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.