Help! David's Bridal Will Not Cancel My Order!

Reader Emily doesn’t want the dress she was pressured into getting at David’s Bridal, but when she tried to cancel the order, they won’t let her. It’s only been 72 hours and she hasn’t received the dress yet, but all David’s Bridal will give her is an in-store exchange.

Emily says:

On Wednesday, I got bullied into buying a dress that I liked but couldn’t really afford. I should have stayed firm, but I caved, and now I find myself in this situation. Even though David’s employees claim that you can walk away with any dress in the store, they told me I had to special order the dress I wanted and it would take up to 6 weeks to come in.

It’s been 72 hours of thinking on it, and I absolutely have to cancel the order. Since I haven’t actually received the dress, I called to see if they would cancel the order and refund the money. The employee said that all sales are final, but that doesn’t seem right since I haven’t yet received any merchandise. At this point, they have my money AND they have my dress order, but refuse to help a girl out. According to her, once it is in the computer, there is nothing anyone can do. Like she can’t pick up a telephone and call the distributor (or, tell the truth that they probably haven’t begun processing the order yet at all).

They try to justify it by saying that I have “special ordered” something, so they wouldn’t be able to sell it to anyone else. I ordered the dress, but there’s nothing “special” about it. I tried the same dress/same (average) size/same color on in-store, and they would certainly be able to sell it someone else (provided they didn’t force that customer to special order it as well).

The best they could offer me was an in-store exchange for the SAME amount. They do not issue store credit. They refuse to refund money. In order for me to get a cheaper dress, I would have to wrangle all my bridesmaids to try on dresses on the same day, and order them all on the same day as part of the same transaction to equal the original total. (Thus forcing the girls to get their dresses at this hateful place also.)

I’m considering contacting Visa to do a chargeback, but if the David’s policy is “All Sales are Final” – will they be able to do anything?

I am planning to meet in person with a manager tomorrow, but for now I have only heard bad things.

There is a fundamental irrational policy problem at this store that is not adequately explained when you purchase from them. Have you heard any positive news of people getting money back from this outrageous company?
Any suggestions?

Emily, when we first read your story, we wondered if the Mail and Telephone order rule that states that orders can be canceled before they are shipped would apply to you, but it doesn’t look like it does. (Any lawyers out there want to explain this law?)

We looked at Visa’s merchant agreement found a section on merchant agreement violation disputes that says Visa will help mediate conflict over the following issue:

“The merchant has failed to properly disclose their return policy to the cardholder at the time of the transaction.”

Since the store did not explain that you couldn’t cancel before the order shipped, you could argue that the store did not properly disclose this policy to you.

This type of dispute isn’t a chargeback, you’d be disputing that David’s Bridal violated their Visa merchant agreement by misleading you about the return policy. If you’d like to read about how Visa deals with these disputes, click here (PDF). (Read the section “When Chargeback Rights Do Not Apply”)

Anyone have any luck canceling an order at David’s Bridal?

(Photo: foundphotoslj )

UPDATE: Emily was contacted by David’s Bridal about this story and they worked out compromise:

I spoke to the person at David’s, and she put me in touch with a CSR who after a little phone tag confirmed that they can do a partial refund if no merchandise has been received.

I already have an appointment to go back tonight – and they will theoretically now be able to refund the difference in what I purchase tonight from the original.

Comments

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  1. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    David’s Bridal = The Devil. Ask my wife about this. Good luck to the OP, she will need it.

  2. mariospants says:

    Next thing you know, they’ll be outsourcing weddings, too. I can’t really feel sorry for folks who choose a wedding chain over some local (probably immigrant) lady who does it all by hand for the same price.

    • bria says:

      @mariospants:
      And you know there’s a local wedding store with quality merchandise in her hometown?

      Those comments are against the comment code anyway.

      • mariospants says:

        @bria: “And you know there’s a local wedding store with quality merchandise in her hometown?”

        Sure, if her howetown is large enough for a blood-sucking chain store like David’s Bridal, I’m pretty confident there’s an alternative or two.

        • bria says:

          @mariospants:
          But you don’t know that for a fact, do you? Or what if the mom and pop stores are WAY out of her price range, or don’t have what she’s looking for?

          • mariospants says:

            @bria: Oh, I’m not talking about local “boutiques” per se, but some local seamstress – ah, it’s not such a great idea unless you luck out I guess, especially if you’re under the gun and have a really tight budget.

            Still, if you wear a nice enough gown and opt for an open bar, nobody will care about what you wore.

        • camille_javal says:

          @mariospants: Sure, if her howetown is large enough for a blood-sucking chain store like David’s Bridal, I’m pretty confident there’s an alternative or two.

          unless, of course, DB already drove them out of business.

          • devsgurf says:

            @camille_javal:

            Not to mention some mom and pop wedding places can be just as sneaky. There was a local place which cuts the tags out of dresses so if you fall in love with a dress…you’re buying it there. Luckily, the dress I wanted was unique enough I was able to track down a store that could order it for me…at half the price.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @mariospants: I did go to a lot of mom and pop places…trust me, the poor little immigrant lady charges a lot of money. My budget was $600 and everywhere I went, the selection started at $500. It was only DB that had dresses that started a lot lower. I wasn’t looking for embellishments and beading and crystals – but a lot of the mom and pop stores had mostly those in their selection.

      The consumers who go to DB aren’t looking to be ripped off, they’re not looking to be cheated, and they don’t deserve it either just because they either can’t afford a high end place, don’t have the time or ability to spend what amounts to weeks looking at wedding dresses in musty rooms with poorly lit dressing rooms.

      Wedding dresses are one thing, but bridesmaids dresses are a whole other can of worms.
      It’s simply the easiest and most efficient way of getting together the right kind of color and material for all bridesmaids if one happens to not live in town. That was my situation, and it’s a common one. I had to deal with a lot of crap along the way, but my friends got what they wanted.

      • cashmerewhore says:

        @IHaveAFreezeRay:

        When I went to DB to “get the experience” (my mother-in-law insisted) I tried on a bunch of dresses. It was during one of their cheap-ass sales. Any dress that didn’t require teased hair and a beau with a mullet was not on sale (see any 80s wedding photo).

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @cashmerewhore: The sales people at mine were absolutely no help at all…I told them what I wanted, and I was very specific on what I didn’t want (no beading, severe embellishments, nothing heavy) and they kept showing me dresses that were heavier than I was! So finally, I left and came back and didn’t talk to any sales people and tried on a few of the more plain dresses. The sales people didn’t seem to understand that I didn’t want to be plain, I just wanted simplicity, which is always going to stand the test of time, while “trendy” extravagant bead work probably will look silly in 20 years.

          my dress was – [www.davidsbridal.com]

          • bria says:

            @IHaveAFreezeRay:
            Gorgeous! Congratulations :)

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              @bria: @cashmerewhore: Thanks!

              @mir777: Ann Taylor does have beautiful dresses, but I didn’t necessarily consider that when I went to look for a wedding dress – not having a ton of time, not wanting to drive everywhere, wasting gas, I felt (probably like many others do) that finding one central location with a wide range of selection was more important.

              @EnglishC6H6 is British Benzene: There are ways to get around this. You can provide a false name for your appointment, or a different first name, or a different last name. Who are they to gasp if your credit card information is different? I make dinner reservations under a false name, the restaurant has never refused to take my money when I’m done eating. :)

              @srhbks: Exactly.

              The biggest problem I found with dresses on eBay and Craig’s List is that no woman is exactly alike. Most dresses have had some kind of alteration done. My dress was altered at the waist and the bust, and if I were to put that on Craig’s List, there’s no way I can be specific on how much was taken in. I think it’s extremely hit or miss. And eBay is worse because you have to ship it and everything. If you’re looking for something extremely elaborate, and you want to save money by going on eBay, it might be worth it just to lower your expectations and get something less expensive.

