Earlier this year, I attended a simply magical wedding. I’d never attended a black-tie wedding before and I was very nervous about my dress. What does nervousness do? It makes one fidgety. What do fidgety people do? They spill things. Sadly, I stained the dress. That’s where the story begins.

First the Bad: 

I’d never owned the kind of dress you wear to a black-tie wedding before, so when Time Out mag. recommended Dry Cleaner X (actual name withheld because I don’t want to grow the snark already in this story) that’s where I went. Note to self: ALWAYS ask friends for recommendations first. Do not trust Magazines.

The dry cleaner attempted to remove the stains. They missed quite a few. They dyed the dress, and returned it to me looking like this. The original pic is clearer, but there are three shades of blue-yellow/blue, bright blue and dark blue. When I called, their rep said “I knew you were going to be unhappy.” She told me nothing more could be done and then said it was wearable because dresses like these were meant for functions where it would be dark. I was pretty upset.

Now the Awesome:
I went back to the store where I purchased the dress. The fabulous sales rep, Thommy, was very comforting. He offered to send the dress to the dry cleaner the store uses: Slate, NYC.

Well, Slate accepted the “Mission Impossible” and worked on the dress little by little over a period of time. Yes, that’s how bad the dress was. Two weeks ago, Thommy called. Yesterday, I picked up the dress. (See pic to the right)

Horray for Slate, NYC!

Back to the Bad: 
I understood the first dry cleaner had spent time and money. However, because the problem had been fixable, I emailed them and I asked to for a 50% refund of my dry cleaning bill. I thought I was being reasonable. Their rep disagreed.

The conversation opened with her saying, “Well, you ruined the dress first.” Then, she said the store had tricked me and had actually replaced my dress, not sent it to their cleaner. She assured me she knew all the “tricks those people play.” After about ten more minutes, she offered a 40% credit but said she was unable to issue refunds. She should have said “unwilling” because, in her next breath, she offered to send me a check IF I sent the first pic with a date stamp, get a statement from the store to prove the dress was yellowed, get a statement from the second dry cleaner that they worked on the dress and provide the store’s receipt for dry cleaning.

“Serenity Now!” *breathes deeply*

Revisiting the whole:
Their sales rep definitely got under my skin. If I were her, I would have offered a refund to start, or not returned the dress in an unwearable condition. I was going to gather the information she demanded. But why allow myself to be bullied? She took my request personally and, from that moment, her accusations escalated. I mean, when a dry cleaner accuses a store of secretly replacing a dress, I think its safe to assume that reason has left the building.

Why should I let this woman who screams at customers take any more of my time and energy? Why should I allow her venom to taint the good things other people went out of their way to do for me?

Thommy was wonderful, a team at Slate worked very hard for a very reasonable price–less than half of my original bill. Two thirds of the people involved were sympathetic and helpful–that’s not a bad percentage. I’m out quite a bit of money and I’m astonished at the things this woman said. On the other hand, I once again have a dress that is gorgeous and wearable. Slate NYC and Thommy have earned a loyal fan and customer for life.

Here’s part of the response Slate sent when I emailed them to thank them:
“Thank you so much for your email, your feedback, and your kind words. I printed this out and showed to everyone in our team who worked on your gown.  They had a big smile on their faces :)”

Now that’s service!

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