Post # 1
This year I was invited to be a bridesmaid to one of my high school friends. Although she and I have really grown apart over the past couple of years, I thought that saying no to being her bridesmaid would be insensitive. I agreed but I warned her that I work a lot and we live very far away, so I will do my best to work with her schedule but she can’t expect me to be there for everything. She was absolutely fine with it. She had 7 other bridesmaids (mostly family) and I guess I was 1 of maybe 2 of her close friends.
Over the next year, she picked out a dress and I ordered it from the boutique. A couple of months later, we both realized that it was very hard for me to actually be paying for everything as well as going to all the events she had planned for the bridesmaids, and we very cordially and mutually decided that I will not be a bridesmaid, but I will be coming to the wedding. She said that I can probably be refunded for the dress since I ordered it over the phone and I didn’t have it fitted, I just got my measurements done and the dress was at the boutique.
When I called to cancel my order and ask for a refund on the deposit, the manager was extremely rude to me. She said that not only was she not going to refund my dress, she was going to charge me for the balance of it.
This is where I am confused. I ordered the dress over the phone and gave my card number. I never received a receipt, nor did anyone tell me about the refund policies or exchanges. Not even to mention that I haven’t gone to the boutique to pick up the dress or get it altered. I also noticed that the boutique resells the dresses on eBay for the same price as the dress I was supposed to buy!
Is there anything I can do about it? It just seems like a totally scam if a boutique doesn’t refund anything and then ends up selling the dresses anyways! Would I have to take the boutique to small claims court? Although the bride has offered to pay me back for the dress, I don’t want to do that to her. It seems like something the boutique should factor in when doing business.
I don’t want to end up making a big deal out of it, but I think at least the boutique should refund part of the dress. Thoughts?
Post # 3
I would contact them and -without telling them you are no longer in the wedding or ANYTHING of that sort- and ask for a copy of a reciept and contract. Then, if you get that, you can go over and see what your options are. If you still don’t get a copy, i’d take it up as a fraudulent charge with your credit company.
Post # 4
I could see the deposit not being refunded but I definitely don’t think they can charge you the rest of the balance for a dress that you don’t pick up. Especially if you never signed a contract.
Post # 5
I would think that the store is within its rights to keep your non-refundable deposit, since this is standard practice within the industry. I’m not sure the store has the right to bill you for the balance of the dress if you do not take possession of the gown, however.
Post # 6
You aren’t going to believe what the boutique did!
I called them to talk to them again and try to get a receipt. They said that they didn’t have the receipt anymore and that they were going to be mailing me the dress and charging me the rest of the balance. I wouldn’t give my credit card number so they said they will have a collections agency contact me. I was furious and told the manager that she will be hearing from my lawyers. To which the manager replied that she deals with this all the time, and I’m not the first bridesmaid to want a refund so if my lawyers want to contact her, she is fine with it.
I all the sudden get a text message from the bride telling me that the boutique called her and told her that they were concerned that one of the bridesmaids isn’t going to be paying the full amount of the dress and that this bridesmaid threatened to sue the boutique! This obviously humiliated my friend and she right away paid the rest of the balance for my dress and said that she will talk to me.
First of all, I never said I would be suing them! This manager had the audacity to call the bride and pull her into something the bride had absolutely nothing to do with. It at was between the manager and myself. What a dirty move! I talked to the bride and someone else will be wearing my dress now and obviously I am not asking the bride for a refund since I don’t think it is right for her to be spending any more money than she already is. But expect posts after the wedding about this boutique. This manager and this boutique have zero class.
Post # 7
A couple of things:
(1) “You will be hearing from my lawyers” suggests suing them. Honestly, you shouldn’t throw that around unless you are actually planning on involving lawyers. I thought the exact same thing as the manager when I read what you wrote.
(2) When you buy a Bridesmaid or Best Man dress, they are almost always non-refundable, non-exchangeable, and non-returnable. They are ordered for YOU, not for other BMs to later buy. That’s why it’s such a big deal to get the right size the first time – because the store is under no obligation to fix any sizing mistakes once you agree to a size. Once it’s ordered, you’re stuck with it.
(3) The manager had every right to call the bride, since it’s the bride’s wedding, the dresses are for her event, and they keep the bride in the loop. The store didn’t know you decided to step down from the wedding. From their perspective, they thought a Bridesmaid or Best Man was refusing to pay for the dress, that’s all.
(4) You are responsible for the cost of the dress. You agreed to pay for it when it was ordered. The store shouldn’t be out money because you changed your mind after the fact.
Sorry if this is harsh, but I thought it was fairly common knowledge that Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses from bridal boutiques and stores were non-refundable.
