Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Left out to dry

So, apparently it is really difficult to get a wedding gown cleaned.

My adventure began on Monday. I called a few places to price the actual cleaning. First of all, everyone was baffled that I wanted the dress cleaned before the wedding. Secondly, the employees had difficulty understanding that I didn't want it preserved, I wanted to wear it. Thirdly, the prices spanned from $90-$130 depending on the dress. Fine. That was what I was expecting.
After doing my homework, I found that every place I checked was around the same price. Because of this fact, I decided to save myself the driving time and take the dress to the cleaners near my apartment. Andy uses this establishment and has never had a problem. I drove up and was met by a very nice girl who really was trying to be helpful.
"May I help you?"
"Yes, I need to get this dress cleaned."
"Is that a wedding dress?"
"Um, I don't know anything about those. You should come back tomorrow around 10 so you can speak to my supervisor."
"I work all day. I can't come in at that time. May I leave the dress here and call your supervisor in the morning?"
So, I left the dress with the girl and told her that I would call in the morning.

Next morning: First call made to the cleaners, 10:00: "Oh, our boss isn't in yet. She was supposed to be in at 10, but you can try again in a half hour or so."Second call, 10:30: "Yeah, she's still not in yet. No, no one can help you except for her. Try again in an hour or so." Third call, 11:30: "I don't know where she is. She hasn't called or anything." This is the point when I told her that I had no confidence in their business and that I would pick up my dress that afternoon. "That's a good idea," said the employee on the phone.
I picked up the dress around 5:30 (realizing that they had stolen my nice strong hanger and replaced it with their crappy, flimsy hanger) and decided to take it to the dry cleaners up the road that calls themselves 'the wedding gown specialists.' I figured they would at least be able to point me in the right direction. I pulled my gown out of my car and walked it into the cleaners. I was greeted by a nice old woman.
"May I help you?"
"Yes, I need to get this gown cleaned. The last place I took it to had no idea what they were doing and they stole my hanger."
"Oh that's too bad! Of course we can do that for you! The total will be $247.43. If you want it boxed, it will be another $150."
I almost fell over. What the hell?
"May I ask why you charge that much?" My dress is not complicated nor is it adorned with lots of crap.
"Well, our guy is really good at what he does."
"I'm sure he is. That must be one heck of a steamer. Thank you for your time." With that I picked up my dress and walked out of the store of rape. Strike two.
As I drove home I came upon another dry cleaner. I pulled in, left my dress in the car and marched up to the counter. The adorable sixteen year old looked up at me.
"May I help you?"
"Do you clean wedding dresses here?"
"How much do you charge?"
"$95 hung or $120 boxed."
"Great." I walked out to my car, grabbed my dress, and hoisted it onto the counter. "I would like it cleaned and hung. I don't want it boxed and I will be back one week from today to pick it up."
"Sounds good," said the teen.
I will let you know if anything happens when I pick it up. For now, I am a believer that third time really is a charm.


Kathleen said...

oh dear.....yes, I had a similar experience with my dress:) Third time was the charm though;)

Angela said...

Good luck with it all!!!

Mandee Shaffer said...

Horrid Hanger stealers! What horrible people! I was goign to have a vintage dress cleaned before I wore it in a play. The people kept telling me it would cost extra because they wanted to "restore" it and make sure it wouldn't errode while they cleaned it. I told them it would be used for a costume and just needed it dry cleaned. They were going to charge me extra, so I took my dress, bought a dryel home dry cleaning kit and cleaned it myself.