I didn’t want to write this post. And I wasn’t going to – because I thought the matter would be resolved within a few days. But now that it’s been over a week, I decided I had to.
Last Monday (or maybe Tuesday) we sent a couple of things to our dry-cleaner to be cleaned. We’ve been using them for years and have been quite happy with the service we’ve received.
Anyway, so as I said, we sent three items last week. One was the top of an Indian outfit of mine (foundation problem), one was a dress and the third was the top of one of LagosDad’s Indian outfits, which had a stain on the sleeve.
On Wednesday the receptionist from the dry-cleaner rang me to say she was very sorry but while trying to remove the stain from one of the items (I didn’t understand which one she meant at the time), whoever was treating it accidentally put a hole in it.
In addition, the colour from one of the items (the dress with red) ran and there’s nothing they can do about it.
I’d had a terrible afternoon so far and was seriously cross. I knew the one with the colour which had run was mine. I’d worn the outfit once and it was expensive.
I told her that this was unacceptable and as a professional, whoever was dry-cleaning it should have realised that the colour may run and they shouldn’t have done it.
She was very apologetic.
I asked her what compensation they would give me. I realise that in many places they put up signs and notices stating that the dry-cleaners are not responsible for any damage, etc. to any garments. There are no such signs at this dry-cleaner.
I think the receptionist was surprised that I’d asked. And she said she’d ask the manager and call me back. She called back to say I’d get 10% off the next ten things I send in for dry cleaning.
Was she joking?
1. The value of my outfit is more than that.
2. Why would I continue to send my clothes there?
I hung up.
I told LagosDad about it when he got home that evening and he was pretty livid. He told me I had to go there and ‘make a noise’ about it until I got some form of compensation. I explained that I’m not like that and that he better come with me!
So on Saturday (9th November) afternoon, that’s where we went. We got our clothes and I just wanted to cry when I saw what had happened.
So it was white. Now it’s not. All the little threads had come loose.
And it shrunk.
And LagosDad’s top…
While we were waiting and demanding to see someone ‘in charge’, a lady came in to collect her garments. She said one of her items had been ruined and she was still waiting to see someone in management. It had been a month.
Anyway, so once we saw the damage, LagosDad asked to see someone in management. The receptionist said that the owner had travelled. LagosDad asked her to get her on the phone. She disappeared to make the phone call and LagosDad received a work call at the same time. The receptionist came back after him and said, ‘She is on flight.’
LagosDad wanted to know how she answered the phone if she was ‘on flight’. And they started arguing. I received a call and went outside to answer it. When I came back LagosDad had gone into the ‘Employees only’ section. It was where all the cleaning happens and it can be seen from the reception area as the partition was all glass.
Anyway, he wanted to know who had treated my outfit. He was convinced it had been put in the washing machine.
Now, because he had ‘made noise’ someone came out of an office and said, ‘What’s going on here?’
LagosDad explained the situation and said he wanted to speak to management and no one would help us and asked who he was. The man said, ‘I’m the manager.’
Then another person came out and asked the same, ‘What’s going on here?’ He was the owner’s son (I will call him N). The owner who was ‘on flight’.
He asked us to come up to his office. LagosDad refused at first. He wanted to know why he had to argue and make a scene before someone in management came out to see to us.
N apologised and said that the matter had not been brought to his attention. Instead the employees decided to call his mum who wasn’t in the country? Errr… Ok.
So off to his office we went. We told him what the problem was. We told him that the compensation offered to us (apparently the ‘management’ who offered the 10% deal was not him or his mum) wasn’t acceptable and that the clothes were worth much more.
He looked at the clothes. Called a couple of his employees into the office and asked them to explain what had happened to the clothes.
No one could really give us a satisfactory answer apart from, ‘It wasn’t me.’ You know… The usual.
N, by the way was wearing a Rolex. I would say educated in the US because of his accent and I’m pretty sure the Mercedes 4WD outside in the car park was his.
He was very apologetic and said we were definitely entitled to compensation but that he couldn’t decide how much as he had to consult with his mum who was on her way back from wherever. He asked us to leave the matter with him until Monday and then he’d call.
Fair enough. Although, why can’t he make a decision on his own? He is clearly management. The business is named after him…
Anyway, on Tuesday N rang LagosDad and asked us to come in for a meeting.
I couldn’t make it – but LagosDad went. This meeting was with N’s dad.
He was also apologetic. He said there was no excuse for the damage and that the staff should actually NOT have treated my outfit if they thought the colour might run. They decided that we would receive compensation. On the back of the dry cleaning ticket, it says that ‘any unsatisfactory job will be repeated free of charge’ It also says, ‘in the case of loss by fire or any loss or damage to garment whilst in the hands of ourselves or subcontractors for which we accept liability, compensations shall not exceed more than five times the cost of dry-cleaning’. However, N’s dad said he could see that my clothes were worth more, he said he WOULD GIVE US MORE. But he would have to discuss the amount with his wife (WTF?). And he said that they would repair LagosDad’s kurta (top). He also said he’d call the next day.
By Thursday afternoon we’d still not heard from anyone, so I rang N (because LagosDad said I had to). He was quite friendly on the phone. He said he’d make a couple of calls and get back to me.
He did call back a few minutes later. But you know what he did? He FLASHED me! (This means giving someone a missed call so they have to call you back.) The man wearing a ROLEX and driving a MERC FLASHED ME!
I called him back. He said he thought that the matter had been closed with his dad because LagosDad had brought my outfit home.
Errr… No. I explained what had transpired. He said his dad had travelled to Abuja and was ‘pretty busy’ and before he called him, he wanted to confirm that LagosDad had agreed to have his kurta repaired by making it into a short-sleeved top. I didn’t know. I told him I’d find out and text him.
I found out that this is what had been decided. I texted N and told him so and added that I hoped the matter could be closed asap as it had been pending almost a week.
I received the delivery message.
I didn’t hear anything back.
On Friday (15th November) afternoon at about 3, I decided I couldn’t put it off any longer and I called N back.
At first he pretended he didn’t know who I was. Then he sounded irritated that I had the nerve to call him again. He eventually said he’d call me back at 4 pm with ‘more information’.
It is now 8.30 pm on Saturday, 16th November, and I have not heard back from him.
The thing is, it’s not even the money so much as the principle. They are running us around and now avoiding us.
If we were not entitled (or if they didn’t want to give us) to any compensation, they should have made that clear at the start.
And what is it with everyone having to ask the mother/wife? Aren’t they all in the business together? And why is it such a big deal? They’re wearing Rolexes and driving Mercs!
So when LagosDad brought my outfit back, he brought it in their carrier bag. I didnt know if I should laugh or cry!
Can you see what the small print says? No? Hang on a second.