Prom Dress

United States
April 25, 2008 9:55am CST
Last Thursday night was my daughter's prom. She purchased a dress from one of the shops here in town, and then we bought shoes and accessories to go with it. An hour before time for Lauren and Clayton's photographs, the strap on her dress broke. There was no time to go back out and exchange the dress, so we ended up pinning the strap with a safety pin and she went on to prom. No one could tell that the dress was pinned, but she was very upset none the less. She had spent her own money on the dress. Here's our question. Now that prom is over, do we spend the money to fix the strap so that she can keep it like she had planned to do, or should we take the dress back and see if the store will exchange it now. She doesn't think they will because it has been worn. I called the store and asked about their return policy and was told that they would exchange it if it hadn't been worn.
4 people like this
17 responses
@only1shi (405)
• United States
28 Apr 08
i think that it all depends on what she wants you to do. i still have my prom dress hanging up in my closet. i don't ever intend to wear it again, but everytime i glance at it, i smile a little and remember the fun that i had at that time of my life.
• United States
6 Jul 08
She plans to keep it. She still has both of her dresses from last year as well as one from homecoming, a ccouple that her sister wore, and one that neither of them wore, but don't want to get rid of. Go figure tha.
• Canada
26 Apr 08
You know, I really think that you should let your daughter lead the way on this. Does she love the dress and want to have it fixed and keep it? Does the dress have good sentimental value, or is she always going to look back on that dress with the bad memory of the broken strap? (Hopefully not!) If she wants to try returning it, I would suggest taking it back to the store. The trick to returns is to act entitled. I mean, you are, really. The strap broke before she'd even worn it to prom! I would walk in there with the receipt and say "The strap on this dress broke the first time my daughter wore it and I'd like to return it." If the salesperson says they can't, point out the tear, say something about the strap being defective and ask what they CAN do for you. Then go from there. I would make sure that you bring your daughter so that she can make the decision based on what they offer you. She's definitely old enough to take charge of this situation a little. All the best!
2 people like this
• United States
6 Jul 08
Great advice. This is what we started out doing. She told Lauren that they weren't responsible. She was evidently doing something in the dress she wasn't supposed to to put unnecessary stress on the dress and implied that it was ripped after prom. I knew where she was going, though it took Lauren a few minutes to get there too. The lady needs to be fired!
@ElicBxn (60874)
• United States
26 Apr 08
maybe you can get a small refund because it was defective?
2 people like this
• United States
6 Jul 08
After I got really upset with the way their manager was talking to Lauren and promised to report them to the better business bureau, she gave Lauren $25 in store credit for her "trouble". Not much she could buy, but she ended up getting a couple of pairs of earrings and a bracelet and necklace from her clearance sale rack.
@vcha_23 (110)
• Philippines
26 Apr 08
if the safety pin worked on the dress without someone noticing it, then i think it is worthy to keep. just get it sewed good. anyways, it's her money that she used so i think she would still want the dress if it's sewed good.
2 people like this
• United States
6 Jul 08
We went back to the store and talked to the manager about what happened. First she was ugly and accused Lauren of being too hard on the dress. I told her that it wasn't as if Lauren were doing cartwheels in her formal. She was just rude and I've reported them to our local chamber of commerce...both for the defective dress and their dealings with the public. No one deserves to be talked to the way she talked to my 17 year old daughter.
• China
26 Apr 08
oh,bad luck!Support you!it is necessary to call the store and ask about exchange or return.you should tell the true reason to them, you have not much time to come back and exchange!
2 people like this
• United States
6 Jul 08
They wouldn't exchange or return since it had been worn. I hated that and promised to never shop in their store again. they gave her a gift certificate for $25. not much she could buy at a formal wear shop for that, but I suppose it was better than nothing.
• India
26 Apr 08
you can get the strap fixed by the store since it is a defective product given by them. if they do not heed to your request, then you can write up to the company who have stiched the dress material, about the whole experience you had under gone. thanks.
• United States
6 Jul 08
They refused to take any kind of responsibility. They said Lauren was probably too hard on the dress. Yea, that's it. She decided to use the straps as a bungee cord. I am afraid I had to really try hard to control my temper.
@emma412 (1156)
• United States
26 Apr 08
I would take it back anyways and see if they will fix it. Just let them know how upset she is and that if they don't take responsibility for their items yu will pass that information along to other consumers. A good business would take care of their customers and fix the problem. A strap isn't really that big of a deal. If not, I would fix it myself. It could easily and quickly be sewn back together. You never know if she would want to wear it again or lend it to someone else. Better to have it ready to go in case she finds she needs it. Good luck!
2 people like this
@Rosekitty (19441)
• San Marcos, Texas
26 Apr 08
Morning Carpenter Since i own a store this is what I would do for a customer that told me this..i would offer them a credit towards anything in my store up to a certain amount..making them happy and keeping them as a customer! We haven't had Prom yet and I own a vintage store..so i have lots of Vintage prom dresses and they understand they aren't new, but they love that someone else had a memory in this dress! Good Luck!
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jul 08
I wish we'd bought our dress from you! I will never go back to this shop again! The lady who was the manager asked my daughter if it completely ruined her prom, or if she was able to go anyway. Lauren said, well we missed pictures and had to wait for the end, and then our food was cold. The lady said, oh well there are worse things in this world!