          • cashmerewhore says:

            @IHaveAFreezeRay:

            [J Crew Avery]

            That was the dress I ended up keeping. I had a blusher added, and some accent color under the bust as well as above the blusher. Didn’t turn out too bad for an outdoor wedding.

            I think the only thing that got me out of MIL pressuring me into a DB’s dress was I already had several dresses by the time she drove me there.

            The only thing worse than trying to get 30 layers of crinoline over your head is getting that damn bustier bra on by yourself. My family didn’t come along, and I wasn’t about to ask for assistance.

          • cashmerewhore says:

            @IHaveAFreezeRay:

            And it’s a beautiful dress (even if you end up stuck with it).

      • mariospants says:

        @IHaveAFreezeRay: My brother had a cut-price wedding and his wife found a dress at – get this – Marshall’s. It was actually an Ann Taylor dress and it cost a couple of hundred bucks. A little low-cut in the back for a wedding (in my opinion) but a great little # regardless.

        It sucks that there’s a “wedding industry” that pumps up the event to the point where we feel forced to spend tens of thousands (as opposed feeling like celebrating the event any which way we can) in order to impress others. That’s what I have against places like D’sB: they prey on those fears of inadequacy – especially at the point when they agressively start upselling you! Nobody should ever feel that they should be upsold a wedding dress.

  3. mariospants says:

    I wasn’t blaming the OP, just consumers of places like “David’s Bridal” in general.

  4. MikeF74 says:

    Since consumer protections vary from state to state, it would be helpful to know where this one is located.

  5. Sarge1985 says:

    Check to see if your state has a “Buyer’s Remorse” statute. Many states require the merchant to provide for a window whereby you can back out of a transaction within a certain time period. Especially with contracts. IANAL and YMMV, but it seems when you special order, that may fall under a contract-type transaction. Worht a look if nothing else.

  6. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Oh David’s Bridal, how I know your shenanigans all too well. I hate DB with a passion, ever since I stepped foot into their store because everywhere else I went to look for a dress was too expensive. I was told there was no way of refunding money, that they would give you an exchange, but that there was no returning the dress. My DB had a big sign near the entrance that was very specific with their return policy.

  7. Sarge1985 says:

    Worht = Worth

  8. esd2020 says:

    Sounds like you’re probably screwed. “All sales are final” doesn’t sound very misleading to me.

  9. Skellbasher says:

    “All Sales are Final” doesn’t mean a think if the merchant violates other laws and regulations as part of the sale.

  10. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    BTW, this plays into my theory that the worst service industry in the entire world is the wedding industry. It’s one industry where they really don’t count on repeat customers for business, so customer service is usually far, far down on the list of priorities.

    • ekthesy says:

      @Franklin Comes Alive!:

      The funeral industry fits your description as well, and preying on sad occasions > preying on happy ones, so I think the wedding biz has to be #2 or at least #1(a).

      That being said, yes, they are boffo scumbags.

      • Franklin Comes Alive! says:

        @ekthesy:

        Good point, I just (thankfully) haven’t had any direct dealings with the funeral industry yet. So wedding industry is still #1 to me!

      • mugsywwiii says:

        @ekthesy:
        At all of the funerals I’ve been to (not a lot), there have been a lot of living people who will eventually be dead. ;) My grandmother and uncle had their funerals at the same home.

    • katylostherart says:

      did they say all sales are final when they sold it to you? is it on your receipt? was it posted on a sign? if any of these things were the case, you might be sol.

      @Franklin Comes Alive!: actually in the wedding industry word-of-mouth is pretty important. i mean sure, david’s bridal is a large chain store for bridal wear, but a freaking ton of more personalized places really really want to do a good job so the brides tell all their girlfriends how great the service was and how happy they were with the dress/shoes/flowers/cake etc.

      • Franklin Comes Alive! says:

        @katylostherart:

        In smaller towns and cities where choice is limited, word-of-mouth doesn’t matter much. When you only have 2 choices, and they both suck, you still have to go with one.

  11. mcrbpc says:

    I just got married, and it’s pretty common practice at most bridal stores (all that I went to, and I did not purchase my dress from DB, though my bridesmaids did) that all sales are final. My local DB has this displayed very well right behind the cash register.

    I’m not saying they’re necessarily correct in their policy/treatment of the OP, but in every DB I’ve ever been in, the policy has been on a large sign and the person at the cash register informed me before purchasing.

  12. Pylon83 says:

    I imagine the return policy is very clearly stated in the store. Just because the clerk didn’t explain it to the OP doesn’t relieve her of the obligation to read the posted notice. It sucks that she allowed herself to cave in and now wants to back out of the deal, but I think DB is completely justified in telling her to shove off.

  13. Zanorfes says:

    If David’s bridal wanted to screw my wife over like that when we were planning our wedding, I’d get a big sign and stand outside of their door (on a weekend). The sign would say something like “David’s Bridal ripped us off. Avoid them.” I’m sure that would get their attention. I’d print out fliers like the dude who wrote the book “how to kick a car dealer in the nuts”. Don’t let them get away with this. They are price-gougers and only care about making the sale.

  14. cashmerewhore says:

    Every online purchase I’ve made has said once the order is placed it cannot be changed (so you can’t call and add something else to the order). I would think by now, the “special” order is in somebody’s system and may fall under the same rule.

    I purchased 5 (yes, five, I’m crazy like that) wedding dresses by J Crew both from their website and through auctions. I sold the four duds, but it allowed me to try them all on and take them to the woman who was doing the alterations to decide which was the easiest to fit to me. I ended up making more money reselling the other four than I originally spent on the five.

    • katylostherart says:

      @cashmerewhore: ok now that’s a great tip if you can afford the multiple purchases.

      • cashmerewhore says:

        @katylostherart:

        I spent about $300 on all five dresses. One came from J Crew directly (clearance), the others were auctions. I sold them for well over $400 and kept the dress I ordered from J Crew (the most expensive of the bunch).

        I’m thrifty. And cheap.

  15. quackwhack says:

    Ugh. I went in to DB just to look around and see if there was anything worth buying. I filled out the intake form and made SURE to check the box that said “do not sell my info” or something similar – I don’t want the deals. I initialed next to it, spoke to the representative and said “Are you sure this means I won’t get advertisements and you won’t sell my number?” She said yes.

    Lo and behold, I started to get phone calls night and day from wedding vendors and shills. When I googled the number, seems like DB has sold the number and that’s how these people got my info. I called DB to ask them to remove me from the list, tell them I was on Do Not Call and that I had never authorized the selling of my info only to be told by the snarky atrocious lady that I obviously didn’t check the box and if I had I wouldn’t get any adverts.

    They’re still coming.

    Now I just start sobbing and say the wedding is off.

    • mariospants says:

      @quackwhack: What a horrible story. I rest my case.

    • BlondeGrlz says:

      @quackwhack: I’ve been married for 4+ years. I was a bridesmaid in a wedding this past April (and also the previous April) and bought my dresses at Davids. THIS WEEK I got a phone call from a wedding vendor congratulating me on my engagement and upcoming special day. I’ve sent about a zillion angry emails to DB telling them I’ll never shop in their horrible store again but it hasn’t helped. I love your hysterical wedding-is-off act, I’m goning to steal it.

    • pbwingman says:

      @quackwhack: If they lied to you and sold your information after you specifically told them not to(and checked the box), I’d say that’s grounds for a harassment lawsuit. Although I do like the crying tactic.

