• Report: #998990

Complaint Review: House of Brides

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  • Submitted: Fri, January 18, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, January 28, 2013

  • Reported By: kiwigirl — United States of America
House of Brides
Internet United States of America

House of Brides Scammers, liars, crooks!! PLEASE PLEASE BEWARE!!! Internet

*UPDATE Employee: House of Brides

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To all brides out there, please read this!! I know it's long but I wish so much I had read something like this before I made the terrible mistake of doing business with this company.

House of Brides is a complete sham and will cause you so much stress and anguish at what should be a happy time of your life. This website should absolutely be shut down and I will do everything in my power to help that to happen. 

I ordered four bridesmaids dresses in mid September and was assured my order would be here late November, in plenty of time for my March wedding. Nothing came, so after inquiring via email where my order was, I was told it was slightly delayed and would be here no later than the end of December. Still no dresses by mid-Jan and phone inquiries to House of Brides asking where my order was were being repeatedly deflected.

I was told on at least four occasions that they had no information on the status of my order and could not put me through to anyone who could help me (what sort of business says that for a start??)

I was assured every time someone would call me back in 24-48 hours (then they changed that to within two hours when we got more assertive with them) and no-one ever did. Both my mother and I were calling and putting the heat on and no-one would tell us a thing or offer us any compassion or genuine offers to get the matter sorted.

At this point I became so suspicious that I started researching HOB a bit more online. As it turned out, I uncovered literally HUNDREDS of complaints about this company which were almost identical to mine. So many brides had had the same experience, being told there was zero information available on their orders and getting promises someone would call them back within the 24-48 hour timeframe and then nothing. I felt so devastated when I read all these reviews and realised I had walked right into a scam. Even ex-employees of the company have written reviews warning people its business activities are fraudulent and I also found news articles on HOB owner Dale Buziecki having been convicted of tax fraud any many other stories about the deplorable way the company operates.

So, we phoned again (yet another hugely expensive toll call from New Zealand chasing up an order which should have been on my doorstep weeks earlier!!) and spoke to a so-called "manager" David?? who we demanded a full refund from based on the fact the dresses were now ridiculously late and we had read all the reviews, which clearly showed the company was not to be trusted.

Despite claiming to be a manager, and therefore SURELY in a better position to investigate the matter further himself, he told us all he could do was put an urgent inquiry through to the "accounts" team and they would get back to us ASAP. Guess what? No-one contacted us.

It is like talking to a brick wall with these people. They are heartless and shameless to be ripping people off this way and preying on excited brides and each and every one of them needs to be held accountable. Seriously, this is the WORST customer service I have EVER experienced and hundreds of other brides feel the same.

I also sent several emails to the "product specialist" Katie who originally took my order. Katie was sooo helpful when taking my money and responded instantly to all emails and online chat messages when she was trying to get my credit card details for the sale. However, when I started requesting info on my order a few months down the track, she was far less helpful and actually ignored several of my emails, then eventually just sent a two-line reply saying the company was waiting to get confirmation from the designer on a delivery date. That's it!! No apology! No explanation for the company's negligence in giving me a false delivery date! Nothing! Note: if you browse through other online complaints, this is also the exact same line many other brides were fed when their dresses were weeks overdue.

I found another phone number on an HOB complaints website which was for a Joan?? and a Megan Cafferky who were supposedly higher up in the "company", if you can even call it that. By this point, Joan had obviously got wind of our complaints from Katie or the useless customer service team and she emailed me to say the company's expeditor had contacted the designer who assured them the dresses would be delivered to HOB by the end of next week and that they (the designer, which is Allure) were running well behind schedule.

Again, other complaints say the exact same thing, that they were told things like this countless times and then the promise never eventuated and ultimately, the dresses were not delivered by the wedding date. It was just a ploy to string the brides along and keep them hanging in there a bit longer. Unfortunately, for many brides, those fake assurances meant they didn't find an alternative arrangement for their bridal party outfits because they trusted the lies they were being told and had faith the company would deliver the goods.