@Rosekitty (19441)
• San Marcos, Texas
6 Jul 08
Well whenever you are in Texas come on over and let her see my pretties! Huggs
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jun 09
Where in texas are you? I might be willing to make the drive in a year or so when Lauren gets ready to get married and starts looking for a gown. She would love something vintage. Do you ever get 4 or 5 dresses just alike that she could use as bridesmaid dresses? Of course we are still looking at more than a year away at least.
@kareng (7980)
• United States
26 Apr 08
I would ask for a discount or for free repairs. The strap shouldn't have broken like that. Just tell them the truth and see what they offer to do. Good luck.
• United States
6 Jul 08
All telling the truth did was get my daughter accused of all kinds of ugly things. The manager asked her "What were you REALLY doing when the dress broke? I'm sure you just don't want Mom to know where you were after prom." I've never wanted to hit someone as much as I did then. Lauren was with me BEFORE Prom when the strap broke.
1 person likes this
@kareng (7980)
• United States
6 Jul 08
In that case, just write her a friendly letter and tell her that's ok. You will never do business there again. And you will be sure to tell ALL your friends and relatives about how you were treated.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jun 09
Yes, this is very good advice. We ended up going to a friend of ours who works for the Better Business Bureau and filed a formal complaint against the store. I had copies of statements from the girls who were with us when the dress broke and when she tried to return the dress. We did get a letter from their district manager with a gift certificate in it from the store in another town close to ours and an invitation to shop there for a new dress.
@flowerchilde (12518)
• United States
29 Apr 08
Isn't that something how you can spend lots of money for something and then it so easily falls apart?! I suppose I'd consider it less work to sew the strap than to exchange the dress and/or haggle with the business.
• United States
6 Jul 08
We tried haggling with them a bit, but I ended up getting angry and telling them that we'd never be back and that I'd be sure and let our local better business bureau and the Chamber of Commerce know how we were treated.
• Canada
29 Apr 08
I would definitely go to the store to try and see if they will exchange it. I think it's important that the store owners know that the strap broke, and thee was something wrong with the dres. What happened wasn't right, and they need to fix the problem.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jul 08
They ended up giving her a store credit of $25 for her "trouble". She bought some new jewelry with it. They wouldn't take the dress back but I guess that was better than nothing.
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
26 Apr 08
Would the store have it repaired maybe for free? They should or at least cover your cost. I would go that way first. If not, Do you have a friend or a friend that knows someone that could repair it? Something like that, I would feel so bad for the girl that I wouldn't charge her.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jul 08
They not only refused to have it repaired, but wouldn't accept any responsibility that it could have been bad seams or whatever. The manager was rude and accused my daughter of all kinds of things. I was there when the dress broke. She hadn't even left the house yet!
@k1tten (2321)
• United States
25 Apr 08
I would try the story to begin with. It's always worth a try and if they don't exchange it see if they can give a very good discount on getting it fixed. And if that doesn't work, ask around to see if there is a shop that would fix it for you. Or a family member who knows how to sew.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jul 08
thanks for responding to this. We went back to the store, got no satisfaction at all, promised to never shop there again, more for the way we were treated rather than them not taking the dress back or offering to fix it.
@jillhill (37384)
• United States
25 Apr 08
I would fix it.....it means alot to her so I would spend the money and have it perfect for her to keep..even if it's just a keepsake.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jul 08
That's what we ended up doing. Got a seamstress that goes to church with us to fix the strap. she told Lauren the other one wasn't sewn good either. She is blessed she didn't end up with the other one breaking as well. Thank God for small miracles and safety pins.
@gymbum (3)
• Canada
25 Apr 08
I guess my question to you is "How honest are you?" I diffently would be mad that the strap broke and would bring that to the store attention. I'm sure the store would like to know so they can notify the manufacturer of the default. As well, if you are not satisfied are you willing to return to their store or refer anyone else to do business there. Probably not. Sounds like the night was a success anyways. She did wear the dress. If your daughter likes the dress and was planning on keeping it anyway it is worth fixing and being honest.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jul 08
I'm honest to a fault. My conscience wouldn't let me even try to lie. Our honesty got us no where, except that we both knew we were the ones who were in the right. I told Lauren it was a dress and it could be replaced, her integrity couldn't.
• Philippines
25 Apr 08
Even if you tell them that it hasn't been worn yet, they still won't accept the dress coz the tag has already been removed. I saw a pair of pants that I really really like before, and to my dismay, the design had a stitch which was damaged. I asked for another pair but they told me that they had no other stock. I really really want the pants so I asked them that I'll buy them if I had a discount or something. They told me that it wasn't possible but said that they could fix it for me. I agreed since I really really like the pants. So, I suggest that you ask them if they could fix it for you.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Jul 08
I simply refuse to give them any more of our money, and have made sure that others in town know that they sell garments that are low quality. The seamstress that fixed the dress said not only were the straps not sewn good, but the hem was only Tacked.
@mi2ok02 (406)
• United States
25 Apr 08
I would be honest about it and not try to return it. However, explain to them what happened and maybe they will fix it for free.
• United States
6 Jul 08
Hey friend. I only wish they'd offered to fix it for free. We ended up paying a seamstress to do it for her.