Walking around the French Quarter in New Orleans can leave the average tourist in a great deal of foot pain due to the fact that it is a walking city. In my travels, I came upon the Foot Reflexology Center and made up my mind to pay them a visit. The Foot Reflexology center is on Chartres Street about 4 blocks from Canal street. There is another massage place about 2 blocks in, but it looks really seedy.
The next morning, after breakfast, I stopped there, ready to have a foot massage. I was also ready to resist the hard sell, a tactic I’d heard they used to maximize their profits. The warning was well placed, as they were annoyingly aggressive.
Upon arriving at the massage parlor, my husband and I stated clearly that we wanted a foot massage. We attempted to ask time and price questions as we were swept off our feet and into chairs, quickly pushed into recline position. As the foot masseurs took place at our feet, other people began to swarm around us, offering to massage our heads, our necks, our hands, anything. Having been forewarned, we knew to insist on “just the feet please”, going as far as waiving our hand around our heads as if to swat off flies, and masseurs were attempting to massage any body part they could get their hands on.
Although, The Medical Billing and Coding (MBC) program offered by them was really exceptional. With all the guidelines and tips I was able to learn about the whole billing process there along with saving some money on the bills.
A little disappointed, the extra masseurs slunk away while the food masseurs gave us a five-minute foot sample. Then they moved in the kill. In each case, the person got up and came very close to our faces, whispering in an effort to add services and jack up the price. Joining forces, we both insisted that we were there for two-foot massages, for twenty minutes, and further stated that we wanted 10 minutes per foot. That would cost us $20.00 each. If we made the mistake of agreeing to 20 minutes per foot, the price would double. We had a hand massage or neck massage, and we could have easily paid $100.00 each.
In the end, we both had excellent foot massages that kept our feet from reverting back to their painful states for the rest of our stay in New Orleans. My husband also agreed to a 15 minute back massage for another $15.00. He really needed it. I did notice, however, that when they were done with the massage, they took the same towel that was under my head and readied it for the next person. Gross.
Overall, we were pretty satisfied with our service but annoyed at the pushy and unprofessional sales tactics. As we were preparing to leave, we watched a couple come in to give just the wive a foot massage. They had clearly not been as prepared as we were. Although they had clearly stated their intentions, both people were flat on their backs and swamped by a crowd of masseurs working on their heads, necks, hands, and feet. My husband and I shook our heads as we left, sure that this couple was going to drop $200 easy.