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Buyer Beware: Dress Shopping Site Schemes

7:08 PM, Oct 7, 2013   |    comments
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UNDATED -- "Shopping for a prom dress is very stressful," says Ruth Silverstein.

She thought shopping online for her daughter Tanya's dress would be a breeze.

Silverstein says, "She could look at this dress and say, 'This is exactly what I want. And, they're going to make it exactly to my size.'"

They clicked onto fabhomecomingdress.com, found prom dresses discounted up to 60 percent, and placed an order.

"It was $200 or so," Ruth Silverstein says.

What they got was a poorly crafted gown made with inferior materials.

"The whole thing is kind of off centered, ahh, the pleats are really poorly sewn," says Tanya Silverstein.

Ruth didin't have much success when she tried to contact the company by email or through the website.

She ended up buying a completely different dress from a local retailer.

"If a website is offering a dress that's exactly, exactly like another dress that sells for $600 somewhere else and they're offering it to you for $200, they're telling you that they're going to make alterations. Well, that's just not reasonable," says WUSA 9 Call For Action partner Shirley Rooker.

Tanya wasn't the only one with a stolen prom princess moment.

"I had to get it taken in in the back about maybe like an inch and half, two inches. Also, the buttons that secure the top are strings, so I was really nervous it could come off at any moment," says Giselle Gamero.

Lori Amsellem says she never received the $268 prom dress for her daughter.

So, she took a gamble and ordered a second prom dress from a different knockoff website. When it did arrive, she says, "Couldn't pull it up because the material on the inside that they lined it with has no give, very stiff."

She had to buy more material, create a corset, and tie her daughter, Felice, into the dress.

All of the moms spent more money to have the shoddy dresses either replaced, redesigned, or resewn.

"You are risking it because getting a refund from some of these companies may be impossible," Shirley Rooker says.

DressGoddess.com

American Bridal and Prom Industry Association

Your best bet is to go with a reputable prom dress site. Also, check for complaints, check the return policies, and make sure you can talk with someone before you buy a thing.

WUSA/ WTSP

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