Call Collett: Woman claims $30K of items ruined at drycleaners

Call Collett

The silk drapes that should hang over the windows in Nancy Thomson’s Pawleys Island home are stored in a coat closet.  

“There were rips; they are discolored,” she explained as she pulled the curtain out of the closet.  “There is no sheen. They haven’t been pressed. It looked as though there was heat damage to them.”

Nancy believes the processing at a Certified Restoration Drycleaning Network location in Columbia ruined the curtains, along with nearly all her clothes and textiles. Her items, 80 bags of textiles and 16 rugs,  were shipped to the CRDN cleaners after water damage in her condo left the items moldy.

But now Nancy estimates she has $30,000 in damage to her items, and she wants to be reimbursed. CRDN disagrees. In an email, a spokesman for the company wrote that her items were already damaged when CRDN received them. The company identified only 15 items that they believe they damaged. 

 “CRDN cannot guarantee, nor has it ever guaranteed, that all of Ms. Thomson’s items could be restored,” a spokesman wrote.

Nancy isn’t buying that.

“What I’m calling damaged is shrinkage, discoloration, spotting, chemical destruction and leather. That doesn’t happen sitting in my closet,” she told News 2.

If the cleaners couldn’t do the restoration work, they shouldn’t have accepted her items to process, she believes.

“If they claim everything was in an already “damaged state”  they should have left my home with an empty truck, and I would have been a well-dressed, happy camper with my things about me in pristine condition,” she said. 

The cleaners recommends Nancy settle with her insurance over the damages or give CRDN another chance to restore her items. 

“In cases like this some delicate or older items cannot be restored.  Typically, an item which cannot be restored is considered a total loss, and the owner is compensated by her insurance company (or in this case defendants) for the value of that item,” Coles Taylor, with CRDN, explained.

It appears Nancy and CRDN are in stalemate. Nancy said the company tried to reprocess many of her items a second already.

“Wanting a chance to re-clean my items is nothing short of asking to un-ring the bell,” Nany told News 2.

The company also asked for an itemized list of what Nancy believes has been ruined. Those items are currently at the CRDN cleaners in Columbia because Nancy wouldn’t accept them back. 

 Consumers have very little protection against damaged items at a drycleaners. When a cleaner damages or loses something, they will often compensate consumers, as a matter of good business, but usually only at a depreciated amount.

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