• Report: #1088207
Complaint Review:

The Dry Cleaner by Val

  • Submitted: Sun, September 29, 2013
  • Updated: Sun, September 29, 2013

  • Reported By: Mike — New Hampshire
The Dry Cleaner by Val
5 Walnut Hill Park Woburn, Massachusetts USA

The Dry Cleaner by Val Doing business with The Dry Cleaner by Val was one of the worst customer service experiences my wife and I have ever been through! Woburn Massachusetts

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Doing business with The Dry Cleaner by Val was one of the worst customer service experiences my wife and I have ever been through. We had a house fire and lost a great deal of our belongings. Two adjusters, the cleaning company, and The Dry Cleaner by Val were at our house the following day. I was unable to be present that morning, so my poor wife had to deal with it on her own. We never called The Dry Cleaner by Val, so we had no idea how they entered the scene. They bagged *everything* they could get their hands on: clothes, blankets, drapes, napkins, tablecloths, towels, and rugs, a lot of which had holes, rips, missing buttons, heavy stains, and/or damage from fire and soot.  Most of these garments were beyond restorable, but they took them anyway. The only instruction they gave to my wife was to separate the items that we needed back right away (our priority items). My wife was dealing with too many things that morning, between the two adjusters and the two cleaning companies, so she couldn’t monitor everything the dry cleaners were bagging. We wished they gave us sufficient time to go through all of our things before they came in and took everything in sight.

The representative at The Dry Cleaner by Val called us the following day to schedule the delivery of our priority items. In conversation with her, I asked who referred us to them. She got quiet for a moment and stuttered, “Well, uhhh, we really don’t have that information. I asked, “OK, so someone called you to let you know that we had a house fire, gave you all of our personal information, including our names, address, insurance information, and both our cell phone numbers, and you have no record of who provided this to you?” They showed up at my doorstep around the same time as the adjusters and cleaning company, yet they’re claiming they don’t know who referred us to them? I don’t believe that for a second. Why the secrecy? This was only the beginning.

They offered storage at no cost for as long as we needed it, so we asked for a few months time frame. I called them back less than two weeks later to ask for a receipt via email. The representative said, “Well, you can get that through your insurance company.” I said, “I can get it from you, since you’re the one who provides it to my insurance company in the first place. Why make me work harder at this?” We had a house fire and didn’t need this extra stress! She said she would put in the request to have it emailed to me. Two days later I still didn’t have an invoice. I called them back. She said some of our things were not itemized, so she didn’t have the bill ready. Once they had everything itemized, in another day or so, she’d send it to me.

She should have told me that during our first conversation about it. OK, so a week passed by and I still didn’t have it. I gave them another call. She said that she’d put in another request to send it to me right away. I finally got the email the following day, but it wasn’t an invoice! It was a breakdown of our items with zeros on each line. It wasn’t the price list I had requested. I gave them another call back, this time very irritated. They wanted to know the reason why we wanted to see the receipt. I couldn’t believe they were really asking me why I wanted the receipt to something we were paying for. How about because it’s our right, because it’s our belongings, because you’re charging our insurance company, and because we only have so much insurance money to work with! What’s the matter with you people?! Again, why the secrecy? This was not even the half of it.

About a month went by when my wife received a call from the dry cleaners about some clothes in question, whether to clean them or not depending on the damage. They called her with a huge list of garments to discuss. After already discussing about 20 items, my wife stopped the representative to instruct her to use her best judgment. She also asked the representative why she was calling about these items a month later, because she thought they would have been cleaned by now. The representative said that those items were put aside to ask us about them before cleaning them, but the rest of our clothes were clean. Still, why are you calling a month later? Our clothes have been sitting there from fire and soot damage for over a month without cleaning them? What kind of cleaning service is this? Also worth mentioning, she wouldn’t have had to call us with these ridiculous questions in the first place if the driver wouldn’t have taken everything he could get his hands on.

