October 2013 Weddings

Dear Alfred Angelo...

I just wanted to send a line about a few different things regarding your store at:

10515 N. Mopac Expressway
Shops at Arbor Walk
Austin, TX 78759

My first two visits to AA were great.  My associate, Julie, was great and helpful.  I knew the gown I wanted before I walked in, but she was patient, let my family and friends pull others, and explained why or why not those gowns would work.  She also was familiar with my ceremony location, which was great to know.

She also was incredibly patient when I made a follow-up visit as we hadn’t discussed veils at my first appointment. 

My complaint, however, is this.

When I went in to pick up my gown, it wasn’t Julie helping me (which wasn’t her fault, I didn’t realize I needed an appointment to pick up my gown; that might be useful information to put on a website.  As a first time bride, I had no idea), but someone else, which was fine.  In that area, and in regards to being helpful and polite and nice, she was.

But, I had NO idea there was a serial number inside of my gown.  That might be useful information to share with brides.

And the ONLY reason I know about the serial number is I realized yesterday, I hadn’t gotten my Certificate of Authenticity with my gown.  And this particular store is one of your Signature Stores, which I find incredibly frustrating as well as disappointing.  Up to this point, I’d been incredibly happy with my AA experience. 

I shouldn’t have to chase down the certificate that should have come with my gown.  It should have been given to me, or included with the receipt for my gown when I picked it up that same day.  But instead, I’ve had to place a call with the store (and leave a voice mail, as I do understand they might be busy, so I’ll know within an hour what happened, as the message said my call would be returned in an hour).

As a reference, my customer number is 1526550 and my gown’s serial number is 0003006265.

And, I have a suggestion.

I am not having my gown altered by your seamstresses, for a simple reason; I couldn’t even get a ROUGH estimate as to what alterations would cost.

As a chain company, with a specific number of gowns that I understand rotate out, shouldn’t there be SOME kind of idea what each style might cost for the most basic of alterations?

My gown, as an example, is #1516.  I need 3 alterations; a bustle, the hemline lifted, and the bodice taken in.

I understand bustling can go MANY different ways, but, no matter what the gown, there are only so many different types of bustle.  For each style of gown offered in your stores, could you not have some kind of rough price list that a French Bustle on a #1516 would cost X and a Ballroom Bustle on a #1516 would cost Y?  That a bodice needing to be taken in on a #1516 would cost Z. 

And so on through the various styles.  Couldn’t this be something set by corporate?  I find it INCREDIBLY frustrating that I had no idea if alterations would cost me $500 or $5,000 without having to make an additional appointment to talk to a seamstress. 

What I was told is the cost would depend on how long it took the seamstress to do the alteration.  I don’t want to pay by the hour; I want to be able to pay by the alteration.  You know the styles of gowns you offer, you know the variety of alterations that can be done (including removing a train or even turning a ballgown in to a tea-length gown, etc), so it seems that SOME kind of price list, at least for the most basic of alterations, could be made available.

Instead, I just took my dress and will be having someone else do the alterations because they could give me an idea as a starting point. 

Mostly though, if someone can get me my certificate of authenticity, I’ll be satisfied.  Because right now, I’m rather annoyed and not particularly happy that I’m having to do this additional work that I shouldn’t have had to do in the first place.

[Deleted User]

Re: Dear Alfred Angelo...

  • Yes, I really did just send that to customer care.

    I am PISSED that I didn't get my certificate.  What I'm honestly sitting here feeling is that once AA got my money, they passed off my dress, said "THANKS!  Enjoy the wedding!!!" and that's the end of that.

    Yeah, NO!  Where's my certificate?!  I know it's a dumb piece of paper, but I'll tuck it away with the gown when I preserve it, or, if I end up selling it, the certificate should go WITH the gown.  Or whatever.

    PART of the cost of my gown is this damn piece of paper.  GIMMIE!!!

    (I think I just passed in to the bridezilla zone)
    [Deleted User]hardlyhannah
  • rkborkbo
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    member
    Clearly I'm clueless, but out of curiosity, what is a certificate of authenticity for? To authenticate that its a wedding dress wrapped around your body and not a moo moo?

  • rhawndas said:
    Clearly I'm clueless, but out of curiosity, what is a certificate of authenticity for? To authenticate that its a wedding dress wrapped around your body and not a moo moo?
    I think it's probably a "this is a genuine Alfred Angelo gown" type thing.
    image
    shaylagirl
  • I assume that it's to prove this is a REAL AA dress and not a Chinese knock-off made by slave labour in windowless factories by small children.
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    shaylagirl[Deleted User]
  • rkborkbo
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    member
    I assume that it's to prove this is a REAL AA dress and not a Chinese knock-off made by slave labour in windowless factories by small children.
    lol, but it would be cheaper! Ironically, I think their dresses are in fact made in China! 

    My FMIL is making my wedding dress...Maybe I should get a certificate of authenticity from her! 

  • It is made in China, which is cool, but yes, it's to prove it's a real AA.

    Honestly, I could give two craps less about it.  Except they seem to PRIDE themselves on their certificate of authenticity.  Okay then, GIMMIE!  I paid the money, give me my proof!

    Didn't I hear or read that Maggies are made in China as well?  The difference in those knock-offs and the real deals is strict control over the final product.
  • I went to AA to look at bridesmaids dresses with one of my bridesmaids. She would have needed a dress altered and they were SO VAGUE about costs. 

    "It just depends on how much and what dress and.."

    "Ok, can we get an estimate on this dress?"

    "I really don't know, you'd have to make an appointment with the seamstress and see .."

    F that noise. Also, their dresses were more expensive, anyway. SO, we left. ANNDDD, at David's, they were like, "Oh, it'll be $35 to alter that." DONE. SIMPLE. ANSWER. THX. BYE.