    • Czarina says:

      I’m also in the do-not-call and do-not-mail databases, but David’s Bridal has sold my info to several shady vendors and I know this because they misspelled my name. Not happy! They hide their contact info on their site and give you a big runaround, but if you want to mail them a note, here’s their corporate info from google maps:

      David’s Bridal Corporate Office
      1001 Washington Street
      Conshohocken, PA 19428
      (610) 943-5000

      Anyone know if I can get the DMA on their tail for that junk mail? To be fair, the only company they gave my cell phone info to was their corporate twin, Men’s Wearhouse, who called me back with another sales pitch a month after I asked them to take me off the MW list. Also, the fact that they wrote down a random last name probably means that they didn’t match my name to the DMA list, but I’m still pissed. There’s a reason why I went out of my way to get on those lists — I don’t like getting “offers” and I’m going to complain if you call me at work to sell me a freaking tux when I’ve already asked you to not call me. The catalogues and mailers I’ve been getting are hysterically bad, which at least makes up for it a little, but…

  16. crazedhare says:

    I have a law degree, but I’m not practicing law or acting as a lawyer giving you legal advice.

    I don’t know where you are, but the “change of heart” rules of your state might be helpful to look at. Generally, every state has an “X” day window during which you can cancel a contract without penalty. Typically, as is pointed out frequently on Consumerist, state laws trump store policies, and you cannot contract away most consumer protection rights. Therefore, I have a reasonable basis to believe that an “all sales are final” policy could not overrule the “change of heart” period.

    Do you think you should send written notice immediately that you do not intend to purchase/accept the dress and you withdraw your instruction to have the dress made? I think that if they start making that dress, or if you haven’t requested they not do so in writing, you might be in a worse negotiating position.

    • JustThatGuy3 says:

      @bunnymare:

      “Generally, every state has an “X” day window during which you can cancel a contract without penalty.”

      For certain specific things (timeshares, etc.), yes, but not for most things (at least not in any state that I’m aware of).

      In New York, for example:

      9. Do I have 3 days to cancel any contract in New York State?
      There is no general “cooling-off” law in New York. Only certain types of transactions can be canceled within a 3 day cooling off period. These include: door to door sales, health club membership sales, campground membership sales, and home improvement repair contracts over $500.

      [www.consumer.state.ny.us]

  17. Jenng says:

    I bought some of my wedding stuff at DB and my bridesmaids got their dresses there and they all has to sign/initial a separate receipt stating they were told all sales are final as did I.

    • BlondeGrlz says:

      @Jenng: I bought my wedding dress at David’s and I had to sign that receipt too. David’s Bridal is a sucky company and I hate a lot of things about them, but in this case I don’t know what to suggest. Maybe the manager will make a single case exception for the OP if she throws a big enough fit, but I’m not hopeful.

  18. xkaluv says:

    Dispute with the CC company… then say you haven’t received your dress. Unless david’s bridal can prove you have received your dresss you should be good.

  19. agnamus says:

    “Since the store did not explain that you couldn’t cancel before the order shipped, you could argue that the store did not properly disclose this policy to you.”

    I guarantee that their return policy is tattooed all over the sales counter and on the contract she (implicitly by swiping her card) signed.

    It’s been well known that David’s Bridal is full of scummy, high-pressure sales. They capitalize on fears and dreams of low income brides-to-be e.g. “You deserve it!”. . . “Your friends and loved ones will remember how you look for the rest of your life!”. . . If you’re going to splurge on anything, shouldn’t it be for your big day!”. . . “You’ve been waiting your entire life for this. Don’t risk hating your dress just because it’s a little cheaper!”. . . “Oh, this dress has been drawing a lot of attention. Judy, our regional manager, just loved it and was thinking about buying it for her wedding that’s coming up. Since we don’t stock a lot of the same designs–no bride would want to be caught wearing the same dress as her friend, would she?–I predict that this dress will be gone before the end of the day. Honey, if want it, you need to put down a deposit now!”

    The funny thing about their business model is that they rely on being a high profile shop with little word-of-mouth references or repeat customers. Most people don’t know where else they could even buy a dress from. Capitalizing on this ignorance, they bring in a lot of people who know very little about their operation and milk them for all they’re worth. The possibility of word of mouth/repeat business is the only thing that keeps car dealerships somewhat honest, and these people don’t have that incentive.

  20. amythej says:

    From David’s website: “Items purchased at stores cannot be returned or exchanged.”
    David’s does this to protect them from people purchasing dresses, wearing them, then returning them. The also do this because as soon as they place the order they must honor the purchase to the distributor and “purchase” the dress. Although it is likely that someone in your size/and wants your dress will come in in the next 1-3 months (before this “season” is over) imagine a bridal store having to do this for hundreds of people. . . .and typically you have to sign a contract saying that you understand that dress is nonreturnable under any circumstances.
    Now, in your defense, what you should call and complain about is the sales associate who “bullied” you into buying a dress you could not afford.

  21. TheGreenMnM says:

    Silly thought… I’ve always wondered how a “posted notice” affects those that are unable to read said signage (i.e. blind, speak another language, illiterate).

    • @TheGreenMnM: Not silly at all. And I don’t see how reading a sign means that you agree to it. I could type “By reading this you owe me five dollars,” but that doesn’t necessarily make it true. Neither does printing it on the back of a receipt (which I only get after I have purchased the item) I don’t see how a company can PROVE that I read their sign. Anyone know anything about this? I feel like it has come up before, but their was never a satisfactory answer on it.

  22. chatterboxwriting says:

    I bought a bridesmaid dress at DB and I had to sign a store copy of the receipt stating that all sales are final. I ended up having to take the dress back (bride asked me 10 days before the wedding to be a bridesmaid; told me to wear whatever I wanted, then didn’t like the dress I originally chose) and all I could do is get another dress plus a shoulder wrap to even out to the original total.

  23. mmdangel says:

    Keep fighting! I hate DB with a passion. Several years ago I ordered a bridesmaid dress at the DB in Greenville, SC. I had a really bad feeling that this wedding was not going to happen, so I asked the saleslady about returns. She said I could cancel the order as long as the dress had not arrived in the store. My hunch was right – the wedding was canceled. I went up to DB and asked for a refund on the dress since the wedding was canceled, and they gave me the run-around. I finally found the saleslady who told me I could cancel, and they had to honor what I’d been told. As long as the dress is not in the store, you should be able to get your money back. Use VISA to help you if they are willing! Also, one thing I’ve learned over the years is to ALWAYS use American Express on large purchases. They ALWAYS have your back.

  24. ironchef says:

    those stores with All Sales Final aren’t very shy about enforcing it. The only other way is small claims court but I seriously doubt the judge will side with the consumer based on a change of heart defense.

  25. CoderCop says:

    Depending on the amount of free time you have, you can use their reputation against them. Make a nice big sign that says something like “David’s Bridal is Trying To Ruin My Wedding” then threaten to stand on the nearest public sidewalk during their busiest hours.

    If you have to make good on your threat, be polite and respectful and obey all local ordinances with regard to loitering, advertising, etc., but here you would be well within your rights as long as you didn’t obstruct access to the property in any way and were standing on public property.

    Handing out fliers describing your story to anyone who looks interested in David’s can also help. I would imagine it won’t take very many customers walking in holding such a flier for the manager to take notice.

    • agnamus says:

      @CoderCop: The “X picked store Y, and store Y caved to X’s demands” stories on Consumerist tend to make us feel all warm and fuzzy, but the reality is that although you do have a right under the first amendment to picket a store, they do have a right to (and probably will) sue the bejeesus out of you. Even if they don’t have a winning claim, you will spend tens of thousands of dollars over the course of several years to clear your name. It’s not worth it. YMMV.

  26. margit says:

    David’s “all sales final” policy is pretty well known to anyone who’s had the unfortunate experience of shopping there. I can’t imagine they get a lot of repeat business.

