Ruined Clothes: What does a drycleaner owe you?
I ran across this article this morning that I thought was well put together and a good reminder for all drycleaning consumers. It was fair and had all the right information. In a nutshell, a woman took her sample wedding gown into a cleaners to be cleaned before the wedding, and it came back ruined. She is now out over $1000 and the cleaners is doing nothing.
One important thing not addressed was; How much did Gigi's French Cleaners Charge for the gown cleaning?
Now I know on the surface, this looks like the cleaner is all wrong. And maybe he is. But all cleaners are not alike. It takes a tremendous amount on training to clean gowns that are intentionally manufactured to not be cleaned (hence "spotclean only")
In 2010, a full wedding gown cleaning should cost between $200-$400 dollars. That's how much it cost to be able to 1) afford the proper training, 2) take the time necessary, 3) honor the error and cover the cost of any possible damage. The Association of Wedding Gown Specialists has members that can replace panels, and have even ordered replacements for brides (from damage by the client that was irreparable).
When taking treasured items into a cleaner, YOU should 1) check the reputation of the cleaners - the BBB website is an easy way to see, 2) ask a clothing boutique (in this case she could have asked where she purchased the gown) and 3) Remember, you get what you pay for. I believe if you that spend less than 8% of the new cost of the clothes - you may not be getting the service you should. For example: If you have a $1000 Armani suit, and you are paying less than $80 to have it cleaned. . . . then you may just end up getting what you paid for, a ruined suit with no compensation.