Shame on You Sea Breeze Cleaners!

I cannot stand bad customer service! Especially in a bad economy. You charge people $5-$10 to dry clean an item and them you nickel and dime them when you destroy it?!

I dropped off a White House Black Market sweater to Sea Breeze Cleaners and Tailors in Wolcott, CT. A $100 dollar black sweater that went with all my writing conference outfits. The perfect black sweater.

It had a pin with a lace bow that I removed before taking it to the cleaners. It had 8 adorable gemstone buttons that closed the cardigan.

It was a beautiful sweater.

Until Sea Breeze got ahold of it.

They returned it to me with the gemstones missing from all 8 buttons. Just empty silver metal prongs. Seriously?!

I did not ask that they replace the sweater. I am a reasonable person. I asked that they fix their mistake. That they replace the gemstones or simply put on 8 plain black buttons. The guy at the register thought this sounded reasonable and told me the owner would call me Saturday.

The owner however was all about blaming me and the sweater. Yes, the sweater, for losing its gemstones. AMAZING. I’d spent hundreds of dollars on drycleaning at this place of “business.”

He even blamed me for bringing in the sweater, despite the dry clean written on the inner label. Evidently the buttons are considered “adornments” and there are signs all over the store that they are not responsible for adornments if there is a manufacturer defect. Um, since when are buttons adornments? And how do they determine a defect? If they ruin it, it’s “defective”?

Clearly his business is doing so well he can afford to treat his customers like crap. He tells me I have to bring in the gemstones (the ones he lost) and then he will have them put back into the buttons for me.

I just have to pick up the sweater from him, hunt down the proper size gemstones, purchase them, and then he will have his people glue them back in. Sounds like a ton of work for me when I DID NOT RUIN THE SWEATER.

He has the sweater. It would take his “tailor” an hour or two to track down the right gemstones and then  another hour to replace them. It’s called MAKING THINGS RIGHT.

But the owner is so busy saying it’s not his fault, he can’t bother with fixing the problem. That’s on me. TO FIX HIS MISTAKE.

That is profoundly bad customer service. That is why he lost a customer.

Shame on you, Sea Breeze Cleaners!

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26 Responses to Shame on You Sea Breeze Cleaners!

  1. so how long will it take you to find a new cleaner? he obviously doesn’t realize that they’re a dime a dozen.

    • Already have one. 🙂 It’s weird because you’d think you’d get better service in a small town, but nope. I’m going to the nearest small city to get things done right.

  2. Gah! Love the “blame the customer policy!”

  3. Small towns can be a little strange. Some owners just figure customers will put up with stuff.
    They messed up but instead of making it right decided the best option is to be difficult and make it your problem.
    Glad you found a new place – be sure to tell ALL your neighbors and everyone you see about your experience – they deserve it.
    Sorry about the sweater – it never fails: the one piece that is vital and important!

    • Seriously. I never had experiences like this in NY. Though once my dry cleaner held my down comforter for 3 extra days for “stains” that never came out. (Puppy puked on it once) LOL. But it came back in one piece.
      I could see if I was being a raging jerk, but all I asked was that they fix the problem they created. Not buy me a whole new sweater or anything.
      Yeah, my dad’s been using this cleaner for decades. They are nice and appreciate his business. 🙂 Oh I am big into shouting praises and sharing bad experiences with friends and family. So far I’ve told dozens of people. 😉
      It’s just that perfect black sweater and i can’t replace it in the height of summer. Luckily, I found a really light weight drapey black sweater in the back of my closet. Thank goodness I bought so much black when I lived in NY!

  4. Carrie Rubin says:

    Wow, not sure how that could come back to be your fault. Good grief. Time to change cleaners, I think.

    • It was freaking amazing. I told my dad, I can’t get angry because my neck is finally calmed down but please go yell at them for me. 🙂 He did. And I am now only using the cleaner he goes to. 🙂

  5. Pete Denton says:

    I hate it when the simple things go wrong. These are the things you rely on. At least your comments will alert anyone searching for on-line for feedback on this company. You have that at least.

