Local News

Raleigh Man Seeks Help After Dry Cleaner Refuses To Pay For Damaged Shirts

Posted February 21, 2003

— When a business makes a mistake, most customers expect the problem to be fixed.

That does not always happen. When a Wake County man had an issue with a Raleigh dry cleaner, he called Five On Your Side for help.

"I was pretty upset, to say the least," said Brant Chesson.

When Chesson had a piece of clothing damaged at Five Points Cleaners in Raleigh, he said he could not believe what happened next.

His shirt came back with a hole in it, but Chesson said that is not all he was upset about.

"I pulled down one and I thought, 'No big deal. One shirt's ripped.' I pulled down another and then another and then another and I finally counted them all, and there were 14," Chesson said.

Chesson took his shirts back to Five Points Cleaners. He said 14 out of 18 shirts came back with holes in the same place.

Chesson said the shirts were expensive brands and he wanted the dry cleaner to pay for them.

"It's very hard to replace 14, at an average of maybe $50 or $60 a shirt," he said.

When Chesson took the shirt back to Five Points Cleaners, an employee told him their policy was printed on the back of the receipt. The dry cleaner only pays 10 times the cost of the actual cleaning.

In Chesson's case, the refund would amount to about $140.

Chesson then called the store manager.

"I emphasized that these are fairly expensive shirts. These are the shirts I wear every day. And she said, 'Well, my outfit costs a lot, too,'" Chesson said.

Chesson accepted the $140 refund and paid for the shirts to be fixed with his own money. When he did not receive the check, he called Five On Your Side.

Five On Your Side called store manager Margaret Sallenger, who said she did not remember Chesson.

Later, she said Chesson's shirts were old and had tattered sleeves. Then Sallenger told Five On Your Side she never saw the damaged shirts.

Five On Your Side found numerous complaints against Kwee Development, the owner of Five Points Cleaners.

The company owns eight Wake County stores and operates under several different names. Those store names include Five Points Cleaners, Karr Cleaners, Martin Cleaners, Pinecrest Cleaners and Swift Creek Cleaners.

The

Better Business Bureau

listed a combined 22 complaints against Kwee Development. The

North Carolina attorney general

had four complaints against the company.

Sallenger called the check delay a misunderstanding and immediately sent it out to Chesson.

Chesson said he is not completely satisfied.

"When you spend a lot of money on your clothes and you spend a lot getting them cleaned, I just feel like they should be responsible for the damage that they did," he said,

Robert Kwee, one of the owners of Kwee Development, agreed to look at Chesson's shirts.

When they were supposed to meet, Chesson arrived and an employee told him Kwee called and could not make it because he had a stroke.

According to Five On Your Side, there are no consumer regulations for dry cleaners in North Carolina.

Cleaners are not required to post prices, replace lost or damaged merchandise or compensate unsatisfied customers in any way.

Reporter:

Monica Laliberte

Five On Your Side Producer:

Lori Lair

Photographer:

Greg Clark

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