    This doesn’t mean all the locally-owned wedding boutiques are consumer-friendly. Many of them will also refuse to do returns. In one case, I ordered a designer bridesmaid’s dress from a local boutique. The bride got a call the next day from the store, telling her the dresses we ordered were discontinued. But they weren’t going to refund our money- we would have to choose something else from the store. I was annoyed at their incompetence and didn’t want to go back for another fitting, only to have this happen again. The store manager told the bride that it was physically impossible to refund our money. I was just about to do my first chargeback when the manager somehow figured out this mysterious refund process. I got my money back, but I won’t be doing business with any wedding boutiques named Bird of Paradise in the next century.

  27. JanetCarol says:

    When it comes to getting married – someone is always going to try to pressure you into basically screwing yourself.
    You could try to sell it on craigslist. I bought my dress on there and I love it.
    Depending on how over your budget the dress was – offering it at $100 less than what DB sold it to you for – might help.

  28. parkavery says:

    Having worked in retail, there IS something “special” about a special order, which is why stores usually don’t allow you to cancel them.

    Normal stock is purchased in bulk with wholesale prices from the supplier. If a customer wants something that a store does not usually carry (even if it’s a colour/size/etc. difference), the store purchases it as a single item from the supplier. In almost all cases, the store pays nearly full retail price for the item, just so they can sell it to their customer.

    If the store allows the customer to cancel once the order is completed, and subsequently the store isn’t able to sell the item to someone else (fashions change with the seasons, don’t they?), the store loses a lot more money on the item than they would for a normal stock item.

    I’m not saying stores shouldn’t help customers, especially when it’s likely that customer will be purchasing something else from them and/or sending other customers into the store (bridesmaids). I’m not condoning DB’s behaviour here at all. But special orders ARE a nasty little beast that no retail store likes to deal with, since they don’t make money. That’s why DB is giving the OP a hard time about it.

    BTW, I also echo what others have said about the “cooling off period” that all states have in contract law. DB may not come out and say it, but look in your contract or find out what your state law is. 72 hours sounds like you’re pretty close to the deadline already, but good luck!

  29. copious28 says:

    Yes, my fiancee bought a dress at DB as well. They make you sign a contract when you make the purchase. State/federal laws would definitely protect you over the contract, but otherwise, you would have made the agreement with them directly. I thought it was sh*tty that they did that in first place. It isnt like they are out anything if you bought it off the rack like we did. No other clothing stores have that kind of policy. They wouldnt last five minutes in our economy. I think though, that if you had a high pressure situation, then that is the best angle to follow. A contract is null and void if it is signed under duress.

    • crazedhare says:

      @copious28:

      The kind of “duress” that voids a contract typically is closer to a literal “gun to your head”. Commercial pressure, necessity, high-pressure sales and so forth have been found, pretty much across the board, to be under the threshhold of “duress”.

  30. processfive says:

    While I have not personally had any experience with David’s Bridal, my fiancée has been more than happy to share her wedding dress shopping woes with me.

    From what I’ve gathered, most of the locally-owned stores can be very expensive (as they tend to pride themselves on being “boutiques”), often only have a small selection, and generally require LOTS of time to complete a dress (apparently, six to eight months is not enough time to tailor a dress? Seriously?).

    She ended up going to DB in the course of her shopping, and ended up returning there in order to buy her dress. They had the best selection of dresses, they had the best prices, and they assured her that they could have it ready in time for the wedding.

    Now, in the time since, she has discovered that they are completely incompetent, everything from sales people who can’t even use the terminology correctly (“umpire” waist, anyone?) to tailoring that leaves much to be desired, to staff that simply seem to have no idea what they’re doing.

    I know that my fiancée would have much preferred to make the purchase at a locally-owned store, and it was actually a huge concession for her to visit DB in the first place. But really, as long as locally-owned stores insist on charging an arm and a leg for a dress that is only going to be worn *once*, DB is never going to be hurting for business, especially when they’re the leader in an industry in which repeat business is not generally a concern.

    • margit says:

      @processfive: ha, now I am curious about how an “umpire waist” would look. Black and white stripe? Embellished with a whistle?

      Oh, and another thing: if you do order from DB, don’t have them do your alterations. They are way overpriced- just cut out the middleman and find a seamstress. You’ll save money, and there’s a good chance it’s the same seamstress who does the alterations for DB.

    • kittenfoo says:

      @processfive: muwahahahahah! I lol’d at “umpire waist.” I used to be a copy editor, and our sports writer always had the most amazing misspellings: “ballet parking,” “playoff birth,” etc.

  31. muckpond says:

    it’s not often i get to say this, so “yay for being gay!”

  32. Mr_D says:

    Just musing – but if you haven’t recieved a dress yet, is the sale really final? All you’ve gotten is a promise that you’ll get a dress, which is not what you’ve paid for.

  33. coan_net says:

    Now I don’t know much about dress shops, but here is what I would image what goes on.

    1. They have a limited number of dresses at a store – to allow for try-on’s and to help pick style and such (the the majority of dresses that would actually be sold to have to be sent in from a warehouse or what not.)

    2. So when she, the sale went out to their warehouse.

    NOW – If the dress was something special where any type of special work had to be done, that probable started right away – so to cancel the order would cost the company money for the work already done.

    NOW – If the dress was sitting on a rack in the warehouse and all they had to do was pull it off and ship it – then not much work was done and it should be able to be canceled in my opinion.

    From what I do know, most wedding dresses are very customized for each bride (well if you spend enough money on it) – to fit perfectly – with exact measurements on every part of the body – which leads me to believe that some altercations on the dress may have started…. and why all sales are final.

    • NYGal81 says:

      @coan_net: Regarding the alterations, not so. When you buy a wedding dress from a chain, or even from a mom and pop, they measure 2 or three things: waist, bust, and height. They come up with one dress size number (4, 6, 8, 10, etc), and they order it. Almost all other tailoring has to be done by a seamstress or tailor. Basically, if you have any kind of “odd” proportioning (i.e., short but curvy, tall but rail thin), they almost have to order the dress in the “wrong” size in order for it to fit properly. So that is most assuredly not the reason why all sales are final.

      All sales are final because the wedding industry, in general, is evil. In order to get a dress on time, you often have to order well in advance (months and months), if you can’t buy the floor sample outright. In that time, many things can happen, including the bride continuing to look at wedding magazines and changing her mind. It pumps more money into the system if rich or fickle brides don’t mind paying for more than one dress. The only other reason I can think of is what some folks do with garments they wear once–find a way to hide/reattach the tags and return it looking brand new. Most wedding dresses in the bridal shops are the true definition of a “one time only” item.

      All that being said, if the store says “All Sales Final” (as many bridal shops do…all over the store), you know what you’re getting yourself into. I don’t agree with it because I can’t see how a wedding dress is different than a pair of jeans. However, stores can set their own policies, and it up to folks as consumers to decide if they want to support businesses that put the squeeze on them like this–if there are even other choices to be had.

      • alexburrito says:

        @NYGal81: In defense of the wedding industrial complex, they are a business in it to make money. If you were a wedding dress manufacturer, how many of each style of dress in each size of an expensive dress would you keep on hand? And if you needed to change styles every season to please the “fickle” brides of the world? And if you were stuck at the end of the season with 800 unsold $1,500 dresses? The dresses are ordered months in advance because they ARE made for you at the manufacturer. It is sensible business methodology.

        • NYGal81 says:

          @alexburrito: I don’t begrudge the wedding industry the fact that they have to make money. I get that when you produce a product, you want to do so at a profit, not a loss (or even a break-even…). What I don’t get is why the wedding industry is so different than most other facets of the fashion industry. I can (very hypothetically) walk into Saks, buy myself a $500 pair of super-special exclusive jeans, walk out of the store, wait a day (or 30, or 60, or 90), turn around, and return the jeans as long as I haven’t taken the tags off and worn them. Why isn’t the same true for a wedding dress? I knew when I bought mine that it was “All sales final,” but I was under no delusion that it was some haute couture masterpiece, hand sown (no machines in hc!) just for me by one person who only makes that one, single dress. The whole process just seems a little too mysterious for me. I get making a profit is important, and if I owned a business, I’d want to make a profit too. It just seems strange that the wedding dress industry feels they need to be in the position that “All sales final” is the rule, not the exception.

