Truth is, all dry cleaners have claims at some point. On average dry cleaners pay out about .3-1% of sales a year on claims. Claims fall into two categories, loss and damaged. Loss items are usually the fault of the dry cleaners but damaged items are where the dispute often arise between the consumer and their dry cleaner or garment manufacture.
Myth: The Dry Cleaner will cut me a check almost immediately for a claim.
Many consumers who have not had a claim before think they are going to be paid for the garment at cost to buy new almost immediately. Dry Cleaners claims are much more expensive to pay out than say an order messed up at your local quick service restaurant. Therefore, claims are processed more like an insurance claim.
For instance, if the item is lost, a dry cleaner might take two to four weeks to locate the item or see if the item was misplaced in another order and returned. Only after that will they start to identify the value and process a payment. On a damaged item, there could be a number of reasons from manufacturing defect to dry cleaners error. Dry cleaners go by a Fair Claims Guide as an adjustment formula for settlement of damage claim for textile products. This often uses the depreciated value of the garment based on how old it is and how many times it has been cleaned. Some dry cleaners may have a policy to pay damaged items at full cost to buy new, while other dry cleaners may be very reluctant to pay anything at all. You are generally likely to find a dry cleaners with a favorable claims policy from a cleaners with a long standing reputation and is not a low price/discount cleaners. It’s best to know how your dry cleaners handle claims in advance and thoroughly inspect your items before leaving the store.