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Prom dress heartbreak after a local teen says a store ruined her gown

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NORFOLK, Va. - For many girls, prom and their wedding are the few occasions they will get the chance to dress up and feel like a princess. However, one Granby High School senior said she's experiencing a prom dress heartbreak after a store messed up the dress of her dreams and now she can't afford a new one.

Cassidy Bliss said she and her Mom went to Shingar inside Military Circle Mall February 12 to buy her prom dress. The moment she walked out of the dressing room in a royal purple gown with crystal ab rhinestones donning the neckline, she knew it was the dress.

She said it gave her an hourglass figure and accentuated her in all the right places. She just needed a few alterations made including shortening the hem and adding a modesty panel to the plunging v-neck. She paid $250 for the dress and $30 for alterations.

About two weeks later on February 25, she came back to pick the dress up and what she got was not what she was expecting.

She said the alterations work was horribly done. In photos Bliss gave News 3, she said the stitching looked like it was done by a child and not a professional.

She asked the store for her money back, but said the store owner refused to give her a refund and said she would re-alter the dress. Bliss and her Mom said they didn't want to risk that, took the dress and left.

The store sent us this statement that said:

"I have sold and altered thousands of dresses in my years of being here. Within 17 years of business, I have never had a single problem like this. Cassidy tried the dress on in the fitting room after alterations, she was not satisfied. There were about one or two sitches remaining that needed to be fixed and I told her right at that moment I will and am able to fix it. Instead, she took the dress and walked out." -Harinder Singh

Singh also told News 3 the store policy states they do no offer refunds after alterations are done to the dress. Bliss said nowhere in the store was that policy posted.

News 3 showed photos of Bliss's dress to the owner of All The Rage in Virginia Beach, asking if what she saw was quality work.

"You know that in my years, I have never seen anything like that so no. I would definitely...wow. I would definitely be asking for a replacement gown," said Ashley Kimberl.

To prevent prom dress heartbreak, Kimberl said there are three things shoppers can do.

  1. "It's just research, doing your research. Google, reading reviews, doing all that."
  2. A gown will always need alterations. "We just recommend scheduling a fitting but not allowing the tailor to do anything until you have more time to price match or search around and talk to different tailors and go with the one you feel most confident in."
  3. Beware if a price seems too good to be true. "All prices are set by the manufacturer. If an average retailer is pricing it at $400, $300 and you see it come up multiple times in that range and then there`s that one pricing it at 200, 150, you want to watch out."