          Mostly, this level of customer non-service makes me feel bad for brides that have serious reasons for returning/canceling a dress like “my fiancee died before the wedding and I don’t want this dress as a reminder of the life we never had together.” I think I saw that one on TV, and the only way the company would issue the refund was to have her bring in the death certificate. :-( I feel bad for the OP and the crappy pressure she got to buy a dress she couldn’t afford, but it’s not quite the same.

    • devsgurf says:

      @coan_net:

      Um not so much. Wedding dresses are a very odd affair. Most places have a limited number of sizes to try on which means most ladies are trying on a dress that’s been clipped onto them. Dresses also are usually sized at least 2 sizes less smaller than the average dress size. Almost all wedding dresses require a lot of tailoring, if nothing else, to create a bustle.

  34. yeah4me says:

    This is pretty standard in the bridal industry. All sales are final, even though you won’t have your merchandise for weeks or months.

    What the OP will find is even more frustrating about Davids Bridal in particular is that the dress she’s “special ordered” likely won’t even be new. They will hunt one down in her size on the trial racks in some other DB store.

    While the all-sales-final likely makes sense for a small bridal shop that is custom ordering their gowns (since nearly every bride has this “oh no I ordered the wrong dress” moment and a custom sized dress can’t simply be popped back onto the rack for a future shopper), in DB’s case, the “custom” dress could easily be returned to a sales rack since that’s where it will be pulled from.

    Bottom line, I think the OP is probably out of luck.

  35. mir777 says:

    At the risk of being redundant, “all sales are final” and “special order” are pretty clear, and it seemed like they were pretty clear to the OP. They have the right to maintain this policy, whether you like their style or not. It’s also a salesperson’s job to encourage you to purchase merchandise at their store, strange as that seems. I am almost always on the side of the shopper, but this just annoyed me for some reason.

    Put the dress up on ebay and chalk it up to a learning experience.

  36. mir777 says:

    Also, J. Crew, Ann Taylor and Target have more reasonably priced wedding dresses. Or Ebay.

    • laddibugg says:

      @mir777:

      The nice thing about David’s Bridal is that they carry larger sizes unlike the stores you mentioned.

      Though I am sure someone is going to say that fat women shouldn’t get married.

      I don’t understnad why it takes six weeks—you still have to get the dress altered, so it’s not custom made.

  37. mrbill says:

    I don’t have a lot of sympathy for people who claim they got “bullied” into buying something.

    After all, they have the ability to say “no” and walk out of the store instead of signing on the dotted line at the register.

    • saltytoast says:

      I, too got a bunch of telemarketing calls right after I went to try dresses on at David’s. After flipping out on them via voice mail and e-mail (strange how they don’t have an actual customer service hotline), the calls stopped.

      If anyone else is looking for advice, I had good luck with the gigantic Filene’s sale. They had all kinds of sizes, not just the typical size 10 samples.

  38. British Benzene says:

    My main beef with David’s Bridal was that they require you to sign in to try on dresses. You need to provide name, address, and asked for photo ID (and probably email now, although not when I got married). My wife (then-fiance) went to try on dresses and we ended up getting calls and fliers for years about honeymoons and such.

    I made a joke of the whole thing, saying “Just think, in 7 years we’ll start getting cold calls from divorce attorneys.” While this didn’t happen, we did get fliers for “Adjusting to Marital Finances Seminars” for another year after we were married.

    Oh, and did I mention we never bought a single damn thing there?

  39. mir777 says:

    @laddibugg: Target goes up to an XXL which is about an 18-20 from my experience. There’s also Chadwick’s which has an extensive collection of formal gowns. Also, eBay has a huge range of sizes. Many department stores have formal gowns and wedding dresses in a range of sizes.

    Don’t make this about size. I am a plus size woman and I have been married; I got a stunning ivory tea-length dress and jacket in the dress department at Lord & Taylor for $119. You have to be innovative. Another alternative is having a dress made which can be cheaper than a designer gown, depending on the fabric.

    • laddibugg says:

      @mir777:

      I was not ‘making this about size’. I stated that many plus size brides go to David’s bridal because they carry WEDDING dresses in larger sizes (up to a 28, IIRC). At that size, your options can be limited–I have not seen anything larger than a 22 in Lord and Taylor’s. David’s Bridal can sometimes be a place of last resort, whether you want to go there or not. So, no a size 28 bride cannot go to Ann Taylor, Jcrew, or even Target.

  40. fuzzymuffins says:

    of the 3 people i know who have had dealings w/ david’s bridal, all 3 vowed ‘never again and i will not let anyone i know ever shop there’.

    a wedding shop needs to be based on flawless customer service. any company that has a wedding clients should know this, or they don’t deserve to be in the business at all.

    but thenif the bride is a bitch, that’s a different story…

  41. shortcake says:

    I don’t think she can argue that the store did not disclose the policy. It is stated everywhere at David’s. Seriously. Everywhere you look: All sales are final. It is on multiple signs at the register AND the salesclerk informed me before she rung me up (I was buying $14 worth of fabric swatches no less!).

    While I agree that it stinks for her, I think she doesn’t have any wiggle room here. It is very clear there and in every bridal shop I visited that you cannot return gowns. Unless the consultant bullied her into buying the gown (and even then she could have walked out), she doesn’t really have a leg to stand on.

  42. alexburrito says:

    I’m having trouble feeling too badly about this. If it was the first bridal shopping trip – how could she get “bullied” into buying if she hadn’t been to other stores and tried on other dresses? Am I right, brides? How many stores did you go to? Do you ever make such a large purchase without shopping around?

    If it wasn’t her first shopping stop, she should be aware of these issues – pretty much every bridal store has a similar policy. And, most stores have these policies posted all over including the dressing rooms!

  43. srhbks says:

    I’ve been bridal shopping with a bunch of friends, and across the board DB had the cheapest dresses and the largest and most varied stock. They also had dresses in multiple sizes, as opposed to most bridal boutiques, which only carry the dresses in one size (usually a small one) so it’s hard to get a good feel for how the dress might fit your actual body.

    I would purchase a dress from David’s Bridal, but I would never get it altered there.

  44. chemmy says:

    Sorry but I got my dress at David’s…. They have “All Sales Final” signs all over the store (I went to), it says it on the receipt and also, the sales rep told me this before she rang me up….

  45. dianabanana says:

    If it says all sales are final everywhere you look when you purchased the thing, and now you have buyer’s remorse, it’s your own fault. It’s called final sale for a reason. That’s not to say the wedding industry isn’t evil tho.

  46. lol_wut says:

    I refuse to blame the OP. The OP should, though, chalk this up to being an expensive lesson and that she should do a little more (like at least check the site and customer feedback) before heading out to take a look. Could she sell the dress on eBay and get most of her money back and put it towards something else?

    Obviously she had a budget, and this dress blew it. If she gets most of her money back couldn’t she put that towards a more reasonable dress and work on paying down that credit card debt? Just curious.

  47. deadspork says:

    She agreed to purchase the dress. I’m annoyed that she only wants to change her mind now that she feels pressured.

    Just because you overspent doesn’t mean you can automatically get a refund, sorry.

  48. Yurei says:

    This is giving me all the more incentive to attend my own wedding someday dressed as a dominatrix ;)

    …ok, so maybe not. I *will* probably be buying an inexpensive, ‘party’ style of dress if my own ones I own now don’t fit anymore.

