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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wedding dress woes at The Model Shop

I've heard a few horror stories from brides recently (remember the bride who was told by her alterations seamstress that her dream dress was ugly?) and it makes me wonder how, with all the spotlight on the wedding industry in the media these days (thanks, TLC), industry reps here in NL can have so little regard for the level of customer service they are providing.

The last time I checked, a wedding dress might be priced anywhere from $500 to over $5000 - in other words, a major purchase. As far as Carla is concerned, her purchase at the Model Shop just ended up being a major pain in the ass.

Here's her email:

"A little bit of background info first: I am getting married in August
and was out looking for a wedding dress in February of this year.

I went to the usual wedding dress stores in St. John's: The Model Shop,
Bridal Salon and the couple others. There isn't much choice here in
Newfoundland for wedding attire to begin with so I stuck to the two
stores downtown.

I received amazing service from the Bridal Salon on Water Street. They
are so friendly and quick to accommodate you down there. Also, they have
now set up an appointment system for trying on wedding dresses. which is
great because it keeps people from just looking to try on dresses for
fun. You need to call them or go to their site and book an appointment
to look at and try on wedding dresses.

For some reason I can't explain, I stepped over to the dark side across
the street, otherwise known as The Model Shop. I have never had good
dealings with the Model Shop before; six years ago I purchased my
graduation dress there and it burned when the building burned down.
They called me to say that they couldn't get my dress to NL in time so I
had to choose another dress. I had to fight with them, and finally they did
put a rush on the original dress I had ordered.

Okay. Skip ahead six years and I am in The Model Shop looking for my
wedding dress. First of all, every staff member there is over 50 and this
is horrible. They should have some younger staff who are up on the
wedding trends and who are friendlier. They are rude and not very

I found the dress I wanted and it was the cheapest at the model shop, so
that's where I ordered it in. I tried on the regular length gown, but I
needed a longer length. The sales lady assured me that the dress can be
ordered in with an extra 3 inches (for an additional $70). So I say
great, lets order this dress in the longer length. We (myself and my
mom) put the down payment on the dress and went on our happy way.

June rolls around and I get a call telling me that my dress is in. I was
so excited. Couldn't wait to go try it on and take it home! I go down
the same day they call and jump into the dress. I look down and realize
the dress I have on is hovering over the floor over 2 inches or more. It
was really short, I could see my feet and ankles when I looked into the

I came out of the dressing room, and told the sales lady that this dress
was definitely not the longer version, as it is the same length as the
first one I tried on. She said, no, this is the longer dress because it
says L on the tag. I told her to look at my feet showing through, and
that this was not the long dress. She argued back and forth with me for
a few minutes until another sales lady showed up with a measuring tape.
She said she would measure it to see if it was longer.

I had no idea what the measurement of the regular or long dress was
supposed to be, all I knew was that this dress was not the long one with
the extra three inches that I had ordered. They told me that it was the
long one, and that's my dress. At this point I started to get really
mad. I didn't cry but I got frustrated. I knew I was right and they
were trying to get me out the door with the wrong dress.

Finally I got them to call Alfred Angelo where the dress came from, and
they agreed to take the dress back to measure it and see if it was
indeed the shorter version. I was happy with this because I knew it was.
This was on a Saturday, and the Model Shop employees told me that my
dress would be shipped to Ontario via FedEx on the Monday two days later
and that I would hear from they by the end of the week.

The end of the week comes and goes. The next week after I go down to the
Model Shop again demanding some answers. They call Alfred Angelo, and
they didn't even receive my dress there yet. So they obviously lied to
me about sending the dress the week before. Finally three weeks after
they sent it I hear from The Model Shop. Alfred Angelo had measured my
dress, and guess was regular length, and it did not
have the extra three inches. YEAH, I already knew this and just lost a
month fighting with The Model Shop about it.

So I was told a new dress was to be made and I would get it a month
before the wedding, which was unacceptable to me so I had to argue a bit
more for them to put a rush on my dress.

After all was said and done, The Model Shop kept talking to me as if it
was not their fault, it was Alfred Angelo's, and they couldn't believe
they made such a mistake. They didn't understand why I was mad at them!
Alfred Angelo is The Model Shop's contact, not mine! So if Alfred Angelo
messed up, The Model Shop did as well - they were representing them.

Just made me so mad.

In the end I got my dress, and it's the right length, and all is happy.
But it was a pain to get there! The Model Shop hasn't even apologized or
anything for the things I had to go through in the last couple of

It will be the last time I EVER deal with The Model Shop, and I even
took our business with the men's tuxes elsewhere. I am spreading the
word to everyone, stay away from The Model Shop. Worst customer service
I have EVER received from a business.

It's all behind me now, and I am just looking forward to our wedding day
in August!"

Thanks for sharing this, Carla! I'm so glad to hear that this all worked out in the end, and please accept my very best wishes for your wedding day! Hopefully this post will be seen by the right people and The Model Shop will realize that their customer service strategy needs some major work.


  1. Another asshole customer. Sheesh. Who let these people out of the waterford?

  2. Wow. Not sure what makes the customer an asshole here. Perhaps you'd like to elaborate? Or perhaps you just couldn't resist the chance to make an inane comment on a half-dead blog. Whatever.

  3. AEthelbera = Model Shop employee.

    Model Shop rudeness and horrible service (plus complete unwillingness to take responsibility for mistakes) means this abomination of a store should be boycotted so that they lose money until they start to treat everyone fair and square, and with the respect they deserve not only as customers, but as people. F U Model Shop!