Rant Alert: Dear Dry Cleaners, Suck Less Dammit!

I rarely use my professional blog for a personal story or diatribe, but when something crosses over to my world of marketing and public relations, it’s fair game.

Long story short: a local dry cleaner (misnamed “Dependable Cleaners” of Smyrna, GA) shrunk an older but still nice, wearable silk and wool blend cardigan of mine. Here’s what happened next:

  • I had to go into the store, show them the length of the sleeves (still normal) vs. the body of the sweater (at least 3 or 4 inches shorter than the sleeves, now hitting me above the belt line).
  • After some hemming and hawing about IF the sweater was damaged and NO APOLOGY, they tried and failed to unshrink the sweater.
  • Their only concession: it’s older, a bit worn so they will refund the cleaning fees. That’s it.

Customer Service #Fail

Mind you that last exchange was prefaced with the manager telling me she “wants to keep my business.” Fat chance of that happening lady. You read all the time about how to deal with negative issues, but it boils down to Suck Less.

Annoying me even more was the fact I could not get the woman off the phone. As many times as I said “we’re done,” she kept coming back with “it’s an older sweater” like it’s a reasonable excuse. Doing what many a PR or social media pro would do, I’ve turned my frustrations into a Code Yellow blog post.

Where to turn? Social Media of course.

I’ve been a big user of TripAdvisor for years, always show the love as well as the hate as the experience arises. When and if appropriate, I’ll do a Like on Facebook or Epinions. Many social networking sites, especially local channels mostly all require unique registrations, and I’ll admit to being too lazy to take the time.

Facebook Connect to the rescue. I’ve spent a cathartic 15 minutes negatively yet honestly reviewing this establishment on sites like Kudzu, Yahoo Local and Google Maps (sorry, CitySearch but FB connect would not work). If that makes me a poor sport, I don’t care.

They had their chances to make this right: apologize, refund the money, and make even an token offer to make up for the value of the sweater. BTW, would I even trust them again had they given me a store credit? Doubtful but then I’d also not be out here ranting either.

Mistakes happen. It’s what happens next that matters most.

Do you use social media when you get bad service? Great service? Just asking.

Photo credit: Despair makes awesome posters and calendars. You can buy them.

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