Texas-Dallas and Ft. Worth
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Dress alteration scare tactics? LONG

This is really disheartening and I'm not sure what I should do at this point.

    The store in Garland where I bought my dress charged almost $700 in alterations on an $800 dress. This seemed extreme to me. Granted, the dress is fairly detailed and has beading and lace which I'm sure was a task- but still. I wanted to take it somewhere else, but the saleslady told horror stories of brides doing that and having their dresses ruined and then said if their people did it and anything went wrong, they could just order a new dress, but we'd be on our own if we took it somewhere else. I found this manipulative, but my mother (who is paying) found it frightening, and decided we neeeded to have it done there. They took it in a little on the bodice, hemmed it (9 inches! I hate being short), and put a bustle in it. Ridiculous, in my opinion, but if it was done properly, I would be satisfied enough.

     When all was said and done, I went in for a second fitting 3 months before our wedding date, the lady zipped me in, made sure it fit, and told me I needed to take it home since it fit. I didn't take it out of the bag until a few weeks ago and when I went to try it on again, my mom noticed that the hook part of the clasp at the top of the zipper was not sewn back in. There's a hole at the bottom of the zipper where it meets the skirt and the zipper goes down below the start of the skirt (not sure if that makes sense...it kind of looks like a little keyhole). The little flap that goes over the zipper was sewn too tightly, or too close to the edge of the zipper so now the zipper is completely exposed and the zipper is visible. The flap now sticks out. All things I guess I should have noticed in the store, but I didn't.
    
     In addition to all of that, I've lost weight and the dress needs to be taken in on the bodice again. I called the shop, explained what happened and they told me they couldn't tell me anything and I'd have to call back when the alterations people were in the store- which is only on Thursdays. I called back on Thursday several times and finally the salesperson said she would take a message and the alterations person would call me back. I explained the situation again, and then also about it needing to be taken in again. In my extreme naïvité I assumed that fixing their mistakes and doing a simple take in again should be covered already by the 700 we already paid them.  Apparently not. I never even got to actually talk to the alterations person, just a salesperson who relayed the message that they couldn't give me an estimate of how much at an extreme taking in the dress again might cost until I came into the store. 

     To say I'm frustrated would be an understatement. I'm fed up and want to take it somewhere else. After lurking on the message boards, it sounds like either Becky Fowler or Leighanne with Maybe Sew would be my best bets. My FMIL insists I should take it back to the original shop, scream at them and make them fix it, but that's not really my style and I'm not sure I want them touching my dress again...I'd almost rather pay extra to have it done right somewhere else.

      My question is, is FMIL right, or would I be better served by just going to one of the aforementioned ladies and eating the cost. How much max might it cost with one of them to take in the bodice? My wedding is 5 weeks from now and I'm kind of freaking out. Can the zipper issue even be fixed? What if I lose more weight after it's altered again? Does that cost an arm and a leg every time or does one payment take care of it?  They just put me on thyroid pills, so I'm dropping the weight- although I'm nearing a plateau. Most of the weight has been lost in the bosom area at this point (sigh) and at this point I'm wondering if breast implants would be cheaper than these freaking alterations....Sorry for the ramble. Thank you in advance.

Re: Dress alteration scare tactics? LONG

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    angelsong21angelsong21 member
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I am sorry to hear about your dress.  It really does sound like that was a scare tactic -- $700 worth of alterations is a lot, especially on an $800 dress.  They should be correcting their mistakes under the $700 you already paid them.  $700 should buy you an AMAZING alterations job, so somehow they need to compensate you.

    That being said, from what you have said I would not want to take my dress back there.  They sound shady.  I'd honestly try Becky Fowler or one of the others you mentioned that can hopefully do a very quality job making your dress look beautiful again. I don't like to go back and scream at people either until I "get my way."  Then they are pissed off and aren't really interested in doing a good job (not that it sounds like they were to begin with anyway).  I would still demand compensation from the original shop, though.

    Side note -- I am jealous that your thyroid meds have worked for you!  I've been trying stuff for a year and continue to gain...blah.    Congrats on the weight loss though :)
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    edited December 2011
    WOW! Definitely go elsewhere. The store sounds like they just want to keep extorting you.
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    bsn1752bsn1752 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Becky Fowler is a saint.  You WONT be sorry.

    Sorry you're dealing with this... very deceptive.
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    carmen9311carmen9311 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Wow. I might try talking with a manager or store owner and try to get them to cover the alterations for free. In the meantime, call Becky or Leighanne ASAP, as they are very busy now and see if they can get you on the books. I would think that those alterations would cost around $200 because of the beading, etc. but I'm not positive. 

    Also, when you take it in, you will most likely need it re-hemmed because the dress gets longer. 
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    edited December 2011
    I would say go somewhere else. Even if you scream, yell and they take the dress back in for alterations at no cost they will probably do a poor job since they are mad now.
    I personally would eat the costs. Becky charged me $150 for taking in my dress (yes I have lace and a ton of beading too), a three tier bustle (XL Tain), and taking the dress in two sizes. I think she is also one of the sweetest kind hearted people I know. Plus she told me she can do rush orders when it is needed. Best of luck!
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    edited December 2011
    Def go to Becky! I would not trust them with my dress after all that. I'm always making sure that anyone I know doesn't use anyone's in house alterations. I always feel like they make girls buy a dress that's much too big so that they can get a lot of money in taking it in. The store where I got my dress didn't do that but I hear that a lot of them do.
    Re: costs. I'm sure it's costs more each time you take it in. They still have to do the same amount of work even if they just did it. ($700 was way too much in the first place though!)
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    edited December 2011
    I would go to Becky. She did a LOT of work to my dress (3 bustles, took up my straps, took up my dress from the middle, took in the side and under my arms separately) and it cost me $150. She is amazing and as someone else said a Saint. CALL HER!!

    I am the yelling and get it fixed type so i myself would probably go do that but after thinking about it I wouldn't want them to touch my dress anymore...
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    edited December 2011
    Report this store to the better business bureau and take it to Becky Fowler.

    If you paid for your alterations by credit card I would seriously consider make a claim that the service you paid for was not delivered and try to get some of your $ back. Take pictures before you have it fixed.

    As far as weight loss, that is not their fault.   You really shouldn't get your dress altered until you are at a stable weight, and strive to maintain that weight after alterations are complete.
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    edited December 2011
    FWIW, I don't know if Becky would have anything available -- I know someone said a month or so ago that she was booked all summer.  Leighanna would be great, as well.
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    FruitysherFruitysher member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thanks, ladies. I guess I just needed some encouragement to do what I've wanted to do all along, despite opinions from family. I will call both of them today and see if anything is available. If not, I'm sure they can recommend someone more reputable than the store...surely between the two of them, they'll know someone. GAH! It's just so frustrating. I may look into reporting it to the BBB and contacting the credit card company-that hadn't occured to me and it suits my conflict avoiding/ non-confrontational/ passive-aggressive tendencies.

    Angelsong21- I had that issue when they first put me on them. Nothing seemed to be working. I consulted my regular doctor instead of the fancypants endocrinologist and he said my levels were in the "normal" range BUT compared to what they were in my teens, it might not be the normal-for-me range. So he bumped up my dose and monitored me closely and that has made all the difference. I'm way more alert and less grouchy and my nails are better too. Worth asking about.
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