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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 accommodating.
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 mirror.
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 what...it 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 months.
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.