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The tale of the cursed dress

lastresort 1 September 2008 30

I really shouldn’t bitch, I should just let this go, but I can’t. I need to vent, and take comfort in the fact that my experience may deter others from making the same mistake I did, and shop at Soho and Momento.

Two weeks ago I bought a dress from Soho for a wedding I attended last Saturday. The dress was not cheap, and needed to be altered and dry cleaned which the young saleswoman assured me would be done by Thursday at the latest. Thursday rolled around, and no word.

Friday arrived and I called the shop, asking after my dress. No one seemed to know, then the penny dropped and oh yes, they discovered that it wasn’t ready for me to pick up. The young girl politely asked if I could pick it up from the drycleaners on the Saturday. I politely said no, that I was expected at a wedding at that time, hopefully wearing the dress. Instead of an offer to make it up to me, I was given excuses, I was told that they were having trouble with their staff, who had trouble writing down the details.

How the hell is that my problem?

It was only when I made that clear to her that she said they would organise to have the dress delivered to my home early Saturday morning. I thought the ordeal was over. Think again.

I get a call late Friday from the manager/owner saying the dress is ready to be picked up from Manuka early, so in I swing, expecting to be able to put this experience behind me. No. The dress isn’t there. It’s at the store in the city. Right, I think. Keeping calm, thinking happy thoughts.

Saturday morning, four hours to wedding, I’m sitting outside the Soho store at 9.30 in the city waiting for it to open. 10 o’clock approaches and still no sign the store will open (even though, it advertises a 9.30am opening time). I then call the manager, who tells me, no the dress is in Manuka. So, I drive over to Manuka to pick up the now cursed dress and expressing my disappointment at the way this whole ordeal has played out.

Of course there was an apology and plenty of excuses, but no offer of good will. No “what can I do to make it up to you”. Nothing.

Whatever happened to customer service? There is no way this would happen in Sydney or Melbourne.

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30 Responses to The tale of the cursed dress
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ant ant 8:44 pm 13 Jul 09

I found that when I turned 40-ish, I was always wearing a “shirt of invisibility”. I can creep around undisturbed, although it’s annoying when you have some stuff you want to buy and they won’t come and take your money.

fabforty fabforty 5:24 pm 13 Jul 09

LaLa said :

Yeah, I think this “I bought my first pair of Tour pants there” is a dead giveaway that someone that is affiliated with Momento and Soho wrote it.

Totally.

When I was an “impoverished student” I shopped at Koomarri and Big W. Not at designer stores in Manuka.

I was recently in Soho in Civic looking for something to wear to a wedding. I was in normal office wear which apparently rendered me invisible to the shop assistant. I now refer to it as my “shirt of invisibility”.

LaLa LaLa 4:46 pm 13 Jul 09

Yeah, I think this “I bought my first pair of Tour pants there” is a dead giveaway that someone that is affiliated with Momento and Soho wrote it.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 4:38 pm 13 Jul 09

ilovedresses said :

I have been shopping at Momento and Soho Dezigns for 12 years and they have never missed a beat. I am treated now exactly as I was treated when I bought my first pair of Tour pants there as an empoverished uni student in 1997 – like an important customer who is valued as much as every other client in the store. I am a major dress lover who frequents the best Sydney stores and have never found a store that goes the lengths that the Momento and Soho staff go to to keep their clients happy. Special order? No problem. Hard to find dress? No problem. Cusom altering by the best tailor in Canberra? No problem.

You should all stop your whinging.

You lie like a rug.

LaLa LaLa 4:30 pm 13 Jul 09

I know this an old post however I only just came across it and wanted to chip in my 2 cents worth. I will soon be a bridesmaid at my Mum’s wedding and and Mum flew down from QLD for the weekend so that we could find a suitable dress. We were particularly interested in Matthew Eager designs, and Soho and Momento are the only 2 stores in Canberra to stock them.

I checked their opening times on their site the night before and Mum and I turned up 5 minutes before opening time. 1 hour, a phone call to their Civic store and 2 coffees later we finally we let in. No apologies but the girl in the Civic store said the owner always turned up late as she “has a family”. None of the dresses where what we were after but the owner was extremely pushy and in my face the whole time praising dresses that quite obviously did not suit me and standing in between my Mum and I when we were trying to talk.

We stopped by the Civic store later on that day, an hour before their closing time (again, according to their site and the signs on the doors) and surprise, surprise… closed.

I have worked in fashion retail and customer facing roles for over 15 years and was quite amazed that BOTH of their stores can’t stick to their publicised opening and closing times. Add the pushy staff and lastresort’s post and I certainly won’t go there again.

After reading

ilovedresses ilovedresses 1:44 pm 04 Sep 08

I have been shopping at Momento and Soho Dezigns for 12 years and they have never missed a beat. I am treated now exactly as I was treated when I bought my first pair of Tour pants there as an empoverished uni student in 1997 – like an important customer who is valued as much as every other client in the store. I am a major dress lover who frequents the best Sydney stores and have never found a store that goes the lengths that the Momento and Soho staff go to to keep their clients happy. Special order? No problem. Hard to find dress? No problem. Cusom altering by the best tailor in Canberra? No problem.

You should all stop your whinging.

