I foolishly ordered all of my bridesmaid, flowergirl dresses and Tuxedos from Elaine's. When I actually brought my bridesmaids and flower girls in to be fitted, I was confronted by one of my bridesmaids who was concerned about the method in which the measurements being taken. The woman who measured her actually took the hip measurement from around the women's thighs, just below the buttocks, and the chest measurement was not taken at the fullest part of the chest. I decided to observe the next bridesmaid being measured, and sure enough they were taking the measurements incorrectly, and they were pulling the tape measure tight. But I chalked this up to inexperience and remeasured my bridesmaids myself. The measurements that the consultant took were up to 4 inches smaller than my measurements. We placed the order based on the sizes that I measured.
When I placed the order I wrote on the contract "dresses must arrive by April 4th". I also spoke with Stephanie, and she assured me that she would contact me and let me know when they would arrive. I gave specific instructions, that if the dresses could not arrive by April 4th, that she should not order them. The next day I received a call from Stephanie stating that the dresses would arrive in Early March and that she had placed the order.
Time went by and one of my bridesmaids told me that her dress came in earlier that week. It fit well, it was on time, and she loved it! I was so excited. I contacted the other bridesmaids to discuss the hemlines they should request from their tailors, but was shocked to find out that Elaine's only bothered to contact one of my bridesmaids to tell her the dress was in. So, of course, I was the one contacting my bridesmaids so they could pick up their dresses.
I have a total of three flowergirls. But two of my flowergirls live out of town, I decided to pick up their two dresses and bring them to my bridal shower, so they wouldn't have to drive so far. I asked for the dresses and signed for them. A sales person went to the back, and it took her about 25 minutes to find my flowergirl dresses. When she brought them out, correctly labeled with the girl's names I noticed that they were the wrong dresses! They were the correct style, but there were two size five's when I actually needed a size five and a size seven. I explained that these were the wrong dresses, the sales woman went to the back to find the correct dress. She was back their for over 45 minutes.
While I was waiting, I called my Mom who explained that my brother was notified his daughter's dresses would be a couple of weeks late. They didn't tell me, because they didn't want me to worry. Elaine's had told him that the dresses got held-up in customs.
So after 45 minutes in the back room the salesperson comes out and says that the dress arrived, but that they don't have it. She explained that the manufactuer (2Be) had listed it as one of the dresses that was delivered, but it wasn't in back, so 2Be must have lost it.
By this time, I am getting annoyed, I have wasted the better part of my evening and I still dont have the dresses, and I have no idea when they are coming in. Stephanie then explains that she will contact the manufacturer to find out the status of the dress. She said she would give me a call in two days to let me know what she found out. A week passes, still no call from anyone at Elaine's.
I decide to stop in and talk with Stephanie. Unfortunatley she was not there, but the manager was. I asked for the status of my dress, and explained that it was lost. She emphasized that the manufacturer lost it, not them. She checked the binder that had all of my information and said she would call the manufacturer and contact me back to let me know what happened.
Again, two days pass, still no call. So i stop into Elaine's again and ask one of the sales people about the status of my dress, another sales person comes up to help her and asks "whats going on?", and the other sales person says "lets go in the back". They come out fifteen minutes later and explain that my dresses will not arrive until April 19th! This is less that two weeks before my wedding, and way past my April 4th deadline.
I am extremely annoyed at this point. I end up sternly saying "No, This is unacceptable. You need to fix this." She goes away and comes back, stating she has the manager on the line. So I speak with the manager who explains that they placed the order, by the manufacturer never placed it. And that this is not their fault because they are at the "whim of the manufacturers". I explained that if all of my dresses were not in, that i didn't want any of them, she explains that I cant cancel the ones that have been signed for. She then asks me if I want to cancel the order (mind you we are less then four weeks out from my wedding at this point). I explained I want my dress by the 4th, and suggested she call other shops to find the dress. So she says she will be doing that today (Saturday) and will call me back by Monday...
Hopefully Elaine's will get their act together and get me my dress so I can write a plesant follow-up.
A few questions:
Why was I told three different stories about my dresses? (held-up in customs, lost by manufacturer, not ordered by manufacturer)
Why wont the staff follow up with their customers as they promise?
Why cant the keep track of the status of their dress orders?
I think that this business is very poorly managed, and I urge all brides to avoid doing business with them until they revamp their business practices to meet their customer's demands. I would hate for you to spend the amount of time and energy, that I have had to, tracking down dresses weeks before your wedding. Just imagine if this happened to your wedding dress!
De Pere, Wisconsin