Public Grievance: NYC's RK Bridal delivers terrible customer service

05/18/2006 at 05:09 PM ET

I try to avoid using the Celebrity Baby Blog as my personal soap box but something happened to me last week that I can’t just let go.  It was the worst customer service that I have ever experienced and I need to let people know what a bad experience I had. 

Click the extended post to read of my tale of woe.  If you don’t have time to read it, here’s the short version: RK Bridal in NYC has terrible customer service.

My little brother (well, at 28 he’s not so little) is getting married next Sunday, Memorial Day, and I am a bridesmaid in the wedding party. My brother’s fiance let us pick out whichever Jim Hjelm dress we wanted as long as it was a certain color and fabric. Per her recommendation (it’s where she was getting her bridal gown), I headed to RK Bridal with my mother-in-law for the arduous process of picking my dress. As was my duty, I was fitted for gown in what appeared to be the best style for my body, which can be best described as top-heavy hourglass. Having selected style JH6215, a two piece dress, which the Jim Hjelm website describes as, "Cream satin short sleeve top, modified square neckline, full covered back." I paid extra to have it made in my bride’s choice of satin faced tafetta, I opted for RK to take my measurements, select the size and order my dress (as opposed to using their "no-frills" program where you take your own measurements, tell them which size to order and are responsible for having it tailored elsewhere) because I was worried about it fitting right.   After all, when you try on something that is way to small (or too big), it’s hard to tell how it will look when you get it in your size.

All told the dress was going to set me back $300 plus $65 for them to alter it.  The RK saleswoman ordered size 18 which really surprised me because although I know these dresses are sized small, I fit very comfortably in the size 12 skirt I tried on. But I knew they were the experts so said nothing.

When I went in for my first fitting, I was dismayed that the dress was so huge. Even the seamstress took one look at me and ran to get her boss. I asked her boss, "They ordered the wrong size, didn’t they?" She said no, that this was the size according to my bust measurements. It was obvious they needed to take it in A LOT. Once again, I reasoned, they’re the experts so I didn’t worry.

A week later, with my future sister-in-law and mother in tow, when I came for my second fitting, the dress looked like crap.  It fit my body in that it wasn’t totally falling off but the alteration job was so shoddy that the sleeves were falling off my shoulders and the neckline stood away from my body so much that you could see the inside lining. On top of that, I was told they could not fix this and that I should tape it to my skin to minimize the gaping neckline.

I was furious! I was not going to spend $400 for a tailored dress and have to tape it to my body! The saleswoman argued alternately that they ordered the correct size for me but that my chest was just big but also that the neckline and sleeves were supposed to be like this. I argued that 1, if this was the style of the dress that they should have advised me that it might not look right, and 2, that they should have ordered a smaller size because the top was too wide. She said it was not their duty to inform us about fit.  I thought this was ridiculous.  Of course, they shouldn’t play mother but they are much more familiar with these dresses than I was- this was their business! 

I asked the saleswoman, "Why should anyone shop at RK Bridal then?"  Not understanding my question, she answered, "We sell dresses."  I said, "No, what is your competitive advantage over any other bridal store in the area because it obviously isn’t customer service?"  She said it was their prices but my future sister-in-law later told me that their prices were the same as other shops. 

Also, the saleswoman said ordering me a smaller size would not have made a difference because all of the tops had the same width neckline (even if it was a size 4). Obviously she was grasping at straws.

Finally, I asked if they would at least waive the alteration fee- they refused, so I said something that I am pretty sure that she didn’t expect.  I told her that I would walk out without the dress, without paying the balance and get my credit card company to refund my deposit. With a snotty look on her face, the sales woman replied that they had documentation that I signed but I told her that once I told American Express what awful service and product they delivered to me, they would refund my money. Then, a guy behind the counter, who must have been listening to this the whole time, said, "Give her her money back! I don’t want to listen to this anymore!" And she did.

So yes, I did get my money back with less than two weeks before the wedding, it is not a very good situation for a bridesmaid.  My future sister-in-law had not witnessed this conversation because she was outside trying to get Anya to calm down but thankfully she was understanding.  She saw how bad the dress looked, and when I said, "I’m very sorry but I won’t be able to be in your wedding party," she answered, "Of course you can, just buy another dress you like."

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 0 comments

gargoylegurl on

WOW! I am blown away that you had to fight to get your money back. They should have been falling all over you in an attempt to make things right. I’m glad you stood up for what it right and didn’t just walk away!

Hope you find a new dress in time!

Congrats to your brother! 8)

Courtney on

I dont think it was bad at all to post this – it could save someone else the time and trouble of going to this place for crappy service……

Jules on

I am surprised to hear this since I bought my wedding gown there and had no problems at all. Sorry to hear your ordeal but at least you got your money back.

crzymaid on

First – I think that even though it’s very nice of you not to want to use this blog as your soap-box, it is your blog, so you should be able to use it as you see fit and Courtney is absolutely right, it could save a lot of readers a lot of grief.
Second – I’m glad you stood up for yourself and they refunded you right then and there, but I also have to confess that having had to use the Amex service a couple of times myself, I really relish being refunded through their service when I have to be because the shoddy business on the other end suffers the indignity of going through the refund process with Amex which I understand is more unpleasant for them than the original grief they could have spared me.

Notorious M.I.L.F. on

My experience with the “bridal” industry is that it is a freakin RACKET. I am soooo glad that my wedding planning days are over! Good for you for hitting them where it hurts!

sulizano on

This sort of scenario is exactly why I simply asked my female attendants to wear whatever long black dress each of them had. All the ladies looked beautiful.

Candice on

Gah, what is up with Bridal Shops?!?! They’ve all got poor customer service. My cousin went through something with David’s Bridal last month that was absolutely ridiculous. We actually took it to the local news stations because she was treated so horribly!

StephRainey on

Sorry to hear about your bad experience. I think if it’s your blog, you can voice your problems, especially if it will keep others from being taking advantage of.
I will say that from what I read at the end, your brother is marrying an amazing woman. I do hope their wedding and marriage is wonderful.

Amy Keyishian on

The worst part of the story is this:

“Give her her money back! I don’t want to listen to this anymore!”

That sort of snotty attitude is so typical these days, and so wrong for a retail store. That person should have been concerned that there was a dissatisfied customer, not dismissive and annoyed with you!

I hate the bridal industry!!

advertisement

From Our Partners

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters