Michaela Catherine's Children's Clothing Complaint - The Dress is in the Mail - NOT!
WESTFORD, MA, MASSACHUSETTS -- November 3rd 2006 I attended the New England Christmas Craft Festival at the World Trade Center as I have for several years now. I came across a booth selling children's clothing and saw a few cute dresses for my twin girls to wear for the upcoming holiday season.
The name of the vendor was "Michaela Catherine's Children's Clothing". The woman there, the founder/owner if you will, helped me pick two dresses for my girls. They were not the exact same but complimented each other. One of which she had in stock that day, the other she would make and mail to me. She took the dress specifications, my name, address and money of course. I paid her for both dresses and a shipping fee.
When the second dress did not arrive I waited longer than the time frame I was given to contact her. Left her two messages in the week after the dress was due. My third attempt to contact her she answered the phone and told me she mailed my dress that morning I should have it that Saturday..this was a Tuesday.
This is mid February. I have yet to receive the dress. The holiday season has come and gone. This woman has not returned one of my phone calls or e:mails. She has closed her P.O Box, the only address I had for her. The cellular phone number I was given is still taking messages, sometimes going directly into voicemail sometimes no answer. This leads me to believe she did not fall off the face of the earth and is still retrieving messages.
I have contacted the association that runs the craft faire she is not returning their calls either. I have contacted the Better business Bureau and am filing a complaint.
It is not a lot of money she took me for but is principle. When I look into my daughters closet and see the dress she had in stock, it is a reminder of my stupidity in trusting this woman.
I wonder if she has done this to others. I would like to take out an add in the newspaper in her area. I would like to bring my paid check and paperwork with me to every craft faire in the area and if I see her there inform anyone interested in her product of her actions.
The thing that gets me is on her website WWW.MICHAELACATHERINES.COM she speaks of how the company is named after her daughter who she was not able to find the traditional clothing for when she was born, then she takes money from people with small children. Well, that's probably a lie too.
December 2007 UPDATE
I called Colleen Smith of Michael Catherins Childrens Clothing phone in September 2007, 10 months after my purchase, not knowing what to expect and mostly to see if it was still working. It was and Colleen Smith answered the phone. I told her who I was and she knew immediately who I was and what I was calling for. She asked me how I would like to "handle this"? I told her I want what I paid for in updated sizes for the holiday season coming up or my money back in full. She told me two dresses would be in the mail within a week.
That did not happen. I contacted Ms Colleen Smith again and she said they were sent back to her with no zip code. She would mail them again. Still nothing. After many unreturned phone calls I e:mailed her through her website as if I was placing a new order marking it paid with original payment date (now 11 months prior). I received an e:mail stating she was headed towards my area that week and asking could put them on my porch. I told her fine. That never happened.
Doing some research on this woman, Colleen Smith of Westford, MA, I found her address now allowing me to file in small claims court. I left her a message that this was my intention. No response. I contacted Consumer Affairs. They made several attempts to contact her by phone and with letters. She is required to respond to them by law and did not.
I finally bit the bullet and put out more money I will most likely never get back to file in small claims court. I included a little compensation for my frustration, time and effort. Wish me luck. I have everything documented and will be there with my best foot forward. The thing is, in my research on Colleen Smith, I found out she has been to court 5 or 6 other times and filed bankruptcy at least once. Hopefully the bankruptcy was not after my purchase or I believe I have no recourse.