Rant/Disclaimer/Don't Hate Me Clause: Please know that I am not trying to throw any one under the bus here. I truly hope that everyone I talk about in this email was simply having a bad day. Please take everything with a grain of salt as obviously this experience really hurt my feelings. I tried to control my emotions in the store and when I contacted David's Bridal via phone or email - but this is something I shed tears over. Please also know that I DO NOT THINK A SIZE 10-12 IS FAT!!!! Women are gorgeous at any size - I just don't think 10-12 is a healthy size for me. Anywho, I've copied the email I sent to David's Bridal after my appointment and a later conversation with the store's manager. Enjoy. Learn. Sympathize.
To whom it may concern;
I am contacting you to discuss the recent experience I had with the David's Bridal store (9101 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23294.) I booked a 2:00pm appointment on Friday, February 25th. When I called to schedule the appointment, I explained that I had visited the David's Bridal in Woodbridge, VA and had a very negative experience. I explained to the employee on the phone that I had felt dismissed and no one in the store had helped me, despite only one other girl in the store who was purchasing shoes. The employee very politely apologized and assured me that my experience would not be repeated and also ensured that I understood that an appointment at David's Bridal did differ from the glamorous portrayal of the shopping experience on TV. I explained that I totally understood the difference and thanked her for her help.
My mother and I showed up for my appointment on time and filled out the necessary paperwork before meeting my consultant BECKY. Everyone at the front desk was extremely helpful and BECKY seemed very nice. She asked me the standard questions and I explained the style of my wedding and desired dress (ball gown, sweetheart neckline, etc.) She then asked what size pants I wore, to which I answered size 4-8, depending on the store. She then insisted that I needed a size ten dress because bridal gown sizes are much smaller than street sizes. I explained that I had already tried on a couple David's Bridal dresses and that we had determined that I was a size 4 or 6 depending on the style of the dress. I also tried to show her the list of gown styles (copied from your magazine and website) I wanted to try on. BECKY ignored my list, stating that she did not work with the numbers and would choose dresses for me based on my desired style and in a size 8 or 10. I insisted I wanted to try on a specific dress, so BECKY went to the trouble of taking it off a mannequin, despite the fact that it was a large size and available in the sizes 4 and 6. (I would like to point out here that BECKY was never rude and was polite and kind, but just did not seem to want to listen to me.) She told my mother and me to go through the racks of dresses and select dresses I like by putting them on a certain rack while she went to find a dressing area for me as well as shoes and a bra.
My mother and I went through the racks and selected several dresses and hung them on the rack. After waiting near the rack for several minutes, we were finally able to locate BECKY who then showed us to a dressing room. BECKY then left to continue finding shoes and bra. I eventually went back for the dresses on the rack because other girls and salespeople had started to go through them to try them on or return them to their rack. My mother and I continued to wait for BECKY to return; she eventually came back with a bra and promised she would only be gone for a moment to again look for shoes. She never returned with shoes (my mother found a pair my size for sale that we used), but did come back with another bride and her entourage. BECKY let me know that she would also be helping the second bride during my appointment; she acted as if this was going to be a fun joint activity for some reason. BECKY did not assist me during the rest of the appointment; she was either selecting dresses for the second bride to try or was not present. After waiting (as BECKY had asked us to do) for a considerable period of time mother helped me get in and out of dresses, hung them back up, and went to find veils. After we had tried on the five or so dresses my mother and I had selected, BECKY finally brought over three dresses. Of the three dresses I had already selected and tried one and the other two were nothing like the style I had requested; all three were much larger than I needed. At this point it was almost 3:30pm and I had to leave. I was surprised at the negative experience; I would have thought that scheduling an appointment, bringing style numbers, and being prepared for a busy Friday afternoon would have resulted in a much better visit. I left feeling dismissed and dismayed.
Yesterday (3/3/11) I received a call from Vickie (her name may be Nikki), one of the managers of the Richmond David's Bridal, asking about my appointment and thanking me for visiting. I returned her call this morning, but found that she was not in yet. She promptly called me back in the early afternoon. I explained my experience and stated that I was confused and greatly disappointed by the "appointment" I had at her store. I stated that I understood the store was busy, but thought the point of scheduling an appointment was to receive help selecting and trying on dresses for a short period of time. Vickie's response was "I'm sorry we did not meet your expectations" and went on to imply that I had expected a "Say Yes to the Dress" experience and that it was my fault my appointment went badly because I did not ask for a manager or come on a slower day. She spoke as if speaking to spoiled teenager, which I assure you I am not. I was completely understanding of the large number of customers in the store and thought I would be doing the store a favor by booking an appointment and bringing my consultant a list of dresses and sizes needed.
I would be happy to speak to a regional manager or customer service representative from David's Bridal at their earliest convenience. I would hate for this poor service to continue and for more brides to have such a negative experience in association with what David's Bridal calls "the happiest day of your life."