  49. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I read the original post again… this struck me as odd:

    In order for me to get a cheaper dress, I would have to wrangle all my bridesmaids to try on dresses on the same day, and order them all on the same day as part of the same transaction to equal the original total.

    They won’t issue credit, but they’ll exchange for a dress of similar value – BUT, they’ll allow her to bring her bridesmaids in and have them get dresses? This sounds like a way out! Rally your bridesmaids together, have them get their dresses on this credit, and pay the OP back! Come on! This is the way out! I would advise the OP to work a little harder and get her people together. It usually takes DB months to get a dress into the store, she can surely round up her bridesmaids to come in with her. And if there are any that are out of town, what one of my friends did was find a friend who was a similar body type, and they took photos of the dresses.

    • @IHaveAFreezeRay: Good point. And I don’t see why they would have to all go to the same store on the same day. Couldn’t they just try the bridesmaid dress on in their local store and email the OP the measurements. Then the OP could buy them all at the same time on her credit.
      The problem here is not whether the store has to issue a refund but whether the store should issue a refund.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @vivelafat (I don’t know why it won’t let me reference your post):

        The key to doing this at DB is to place the order all at once. Their excuse in doing this is so they can get all the dresses from the same dye group, so all of the dresses are the exact same hue. I personally didn’t think the difference would ever be big enough that it would matter and that I would absolutely HAVE to order all three bridesmaid dresses at the same time. It’s a luxury that one has the money to pay for three dresses and wait for friends to pay back the money. One of my friends did this, and one of her bridesmaids (we’re no longer speaking to her) ended up not returning her phone calls, and ended up dropping out of the wedding by not showing up to anything, returning phone calls or generally caring. It was the passive aggressive way of doing things, but my friend was fortunate that she did not pay for that girl’s dress because then she would have never gotten her money back.

        I’d only do the credit/pay back thing if you really trusted your friends, or they had money with them right there to give to you. I’d remind the OP that she might love her friends but weddings are also a business transaction.

        And I agree, the store should issue a refund. They really should – but they aren’t – and the OP can either fight, fight, and fight some more, which might take more time and energy than it’s worth, considering this woman is planning a wedding – OR she should acknowledge that there is an alternative solution, bring in her bridesmaids in, and she can pick out a dress she actually wants.

  50. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I meant to add also that I know the OP said she didn’t want to force her bridesmaids to get their dresses from DB, but I’m supposing that she might not have an idea of where they were going to get their dresses – and DB has a huge selection. For a lot of brides, even if they want their bridesmaids to wear the same color, there’s no way blue is really the same hue of blue unless they get their dresses from the same place. It’s one thing to say “everyone wear X color, just whatever style you want” but a lot of brides I’ve seen make this decision, then get very, very upset when their bridesmaids are wearing what she asked them they could wear, but then the bridesmaids are wearing three different hues of navy blue, and they look more like guests rather than bridesmaids. I mean, they don’t have to match exactly – but a lot of brides underestimate how much they want the bridal party to look like an ensemble, especially since groomsmen tend to wear the same style tux.

  51. parabola101 says:

    AVOID David’s Bridal AT ALL COSTS. They are a true nightmare to do business with.

  52. charodon says:

    Send something in writing NOW reiterating that you have cancelled the order (i.e., put it in the letter that you have ALREADY cancelled the order, by X conversation at [time] on [date]). I would mail or fax it, but also hand-deliver a copy to the store because time is of the essence. Then refuse to pick up the dress, and demand your money back. If they refuse, sue in small claims court.

    There’s a contract law principle here — mitigation of damages. I.e., once DB knew you were going to breach, they cannot collect any damages for any work done on the dress past that time.

  53. recordstorefan says:

    Here’s the thing – this is your wedding. Why did you let someone bully you into something you didn’t want or couldn’t afford? To me, it seems like this is an expensive lesson in learning how to stand up for yourself.

  54. Ms. Pants says:

    To those of you who ask how this woman could be bullied into buying a dress, I must ask: are all of you male?

    It’s a valid question. In tux rental/purchase, it’s pretty cut and dry.

    With wedding dresses, the emotions are beyond overwhelming and stress is at such a level that I can easily see a very strong, ball-busting woman giving in to pushy salespeople. And the bridal industry knows this too and preys upon it. Sorry guys, but I just don’t think you really get how incredibly overwhelming all the wedding stuff is for a bride.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @Ms. Pants: Seriously. I do have sympathy for the OP because I certainly felt a lot of pressure when I first started my wedding planning. I just made certain that I had a good idea of what I could absolutely afford. It helped that I had a friend who kept hammering that into me while we were there, reminding me of what I wanted vs. what the sales people kept telling me I wanted.

      • Ms. Pants says:

        @IHaveAFreezeRay and @shortcake: Would you believe I’ve never even been married myself? :-) Having been at the side of a few friends at bridal stores, I’ve seen the pressure they’ve been taught to dish out. Further, watching the TLC show “Say Yes to the Dress” about Kleinfeld just proves to me that the industry is rife with just plain icky people.

        It also convinced me that if I ever do get hitched, I’m going the quickie-elopement route, to which my father gleefully exclaimed, “I’ll give you $25,000 to do that!!!”

        • satoru says:

          @Ms. Pants: I’d agree that in general the wedding industry is full of people that know full well how to take advantage of emotional brides (since we all know the grooms couldn’t give a hoot if they had to choose if the chair covers are turquoise or aqua). I’m still trying to figure out how those photographers, when using digital cameras, insist on charging $300-$500 for their ‘digital negatives’. I didn’t realize that DVD media had gotten so expensive! I should tell these photographers were to get cheaper media so they can save some money.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            @satoru: That is ridiculous too…the photographer I used did no such nonsense, and gave us the original files as part of the deal.

    • shortcake says:

      @Ms. Pants: I agree with you that bullying is pretty common. As a bride planning a wedding, I am very active in several online wedding communities and similar situations have come up there. However, overwhelmingly, the bullying and pushy people are family and friends, even though they have good intentions. They convince the bride the dress is perfect, even if she isn’t so in love with it, and she trusts them instead of herself. Then she freaks out after getting home. I am very curious to find out whether the bullying came from the consultant or someone the bride actually knew.

    • satoru says:

      @Ms. Pants: I’ve seen bridal shops and I can tell you that the way they operate really depends on how much you’re spending. If you’re going to a low end shop like David Bridal’s, they’re full of incompetent idiots who couldn’t find their way out of a shoe box. Only those people with semi-intelligence will actually use the hard sell.

      If you go to a high end shop, like Prisilla’s you’re in for what is far worse psychologically. Being a dude I wasn’t obviously allowed inside, but I waited in the lobby and overheard most of the discussions. Their sales people are slick, and I’m sure they could sell a freezer to an Eskimo in Alaska. But they’re into the soft sell. They can immediately evaluate a group of women, and identify who is the weakest link, who holds decision power, and who holds the cash. Then they deftly play them all against each other, in order to ensure they buy the most expensive dress they can pull out from the racks. They will NEVER hard sell you, pressure you into buying, etc. But they prey on your emotions. For example, for one group I saw, it was obvious that the bride was the decision maker, but the mom held the purse strings. You can’t make the hard sell against the girl, because the mom will balk at the cost. You can’t harp on the mom, because ultimately the mom has no emotional investment on the dress. But if you can get the bride to convince the mom to pay, then the sales lady wins, but isn’t ‘the bad guy’. The women are convinced they bought the right dress, despite the fact that the sales lady ultimately made the decision for them (the most expensive one at that). Mind you it wasn’t easy for the sales lady and it obviously took her an hour of cajoling, talking, lying, suggesting, etc to get the sale.

      • Ms. Pants says:

        @satoru: That’s a brilliant assessment of the industry! And very indicative of the predatory nature, in my opinion. (Also, it plays into Dane Cook’s theory of how women are mental terrorists. I personally think that’s so true….)

