The Consumer Rights Act 2015 covers again. If services are not undertaken with reasonable skill and care and your items get damaged or lost then you have the right to claim compensation. This can be the cost of replacing the damaged or lost item although there may be a reduction for wear and tear of the original item.
Membership of the Textile Services Association is available to Laundries, Dry Cleaners, Textile Renters and their suppliers. If the company you are using are members then it offers a conciliation service. You may be asked to prove your claim and on a loser pays basis use the association’s testing service. It also offers an arbitration service is the matter still cannot be resolved.
Speak to the dry cleaner to get the matter resolved in the first instance. If this does not work, write, following Top 20 Tips How to Complain!
If the firm is not a member of the TSA, then you have the option of taking the matter through the Small Claims Court.
If the dry cleaner tries to blame the manufacturer saying that the item was incorrectly labelled you should put your complaint in writing. Follow the tips in the link above as you will need this claim in writing to take the matter further. Your contract when you bought the item was with the retailer not the manufacturer so you should write to the retailer outlining the issue and enclosing a photograph of the damage.
The retailer will probably want to undertake tests with the supplier or manufacturer. If the retailer finds that the label was incorrect you should claim from the retailer for a full refund of the item.
If the retailer denies responsibility you will need to take this evidence to the dry cleaner and state that it is responsible for not carrying out the service with reasonable skill and care. You have a choice if the dry cleaner is a member of the TSA of going through arbitration and/or threatening the Small Claims Court. (Link explains process and fees).
If you believe that the dry cleaner has deliberately tried to mislead you into thinking that the manufacturer was at fault then you could also say that they are in breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. These Regulations prohibit traders from engaging in misleading or aggressive commercial practices that are unfair to consumers.
Dry cleaning complaints
Earlier this year, I took a suit to a local dry cleaners and picked it up two days later. Luckily I noticed there and then that the mark on the jacket was still there. I complained and said it looked like the jacket hadn’t been done or at the very least the mark hadn’t come out and I had expected it to do so. The owner was very apologetic and asked me to come back the next day. Apparently the jacket had not been done! I didn’t even need to complain and assert my legal rights and got the jacket cleaned for free. So either my reputation goes before me or my face must have said it all. Perhaps it was a good dry cleaners? Or at least had a good manager who had words with his son who only cleaned the trousers!
Another time I took in curtains to a different dry cleaners. Condensation had ruined the bottom of them. This did not come out. I complained and received a full refund. They did tell me that those sort of stains do not come out. So please let me know if you know different and you can get a mould stain out! Also, lesson here, check with the dry cleaner if they think the stain will come out before they waste their and your time.
See also Top 20 Tips for complaining and GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS! for more tips, guidance, advice and templates for complaining effectively.