Charlie_Layla Charlie_Layla 3:32 pm 03 Sep 08

Same thing happened to me at Soho. I bought an expensive dress two weeks before flying out to Brisbane for a wedding and they said it would be altered in a week. I went back in a week to pick it up and they’d lost it. Eventually (the day after) they found it and it hadn’t even been altered yet. Luckily I still had another week to get it altered myself!

peterh peterh 10:29 am 02 Sep 08

and if you badly treat enough of the customers, then go for a job at another store, the spectre of your behavior follows you.

canberra is too small for bad service. I work in an industry that changes daily.

I buy my suits from sam catanzaritis as the proprietor looks after me, every time.

granted, i don’t buy one each week, but I do ensure i go back to see the gent who has kept me in suits for the past 20 working years.

johnboy johnboy 10:01 am 02 Sep 08

Giving refunds and gift vouchers by way of recompense has more good effects than just appeasing an angry customer.

By inflicting a cost on your own organisation you also create an expectation that systemic failures will be fixed.

The extreme case being pizza delivery in Neal Stevenson’s Snow Crash. If the pizza is even a minute late Uncle Enzo will have to get out of his underwear-model-filled jacuzzi and go and personally apologise to the customers.

The very thought of being responsible for ruining Uncle Enzo’s Friday night makes the pizza boy’s blood run cold.

If you just brush off the customers problems remain problems.

sezzle sezzle 9:22 am 02 Sep 08

Ingee, WTF? Seriously. Of course the retail staff are supposed to care, it was their mistake. They told lastresort it would be ready on time, they gave an incorrect location to pick the dress up from. As far as I’m concerned, whether you’re spending $5 or $5000 on an item (whatever it may be) you should be given the correct information in regards to your purchase.

Sands Sands 7:53 am 02 Sep 08

I don’t get it.

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 11:46 pm 01 Sep 08

You get what you pay for. Thinking outside the square helps too. Just because $1500-2500 for a dress seems a lot to you it dosn’t mean you’re even close to the ball game where a shop assistant should need to be bothered to even give the slightest shit about whatever poor persons problem you were having.

Sands Sands 11:08 pm 01 Sep 08

Quite seriously, if I got the level of service Morgan is talking about, I’d go back every time I needed something because I would know I could trust them. Good customer service is priceless in my book. I wont whinge or whine (to them) I simply don’t go back. On the other hand, I have my regular stores in Canberra, be it bread or brekky in Kingston or a suit from Civic. I will always go back to a store that treats you as though you are about to give them your hard earned money.

Morgan Morgan 10:56 pm 01 Sep 08

I work in clothing retail, these sorts of things happen, its inevitable. Most customers are understanding, but it is up to us to make it up to them. It is very embarrassing for our company to be seen in a bad light, it makes a much better punchline when the customer bad mouths you to everyone if you couriered a gold plated replacement from Germany in an overnight bag.

In the past we have had staff drive to the persons house/work to deliver clothing, given part/full refunds, for regular customers offered a good sized discount on their next purchase; it takes some imagination to try and work out what is going to make the customer happy again.

When you are in the business of selling expensive clothes it is the long term custom we seek so a short term loss in anticipation of long term gain is the strategy.

rosie_bubz rosie_bubz 9:14 pm 01 Sep 08

ant said :

I hate it when people in shops come and bother you. I shop on weekends, in my best torn up tracky dacks and rude t shirt. It doesn’t work in Manuka though, they zero in on you anyway, befriend you and produce stuff that wasn’t on display and you walk out with 3 pairs of bloody italian shoes. I never learn. It happened again last weekend. I’m going to wear a I (heart) Queanbeeeyyaaaaan t shirt next time, that’ll scare them off.

haha i can wear my nicest most approahable clothes and i am ignored – it actually happens in alot of shops, not just momento.
Maybe i am just unapproachable 🙁

Fiona Fiona 8:54 pm 01 Sep 08

awww 🙁 I’ve only been in there once, and I had a good experience. Mind oyu I did do the walk in feeling like crap, got befriended by the girl… and she actually told me that some of the things looked crap, so I bought one of the things that looked hot.

Glad I didn’t need a rushed alteration though

ant ant 8:42 pm 01 Sep 08

I hate it when people in shops come and bother you. I shop on weekends, in my best torn up tracky dacks and rude t shirt. It doesn’t work in Manuka though, they zero in on you anyway, befriend you and produce stuff that wasn’t on display and you walk out with 3 pairs of bloody italian shoes. I never learn. It happened again last weekend. I’m going to wear a I (heart) Queanbeeeyyaaaaan t shirt next time, that’ll scare them off.

OzChick OzChick 8:36 pm 01 Sep 08

Damn, those dresses are NOT cheap…

I would have asked for a refund, for the shoddy service…

Yes, I would agree that those girls in those stores are really pushy…

rosie_bubz rosie_bubz 8:25 pm 01 Sep 08

yea i find that whenever i do enter momento they are to busy talking to each other and never offer help…
if i ever do need some new clothing, momento is my last last last choice

Whatsup Whatsup 7:52 pm 01 Sep 08

In Sydney or Melbourne you would find yourself driving at least an hour between stores for a similar run around. Your frock adventure sounds lousy, but its not a Canberra thing.

I hope after all that it was a good fit and / or you had an excellent day.

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