Wahanda review: Failure to deliver. Again.

I'm no stranger to making purchases online. I've been filling up my virtual basket for half my life now, and back in March I tried my first spa deal through lastminute.com. When Wahanda grabbed my attention on Twitter shortly after that, I was keen to give them a go.

In theory, they sound brilliant. Like your Groupon or LivingSocial offers, Wahanda works on the same premise of group-buying. Because so many people are buying, you get a group discount and you get to enjoy a massage or a manicure, let's say, for a reduced price. Lovely!

My first experience with Wahanda didn't start out so well. I booked an hour long couple's Thai massage at Pho Thai in Islington for the bargainous price of £20. When I phoned up to book it however, I was told I would have to pay the full price for a massage - I'd already paid through Wahanda, but Pho Thai refused to fulfil the voucher due to its popularity... Great. Suddenly this didn't seem a hot deal. (Surely a cap should have been placed on the offer?) I contacted Wahanda for a refund, and they were perfectly nice about it - very lovely, in fact - so I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Last night we toddled off to Islington again, but this time to ZEN Health and Beauty for another couple's massage. This time round it was a bit more - £33 for an hour full-body massage, followed by a scalp massage for two people - except it didn't happen. The woman was very insistent that it was Wahanda's fault, but it just wasn't her deal on the website. She insisted that it should have been for one person and that we weren't the first couple who were led to believe it was for two. Whether it was the salon realising they weren't going to make a profit and refusing to fulfil, or whether it was a mistake on Wahanda's part, either way we had paid for one thing, but were then told that we wouldn't be getting what we paid for. Advertising Standards Authority, anyone?

So, once again I contacted Wahanda to ask for a refund not only on this treatment but on two other treatments I'd purchased but had yet tried to make those elusive appointments for. Wahanda has issued my refunds, but there has been no apology from them, other than their standard email: "Sorry it didn't work out this time, but we look forward to seeing you again soon".

Wahanda is a company that won't be getting my custom in the future, and I'd urge you to consider whether making that 50% saving today is worth the hassle of having to ask for that refund a few weeks later when you try to use your deal. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who love Wahanda, but for me they've failed to deliver twice and the lack of apology means they won't be getting a third chance.

Have you used Wahanda? x


  1. That's a shame, I'm sorry to hear this!

  2. I think this is an issue with all of these services, people advertising do not realise the amount of vouchers that will be bought through the deals and panic when they just cannot fulfil them. I wonder how much it is the fault of Wahanda, Groupon etc and how much the fault of the business...

  3. I've only ever used Groupon for stuff like pilates classes and never had a problem.

    But I can't understand why these small businesses like the ones you've mentioned above don't cap the offer for a realistic amount of people. Surely it's a bit of a false economy for them? People through the doors, sure, but I know I've never been back to any of the places I've got groupon esque deals for as they're too expensive normally.

    But like Smidge says, I wonder how much is it Wahanda, and how much is it the business?

  4. Wahanda should vet more carefully who they allow on their website because, at the end of the day, you book through Wahanda and not the business. They should manage the businesses more carefully and make them realise that they will get lots of bookings, which they have an obligation to fulfil, and that they should cap it. Ridiculous not to!

  5. Hi Claire

    I am the CEO and Co-Founder of Wahanda and I wanted to write personally to say I am really sorry to hear about the trouble you have had on your purchases. This is not a typical experience for our customers and we are upset to hear that you were anything less than thrilled with us.

    As the largest health & beauty website in the UK we work with thousands of businesses to bring you the customer a choice of over 5,000 of the best health & beauty offers. We have hundreds of thousands of customers and generally the process works very well but on occasion something goes wrong as it clearly has here.

    We really care about being open and transparent and unlike any other deal site, we actually publish all the user reviews from our customer on the site. We publish the good, the bad and the ugly so that consumers can make more informed choices about what is right for them.

    In addition, we regularly put caps on our deals however in the case of Pho Thai they had a completely unforeseen event that meant they could not service any more of our customers. It was not related to the volume sold. Even though the situation was beyond our control, we have subsequently refunded our customers in full.

    Your experience at Zen Health is a little more perplexing and we are looking into this. There are currently no deals or offers for sale at Zen Health -- the only packages are available at places nearby. http://www.wahanda.com/place/zen-health-spa/

    We would obviously like to understand what has happened and rectify this quickly. Could you please email me directly here: http://www.wahanda.com/pro/lopo5/contact/ with your contact details so we can find your orders in the system and get to the bottom of things. I will personally make sure that we respond right away.

    very best

  6. Wow. Negative points aside, it would be nice if every CEO could respond to a negative review like that....

  7. I went to one spa I had booked through wahanda and was told by the owner of the spa that she had no idea who wahanda was and she had never agreed to advertise with them, and the prices they had stated on vouchers were completely wrong, and I wasn't the only customer that had turned up with a voucher. wouldn't touch them with a barge pole.

  8. I booked a Thai massage via Wahanda as a Xmas present for my wife.

    Even though it was a scheduled appointment, when she got to the premises she was told all the cubicles were full and ushered into the back room of an adjacent cafe where the massage was conducted.

    Upon complaining to Wahanda about this they insisted it was a problem between myself and the massage parlour themselves.

    Even though I pointed out that I paid Wahanda and not the parlour, they refused to accept any responsibility.

    Despite requesting a full refund (the massage itself was poor) the best I was offered was another free massage at the same premises.

    Wahanda themselves were only prepared to offer a courtesy £10 discount on future Wahanda purchases by way of compensation.

    The impression left was that they're all too happy to take your money but if you encounter a issue thereafter, it's not their problem.