- 5 years ago
- Wedding: June 2013
I’m sorry my first post is one asking for help, but I’m in a seriously stressful situation and need some advice and support. I’m at the end of my tether.
It’s a bit of a long story but I’ll try and keep it to the point whilst not leaving out anything important. I can’t mention any names as I’m still in the process of trying to sort it all out.
I went to a designer wedding dress sample sale in a reputable store to try and find my dream dress. I tried on a beautiful dress from a designer I hadn’t heard of, which was marked as reduced from an original price (which was penned in large numbers on a label and crossed out) to a new price which was 70% lower. All the other designer dresses in the store were marked down in the same manner.
I loved the dress and was so thrilled to find a designer quality dress in my budget (although it still wasn’t cheap at all). My mother, who was with me at the time then incredibly generously surprised me by paying for the dress for me for my wedding present.
After leaving the store I found a printed label attached inside the dress which looked like an original retail label with a price that was barely higher than the sample sale price we paid for the dress. Concerned and a bit confused we returned to the store and were told by the owner that this wasn’t the original price, but the cost price which shouldn’t have been left on the garment. She also retorted that this particular designer’s dresses never sold for anything as little as that amount.
Despite this sounding a little strange (I’ve worked in various retail for many years and never seen wholesale prices printed on items), I didn’t want to question it as I thought it was ‘the one’ and didn’t want to spoil the special wedding dress buying experience. I was also with my mother who had paid for the dress and admit I felt a bit intimidated as it was such a posh store, so we left and I put it to the back of my mind.
The dress was stored at my mother’s house until I went to try it on again a couple of months later with a close friend, a fashion designer, who was going to make some minor alterations to it. Upon trying it on again I couldn’t help feel niggled that the dress was actually not as good quality as we had been made to believe at the store by both the sales assistant and the ‘original’ price. My friend was shocked when I told her the price it had been labelled at in the store and pointed out (due to the quality and construction) that it would never have been sold at that price. By this point I felt sick that we had been misled. We did some research into the designer and couldn’t find any dresses even close to the value they had claimed it was. She suggested contacting the designer directly to enquire for certain.
In the meantime, I returned to the store with the dress and explained to them I was unhappy because I’d been misled as to the quality and price of the dress. I felt it had been tainted and no longer wanted to wear it for my wedding. I was told to email the owner as the dress was sold at the store’s sample sale on behalf of a 3rd party and wasn’t a label they carried. When I emailed the owner, she also said the dress was being sold on behalf of someone else but that she believed the retail price they had given her and stood by it saying they would never misrepresent an item like that.
So….I contacted the designer himself, who confirmed over email what I suspected. The value of the dress was nowhere near the massively inflated price they had marked on it in the store. The label I had discovered inside the dress was indeed the original retail selling price. The store had therefore made up a value that was nearly 70% higher and then marked it down from that in order to entice sales and deceive people as to the value of the dresses.
I emailed the owner of the store again explaining that the designer had verified the original price and that I felt they should do the honourable thing and allow me to return the dress.
Unbelievably, she is not budging.
I don’t know what to do next, I am absolutely devasted and exhausted by it all. There is no way I can wear this dress to get married in any longer and it is far far too much money to lose.
In the UK there are guidlines which state: Pre-sale prices should be the last price at which goods were offered – and the goods should have been at that price for 28 consecutive days in the previous six months.
This is put in place exactly for this reason, to stop consumers from being misled. Unfortunately, a breach of this is a legal case for trading standards but I don’t think it will help me get a refund because it’s not a breach of my consumer rights.
If anyone can offer me any help or advice I will be so immensely grateful. I’m pretty depressed to have this hanging over my wedding.