Written on: 19/09/2010 by Paul002 (1 review written)
We have had a number of negative reviews recently which give the impression that Johanna Hehir does not care about customer service and is very money orientated. In our defence, we have been designing, manufacturing and retailing wedding dresses and eveningwear for the past twenty years and as the hundreds of positive reviews we continue to receive each year show, the vast majority of our brides, are more than satisfied with the quality of their dresses and the service they have received from Johanna Hehir.
Regrettably there will always be a small minority of brides who for a number of reasons (as outlined below) feel that they have not been treated well or had the "bridal experience" they expected.
Some brides have complained about our appointments policy. At Johanna Hehir, we have a much more comprehensive range of styles than the average bridal boutique and our reputation for styling advice is such that we have a waiting list, particularly for Saturday appointments. For this reason we also have a 48hr cancellation policy for bridal appointments. This is to deter brides from failing to show for their appointments, thereby depriving other brides of the booking, which is only fair given that we are allocating a trained stylist and an hour of company time for free.
We appreciate that when brides first come to try on dresses that they do not always know what they want, but we always do our best to try and advise them within the allocated time. Some brides who have booked Saturday appointments to try on dresses have complained about "feeling rushed" but if we cannot meet the bride's requirements or the allocated time is up, we need to finish the appointment or the next bride will complain that she is being kept waiting.
Others have complained that we are "money orientated". We have detailed information about our price range and services on our website at www.johanna-hehir.co.uk We do not want to waste brides time by showing them gowns outside their budgets, so before the appointment, (and amongst other questions) we ask the bride "what price she is not comfortable spending over?" which is not an unreasonable question.
We have dresses from £500 to £5000 and it is obviously in our interests to try to find a style that flatters the bride and is within her budget. However this is not always possible, particularly if the bride is being less than honest with us, about what she is prepared to spend on her dress.
There is no obligation on the bride to purchase a gown from Johanna Hehir, but the stylists at Johanna Hehir feel it is only fair that they are given sufficient information to be able to advise the bride in a professional manner. If it was all about the money, we would not be offering free appointments, as it costs Johanna Hehir for every bride we see. Unfortunately, a few brides fail to appreciate our appointments policy and have accused us of being "snobby" on the internet.
We have also had a few brides complaining about their dresses and the service they have received when ordering made to measure dresses. We make it very clear when the bride first orders her dress and it is stated clearly on her order (and on our website) that the made to measure price includes three fittings. We also advise brides that if they intend to lose weight that they should achieve this by their second fitting to avoid additional cost and extra fittings. Weight loss or gain after the 2nd fitting, somewhat defeats the whole point of made to measure and can involve remaking the dress, which is not a simple or quick process.
But we appreciate that this is sometimes unavoidable and unintentional on the part of the bride, particularly if she becomes quite stressed leading up to the wedding. We are always prepared to do the extra work and schedule additional fittings to get the dress to fit correctly, however the bride must accept that the extra work has to be costed separately and is in addition to the original made to measure price. Most brides accept responsibility for their weight loss/gain and are prepared to pay the extra to have the dress fitting correctly, but regrettably there will always be a minority of brides who strongly object to any question of weight loss/gain and expect all extra work to be included at the original price.
We recently had a bride who complained about her dress not being finished and ready to collect at her third fitting, even though this was scheduled several weeks before her wedding. Where possible we try to have the dress finished for the 3rd fitting but we can never guarantee that it will be ready to collect at the 3rd fitting, as there are often minor finishing details and final adjustments (like hooking up trains) and hand finishing which may need to be completed before collection.
Occasionally we have brides who confuse made to measure with bespoke (also explained on our website) and mistakenly believe that they have the right to demand design changes or additional work (which is over and above the specification agreed at the time of ordering), included in the original price.
We always try to accommodate the bride's demands where possible. But once again it is unfair to expect us to cover the additional work and fittings in the original price. We do not like having to charge brides extra and more often than not we will bear most of the cost ourselves provided the bride is prepared to be reasonable with us. But brides who imagine that they can deny or bully us into submission are mistaken. Adopting an aggressive and demanding attitude with the people who have designed and are manufacturing your wedding dress, is not a good strategy to win them over.
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