Question originally appearing on AVVO
“A seamstress ruined my wedding dress, but the store has a no refund policy. Can I fight this and obtain the refund they owe me? I purchased a wedding dress in January of this year at a store with a no refund policy. We bought the dress loving the intricate and delicate lace of the train. The top needed some restructuring, but after a long discussion with the owner we were assured her seamstress could produce what we were looking for. After 3 months of waiting on alterations I had my appointment yesterday only to discover the seamstress had cut off the entire bottom of the dress. The entire train (10inches). The reason I purchased the gown. The seamstress is attempting to “fix” the dress, but the damage is done. No where on our receipt does the notes say the seamstress is to touch the train. Can I get a refund?”
Response (from Attorney Rob Schenk):
You will most likely have a claim for Breach of Contract against the Seamstress, since you did not completely receive what you bargained (paid) for.
The issue will be the amount of damages (cash) that you may be entitled to. Generally, the Court will look at the problem with the train (the “breach”), and determine its value relative to the total cost of the Wedding Dress. You would present your own testimony that you consider this the ‘essence’ of the dress, and therefore would attempt to get as close to 100% of the cost as possible.
The law allows persons that are in ‘breach’ a chance to fix the problem (called “curing”), so that any damages would be lessened. Here, the Seamstress will attempt to show that she has cured the damages by “fixing” the train, thereby minimizing her liability to you.
Even better, I would recommend reaching out to the Seamstress and requesting the money back, appealing to the Seamstress’ sense of customer satisfaction (more flies with honey). Litigation is not fun, so if you can achieve victory outside of court, I highly advise it.
Best of Luck!!!
Moral of the Story: Own up to your mistakes as a wedding business owner. Many times, an apology and a discount solves the problem.