

Ziebell and Seckinger requested to speak with the owner of the store. They say she was also not helpful — and the two ended up walking out of the shop.

“Then another voice came through and simply said ‘and I hope all of your hair falls out,'” said Seckinger. “I can’t believe someone is so shallow and could say that to a cancer patient.”

Ziebell blogged about her experience at the wig shop, which now has more than 80,000 views, words of encouragement and a share on Twitter from former Packers tight end Tom Crabtree.

FOX6 reached out to Sharon’s Wig Salon for comment, but calls and emails were not returned. A next door business owner came to the shop’s defense and said the story seems unlike the character of the salon’s owner or saleswoman.

The family says they are moving on from the experience, but the comments were incredibly hurtful during such a difficult time.

73 comments

  • Jack

    How about instead of dwelling on the negative of this situation, everyone who views the blog donates $1 to her situation. It seems to me that this would make something very positive out of something so negative.

      • rebekah

        Sabrina, I can only hope you see the error in your ways. You’ve obviously never had a severe illness. My husband has a brain tumor and all of our money goes to his treatment. With the healthcare system the way it is, there are not many “rich people” with cancer, our at least rich soin after. Since your mom didn’t teach you, I hope I can impart some much needed wisdom on you, that you obviously need. If you don’t have anything nice to say, please don’t say anything at all.

    • Jessica

      For those who would like to donate and help the family out they have a “go fund me” account set up for Alison and her little boy who is also pretty sick and facing an upcoming surgery of some sort from some medical condition. I also know Whitney Hair and Wellness Salon out of Madison, WI is stepping up to make Sharon’s wrong right so maybe reach out to them as far as what you can do for donations towards wigs etc.

    • Jessica Flannahan Cancer survivor

      great idea but how about she be able to tell her story like it or not to save other people from enduring the same treatment. Im guessing that even though you brought the idea of everyone donating a dollar to the family were not the actual person to do so.

  • Sherry Hatch

    Often it is THE healthy person who is the one who CAN recognize the insensitivity and inapropriate behavior of another or others while they themselves, who are victims, manage to be appropriate for the circumstance (a demonstration of resiliance & tolerance for contending with uninvited noxious bombings). Cancer and WORDS may bring us to our knees . . . all persons need to be educated regardless of where they may be in the cycle of health and compromise.

  • Cat

    Evidently the store owner didn’t care either as it states that she wasn’t much help when they ask to speak with her…small minded people who are shallow…no sir the world needs no more of them..wow Id be ashamed..

  • Lisa

    Pat, I think it’s great that it IS an internet interest influence. Before the internet, this behavior would have gone under the radar or unnoticed. Sharon’s business deserves to suffer for her blatant and ignorant treatment of the customers she professes to serve. As a cancer survivor, I’m glad she was called out. If she doesn’t want to respectfully, responsibly cater to a specific clientele, she shouldn’t do it. However, if she purports wig/prosthesis services, her unprofessional, rude, and hurtful remarks should certainly be evaluated and rated!!!

  • Jessica

    This whole situation just breaks my heart. I can’t even begin to imagine what Alison is going through, not only fighting cancer but taking care of a sick little boy at home with an upcomming surgery to worry about. I’m even more disgusted that Sharon would comment that “she is denying the accusations” and that she interviewed willingly with CBS 58 just to also deny the so called acusations. People don’t just go around bashing companies. Especially when they have this much on their plate already. And they wouldn’t just make up a story like this… this comes from a heart felt truth and painful story. I think Sharon is better off being “un reachable for comments or interviews” because her lies are making things just that much worse.

  • Kelly

    If this happened to your own mother would you be feeling the same way? Regardless if this is true or a “fake story”, situations like this do actually happen. They are denying service based on a preconceived notion.

    No matter WHAT kind of business, they should never speak to anybody like that or say the things that they did. Anyone sticking up for the business or for anyone that would say something like that to a person they don’t know is really showing their standards of humanity.

