Help Me Hank!: Dry Cleaning Dilemma
Help Me Hank: Help Me Hank!: Dry Cleaning Dilemma
Jeans, dresses, shirts, skirts. Robin Pond knows it's nice to have new stuff.
"I would consider myself a shopaholic."
But she also knows that once she gets her purchases home, she wants to keep them looking like new. So when something spilled on her latest buy -- a beaded silk blouse -- she knew what to do: check the care label inside. It said: "dry clean only."
"Because it was marked as dry clean only, I brought it to the dry cleaners."
But when Robin picked it up, yuck. The beads had melted into the fabric, and the pale green silk was spotted with funky black flecks, and some kind of gunk from the ruined beads.
"This was my favorite blouse, too."
It was certainly unwearable and irreparably ruined.
"I was completely and totally upset."
But that label did say "dry clean only," and that' s what the dry cleaner did.
So, Robin decided to take it right back to where she purchased it. But the store refused to discuss it and told her to call customer service. She waited for a call back.
"And after two weeks went by, I got really frustrated."
She was bummed out every time she looked at her poor blouse, until she got a brainstorm.
"I decided to call ‘Help Me Hank.’"
We knew Robin's totally in the right. The Feds have care labeling covered.
Federal Trade Commission regs require almost every item of clothing -- except for shoes, gloves and hats -- to have a label and insure that "care labeling instructions, if followed, will cause no substantial harm to the product." If the labeling is wrong, "violators are subject to... penalties of up to $11,000 for each offense."
So, we called the blouse manufacturer, and they agreed the blouse should probably not have been labeled "dry clean only." They quickly sent Robin an apology and a $100 gift card.
And guess what she's going to do? Shop, of course, for a bargain without beads.
"I will probably wait until they have a sale, so that I can get the most bang for my buck."
There are special organizations that will help mediate dry cleaning disputes.
North East Fabricare Association
International Fabricare Institute
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