Complaint Category: None of the Above - Customer Service Complaint Issue
Complaint: After purchasing a 360.00 dress I have had issues with store not being open during said hours and owner placing blame on me for an unwearable dress.
I bought a 360.00 dress (brand is "Hoaglund New York"; #27992) in the spring of 2012 hoping to wear it to a very special event that was in the winter. The owner told me I could bring the dress in prior to the event in the winter to have it steamed. On December 4th I called the store and spoke to the owner (************). The owner told me to bring the dress in on December 6th between 5:30 and 6:00 P.M. to have it steamed for an event that weekend. I arrived at the store which is 40 minutes away at 5:40 and the store was closed. I called and left a voice message at 5:50 explaining what was wrong and asking to be called back. The next day (friday) i never heard anything back from the owner and had to call again. I was not able to wear the dress to the event but brought it in to be steamed that Saturday (december 8th) so i could wear it to another event on December 28th. The dress was steamed and placed back in a bag as directed. I did not take the dress out of the bag until the night of the event on December 28th. I was shocked to find it was still covered in wrinkles and completely unwearable. I brought the dress back to the store (with the tags) on January 7th. The owner was extremely rude to me and proceeded to make up lies by telling me I shoved my dress into a closet. I asked the owner if she would of even wore the dress to which she replied "no". However, when i told her the dress was "unwearable" she told me it was not her problem. She also proceeded to misconstrue the first encounter I had with bringing the dress in and the store being closed. Her reasoning for closing the store early was because "it was dark outside and scary" even though she knew i had arranged this time with her 2 days earlier and she obviously was not concerned about my safety.
Business' Initial Response
Contact Name and Title: ************, Owner
Contact Phone: ************
Contact Email: ************************
This customer bought a dress almost 6 months before an actual event she was going to wear it to. At the time of purchase, my associate who sold her the dress told her as a "courtesy" we would steam it out for her a day or two prior to the event. In December she called and asked if she could have the dress steamed out. She said she worked and couldn't get to the store until after 5:30pm which is our closing time. We do have extended hours on Thursday evenings until 6 typically if there are customers in the store. They are not posted. I told her to come Thursday. I assumed my associate would be at the store until 6 like typically that day. The next day, the customer left a message on my answering machine stating she was there at 5:40 and no one was there. My stylist said there wasn't a car in sight and all the other stores were closed and it was 5:40 so she decided to close for safety measures as it was pitch dark and she was alone. I was not aware of this. I did not pick up her message on my machine until the end of the day as I was very busy that day with returns, etc. and working alone. I had intended to call her first thing the next morning however she beat me to it. I told her to come in to the store and I would come in early to steam out the dress as I felt very bad she made a trip thursday evening and no one was here. She came in with her boyfriend and I steamed out the dress myself. It looked perfect. I told her because the fabric was so delicate (silk organza) she should lay it flat in her car as well as not hanging it in a closet but lay it on a bed flat until she needed to wear it. Her event was 2 days after the steaming. I had not heard from her THAT day or in the few days after about any wrinkles or her not being able to wear the dress. Three weeks later she came into the store and demanded her full money back for the dress. I asked why and she took the dress out of a paper bag saying "it was totally wrinkled and unwearable when I went to put it on". It was not in the hanging bag I gave her and had "looked" as if it were "packed" into a closet against many other peices of clothing. I did NOT accuse her of anything I merely stated what the dress looked like. I told her she should have called me that day and we would have come to steam it out or maybe looked at it that morning to make sure it looked ok. The dress was NOT damaged and we sold 4 other sizes of the same dress with no complaints nor returns. I apologized profusely and reiterated our store policy of "no refunds or exchanges after 14 days. Store credit only." which is posted at point of sale and printed on her receipt. I told her I was sorry and I could give her a "store credit"for the dress for her "trouble" but could not give her money back because there was nothing "wrong" with the dress and it was purchase 6 months prior. I was already making an exception taking it back and giving her store credit. She started screaming at me, her mother in tow, telling me I was the worse business person and she was going to tell everyone not to shop with me and I would not work with her. I continued to say " I want to compromise and do what I can. I am willing to work with you". She did NOT want to hear anything but get her full refund for a dress purchased in the spring with nothing wrong with it. From my standpoint, I did all I could to try and satisfy her without compromising our policy. If I compromised my policy with every person who makes purchases either impulsively or has the Nordstrom mentality of shopping at a small boutique without taking heed to small business and their policies I would not be in business for 8 years. We pride ourselves on being fair and working with our customers. We have very loyal customers and do "bend" in situations, extending return/exchange times past our 2 week policy in many situations. As far as I was concerned this customer clearly made a bad judgment in purchasing a "pricey" dress 6 months prior to an event and wanted to take back her decision. We give to many non-profits and support local businesses as well. I would never make a decision I regreted with a customer nor "yell" or be "rude" to a customer.
Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Once again I am refusing to accept the business' resolution due to several comments made by the owner that are simply false. The owner states that when I first walked in I "immediately said I want a refund I never wore this dress". This accusation is completely innacurate. I was extrememly polite when I came into the store and started by explaining who I was and the trouble I had already had with the dress in the past. In fact, it wasnt until my mom spoke up and the owner asked us what we would like to have happen that my mom stated "the dress is unwearable we would like a refund". The owner has also stated that I came into the store "with my mom in tow". I find this perfectly acceptable seeing as my mom is the one who spent the 400.00 on the dress in the first place. The owner has also stated that I waited "weeks" after discovering the dress was unwearable to come back to the store. In reality- the date of the wedding event was December 29th. I came into the store 9 DAYS later on Monday, January 7th. Seeing as another holiday was also in between those 9 days and I work a full time job I think 9 days is perfectly acceptable and does not constitute "weeks". The statement I find to be most appalling is the owner saying she would have personally driven to my house to steam out the dress on the day of the event. I have a very hard time believing this statement due to her failed attempts at customer service in the past. I also do not appreciate the owner reiterating the fact that they offer the steaming as a "favor" and not a service. The day I purchased the dress the owner was the one who voluntarily told me to bring it in to have steamed. I fnd it extremely poor customer service to then turn around and use it against your customers or expect me to believe the owner would have driven all the way to my house to simply do a "favor" when she won't even recognize this issue. The owner also states she doesnt appreciate me "raising my voice". The owner was just as rude to me and I dont appreciate her treating one of her customers that way.
Business' Final Response
In rebuttal to consumer's comments: I absolutely told her to "lay the dress flat in the car in the garment bag on the way home and if you can find a place to do the same in your house or atleast don't hang it into a cramped closet. That way pressure won't be against it". I did not tell her SHE "shoved" it into her closet. I told her the dress "looked as if it were hanging in a packed closet". That is not RUDE it was merely my opinion of what it looked like. I told her 3 times I wanted to work with her but it was not DAMAGED and was purchased 6 months prior so we could not give her money back due to policy. I also did not say to her "this is not my problem". When she first walked into the store to return the dress she immediately said to me "I want a refund I never wore this dress. It was totally wrinkled when I went to put it on." I said to her "wrinkles in a dress is really not our store's responsibility". She then continued to state her case. While I understand her disappointment with not being able to wear the dress to her occasions, she never contacted me after the event stating the situation. She waited weeks after to walk it into my store and demand her money back. If it was such an important issue with her I would assume she would have called me at the store the day of or after the event. The steaming of the dress was a "courtesy" by us not mandatory. We offer that as a favor not a "service". If she would have called the store the morning of the event explaining how the dress looks I personally would have driven to her house with my steamer and steamed it out to make her feel better and to have her be able to wear the dress. Furthermore, all of these events happened while the dress was already 6 months old and way past exchange/refund policy. I also don't appreciate her stating I was RUDE when she had been raising her voice to me in my store and "accusing" me of bad business methods when all I wanted to do was come to a compromise we would both have been satisfied with. At this point, if I were to take the dress back and refund her charge card, she would get the refund of it on sale 40% off since all merchandise in the store is on sale 40% and the dress is already from 2 seasons prior. So if she'd would like I can credit her card back $216 plus tax upon her returning the dress. I feel this would be a fair compromise.
Complaint Resolution: BBB determined the company made a reasonable offer to resolve the issues, but the consumer did not accept the offer.