'Tan Man' says he's changed his ways thanks to Fair Go

Matt Docherty, known to many as the "Tan Man", says he's changed his ways and is putting customer satisfaction at the forefront of his business.

Matt has appeared on Fair Go twice over the last two years. On both occasions he was accused of dodgy work practices, and both times he refused to go on camera to explain his behaviour. But he swears he's now a changed businessman, saying, "when you get the opportunity to look at things again, you can fix them".

The first complaint about the Tan Man to Fair Go was two years ago.

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Matt Doherty says he’s now seen the error of his ways. Source: Fair Go

Kate Van der Weert wrote in saying that Matt had used a photo of her from a race day in Christchurch without asking for permission to do so. He was using it to promote his tanning salons.

Kate told Fair Go she "just couldn't believe it - the shock and how he'd had the audacity to do that". After the Fair Go story ran, Matt did stop using the photo, and paid $1000 to Fairfax who’d taken it in the first place.

Then this year, Lynette Fray got in touch saying she'd won a spray tan device, and also a $300 prize pack. After months of trying to get these items, she had nothing to show for her winning ways.

She said, "I still haven't received both prizes. I got a lot of support from a lot of girls who have also been scammed and no longer deal with him".

Fair Go contacted Matt again, and after a few emails with him and his lawyer, he did send out Lynette's prizes.

He also addressed another issue that had been raised.

Many customers had complained that when his Auckland salon had closed they hadn't received refunds on their unlimited tanning deals.

After the Fair Go story, he put this right – "I decided in hindsight that customers have to be looked after so I refunded thousands of dollars".

Since then, he's changed how the deals are done, "so now you can buy them as a pay-weekly as opposed to pre-paying upfront, so if any other store closes, heaven forbid, then it's not so bad as people won't have paid in advance. It's pay-as-you-go".

Fair Go had also received complaints about delayed orders of his B-Gorgeous tanning product range, but he's now sold that part of his business on.

Matt says, "it's not necessarily related to the Fair Go story. It's more that it allows me to focus on what I'm passionate about, which is salons. I intend to re-enter the Auckland market so I want people to be happy as I want them to come back as repeat customers".

So while being the subject of a Fair Go story wasn't especially a pleasant experience, the Tan Man believes it was actually worthwhile.

"I didn't enjoy being part of it but I think what Fair Go does is very important. It's probably the only organisation that stands up for the consumer".