  • Debra Hautamaki

    Come on Fox, don’t look for excuses!! No excuses for this kind of treatment!! If the clerk or owner was having a bad day, shouldn’t hearing about this woman’s situation make them feel like their day is not so bad after all?

  • Vicky

    Pat, are you insinuating that Alison made this up? There is a closeness in the cancer community that you obviously don’t understand. We face ignorant people everyday. When your life is on the line your perspective changes. Someone who makes their living off of other people’s misfortune are either very sensitive, having had a personal experience, or very greedy. Sharons anger towards Internet sales should not be taken out on customers. It’s time for her to retire.

    • charliesfight2013

      It’s even worse when people make excuses for the business owners actions. There is a thing called “morals” and “respect” which every business owner and employee should take. We, as customers, should NOT receive the short end of the stick because a business owner had a bad day or any other reason in the business owners personal life. Just remember everyone karma is universal.

    • Pat Bowne

      Vicky, I am not trying to insinuate that. I have had cancer myself and understand the closeness of the community. I also understand first-hand how things can get out of control on the internet.
      We don’t have to condone or excuse someone’s bad behavior to recognize that there are multiple ways of responding to any situation, and to prefer some to others.

  • Shannon

    I got my hair cut a couple of times by a woman who rented space in there and I stopped because everyone there was always rude…they clearly catered to the elderly and wanted no customers that were younger in their shop

  • Mindy

    Warrior on Alison! As a young survivor mom of four I applaud you for not physically wringing her neck :) For those reading this that will say “violence is not the answer” please read my comment with the cheek that was intended.
    Good luck on your journey Alison!!! BC sister really do have your back!

  • Tess

    One thing I’m proud of after being in the industry for 20 years you best believe this thread would have been bombarded with customers who have shopped with me and would have defended me and my shop. I have made that many friends throughout the years because of my compassion. I often gave wigs at cost for women who could not afford one. Everyone deserves their dignity. I have a huge fan base who blew up my Facebook. Last night when I came home and jumped on Facebook I had so many inboxes and post praising me and my shop. Where is Sharon’s regular customers and support. This happens when you are a compassionate person your customers will support you.

    Tess from Tess wig shop I’m thinking Brookfield needs a new shop ;). Look for me in the future love you milwaukee!

  • ginny

    You were treated insensitively and responded back in kind by slamming this salon in a public forum. Who’s the winner? Neither one of you. I hope you get the care you deserve, and most business people that conduct their business that way don’t need any help being slammed in a public forum to dig their own hole.

    • commoncents01

      Her little blog went from 1200 viewers to 482,000 in 24 hours. Going viral is not something that can be planned. She didn’t just post about this business either. She posted about what she is going through in her life & what her whole day was like, including info about a nice salon that she visited. She did not just get on HER BLOG & make a post bashing this company. There is way more to it than that. More importantly, she is asking people to not bother Sharon & to please turn this negative energy into something positive. She then went on to list several positive things that people can do for one another & several positive experiences that she has had with businesses & others around her. She has taken the “high road” in all of this & is truly an inspiration to me!!!
      http://alisonziebell.blogspot.com/2014/02/wow.html?spref=fb

  • Charlotte

    They are refusing interviews because they are GUILTY! I hope those words haunt them forever. One in THREE people get cancer, they better hope KARMA isn’t real. A lesson to all SERVICES and SHOPS. Customers blog now.

  • Tami

    Interesting that one of my comments is “under moderation,” and my other comment was deleted. I have no affiliation with the store, the owner, or the employee at issue. I just don’t think it’s right to crucify them based on one person’s blog, which may or may not tell the story accurately, as it is just Allison’s side. Being a cancer patient, I have no doubt it was a very emotional experience, and in the heat of the moment, may have heard something that wasn’t said, or misinterpreted. These kinds of stories pop up all the time, people jump on the bandwagon to support the “victim” then turns out the story wasn’t as the “victim” represented. What do you do then? The “accused’s” reputation has been ruined, and can never recover. And don’t anyone accuse me of being “anti cancer”, I have a family member who is recovering from non-hodgkin’s, another who died, and one of my best friend’s family member died from cancer. I just hope people think twice about the impact their internet comments have on people. And I hope my comments will be posted without having to undergo such scrutiny, none of the other comments seem to have to get such a review. If Fox is truly interested in presenting an objective story, it will let my comment post.

