Solving Disputes

Have you ever thought that a professional should have done more than they have or that they have ruined your garment? Well here's where you can find cost effective help. The first step to solving a dispute to your satisfaction is to register with DrClean. Why not take a couple of minutes to do it now?

If you're already registered you just have to login: -
 

By giving us the details of your problem we'll be able to send you a letter from DrClean helping you to make a claim against whoever is at fault. There will be a 10 fee for this service (that should be reclaimable) and we will contact you and set an individual advisor specifically to deal with your case if necessary. 
Firstly Remember - Nobody Likes Being In A Dispute...... Not you or the person you're in dispute with and very few businesses out there, who are looking for loyal customers, like their reputation damaged by not dealing with a problem in the right way. All businesses at some point will have a dissatisfied customer even when they are legitimately trying their best. In fact, we would suggest that someone who resolves a dispute to your satisfaction is someone you should use, not someone you should avoid, as you know their intention is to satisfy their customers.

So how are you going to achieve the best results if you believe something has gone wrong? 

Here are some basic rules that will help you to a successful conclusion to your dispute..

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DON'T 
get Angry

Getting hot under the collar and shouting simply sets up a conflict situation and tends to solve nothing. Try to discuss the problem with the right person (ask for the manager or the owner immediately you notice a problem) and explain the problem as you see it. Remember - your aim is to resolve the dispute in your favour not to get into an argument.

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LISTEN Once you've explained what you think has gone wrong listen to what the manager or owner has to say. A conversation is a two way communication - the manager may make very good sense and be explaining a way to resolve the dispute. Alternatively he may be agreeing with you that something has gone wrong and suggesting that some other cause (other than their negligence) is to blame. You can't just dismiss this out of hand...they may be right.

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THINK Before you talk Again this sort of thing just helps inflame the situation. Starting with "You've ruined my suit" instantly sets the hackles up and puts the other party on the defensive. Instead saying "Something appears to have gone wrong, doesn't it?" calms things down and asks for the other persons agreement - two things you're aiming to achieve.

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Set your case out clearly After you've listened, if you disagree with what has been said explain clearly and calmly what you believe to be the case. If the other party is offering to try to repair the damage you have to let them have at least one attempt. However, state clearly that you believe them to be at fault and that you are prepared to take the matter to court if necessary to solve the dispute. If the professional suggests that you both use an independent testing house to assess who is to blame for the problem accept the offer (even if you have to pay or suggest using DrClean) whoever is at fault will have to cover your costs in getting the examination done, once fault is proven.

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The LAW is on your side If someone has been negligent and thereby damaged one of your possessions you are perfectly entitled to sue in the small claims court and reclaim an amount for damages plus the costs associated with a case (not including legal expenses). This includes the cost of any independent advice you have sought but you  shouldn't  need a lawyer as a small claims court will act as arbitrator and assess the facts of the case, coming to a logical conclusion. The costs are around 30 and court staff will be very helpful if you ask them any questions.

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These are three of the main causes for complaint against a professional.
Description
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Factors for 
or against you
Shrinkage or Distortion Spotting Damage
(Stain Treatment)
or Graying
Fabric/Accessory Damage
FOR Fabric shouldn't shrink excessively during cleaning and localised shrinkage or distortion (where it happens to a small area of the fabric) will almost certainly be due to poor treatment by the professional. However, some manufacturers may have allowed up to a 10% tolerance to shrinkage (which in our opinion is excessive) and this would turn a 32" waist into a 29" waist (a tight squeeze at least).  This is normally characterised by circular wealds on the fabric around where a stain used to be. It can lighten or darken an area and is fairly easily recognisable. Scraping or scrubbing a fabric can also cause damage and is common with silk and cotton, showing up as a lighter area of material. Graying of the fabric is normally due to contaminated solvent and you will win if this is the case. This type of damage can take many forms. Crinkling of belts because the backs  aren't cleanable or deterioration of the fabric because some constituent part happens to be attacked by the cleaning process. Dye running out of some part of the garment (buttons etc.) is a common problem that is often the fault of the manufacturer not testing the fabric for cleaning. 
AGAINST Most fabrics have some form of  shrinkage from new, even cotton. They also stretch during wear and are therefore likely to feel tighter after cleaning than before. This is normal and you can not expect to have cover for it from the cleaner. Also sometimes we get fatter over the time we're wearing a garment and it will feel tighter on cleaning so try to be honest with yourself in this case. What you can claim for is negligence and that means a person not doing what they can reasonably be expected to do in their professional capacity. If the professional has not been excessive or used due diligence when they know damage is likely, but has tried his or her best to remove a stain have they been negligent? Could a stain have been removed successfully anyway and if not would the garment have been ruined by the original stain in the first place? A dull look can be caused by loss of optical brightners and this can be taken as graying. In this case you will almost certainly have a successful claim against either the dry cleaner or the retailer. Unless you've accepted owners risk over a cleaners legitimate concern your only problem might be the fight between manufacturer and cleaner, who may blame each other. But don't worry, this will just delay matters and should not affect the outcome.
Although we aren't necessarily of the opinion that you get what you pay for, it is true that we all get paid for the time we spend doing a job and the skill we've learned in doing it over the years. All services are aimed at a particular price point - effectively attracting a certain type of clientele - that generally reflects the time and effort a person is prepared to give to a job. Don't expect to pay 1.50 to clean a pair of trousers and then be upset that they don't do 6.00 worth of work on them, nobody is aiming to make a loss just because it's you. If you pay 5.00 for a suit to be cleaned it's unlikely to be cleaned very well because you're just not paying enough for someone to spend much time on your garment. In general, if a service is cheap you're paying for minimal cleaning and as long as you realise that there's no problem with using the service. However, don't expect to drive away in a Rolls Royce if you don't pay for one and it's best to keep that in mind when reviewing finished product.