        I had a job where I was trained to pick out the cash-holders and such as well. I’m very good at it which would be handy if I had no conscious, but I unfortunately have one. (Which is also why I decided against being a lawyer–the area I’d excel in is criminal defense a la Johnny Cochran. See previous re: conscious.)

    • recordstorefan says:

      @Ms. Pants: I am a woman, and I know that my wedding is something I’ve been thinking about for years and years, and for that reason exactly, no one is going to push me into something I don’t want without me putting up a fight – especially when it comes down to what I’m wearing!

      • satoru says:

        @recordstorefan: I’ve seen that there are 2 kinds of brides that are able to stick to their guns for weddings and neither really is optimal. Your typical Bride-zilla is doing a “This wedding is for me” mentality. Thus they already have a super clear idea of what they want and hell or high water it’s going to happen.

        The other extreme is the “The wedding is to please parents/inlaws/grandparents/etc” kind of mentality. In this case you’re constantly weaving competing requirements into your wedding in order to please everyone. My friend did this as she had converted to Judaism for the inlaws, because only children of Jewish mothers are Jewish by default. So she went totally bonkers getting an authentic Jewish wedding going and making sure her inlaws were totally wowed by it. That was one crazy wedding let me tell you.

        • merkidemis says:

          @satoru: My wedding was this way as well. I didn’t really care, as to me it was a hugely overpriced one day party and complete waste of money, but my wife was insistant that we do it to please everyone else. Of course, she ended up having a horrible time and wishing we had spent the money on a house like I wanted. *sigh*

  55. hills says:

    People advising the OP that she can cancel the order because the “sale” hasn’t technically taken place (because she hasn’t gotten the dress) are off base – By that theory, it would mean any special order can be cancelled, even weeks after being placed, simply because the item isn’t tangible. Doesn’t work that way.

    Yes, DB has a crappy policy, but it seems very clear. Agreeing with some others, seems your best bet is to re-sell the dress on craigslist. Or if you really do love it, just wear it & enjoy your big day!

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @hillsrovey: I think the best compromise at this point would either to recoup the money through my idea, which was to get the bridesmaids together, have them buy their dresses at DB through the credit, and pay the OP in cash. Or, the OP can keep the dress and buy a different one in the meantime (if she wasn’t absolutely strapped for cash, or needed the money back to buy another dress), and sell it on Craig’s List – she might lose money anyway, because she wouldn’t be able to sell it for exactly the same price as she got it at DB – anyone with half a brain could look it up on the DB website and see that it was the same price.

      IMO, the dress is very important, but not because it should be absolutely perfect. It should be important because it should make the bride feel good about herself, and she should be happy about it. This dress obviously isn’t fulfilling her happy quota. But keeping the focus on the overall is more important than that. I hope the OP doesn’t decide to cut corners in some of the areas that will matter more in the long run, like photography or venue.

  56. satoru says:

    I will say one thing to the OP. Most wedding businesses rely on the fact that brides are generally going insane during the wedding process. Also they rely on the fact that most brides don’t want to confrontational about their wedding either. Thus even though they have ‘no refund’ deposits and such, they usually are surprised if you push back on them. If you threaten a charge back then they might be inclined to give you some leeway on what they can give you. If you gave them cash, your options are a bit limited though.

  57. njb42 says:

    Sales receipts from DB clearly state that all sales are final. It’s part of the sales contract, and company policy requires sales consultants to explain this to every bride. Of course this doesn’t prevent lots of brides from trying to get a refund anyway, or claiming they “weren’t told” about the policy. Most store managers will (reluctantly) give an in-store credit if pressured.

  58. njb42 says:

    (In other words, I seriously doubt that the return policy was “not adequately explained” to this bride before she signed the sales slip.)

  59. msbask says:

    I don’t understand how the OP is blaming the store?
    She ordered a dress (bullied? c’mon!) from a store where she was clearly notified that all sales were final.

    What else would ‘all sales are final’ mean?

  60. mir777 says:

    @Ms. Pants: I am a lawyer and have a “conscience.”

    Ladies, please, why do you feel the need to be herded into the ‘bridal’ industry as soon as the ring lands on your finger? I know plenty of people who got married without even considering, or by rejecting, big bridal factories. I did.

    There are many online sources – just google “plus size bridal.” Bridal sizes are weird (just another issue to dealwith in the industry) and you will need to alter them on your own.

  61. merkidemis says:

    Ung, DB sucks. They had our bridesmaids dresses in 2 weeks early, but didn’t tell us. Nevermind that the wedding would have been 1 week after the dresses were due to arrive and would still need to be altered, which takes about a week. We only found out about it because we went in for another reason and specifically asked.

    Also, their accessories are VERY overpriced. Shoes, tiaras, gloves, etc can be had for FAR less at other stores.

    You should be able to find out if the dress has been “made” yet. If not, you should be able to cancel it, even if you have to pay some sort of restocking fee.

  62. xnihilx says:

    I’ve been in two weddings as a bridesmaid fairly recently and both weddings dealt with David’s. The David’s in my area has a big sign on the counter that all sales are final and if I remember correctly it also says it on the receipt somewhere. I know other bridal stores won’t even give you a store credit if you somehow don’t want or need your dress. She may be out of luck, but there is always Ebay! There is a possibility of recooperating most of the money if she sells it there. Selling it for a little less money then what she bought it for is better then being totally out all of the cash.
    I
    do have to share this though, I bought a dress for one of the weddings and then discovered when going to pick up the dress for the other wedding that the first dress was on sale for $20 less, a week later. I talked with the manager and they agreed to refund the difference and ran it all through in a matter of minutes. So, not all David’s are horribly bad all the time.

  63. PicklePants says:

    Two stories:

    1. When I got married, I went to an independent, locally-owned shop, which also did the alterations. When I went to pick up my dress, the owner was chatting on the phone with a friend, and wouldn’t make eye contact with me for about fifteen minutes. When she finally got off her call, we explained we were there to pick up my dress (wedding was the next day). Instead of getting it for us, she told us it was at the dry cleaners a few shops down, and we should go pick it up from there. Great service! Fast-forward to the wedding day: after getting dressed, my sister notices that my hem is weird in front. She goes to inspect and realizes that the seam at the waist is being held up by straight pins! They never finished the alterations! Once back from our honeymoon, I go to discuss the situation with the shop owner, who insists that it’s not her problem once the dress leaves the store, and it’s my fault for not having inspected every seam before taking it home.

    2. Recently, went with a friend to go wedding dress shopping. We stopped by a David’s Bridal just to check it out (this was in So Cal). No one was around when we walked in, so we started browsing the racks ourselves. Out of nowhere, a screeching harridan of a salesperson appears, and starts berating us for touching the dresses! We stammer that no one was there to help us, and we just wanted to look around, and she goes on and on about how were getting the dresses dirty, and no one is allowed to touch them, and we have to sign up for “an appointment”, which just meant putting our names on a piece of paper before she would help us.

    Moral of both stories: wedding dress shopping is terrible. The customer service is terrible. If at all possible, where your mother’s dress!

    In the meantime, by all means contact Visa!

  64. Jamesgreene says:

    Wedding shop ladies can be scary. My sister had a lot of fun telling people to get lost. It started polite and ended in her leaving the store because it was so bad. The woman even went as far as telling my sister what she “really wanted” [really ugly]. I was helping her plan so I got the “joy” of going to all these stores with her.

    Never ever put money down on something you are unsure of. Remember if you’re still looking you can always sleep on it and order the next day or even a few days after even your wedding dress can wait for you to be sure. It isn’t like it is the last one on the rack (aside from the fact you should be ordering it 6 months to a year prior anyway). I’ve done this with some of the bigger purchases and saved myself some hassle.

