After Prom Dress Emergency, ABC News Fixer Steps In

Teen Abbie Korts had to fight for a refund after dress came too late.

ByABC News
September 18, 2015, 10:47 AM

— -- Minnesota teenager Abbie Korts looked online and found the dress of her dreams. But after it didn’t arrive in time for the big dance, she needed to return it -- and that’s when she hit trouble.

Read Abbie’s original letter to The ABC News Fixer below, and see how The Fixer helped put Abbie’s money back in her pocket. Also, check out tips on avoiding disappointment when ordering online.

TUNE IN to "Good Morning America" Saturday for more on this story from The ABC News Fixer. And do you have a consumer problem? The ABC News Fixer may be able to help. Click here to submit your problem online. Letters are edited for length and clarity.

Dear ABC News Fixer: I ordered a dress for prom from Fame & Partners. We were told it was in stock and we could get it in five days, but it did not arrive in time for the dance.

I had to go and buy another dress. We emailed Fame & Partners to cancel our order, but we were told it was custom-made so we couldn't cancel it – even though it did not say anywhere on the receipt that it was “custom-made.” They did say we could return it and get half our money back and store credit.

I have emailed and called them to try to straighten this out, and no one answers. Also, the dress doesn't fit, so I'm stuck with a $189 dress I won't wear.

- Abbie Korts, Anoka, Minn.

Dear Abbie: With high school homecoming season soon upon us, your prom problem has lessons for all online shoppers. But first, we have to say that based on the adorable photo you sent us, your last-minute dress was a great choice. Good work!

Now to your $189. It sounds like there was a lot of confusion over what this dress was. You hadn’t clicked on any “customizing” features and you even showed us a subsequent email from a company rep that stated that the dress was not customized. We checked out the site’s returns policy, and according to that, because it was a regular dress you were entitled to an exchange or a full refund within 30 days.

We got in touch with Nyree Corby, the founder and CEO of Fame & Partners, who responded quickly. She said they recently launched their U.S. operation and were hit with especially high demand that strained their small team. Corby said she investigated your order and agreed that you should have gotten a full refund, which they processed that same day. She thanked us for letting her know about it.

Your experience reminds us to remind everyone else that when shopping online, the screenshot is your friend! Always take a screenshot of the original page showing the item, as well as your order confirmation and the returns policy.

And read that policy carefully before you buy. The rules can vary greatly, with some retailers offering only store credit -- or not accepting returns at all on certain items. Make sure you understand who’s responsible for paying to ship the unwanted item back to the seller.

And finally, check delivery times carefully. If there’s any question, inform customer service that it’s a dress for a special event, and allow extra time in case any issue crops up.

- The ABC News Fixer