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Dry Cleaners - their obligations?


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#1 JustBeige

Posted 19 December 2012 - 04:52 PM

I'm a bit concerned and am hoping that someone may have some advice for me.

I put a dress in to be cleaned on Monday.  Told me it would be ready by today.  When I got there, was told not till 4pm this afternoon (sigh).   I told them that I would be back on Friday and I would appreciate a phone call if there was any further delay.


I get a phone call this afternoon telling me that the cleaner is having a hard time cleaning the dress and its "unwearable" as it has marks all over it.   (I still didnt get mad) and told the person that there were no marks on the dress (I checked) and if there was I would have pointed them out to her when I dropped it off.

I asked about her use of the term "unwearable" and she said she means that the cleaner is not happy with the way it has come up and wants to clean it again.

My very long winded question is: what is their obligation if they destroy the dress? - I had a look on my ticket stub and there is no T&C's listed.

I dont use dry cleaners very often, but am a bit annoyed that their lack of professionalism.

Is this something I should ring Dept Of Fair trade about?    I dont want to go in yelling or arm waving (though if they destroy the dress I will use my cranky mummy face) but do want to know what I can insist on them doing.

ETA: dont have the docket/ receipt for the dress as it was bought at the beginning of 2012 and has only been worn once.

Edited by JustBeige, 19 December 2012 - 04:54 PM.


#2 follies

Posted 19 December 2012 - 08:50 PM

I used to work at a terrible dry cleaners and this was a frequent problem. Go in, ask to see the dress, if it is covered in blue/black marks then it is their fault (unless you cut the care instructions out, then you are on your own) They have not been replacing the cleaning fluid and dirt and dye from black suits have set into the fabric.

If they have destroyed it you can make them replace it. (If you go online you can probably work out how much it cost/buy a new one) but they will probably try and squirm their way out of it.

Out of interest what was the fabric/brand/colour/location of the dry cleaners?

#3 JustBeige

Posted 20 December 2012 - 07:09 AM

Follies, thanks for that info.  Really handy to know.

I have PM'd you original.gif

#4 Bluenomi

Posted 20 December 2012 - 08:21 AM

It really depends on where the marks have come from.

I've worked for a dry cleaner and once we had an issue with a dress where it when into the machine as normal and came out a wreck. After a lot of investiagating (and accusations by the client) it turned out it was a fabric fault and the dry cleaning chemicals mixing with the residue of chemical on the fabric destroyed it. We and the customer had no way of knowing that would happen.

Items do need a reclean sometimes and the fact they are doing it again and not just giving back to you is a good thing.

#5 JustBeige

Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:01 PM

Thanks for that Bluenomi.   I hope its not something like that either.  

I just spoke to them.  They keep mentioning coloured stains on it (sounds like what follies has said. damnit)  but have tagged it "the best they could do". argh.

I have to go over tomorrow to have a look at it.

When I put it in, I told the lady that it didnt have any marks, but she didnt actually check it in front of me, just took the garment.   That also puts them at fault doesnt it?


tbh, I got the dress on sale ($20) and they want to charge me $32 for the clean.  I will be happy if they come to the party and agree to me not paying the cost of the clean.

I spoke to the NSW Dept Of Fair Trade and they told me that I am absolutely within my rights to tell them I am not paying for it as they didnt clean it, they damaged it and as such havent met their obligation.

I knew I should have hand washed it as water doesnt leave marks. but thought I would do the 'right thing' and get it cleaned and pressed properly. bah.

Edited by JustBeige, 20 December 2012 - 04:08 PM.


#6 Glittery Fairy

Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:11 PM

my MIL had her dress ruined by the dry cleaners, mind you it was a dress from 2007. This was this year and they paid her the $500 with no questions and no receipt.

#7 JustBeige

Posted 20 December 2012 - 06:33 PM

QUOTE (princeza @ 20/12/2012, 06:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
my MIL had her dress ruined by the dry cleaners, mind you it was a dress from 2007. This was this year and they paid her the $500 with no questions and no receipt.

thanks for that.

I hope I am as lucky tomorrow,

#8 follies

Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:41 AM

Hi JustBeige.

Read your PM. Just remember to stand your ground and mention that you have contacted fair trading and that it looks like stains from the fluid (if it does)

Also ask to talk to the owner, if you are talking to an employee it just means the owner knows he is wrong and is trying to avoid you.

#9 JustBeige

Posted 21 December 2012 - 03:42 PM

thanks follies. original.gif

I got a good outcome.  Yay.

I rang and spoke to another lady yesterday. She didnt know anything about it as she had come back and everyone else was on holidays, including the manager/owner,  but would talk to me today (not reassuring at all).

When I got there she knew exactly who I was and proceeded to get the dress out and get out the light to hold it under - we even walked it to the front door of the shopping centre (not far away).  Neither of us could figure out why the cleaner had marked it "unwearable".   I was there for about 10 - 15mins going over it very slowly together.  We even looked at the underskirt part and the lining.

The only thing that we could find was on the very edge of the tail of the bow ends, on the underneath side only,  there was a bit of an oil stain that you cant even see it through the material.  (I suspect it was from DD as it looked familiar to what she puts on her normal clothes - but I didint say that)

So they either did an awesome job of getting it clean or are uber paranoid.  

So I happily paid up.

It was good to get your information though and I'm glad I spoke to Dept Of Fair Trade so I knew exactly what I could and couldnt say to them.

Thank you to you and eveyone else for your input. I really appreciate it original.gif

#10 follies

Posted 21 December 2012 - 06:24 PM

That's great to hear. Maybe they wrote down the wrong tag number and were looking at the wrong dress?  shrug.gif Anyway, glad to hear it was a storm in a teacup.

#11 JustBeige

Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:38 PM

Funny that. Thats what the lady said to me today.

Lol, she was a bit worried actually that she was going to get another one back that actually was unwearable and that the other girl has been contacting the wrong customer.
They did tag it "best they could do"     (Or whatever the correct term is) but we just really couldnt figure out why.

So glad it wasnt DDs dress that was destroyed. original.gif

#12 Therese

Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:39 PM

I'm glad it all worked out for you original.gif




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