Post # 8
Although I agree with most of the points… there is one problem here: I never actually saw a receipt or signed anything. Also nothing was told me about the refund policy or exchange. I also never got fitted for the dress. There are a couple of discrepancies and what is “common knowledge” may not be common knowledge to everyone. The manager did know that I wasn’t going to be part of the wedding, not that I “wasn’t going to pay” but the manager insisted that I pay for the rest of the dress (and obviously I haven’t even been to the store to look at it). The store should be taking some form of risk when dealing with customers, as with any business practice, that is the point of a deposit (so that you don’t lose all the money). The fact is, I didn’t receive the services rendered. The rendered service was for alterations to the dress and receiving of the dress. None of those were received by me, instead I was threatened by the manager that a collections agency would be contacting me. Not to mention that I still don’t have the receipt or any actually evidence of the transaction… other than a charge on my card.
All I called about was to get the receipt to figure out how to move forward, instead I get threatened and the poor bride gets a call. I just didn’t think it was a good move on the managers part… but maybe it’s just that I follow good business practices.
Post # 9
Try talking to your credit card company. You can file a dispute and possibly get the money back. At the very least, report them to the BBB.
Post # 10
You ordered the dress, so I think you have to pay for it. They are not like regular dresses. They are made to order.
Post # 11
Honestly it sounds you’re splitting hairs here because you don’t want to pay for the dress. When you ordered the dress (however you ordered it and regardless of whether you ever saw it or tried it on) you agreed to purchase the dress and the shop placed an order with the manufacturer for it. Now you decided that you don’t want the dress, so what is the shop supposed to do with a dress that was specially ordered for you?? Do you know how many brides and BMs later change their minds about dresses? If they didn’t charge for dresses when ordered or gave refunds later on, none of these shops could stay in business.
Anyway, I think all of this it moot point because you pushed too hard at the shop instead of trying to work something out. Now that your friend paid for the dress, you won’t have any luck dealing with the shop (they’ve already got their money) and the only classy thing to do is reimburse your friend for the dress. Perhaps you can try to sell it secondhand to recoop some of the expense.
Post # 12
Bridesmaid dresses and wedding dresses are usually non refundable in my experience. I had to pay the balance on my first dress after I had dress regret and decided to buy a different one. They are ordered specifically for you.
I agree with the other poster that you are kind of splitting hairs here. You gave a deposit on the dress with your credit card; I think that pretty much assumes you are going to be purchasing the dress. Perhaps they should have explained the return policy, but you also should have asked if you had questions about it.
Post # 13
A non-refundable deposit is just that, non-refundable. Your friend, the bride, once contacted chose to pay for the dress and have another girl wear it in your place, that is her decision.
Anytime you put down a deposit it is non-refundable unless otherwise stated. You need to cut your losses and accept that regardless of signing anything, the handing over of a non-refundable deposit is entering into a contract. Most boutiques will allow you to back out of purchasing the dress, but in turn charge you an additional fee called a restocking fee as the dress is ordered in your size and may or may not ever sell.
Post # 14
That’s ridculous.. I thought the whole point of a deposit was that if the sale falls through for whatever reason, the store gets to keep the deposit (profit for them) plus they still have the item which they can sell after. You said it wasn’t fitted for you so I don’t see why they can’t sell it still.. If it is such a hassle for the store and they cannot resell the item then why take only a deposit? Why not ask for FULL payment at the time of purchase? I’ve never had to buy bridesmaids dresses etc, so I’m not sure how it all works but based on what I know about normal retail conditions, usually if you cant pay the remainder balance of the item, you lose the deposit and the store resells the item.. Anyway Goodluck with sorting this out, they should be ashamed with themselves for being so rude!
Post # 15
I think you’re dealing with an unprofessional boutique unfortunately. With so many wedding-related reality shows these days, it seems like everyone who’s ever been to a wedding has decided to open a bridal boutique, and not all of them have the right background or skills.
You should accept that your deposit will not be refunded; regardless of having seen or not seen a contract or reciept, the whole concept of a deposit is to protect the business/seller from incurring a cost in the process of filling the customer’s order, then having the customer back out and sticking the business with the goods. If you put a deposit on a beach house, hotel room, new car, whatever, and don’t go through with the purchase, the seller would be expected to keep the deposit.
Don’t worry about the bride being “humiliated” because unless the dress shop showed up and freaked out on her in the middle of a job interview or on TV or something, there should be no humiliation. It’s stressful, of course, but so is life, and in the grand scheme of things, this is just one of the many weirdo curve balls that will be thrown at the bride as she continues planning her wedding.
Since she has already paid the balance of the dress, and since she did so voluntarily (she gave her card number to the dress shop of her own free will and while it may have been done under quite a bit of pressure, it was still her own free will), then from a legal perspective she’s acknowledged and satisfied the debt. Your opportunities to refuse the dress now and get your money back will be pretty much done for, and not worth the hassle.
I would ask the bride if the two of you could try selling the dress and split the money you get from it. You’re both out 50% of the cost (you are out the deposit, she is out the remainder) so splitting the difference between what you sell it for and what you each contributed to it is the most fair way to go about it.
Post # 16
I really hope you pay your “friend” back!!