    If it doesn’t work out the woman in the story can always ebay it or something. That still shouldn’t have to happen, unless there was a blatant sign that said ALL SALES FINAL. My understanding has always been once you prepay an order with a company that goes out of normal procedure to do it, you’re probably stuck with it I have noticed this isn’t always so, but it is a good rule of caution.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      @Jamesgreene: Phew, don’t even get me started on wedding dress ladies.. I am a very odd size (4’6″ tall and really thin) so I had my dress custom made.. but I did go around shopping with my maid of honor at the local dress stores.. and this one store we went to a lady kept badgering me to buy a “wedding” dress there that was actually a flower girl dress. I kept telling her I already had my dress but she would not take no for an answer. We left, and bought her dress somewhere else.

  65. oregongal says:

    I got my dress at David’s Bridal and had a great experience. The dress I originally wanted looked like crap on me so the sales lady and I went thru dozens of dresses trying to find the right one. While I was looking at the other side of the store, she calls over to see one. At first I was skeptical but after trying it on, it proved to be perfect. I really think its all in how the management motivates the employees because this store was wonderful.

  66. lauy says:

    I used to work for one of the largest retail financing companies in the country, and they financed David’s Bridal at one point in time – then finally terminated the financing agreement with them due to excessive amount of disputes. Granted, many of the disputes filed were similar to those of the OPs situation (and were always denied because of the all sales final policy), but the majority came from prebilling (i.e. charging for merchandise they never delivered) and quality.
    David’s Bridal is a horrible company, and honestly only stay in business because they can market to the bride who has her party all over the country and can’t afford to get them all together before hand to try on dresses locally. I don’t know how many friends I have tried to warn about using them, and each time have had to bit my tongue from telling them “told you so”…
    Either use the credit for the bridal party dresses or sell the dress on Craigslist or eBay. A Visa chargeback will most likely be a waste of time because Visa will never make a ruling on “he said she said”, which is what this will come down to. David’s Bridal has a large staff just to handle chargebacks, so they are not threatened in the least by one – they are SOP I think :)

  67. JasonR says:

    Sorry to hear about the situation. I really don’t mean to blame the OP, and if it were my business, I’d certainly work with the customer regardless of policies. However… buyers remorse is not grounds to break a contract. Hopefully it will be a good learning experience, and just a minor dark spot on an otherwise successful wedding and marriage. Best of luck.

  68. Weird… my wife must have purchased and returned half a dozen dressed from David’s Bridal before she was happy.

  69. SunnyLea says:

    Am I the only person in the universe who had a great experience with David’s?

    I’m plus-sized, so I really enjoyed being able to try on off the rack. This is much better than trying to squeeze into the size 3 most stores have on rack and try to “imagine” how the dress would look — and since once you order you own the dress, anyone who doesn’t fit into their samples is screwed if the dress comes in and looks wrong on their frame.

    My sales lady was not high pressure and since I had a lot of friends with me and told her I was more or less fine on my own, she left me alone unless I asked for help.

    I tried on 6 dresses and then told her I’d come back the next day with my mom to pick from 3 of them. I was given no attitude about this.

    They were way helpful with my bridesmaid’s dresses as well.

    They wrote me thank you notes and I don’t know about anyone else, but I didn’t get put on any mailing lists.

    The only thing that IS bad about DB is their alterations costs. I think I laughed at their alterations lady. Then again, that is pretty well-known.

    As for the no returns issue, that’s standard operating procedure at every bridal store I’ve ever been to.

  70. synimatik says:

    You must be one of the only that had a good experience, as I’ve heard many bad. My wife was one of them. In short, they yelled at her for ‘waiting too long’ to pick a dress. Apparently 6 months before a wedding it too late. They made snide remarks about every dress she chose that wasn’t over $1000. Then, when she ordered brides maids dresses, they gave one of her bridemaids a size 11 when she ordered a size 2. When she went back into the store, they took her dress back, and said they ordered a new one. After much stalling, one week before the wedding the said they ‘lost’ (which means sold) the dress she ordered, and didn’t have the old one anymore. Now all they had was a size 14. In addition, they refused to do anything about it, and chraged us, CHARGED US for alterations on their screw ups.

    After the wedding, I called and raised a fit. Basically, the only response I got was ‘F U’. I hope that place, and all the conniving wenches that work their fall into the pits of hell and never return,

  71. Misty2 says:

    I bought my gown from DB and was pressured into buying a size that wasn’t quite right. The high-pressure saleswoman assured me that it could be altered. Later, when I decided that I wanted a different size, I could not exchange the dress. I ended up going to a different DB and *buying* the other size.

    I would never go to DB again.

  72. Anonymous says:

    In the same way I learned how to walk, and learned not to throw things at people, I learned at an early age the way stores work. It’s pretty intuitive to me that when you buy something, the store doesn’t want you to bring it back. Just like it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that soft drinks and food aren’t welcome in a dress shop, either. The whole point of a store existing is for it to make money.

    Another thing I learned by the time I could read was that stores post little signs all over the place with their policies on them. As a shopper, I make it a point to look for signs like that and read them. If you don’t, you’re an idiot.

    In addition, “special order” doesn’t necessarily mean “custom.” It just means that your dress is not cut until it’s ordered. Once it is ordered, the factory starts cutting fabric, and then you’re locked into the purchase because the store buying the gown for you is locked in.

    Finally, how can someone “bully” another person into buying something? Have a backbone. If you buy something you can’t afford, it’s your own fault, period.

  73. Anonymous says:

    I have purchased my gown and all of my 8 bridesmais and flower girls dress from Davids Bridal and let me tell you I recieved great service from there Philadelphia store and I did have issuse out the wazo, and they do have a store policy of all sales are final but have you tried speaking with one of the managers there they are so willing to do what ever it takes to make your day perfect and make you happy they will. So maybe we need to remember that these ladies work with hundreds of brides each week and are more than willing to go out of their way to help and not walk in with a I am not going to get what I want but kindness killed the cat.
    They do have a no return policy in the fitting rooms and at each counter and you do sign your reciept that also states that the return policy but like I said try speaking with a manager and explain the situtation chances are you will be happy with the results. The staff there is honest if they can get something for you they will. Sorry you had a bad experience at DB but the girls at the Philly store on Roosovelt Blvd are the greatest

  74. Anonymous says:

    Mariospants, almost all designers manufacture their dresses in China. That’s why they take 4-6 months to be delivered. Very few have dresses made because it’s ridiculously expensive. Alterations can be done locally, but that’s about it. And the biggest reason most people go to a place like David’s is because the whole industry is so good at jacking up prices they can’t afford anything else.

  75. Anonymous says:

    contact your states attorney general’s office. I fianlly got a refund after three years of persistant complaining.

    I will never do business with DB, they are not considerate of peoples situations,especially in matters of wedding issues and changes of heart.

  76. lbell says:

    I have recently had a similar experience at this hellhole. I’ve searched high and low for an email for the CEO Robert Huth. Has anyone with issues regarding DB found an email for this fellow?

  77. BridgetPentheus says:

    does anyone have corporate contact info for David’s Bridal, one of my bridesmaids is now pregnant and they are not working with her at all

  78. sunshine4235 says:

    I am having a similar issue with Davids Bridal. I was hustled into ordering a dress for one of my bridesmaids b/c they said that insist that people buy the dress if they think that they will want it later. I didnt know, but it concerned me so i went ahead and placed the order. Later on, I registered the rest of my bridesmaids online for another dress (the original dress was for a junior bridesmaid). Nothing was said about the status of the dresses…I assumed everything was fine. The next day one of my bridesmaids tried to order the dress and it had been discontinued for over a week. Why didn’t they tell me that while I was registering? Besides that, at the time of the sale DB did not say that it was a final purchase. I’ve talked to people at the store and they will not give me my money back and said that the sale was final. I hope I have as good of luck as you did Emily….