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Last updated: September 21, 2017

“Tantrum Tax” – Out of Line or On-Target?

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It was the sign heard around the world: “Screaming kids will be charged accordingly…please don’t force your child to have a haircut.” And when Robert Ferrante, owner of Jaggered Edge Hair & Beauty in South Australia decided to hang it in his salon window, suggesting a $4 surcharge for children’s haircuts that take longer than 30 minutes, he was met with a social media frenzy that hasn’t died down.


According to A Current Affair, Robert said the sign was meant to highlight to parents the frustration stylists face behind the chair when dealing with unruly youngsters. “It’s terrifying when a child is crying and screaming when you’re trying to cut their hair,” he told A Current Affair. “It’s dangerous for them and for us.”


But not everyone saw it this way, and many took to the salon’s Facebook page to express their frustrations with this “tantrum tax.”


“Absolutely disgusting! You should be ashamed of yourselves!” said one commenter.


“I hope you lose a lot of business for pulling a stunt like this,” said another. “It’s unlawful to try and charge someone more just because you don’t like a crying child.”


Parents of special needs children took particular offense to the policy, claiming they felt discriminated against.  “As a mother of an autistic child I wouldn’t step foot in your salon after reading that,” said one Facebook member. “Shame on your salon making such a statement,” said another parent.


Eventually the sign was removed, and Jaggered Edge issued an apology on Facebook, but maintained the sign did not refer to special needs children.


“We most certainly did not aim to discriminate or offend anyone,” the post read. “When we are put in that position and it takes 30 to 45 minutes, then yes, I’m sorry we are going to have to charge a little extra.”


Not everyone was up in arms about the sign, however. Plenty took to social media to show their support for the salon.


“Good on you for such a dignified response and explanation. Normal, rational people understood exactly what you meant,” commented one Facebook user.


“Put your screaming kids sign back up,” said another. You’re a business, not a charity. Time=money.”


“I am all for your policy of raising prices for screaming kids,” stated yet another observer. “The kids should wait until a later stage to get their 1st haircut. Or simply go somewhere else. There is nothing worse than sitting down and hearing a child cry and making it longer to finish.”


Do you think Jaggered Edge went too far? Or are they right on the money? Share your thoughts!