  6. jmmcdowell says:

    That is shameful, and you can bet people will take note of your experience. When I read reviews like that, I look for another option!

    And when it comes to big companies, I’ve learned they will even search blogs for negative reviews about them. Some time back you posted about another bad experience. And I commented about a years-ago experience I had with a salesperson at a large retailer. Someone from that large retailer actually responded to my post asking me to contact them about making things right!

    It was years ago and didn’t matter anymore. But still. They saw that one comment and wanted to address it. 🙂

    • Me too! I wish someone had written a review of them online. I’d never have gone there.

      LOL. I remember that post. It was really nice of the company to try to make amends even this late. That made me think better of them.

      🙂

  7. Laura says:

    Oh jeeze! I can’t believe they’d put that on you… ugh I hate people sometimes!

    • I know. I was being nice too. I promised myself I wouldn’t flip out and get stressed. I just hope that this economy shows them what happens to businesses who treat their customers like garbage. 🙂

  8. berry says:

    I’d sue the bastards. Shame on them. Ill never use them. Pass the word along. Bad customer service deserves Facebook notice. Now!!!!!

    • Unfortunately, it would be a small claims court case over a $100 sweater. All the work and aggravation involved with that–would just cause me more stress and aggravation. LOL. My blog does feed to FB so all my friends will hear about it. 🙂

  9. EllaDee says:

    Good on you for making the issue known to Sea Breeze. Too many “businesses” couldn’t care less about their customers, and good on you for getting it out there on the WP airwaves. People need to know that it is good, constructive to tell the person responsible if there is a problem, not cop out with “I don’t want to make a fuss”. I say make a fuss – you may eventually just save someone else from the same experience. That said I hope you get a resolution, or via Google find a replacement.

    • Thanks EllaDee! I was polite when I brought the sweater in and showed them the problem they caused. The guy who worked there was very sympathetic and nice. He agreed that something should be done to remedy the button problem. The owner was the complete jerk who didn’t want to lift a finger to fix things. He wanted to make things my fault and make me work on his screw up. That is when I kicked up a fuss. I will not tolerate anyone blaming me for their mistakes. And I will probably bring it to a reputable cleaner and have the buttons replaced at a personal cost. 🙂

  10. Hi Kourtney, how frustrating! I have my favorite articles of clothing that I can just throw on for performances or conferences too, and it is sad when one finally wears out or gets damaged. You might consider registering a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. I would probably just let it go, move on, and know that he will continue to lose custom through his bad business practices.

    • Very frustrating, Naomi. Especially when one is in perfect condition and then the cleaner destroys the buttons. I may do that. I’m getting ready for a big conference so I just wanted to vent and move on, but his treatment of me was wrong. His entire handling of the situation was wrong. And his refusal to accept any blame for what his company did is part of what is wrong with America today imho. People don’t stand behind their work.

  11. It is pervasive. From the small business that ruined your sweater, to the political party that took a balanced budget and immediately cut taxes before we could buy our debt down.

    • I think accountability is so important. When I used to do audits and reviews inside companies, I always wanted to know the source of the problem–never to hang anyone out to dry, but to make sure we fixed the situation and it wouldn’t happen again. I don’t get not wanting to make things better. To improve things.

  12. 4amWriter says:

    Wow, unreal. What a total jerk. Yes, absolutely, change cleaners AND write a letter to him explaining why you changed, that you know tons of local people, and you like to warn anyone about people who do bad business.

    I’m sorry about your sweater. I hope you can find a wonderful replacement.

    • I talked to him on the phone and my dad spoke to him when he went in to pick up my sweater. The owner didn’t care about losing my business. He didn’t care that my family has lived in town for generations. He obviously considers himself too big to fail.

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