Ever get burned by a dry cleaner?

11/04/2009:

Hoboken411 Reader Carey has a problem many of us have experienced: a dry cleaner ruining a clothing item.

How did your favorite dry cleaner handle the situation? Hopefully it was more amicable…

dry-cleaner-problems-in-hoboken-nj

Biting the nose to spite the face…

“I’m a local resident and have been for almost 8 years. I’m so frustrated with the attitude of a local business here, that I’m turning to you for help because I don’t know what to do.

The short version of the story is that I was a customer at Sunny’s cleaners on Willow & 11th for years. I absolutely loved the owner (Maria) whom I’m sure many people in town know and adore. She was always so pleasant, happy and kind, and genuinely tried to help everyone. She went to Korea to visit family at around 6 months ago, and when she left, her business moved around the corner to 1040 Park and changed its name to Park Cleaners. Her “sister” is now running the business and she won’t say when Maria is coming back. It’s all very shady. Anyway, I gladly started going to Park Cleaners when Maria left because I thought her sister was just filling in for a little while. Anyway, I had a very unfortunate situation with the current owner which I will explain below.

I’m currently unemployed and bought a very nice new interview suit. Part of that ensemble is a beautiful $228 silk shirt. I brought it in to Park Cleaners for “press only” service, and picked it up on 10.16. I did not inspect it, but saw through the plastic that it was beautifully pressed, so I was ready for my 9am interview on 10.23. When I opened the plastic to get dressed that morning, I discovered that there was a blue stain on the front of the shirt. It was too late for me to take back to the cleaners that morning before my 9am interview in Manhattan, so I had to wear it anyway. I just tucked in the shirt and kept my jacket buttoned. When I got home from the city later that day, I brought it to the owner at Park Cleaners, and she told me that it was impossible that they got the stain on it, since it was “press only” and they have a computerized system (whatever that means).

SEE THE REST OF HIS DEBACLE AFTER THE JUMP!!!

(Hoboken Dry Cleaning Conundrum, continued…)

The conversation started out very professional on my part, and I got increasingly frustrated because she was basically calling me a liar, saying that stain must have been there when I brought it in. When I wouldn’t agree to that accusation, she called her daughter from her cell phone (who speaks better English), and I explained my situation to her daughter and the daughter said they would try to get the stain out free of charge, and then if it didn’t come out they would reimburse me for the shirt. I felt much better after that conversation, although the owner rang me up for $4.75 to get the shirt cleaned anyway, and I had to argue with her again saying her daughter said they were not going to charge me, so she finally crossed out the price and begrudgingly handed me the receipt. She was not happy about it, but told me to come back Monday. I went back Monday morning and she said it wouldn’t be ready until after 4pm, but I wasn’t going to be in town so I told her I would come back Tuesday morning at 7am on my way out of town for the day. I went at 7am on Tuesday, and the shirt wasn’t ready. She said the stain didn’t come out so they are trying again, so come back Wednesday morning. I explained to her that I have a 12noon interview on Wed so I will need the shirt in the morning.

So I went to pick it up this morning and the stain is still there. She kept insisting that it was impossible that they made the stain because it was “press only”. Then she called the actual dry cleaner and had him explain to me over the phone that it’s “computerized” so they can’t make a stain. I told her the process is irrelevant. I dropped it off without a stain, and picked it up with a stain. When I asked her about reimbursing me for the shirt, she said no, and that I should take it back to Macy’s and lie and tell them it was defective when I bought it. I told her I’m an honest person and refuse to to do that. When I reminded her that her daughter told me they would reimburse me for the shirt, she just said “No.” Then I asked her to call her daughter and she refused.

I have literally spent thousands of dollars with her at Park Cleaners and at Sunny Cleaners, and been a loyal customer for years, and have never been treated more rudely by anyone in my life. She has absolutely NO customer service skills, and doesn’t understand the meaning of it. Being in the Client Service business myself, I cannot believe that she is running a business this way. She’s biting off her nose to spite her face.

I’m so frustrated that I don’t know what to do. What she’s doing is just not right, but I feel helpless to fight her. I called the Hoboken Police Dept, and they said my only option is to take Park Cleaners to small claims court, but I will most likely wind up paying much more in fees than the $228 the shirt is worth. But it’s the principal of it all, not the money, and I don’t think she should be able to get away with this. All she had to do was do the right thing and reimburse me for the shirt they ruined.

That was supposed to be the “short” version, but I’m so frustrated. I know how connected you are to everything Hoboken, so I was hoping you could offer some advice. I want her to know she’s wrong and that the word is going to get out that she’s not running a trustworthy business. Maria (the previous owner) would be so appalled at how this was handled.

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43 Comments on "Ever get burned by a dry cleaner?"

veggiespam
Member
veggiespam

Riverside Cleaners on First between Park and Willow has done a good job with great customer service. When a shirt had a spot that wasn’t fully cleaned (and wasn’t visible in my house’s lighting), they re-cleaned it even after I had worn it and removed the tag.

DY Willow on First @ Willow is a joke. They claim on-site cleaning and don’t even have any machinery. And “organic” dry cleaning? Just because something might not use perchloroethylene (“perc”) does not mean it is suddenly healthy. And how do we know what chemicals they use when there are no machines?

KenOn10
Member
KenOn10

Oh yeah, the 10th and Willow dry cleaner does good work and she’s gone above and beyond several times. I went to Cary’s on Willow and 6th for many years before they retired… they are fine people, hope they are well.

D’Italia’s has always done nice work for me… except once the counter kid had misplaced my order so it wasn’t ready on time. No problem, really, but he didn’t have the courage to fess up. Lubo is a cool dog… though he seems to love people but like other dogs not so much…

koolkat
Member
koolkat

What’s with all the good dry cleaners in town leaving, tossing their business to someone else, and having them screw up our clothes?! This happens all the time!

As far as D’italia goes, I will never step foot in Giovanni’s place again. He tried to pull one over on my and didn’t come clean. I brought him a Chanel boot that had a broken zipper. I gave him the zipper to put back on, but he put a zipper from a work boot (like a Carhart or Timberland) on it! A massive, industrial, man zipper on a women’s designer boot! He tried to charge me for the “repair” and never mentioned it. I took a look at it and he tried to back-peddle. My original zipper was in the boot, so he did not even lose it. He just didn’t do the work he was supposed to.
I now take all my very good, expensive clothes and shoes for cleaning/repair in the city. I pay a feaking fortune for it, but I won’t risk it with pricier items.

hobposer
Member
hobposer

Take your shoes and leather goods to D’italia.

pawzclawz
Member
pawzclawz

Great place real old school. A few years ago. I had a problem with a sneaker causing blistering on the back of my right foot. I brought the sneaker to them. The son told me. A piece was put into the sneaker incorrectly. He told me the sneakers were defective. He told me to throw them away. The father overheard his son turning away business. The father came out from the back. He pounded down the piece in my sneaker with a wooden mallet. He fixed the problem. He only charged me two bucks. They also repaired a tear in my leather pocketbook. That was done for either a very nominal fee. I may not have been charged at all. I don’t remember. It was over three years ago. I love their German Shepard as well.

In response to midtownauthentic who said:
Take your shoes and leather goods to D’italia.

Franklin
Member
Franklin

I had problems with this cleaner before the sister took over. Numerous mistakes and funny on each one, the lady suddenly lost grasp of her English. They are very shady there. They have lost lots of business from us. Also witnessed them completely screwing over another customer before her wedding. Do not give them business.

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