    They have two parts to their business. Dresses and altering them. They seem to suck at knowing anything about either one.
  • That's what chapped my ass. 

    Just a VAGUE idea?  SOMETHING I can work with?

    No?

    Then, thanks for my gown, peace out!

    And, I called the store over 3 hours ago.
    NO ONE has returned my call.
    DESPITE their VM saying ALL calls would be returned within 1 hour.

    *grumpypants ON*
  • Well, isn't this fun?

    I call them around 3 or so, and, huh!  They were "Just fixing" to call me!  AMAZEBALLS!!!

    Customer service also apparently forwarded my above email to them, so she had that in hand as well.

    And, in AMAZEBALL situation numero dos, they were able to give me a rough idea on alteration costs!!  HUH!  I am SHOCKED!!

    $360-$420 depending on bustle style.

    Also, my certificate was AT the store.  They forgot to include it in the pocket on my garment bag.  *sigh*

    At least they're going to mail it which saves me driving down there to get it.
  • That is a lot of money for alterations!!!! I would have passed out !!' Did you faint?? I only had a bustle done but it cost $27 with taxes. Seriously...I can't breathe.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I was glad I heard back, despite the suspect timing.  I was also impressed that customer care forwarded on my email, so they knew exactly what my issues and complaints were.  The manager expressed that she could indeed understand how I'd be frustrated by not knowing what the cost of alterations would be, so HOPEFULLY they'll address that with their sales people in the future.

    I knew alterations were going to cost; mostly because I'm doing 3 things to it, and the bustling is going to be the hardest thing for me to decide because of the color on the back of the gown. 

    I admit I'm intrigued that AA says the bodice can be taken in with either a side-seam or an additional dart, or even a draw-string INSIDE of the bodice, thus eliminating the need to remove beading and reattach it.  Interesting.  I'll see what my own seamstress says about it this Friday.

    Although, if I could get away with only paying $27 for a bustle, I'd weep for joy.  Seriously.  :)

    But, yes, when she told me what the cost would be, I almost choked.  I am prepared for a bill of $250-$300, but much more than that...I just...I don't know what I'll do.

    Cry.  Eat ice cream.  Drown myself in rum and cokes. 
    Then pay the bill.  :)
    [Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • I went to AA and bought my dress from there.  I had no idea about the certificate of authenticity and had no idea they even had those. I might have tolook into this a little more. I went for my first fitting with a different seamstress yesterday (I refused to go back to AA) and she was shocked that they didn't give me a garment bag. All they gave me was a plastic bag that you would get if you bought your dress at a department store.  I am so aggravated by this, I paid a lot of money for my dress and you can't even give me a garment bag? I'm emailing them, this is ridiculous. 
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  • WHOA! 

    Email them for SURE!

    Did you go to an AA signature store?  Because, when I picked up my gown, I did, actually, get a garment bag, and the salesgirl showed me how to properly put my gown in to the garment bag and how to hang the dress, how to zip it up, etc.

    On the website, it says if you don't go to an AA signature store, or one of their stores, they may not give you a certificate, but, if you contact AA, they WILL get you one, which is nice.

    My mom located the serial number (every dress has one), so I used that, plus my customer number when I sent my email to Customer Care to bitch. 

    Good luck @millersox2184!  Let us know how it works out for you!  Sounds like your experience was worse than mine.  :(  And that makes me sad.

    Because, a plastic bag?  WTF?  Really?  That's just shameful.
  • I did buy my dress from an actual AA store.  I bought it down in FL when I was visiting my sister and they shipped up to me in RI.  I told my seamstress that and she even she agreed that they still should have given me a garment bag in the box.  She found it pretty ridiculous too!  My seamstress is giving me one but this shouldn't happen.  We all pay very good money for these dresses and for them to just throw them in a plastic bag is inexcusable. 

    I have already complained to customer service because of the horrible service I got from a salesperson in my local AA.  They did get back to me but they also didn't really seem to care.  They apologized but I doubt anything was done about it.  I have read some bad reviews about the store near me so apparently I am not the only one who has had to deal with this.
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    148 Invited
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  • I have my first fitting last night and alterations will include hemming, a bustle, shortening the straps and moving the panel behind the laces (I have a corset back).  Total cost: $120. 
  • You're getting one heck of a deal @amaryann210, if those are AA seamstresses!!

    Here's what my Austin store told me.

    To do a hem and a bodice; $209 on -my- gown (#1516), depending on what they did to the bodice.  Side-seam, extra dart or drawstrings were the three potential things they could do, but since mine gaps on the sides, she felt just a side-seam would fix me up.

    Now, again, since mine's from the Dream in Color collection, the bustle alone could run me $150-$210.

    I still think that's a crock of crap, and is inflated in regard to cost.

    I told FI what the high-end could be and he looked at me, and in all sincerity said "But, for that price, couldn't you just BUY a new gown?"

    "Well, yes baby, I could, but THIS one is MY gown, it just needs to be tweaked by a professional who knows what they're doing."

    "But, I thought your mom knows how to sew."

    "Babe, as much as my dress costs, and as expensive as it was, mom won't touch it with a 10-foot pole for fear of ruining it."

    "Damn.  I guess I'll just show up naked then."

    "Don't.  Just.  Don't.  NO ONE wants to see your naked ass on our wedding day, not even me."

    Can you tell we're dorks?  :)
    rustytammy
  • @shaylagirl No, not AA seamstress- local bridal shop in town that came highly recommended.  I didn't even ask the place I bought my dress for an alterations estimate, having heard how incredibly expensive they were.  I was told that the salon where I bought my dress usually averages $500 for alterations.
  • *CHOKE*

    See, when it comes to the gown/veil/alterations, women get effed by the wedding industry!  Sheesh.
    amaryann210
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