Interestingly enough, I managed to track down a phone number for Allure, and after pressing the staff member there a bit and explaining my predicament, she advised me they would only ever be running a maximum of two weeks behind schedule in their dress manufacturing. Doesn't quite add up with what Joan told me, given my dresses are now nearly two months late.

We left voice messages on both Megan and Joan's answer phones (yes, surprise surprise they didn't actually answer) explaining we knew they were ripping people off with this scam and asking them to give us a full refund "immediately" and not in the 30 days they tell all the other brides who complain (and then never actually refund them), or we would be filing formal complaints with the state attorney's office and the Federal Trade Commission, AND pursuing the matter further with our lawyer.

We said it was far too late for the dresses to be delivered now as they had failed to fulfill their obligations in the timeframe promised and even if the dresses did arrive with them by the end of Jan, (which we are certain will be another false promise) there would not be enough time for alterations etc. by the time they got sent to NZ and went through customs, as my bridesmaids are scattered all over the place. And besides, who wants to take that risk after reading all the HOB horror stories?! It's now reached the point we have to buy something else for the girls to wear.

Once again, despite the latest messages we left, there's still been no reply from anyone. I have now given them EVERY opportunity to respond and rectify the situation by refunding me and they have chosen to continue to ignore me.

This company needs to be shut down. This has caused my fiance and I endless amounts of stress and frustration. I have never heard of any business that would conduct itself in this way. It is completely negligent and I believe fraudulent.

HOB representatives wheel out the same old response on all the complaints boards, that they are sorry for any inconvenience and they invite the angry bride to contact their customer service team so they can discuss the issue. What a load of crap. Their customer service team is a joke and so is this company and none of the owners, managers or employees have any intention of resolving people's complaints. They simply don't care and they are all participants in the deception that is going on and entirely culpable.  It is just so sad that this company is ruining so many unsuspecting brides' weddings with its dishonest actions and I cant understand how they are still in business.

I personally am taking action against them and don't plan to let them get away with doing this to victim after victim. It is a disgraceful way to operate and to rip women off around something as important and special as their wedding is just the lowest of lows.

If anyone else is keen to work collectively to get this awful company shut down, PLEASE contact me. And to all fellow brides-to-be, read all the complaints, heed the warnings, and stay well away from House of Brides. It's just not worth the emotional trauma they put you through.

And thanks for taking the time to read this!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/18/2013 04:24 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/House-of-Brides/internet/House-of-Brides-Scammers-liars-crooks-PLEASE-PLEASE-BEWARE-Internet-998990. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

House of Brides

AUTHOR: X - (USA)

Dear Customer,
 
  We investigated your order with management.
 
  House of Brides placed your order with the designer, at which time the designer provided an estimated shipping date as the end of November. This time frame refers the delivery of an order from the designer to House of Brides. The time frame is an estimate only and the designer reserves the right to change it at any time due to changes in its production schedule. Any delays are usually slight and with-in a 2-week time frame.   
 
  The designer of your bridesmaids experienced a delay in their shipping schedule, which delayed the shipment of your order. We have confirmed with the designer, your order is currently in route to our location. Once received, our Shipping Department will inspect the order and arrange for its shipment to your address. The Shipping Department will email you a shipping confirmation at that time.
 
  Please be advised, designers and authorized retailers recommend to customers to begin alterations no earlier than 4-weeks of their event. This is to consider any weight fluctuations and to ensure the best fit. Bridesmaid dresses typically require less work than a bridal gown so bridesmaids can schedule alterations appointments 2 to 3-weeks prior to the event.
 
  We do note there was unsatisfactory communication between our Customer Service call center and our Customer Care Specialists and apologize for the inconvenience. We are reviewing the issue and assure you we working to resolve it immediately.  
 
  Please expect your order shortly.
 
  We apologize for any inconvenience and invite you to contact Customer Relations, customerrelations@houseofbrides.com to further discuss your issue.
 
Sincerely,
House of Brides
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