    • Penny

      I don’t care if Alison was in the salon being the worst possible customer in the world!!! The proper response to that would be, “Mam, we need to ask you to leave.” To have someone say, “I hope all of your hair falls out” (followed by laughter) is completely unacceptable under ANY circumstance!!! I don’t see how that is something that could be miss-heard by THREE people, either!!!

    • Moonflwr912

      Ti. My comment remains under review as well. I had a positive review because it was how I was treated. I wasn’t there for Mrs. Zeibell interaction. I can only say what happened to me. I would believe that something was said because that kind of thing is hard to make up. So i have to reconcile how I was treated the time spent on trying on wigs on taking the time to fit it just right up to and including sewing the netting to fit my head against the other experience. I can say if it is true in all ways that would be horrible and uncalled for.

    • Vicky

      Sharon herself left a comment stating she doesn’t have time to deal with people who aren’t going to buy…. She didn’t deny what happened. She did not apologize. She referred to Alison as “those people”… What, people with cancer? People who NEED wigs? People who expect compassion from someone who supposedly caters to chemotherapy patients? Yes, that is in her ad. She “caters” to chemotherapy patients. I am pretty sure that Alison has more important things to do than make up stories about some random shop owner!

    • Allie Kurschner

      I saw Sharon’s interview on a different channel and she clearly stated that “people like her (Allison) just want to look at the catalogs and then go order it themselves”. She made it clear that they are suffering financially due to the internet competition and can not come up with a better way to service their clients. They clearly like older clientele because they are not internet savvy – thus their bread and butter.

      Sharon needs to own up to this one, move on and learn how to hold her head above water in a world where competition is just a click away.

  • Jason Hansen

    ok I have been there before to do some work in her shop for hair not for hair but for some wiring work, and she is an evil lady, bossed me around the whole time, she shop is dirty and nasty, she yelled at a few of her employees in front of me also for not paying for their chairs on time, this some of the employees are very nice but Sharon herself is an evil witch and not very nice.

  • Leena

    Where has she defended herself at? I would love to hear it. When you have brain cancer and now her young son as well you don’t have the ability to even comprehend to create such a story! I have it also and know that I avoid any drama as this. I apologize for the rudeness and ignorance of people such as this …… I feel I need to apologize because I know how devastating this would be.

  • JBTheExplorer

    Why would people go to a store to look at a catalog, to then go back home and order online? Obviously anyone with common sense would just look at an online catalog. If the woman at the store said that, than she probably doesn’t have a grasp on reality.

    With that being said, there’s two sides to every story, so who knows how it really went down. There are a lot of rude people in the world, but I can’t understand why someone who sells wigs for a living wouldn’t be nicer than that.

    • Tami

      People do that because it’s cheaper online. Girls do the same thing with prom dresses, wedding, homecoming, etc. They try on dresses in the store, then go home and order online because it’s cheaper. Sometimes it backfires, and what they order isn’t what they get.

  • jim

    Are you kidding Sabrinah Tiara. I think the worst thing that has happened to Allison is her brain tumor not her poor treatment at a wig shop. Till you are fighting for your life. You have never experienced anything that compares.

    • greatgrandma

      no alison is not looking for fifteen minutes of fame.  her little son also has a braim tumor she is taking care of and has to worry about. this salon owner has  been rude to others as well

  • Allie Kurschner

    I saw Sharon’s interview on a different channel and she clearly stated that “people like her (Allison) just want to look at the catalogs and then go order it themselves”. She made it clear that they are suffering financially due to the internet competition and can not come up with a better way to service their clients. They clearly like older clientele because they are not internet savvy – thus their bread and butter.

    Sharon needs to own up to this one, apologize, move on and learn how to hold her head above water in a world where competition is just a click away.

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