Help Me Hank: Dress Mess
They're so cute aren't they? And with the adorable cake and the champagne and the classic photos, itís hard to believe this wedding was almost a disaster!
"I couldn't believe that they would try to ruin my wedding!"
Back when the French satin Victorian lilac caviar beaded bridesmaids dresses were just of figment of the brideís imagination, Kristin and her maid of honor Wendy saw these for sale in a local bridal store.
"We agreed we loved them and had to have them."
Each of three bridesmaids separately ordered a dress, but as the wedding invitations were sent out, one of the bridesmaids backed out. The other two had paid for their dresses in full, but when they went to the store to pick them up they learned that their dresses were being held hostage.
"She wouldn't give the two bridesmaids their dresses because the third one hadn't paid?"
The store then informed the bride-to-be -- buy all the dresses or none -- it was store policy.
"Had you ever heard that?"
"Was there a sign that said that?"
"No, that was the first I heard of it."
Kristin was panicked, she had the flowers, she had the favors, but three weeks until the wedding, would she have to pay ransom to get her bridesmaids dresses?
"I thought it was totally outrageous, I just couldnít believe it, I was floored. I had never heard of such a thing in my life."
Thatís when she called "Help me Hank".
With the wedding date looming, we called the store and explained -- this was not a package deal -- the dresses were purchased separately by each bridesmaid. The stateís Consumer Affairs Secretary confirmed the rules: you pay for a dress, you should get the dress.
"Is there any gray area?"
Jennifer Davis Carey, MA Consumer Affairs Commissioner
"No, thereís no gray area, they have to give them the dresses."
Finally, the store agreed and here's the happy bride to be walking into the store -- out with the dresses and soon after, down the aisle...right into happily ever after.
The bridesmaid, who cancelled, of course, is still responsible for her transaction, but thatís another story. So what consumer battle are you fighting maybe I can help!