A few weeks went by before we spoke with the dry cleaners again. I asked the representative where they were located and where they conducted their business. I wanted to know if my wife and I could visit the facility where our clothing was being stored so we could take some things back to the hotel with us. She said, “We have drivers all over the place in Mass, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont.” I then asked how many facilities they had for each state. She stuttered, “Umm, our corporate office is in Woburn, Mass and we have a storage facility in the area, too, but umm, our drivers are all over the place.” OK, that tells me that they want to give off the illusion on their website that each state has their own phone number to their own facility, but all the calls actually go to their corporate office in Woburn:

Main # (888) 428-4808, Local (781) 322-2007, VT (802) 859-9533, ME (207) 245-1840, NH (603) 881-5007, RI (401) 456-0007, CT (860) 953-3333, NY (518) 449-0029

Why do they have to dance around words instead of answering my questions outright? I’ll tell you why. They don’t want us to know that we’re giving our service to a company in a completely different state. They may have drivers *living* all over the place, but they all drive to Massachusetts to deliver and pick up our clothes, so we’re essentially giving our business to a different state. I’d much prefer to give my business to a local company within my hometown.

Anyway, she placed me on hold for a few minutes, went back to the line, and instead of offering me a day and time to visit them, she offered to send a driver to our hotel with the delivery. I said we really didn’t know exactly what we needed, so we’d prefer to look through our things instead. She hesitated and placed me on another hold. She came back to the line and asked if Tuesday would be fine. Tuesday? That wasn’t for another six days! It was only Wednesday, and the weather was starting to change, so we needed warmer clothing. I asked why the long wait. That meant we’d have to go shopping, and why would we do that when our insurance paid for dry cleaning? I said that was not going to work for us.

She said the earliest would be Monday, because she needed to make sure there was a driver in the plant to assist us. She also said that some of our leather jackets and boots were not ready yet. I told her, “Just put our clothes within reach so we wouldn’t need assistance from your driver. We can carry the items ourselves. We would just need to arrive when you’re open from 8 am - 5 pm, like you said, so what’s the problem? Secondly, you *still* don’t have all of our clothes cleaned after all this time?!” Well at that point in time, Tuesday made perfect sense to me.  They needed a week’s time to clean the rest of our clothing that was just sitting there in storage, still dirty and smelly from the fire and soot! We immediately filed a complaint through our insurance company, something we should have done a lot sooner.

It turned out they “accidentally” charged for clothing that was marked as non-restorable. Our dry cleaning bill was over what we anticipated, by the thousands, actually. We would have rather brought our clothes elsewhere, or even called everything non-restorable and have spent that insurance money on new clothing. A lot of the clothing they “restored” came back to us still smelling like smoke, a lot of my wife’s clothing had shrunk (especially her hand-wash only items), and our custom-made curtains came back to us a few inches shorter.

They blamed it on the material, stating that custom-made curtains can shrink if never washed before, and said that since we signed the waiver form, they were not liable for it.  Any company who throws the “too bad you signed our waiver form” phrase into the conversation, without even sympathizing or apologizing for the matter, isn’t a company worth doing business with. In the end, they finally offered to stretch them out for us, which would take another few days, but we didn’t want to deal with The Dry Cleaner by Val any longer than we already had to.

Do yourself a favor: If The Dry Cleaner by Val is *mysteriously* called in at the scene of your house, spare yourself the trouble and decline their service!  There are so many behind-the-scene issues when dealing with them that you may not ever discover until digging deep like we did. I’m sure there are plenty more cases like ours, maybe even worse, so please take a few minutes to do your homework so you can do business with a better, more honest and caring company!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/29/2013 08:38 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/the-dry-cleaner-by-val/woburn-massachusetts-01801/the-dry-cleaner-by-val-doing-business-with-the-dry-cleaner-by-val-was-one-of-the-worst-cu-1088207. 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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