Online purchase spurs Prom dress distress

Online purchase spurs Prom dress distress

Taylor Eenhuis and Alannah Stewart, Staff Writers

Because of low prices and guaranteed delivery dates, buying a Prom dress online seemed like the perfect solution for junior Tatiana Martin. And because she was ordering months in advance of the April 13 dance, what could possibly go wrong?

“I was updating my phone bill when an advertisement appeared at the top of the screen for a site called Tbdress.com,” Martin said. “I checked it out and saw that they had reasonably priced dresses.”

She waited for a few days in order to take proper measurements, then placed an order for the dress and was told it would take eight days for it to be custom made and four days to ship. The dress — which was to be shipped from China — sold for $118 plus a $30 shipping fee.

Martin waited the 12 days in a state of anticipation, but when when the dress arrived, her excitement was replaced with shock.

“I was actually really happy with the company because they emailed me updates on the location of the dress, and it came relatively quickly,” she said. “When I opened the bag, the color was right and I felt at ease because I didn’t think there would be anything wrong. But once the dress was unfolded, I saw the sorriest beading I had in my entire life. The sequins looked extremely cheap, and everything was crooked. I was speechless.”

The dress shipped to Martin barely resembled the original picture. It was several sizes too big, the material was stuck in the zipper, there were holes in the dress from stitching and the seamstress had missed the pattern for the beading.

“I was mad at myself for not getting more information on the company, and it was only afterwards that I really researched the website,” Martin said. “I then saw that thousands of other people had received dresses just like mine.”

Her first response was to call the dress company, but the phone number turned out to be fake. The next thing Martin did was send an email, only to receive an automated reply stating that the office staff was on a “Chinese holiday.” After several days, a statement was finally sent to Martin.

“The woman told me there was nothing wrong with the dress size, and that what I opened was what I ordered,” Martin said. “My next step was to send pictures to the company. Once they had received the pictures, they again told me it was the right size and that due to the lighting on their monitors, the beading matched the pattern.”

After getting nowhere with Tbdress, Martin turned to her credit card company and filed an online dispute.

“There was a list of requirements that I had to complete by a certain date,” she said. “The most important being that I talked to a reputable seamstress and have them write the company a letter stating that the dress did not match the picture.”

Martin completed the list , turned the letter into the company, and is currently awaiting a response from a representative.

“It has been such a long process, and I regret not taking a closer look at Tbdress reviews,” Martin said. “I have made posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter alerting other people to these types of scams because they are more common than you would think. No one deserves to have this happen to them, and I hope people understand that supporting your local Prom shops is the best and safest way to go, so that nothing this disastrous happens.