Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Wal-Mart of Bridal Stores (....but that's just being mean to Wal-Mart)

Way back in September of 2011, I went to David's Bridal to get a dress for Beth and Mike's wedding. Some men may not realize this, but many times you go into this giant store filled with dresses and they will only have the style and size to try on, but you'll have to order the color you need (and it will take up to 8 weeks for it to arrive). I remember trying on a hideous purple version of the black halter dress that was to be worn for the wedding and it fit perfectly. Naturally, the woman who was "helping" me (I say that VERY lightly) informed me that there were only two left in my size in the country and when I asked if she could get one of them for me, she sighed loudly and replied, "Well, I can give you their phone numbers."
Wow, honey...I'm so sorry that I put you out.
The moment I walked out of the store, I immediately pulled out my phone and called the first store. After putting me on hold for about 10 minutes, they informed me that my dress had been sold and hung up. At that time, my heart began to race - what would I do if the second (and last) location gave me the same answer!?!
I called and tried to kill the man with kindness, profusely thanking him for even answering the phone and telling him he'd save my life if he could find the dress in black. After holding for 25 minutes, I hung up and called back - the same guy answered and managed to twist the situation in a way to have me apologize for bugging him. He put me on hold again for 12 minutes and when he came back to the line, he exclaimed, "Yup! We've got it!"
I said with a smile in my voice, "Well, that was definitely worth the 35 minute wait!", at which he got wildly defensive and exclaimed, "It says on my phone that you've only been holding for 12 minutes, ma'am."
All I could spit out was, "Well, as you may remember - I hung up after the first 25 minutes because you forgot about me. Can I just give you my credit card number?"
After explaining to me that it would cost $30 to ship the dress, I gave him my credit card number and waited a week for the dress arrive. ($30 for ground shipping from Virginia to North Carolina? Are you kidding me??)
When it arrived I breathed a sigh of relief....until I tried it on and found that the reason that it was THE. LAST. DRESS. IN. AMERICA. was because it was wildly mislabeled.
Seeing that I only had about 3 weeks until the wedding and I wouldn't be able to lose enough weight to fit into the dress (well, without hacking off my left leg...and even then there is no way I would be able to zip it up over the gals), I had a minor freak out session. After calling around to the stores in the area, I found out that there was a black dress the next size up at one of the stores. When I asked if they could hold it until I could drive up there to pick it up later that night, they replied, "Ma'am, it is against our policy to hold dresses." (Seriously...why did they insist on calling me "ma'am", as if they are pretending to be nice?)
Since it was my last chance to get THE dress, I drove up north and picked up the dress that was too big. When I tried it on, they informed me that to take the dress in and have it actually fit me, it would cost $80. Were they easy fixes? Of course, but at a certain point you take a moment to throw your hands up in the air, then hand your credit card over and pray that the whole situation will be over soon.
Now please understand that when you buy a dress at David's Bridal, you sign a document that states that you cannot return the dress - so I still had a mislabeled dress on my hands. After they informed me that they wouldn't let me return the dress, Beth got involved (at first I thought they were just nicer to brides, but after hearing horror stories from my friends, it sounds like Beth just has stellar negotiating skills). She negotiated to have them allow me exchange the mislabeled dress for other merchandise, but not the cost of the alterations. Sadly (after my entire horrible experience) I filed that under the "win" column (you've got to find wins anywhere you can get them, right??)

Fast forward to the wedding coming up at the end of May...
Yesterday I stopped by the David's Bridal up north to try on a long dress. When I was searching for my size, the woman looked at me and said, "Go two sizes up". I wanted to punch her in the face (as I was very aware to what size I should be wearing according to David's Bridal after the infamous October Debacle). When I tried on the dress she told me to, I walked out of the dressing room (WHY DO THEY NOT HAVE MIRRORS IN THE DRESSING ROOMS!?!?!?) and I was greeted with a tiny gasp from a sweet high school student shopping for her (whore-y) prom dress (PS. Not to age myself, but why are teenagers dressing like slutbags when they attend their proms these days??? These young whipper-snappers today...). my rant.
She sweetly said, "Honey, you need to go down like 3 sizes. That dress is WAY too big on you."
When I asked the saleslady for a smaller size she let me know that they didn't have my size and I could check any of the stores down south "either the one 40 minutes from here...or in Atlanta, or you could drive down to Florida, because it could take from 8 to 15 weeks to order the dress and May 25th may just be too soon".

I smiled, updated my Facebook status to exclaim how much I hated David's Bridal (I am so freaking passive-aggressive), and drove home. This morning, I headed down south to church to pray for a little luck (and also for the safety of the associates at the "down south" David's Bridal). After church I was one of the first customers in the store where the associate was awesome in helping me find my dress. Quietly thanking God for my dress-getting fortune, I thanked the woman for being so kind and she replied with a smile, "I'm new here."

I don't think she understood what I was talking about when I replied, "Oh. That explains it."
Pretend this dress is in black and you'll be able to picture the dress I was searching for...

I realize that I'm not the first to complain about David's Bridal (go ahead and Google search "David's Bridal Customer Service" - it's never good), but how does the company not realize that they would get so much more business if they were actually nice?

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