I have multiple piercings in my ears and across my body. I got the first set in my ear lobe at 5 in Claire's accessories near my nans and never had any problems. Next, aged 17 I got the top of my ear pierced. As it is cartilage they used a needle but I got it done at a professional place in Whitby. Again, no problems. Next was the 2nd set in my lobes aged 18. They used a gun in Claire's accessories. Still no problems. Again, the same with my 3rd set all though it took my mum 3 weeks to notice that as I got it done in my lunch break at college. Got a 4th one just above the ear lobe and due to being cartilage couldn't get both sides done at once. Still no problems. Went and got the sister piercing in my right ear at Kinky Ink at Clapham Junction. That is the only piercing I have had problems with. They never gave me cleaning advice so it was a good job I've had a few piercings in the past so know what to do. They also used the wrong gloves on me which probably added to the healing process and they actually did it too far back. And they are meant to be professionals.
I don't get why people immediately bad mouth Claire's accessories piercings, I also got my nose done in the Romford one (again, no problems) most of my friends got their first ever piercings in Claire's and had no problems with them so what has changed since the mid to late 90s to now? Health and safety has improved so surely it is better to go to Claire's now than it was when I was 5.