WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS...
HOW TO GET WHAT YOU WANT IN A CUSTOM GARMENT--
When you have received a product that disappoints you, or if you are thinking
of a first purchase, we hope you will consider the following points BEFORE you
place your first or next custom corset order, and take steps to minimize risk
that your order is not perfect ! Please see our article on why custom corsets are not
First, be aware that some people can be a bit intimidated by the skill level,
reputation, or even attitude that a corset maker takes on or demonstrates. This
might tend to make you shy away from getting all the details you need regarding
your order. After discussing the issue and possible solutions with the above
customer, she wrote: "I do realize now that regarding the beading which
disappointed me, it was in fact my responsibility to find out exactly what
materials and quality they would be before I ordered it."
This customer is one of the reasonable ones that every businessperson welcomes:
one who also accepts responsibility for failing to get sufficient clarity when
placing her order. Corset makers and even ROMANTASY, cannot read minds! Or, we
show you a sample and expect that that is what you wanted, when you perhaps
wanted some variation and not the sample shown at all. In that case, it is your
responsibility to make sure we understand what you have in mind.
Second, you also have a responsibility to give the corset maker the first
'shot' at repairing any mistakes or negotiating the issue with you BEFORE you
'go off the deep end' and reverse your credit card charge, or threaten to
report the business to some organization or consumer advocacy group! Yes,
BEFORE! It is simply not fair to an otherwise reputable business/merchant to
take away money or to file a possible false charge when in fact they have not
even had the chance to answer your concerns. Who knows? Maybe they will agree
with you. And certainly you will get results faster than if you alienate the
merchant by some aggressive or vindictive act!
Third, listen carefully to your corset maker's response. Don't be so fixated in
your own position that you cannot hear the facts. Perhaps as above, there are
some issues that you contributed to; perhaps some repair can be made that does
not affect the integrity or overall look of the corset that will achieve your
purpose. Consider the options and be willing to engage in a give and take.
Recently, two ROMANTASY customers felt their corset did not fit at the bustline
despite muslin fittings. Both sent photos of the corset properly laced on so we
could see the problem. Our corset maker volunteered to take in the bust area
without charge to the customer in one case (we are still waiting for photos in
the other)! Another customer was convinced that his underbust corset was too
big in the hipline and we immediately suggested that two small darts could be
placed there to tighten that hem. It was yet unclear who should bear the cost.
He thought that was a great idea but wanted to show it to me.
When he came for a personal look-see, and review of his original measurement
form which we keep for up to 5 years or more, we both determined that the
corset had in fact, been made properly and if anything, might be about
1/4" too big at the hip, hardly a noticeable problem! In addition, he
admitted to having lost about 5-10 pounds since ordering, a difference that
could affect fit by 1/4-1". He left quite happy and willing to forgo the
$60 cost for the darts after we found a more comfortable way to split-lace it!
The courtesy and willingness to give and take in these three situations above,
helped ROMANTASY to respond in a thoughtful, constructive and fair way to the
Fourth, it can be true that some personalities don't click! In addition, we
know certain corset makers who project a supercilious attitude. Unfortunately,
this can be a matter of an artist's overinflated ego, or perhaps insensitivity
to how one is perceived. More often that not, sharpness or seeming rudeness is
a result of simple overwork, worry, hearing the same question for the
5000th-time, some other crises in their personal life, or other, unrelated to
you. We are all human, and yes, businesses need to project a business-like
attitude-- but sometimes we fail!
What are some solutions if you are disappointed with your final product?
First, make a list on paper of exactly what as a minimum, MUST be done to make
you happy. Try to be a bit flexible with this list.
Second, make a secondary list of what you would LIKE to have done, that is
Third, call within 14 days of receiving your corset (we require contact within
this time period to avoid one situation where a customer did not wear the
corset and called back one year later with an alleged fit problem! Yes, it
happens even as unreasonable as this may seem to be on the customer's part!).
Fourth, take a reasonable, optimistic approach to your corset maker or
purveyor. Do not start, continue or end a conversation with a hostile tone.
Assume that there is some mutually acceptable solution that may require some
give on your part and give on the maker's part, to share responsibility. If you
can't be reasonable or sound friendly, consider getting a friend to represent
you and make the call. An objective person can sometimes communicate better and
not alienate the corset maker before some results are achieved!
Fifth, ask a lot of questions. "Could you possibly do XYZ? That is not
technically possible, well then can you do ABC instead?" Try to ask
questions, not make statements while you are formulating your bottom line
Sixth, listen carefully to the answers and facts. some repairs cannot be made;
some are so costly that the corset maker would or might as well start all over!
Believe what they say: experienced corset makers know of what they speak.
Likely, there is no such thing as an instantaneous or simple repair!
Seventh, clarify so you avoid the same problem again, whether or not any
proffered solution will be billed to you, or will the corset maker 'eat' the
charge to rectify the situation? Be very sure about this. Ask: "OK. That
repair is acceptable to me. I assume it will be at your cost, not mine?"
Eighth, know that there are no easy answers and that a willingness to negotiate
and compromise, plus learn from the experience, will most quickly lead you to a
solution that will satisfy you.
After considering similar advice as set forth above, our email visitor wrote
"I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my note with some good, objective advice...I think I will do what you said and just send the corset
back and ask for the needed alterations...I know you are the owner of your own
company and extremely busy, so it was very generous of you to take your time to
help me. I will not forget you when I order another corset but the only
difficult thing will be deciding what style as you represent so many great
To which we say: Thanks and you're so right about the styles!!!