* Prices may differ from that shown
Went to my appointment yesterday at Berketex Bride in Peterborough with my mother, MIL and four bridesmaids. I was nervous about going in with so many people as I thought my bridal party would take up half the shop! But they were so welcoming and didn't turn their noses up at all. They actually took the time to ask what kind of thing I had in mind and about the venue, colour scheme etc to give them a better idea of the wedding, no other store took the time to do this and I thought it was very professional of them.
While I was trying on dresses my bridesmaids were encouraged to browse the bridesmaids gowns and the assistant made sure that everyones opinions were asked on each dress, she was determined to find 'the one' and eventually I found my dress, a gorgeous fitted dress by a designer called Sasha Perez, which I love. They gave me a good discount and didn't make me feel pressured or rushed, and my bridesmaids have spotted a few dresses they like so we will be going back in a few weeks to look at bridesmaids dresses.
Overall the staff were fantastic and definitely knew their stuff! And the quality of the gowns are a lot better than what I had seen in other Peterborough shops.
I can say I've so far had such a bad experience with this company, they are awful. Please think very carefully before arranging an appointment......
They use very hard sell techniques and you often feel like they are forcing you to go with them. Their ace card is to tell you that they have special 20% off but only if you buy today, so this can be very tempting if spending an average 1600 on a dress. But from there on and once you've signed their contract/paperwork you then become a number and that is it! You are also unable to change any part of the order. I will point out that all dresses are made to order and not size and they will also throw in their compulsory alterations package at the point of sale but please read the small print on how much altering they will do.
All they are then interested in is your money and not you!! They become rude and uncaring. They messed up my order and I was made to write to their Bridal House HO but don't expect written apologies or any form of acknowledgement or any form of compensation! They are truly disgusting and I dont know how they continue to get away with it.... Please please please think twice before going in, luckily I managed to get my dress out of there and am getting it altered elsewhere. But I've been left seriously out of pocket by them and be upset and stressed. Oh also, their shops in both Watford and London are shabby, run down and impersonal, with no privacy. So definitely not one to put on the list if you're after a special wedding dress shopping experience. I've had better service buying milk from my local shop.
I went along to my planned appointment today in peterborough, I found the staff very friendly and welcoming. I was given lots of good advice and was told what suited me and what to avoid, I was not rushed and not pushed into buying anything that I didn't want or didn't feel comfortable in, I wasnt just shown all the expensive dresses either. I was told that I wouldn't be measured until november 2012 as my wedding is not until may 2013. I was made aware of all the payment options and alteration plans. I took my mum along too and she was treated well, and asked her opinion on everything. Once I had finally decided which dress I wanted along with tiara and veil, I was given as much time as I needed and in private to decide if I was absolutly sure of everything and how I wanted to pay. Overall so far I would highly recommend going to this store even if it is only to look to get ideas. I had a great time and cant wait to go back and get measured in november. Once I have my dress and all the alterations done I will leave another review and hopefully it will be a nother shinning one. My star rating is based on how friendly the staff were and how comfortable and relaxed they made me feel.
I had an absolutely wonderful time in the Manchester shop which was a relief after some of the reviews but my sil2b had her dress from Berketex so I was persuaded to give it a try.
Really glad I listened, great time with Mum & bridesmaids. The staff really could not have been more helpful, nothing was too much trouble for them even when Mum got a bit emotional.
Really great (to my taste anyway) range in some lovely fabrics. Very happy I had the bridesmaids with me as they saw things that I missed and even better we all agreed on the "one".
Talking through the size charts with the assistance it looks like the standard size will fit me like a glove so no need for alterations.
Best of all there was an offer on my dress and another offer on the bridesmaids so overall it wasn't too far beyond budget. Have to say the bridesmaids looked stunning as well (move over Pippa!)
Overall absolutely fabulous!
I went to Berketex in Manchester Arndale in February with two of my bridesmaids to try on dresses. The second dress I tried on I fell in love with and whilst it was £600 over my budget I felt this was 'the one'.
Obviously me being a good size 18 with a G cup bra this size 14 sample that I tried on was made to fit on me by the very experienced Lana. The dress I chose had a corset type bodice on top; I asked again and again if I went ahead and ordered it that the one I received would fit my properly; any girl with a big chest would have the same concerns; I was assured that this is why they take my measurements so that the dress would fit me perfectly. I was also warned not to lose weight as the dress could only be altered in by up to one size. I decided on the same day to buy the dress; this was only the second ever wedding dress I tried but thanks to Lana's persuasion and the offer of a 'that day only' discount I went for it paying out £1325 for my dress.
Over the weekend I thought more about the warning not to lose weight and I decided on the Monday to go back and order everything two inches smaller - thank goodness I did!!!
I was told that my dress would be ready 8 weeks before the wedding and I phoned the shop with 6 weeks to go having not heard anything.
They told me that it would be ready with 4 weeks to go - I expressed concern at this and was told that it was only for a 'pick up' and that I would not need alterations and not to worry.
When it was down to 3 weeks to go and still no dress I was really worried and phoned the shop a few times; I was asked to come in the same week for my fitting. Starting to get stressed to say the least.
I went to the shop for the first fitting; bearing in mind my measurements had been taken and I ordered the smaller size i was confident it would fit. Lana the original sales lady did the fitting. The dress DID NOT FIT AT ALL on the bodice; it was gaping so much i could put both of my hands down the front and this was when it was tied to the very tightest at the back. I was gutted but Lana assured me that it would be altered to fit me 'perfectly; I then had to pay an additional £180 for these alterations!!!
The following week - 2 weeks to wedding - I returned for the fitting to be met by a completely new lady; Lana was nowhere to be seen. We got the dress on and I explained my concerns about it being SO ill fitting; this lady explained that she had never seen me in the dress so didn't know what the original fit was. I stated that when i ordered it i was assured that it would fit me perfectly. She told me in no uncertain terms that this would not be the case as all dresses are made in a standard C cup!!!!!
I was furious to say the least and really upset. I was NEVER told this when I tried on the dress as clearly taking a G cup I NEVER would have bought it!!!! I believe I was completely missold this dress just so the shop could make a sale. I was devastated. The alterer told me she would do her best to make it fit as best she could but that it WOULD NOT fit me 100%
When i left the shop in tears I phoned Berketex head office explained what had happened and was told they would ring back. In the meantime I posted what had happened on the hitched.co.uk website.
After 3 hours and no call back - 2 weeks before my wedding!!! I phoned head office again and they said they would chase it. The alterer then phoned me from the shop and said she promised it would fit me okay. She then phoned back later to ask me to remove my comments from the website; I said I would when i collected the dress and was happy with it.
Turns out Berketex and Hitched.co.uk have a better relationship than most as they removed my forum altogether and when i queried this i was told by Hitched.co.uk that their suppliers and advertisers were very important to them and detrimental reviews would be removed!!!!! What happened to free speech??
The following week - 1 week to the wedding I went back to the Berketex shop to be met by yet another lady i had never seen before who was quiet snappy and stated she had also never seen the dress on me and couldn't comment on the fit. We put it on and whilst it definitely fit alot better than it had it still didn't fit even remotely properly or comfortably. At this stage I had no choice though but to take the dress.
On my wedding day I wore a £1325 dress that should have been perfect; Instead i had two big air pockets where my G cup boobs should have tried to fit into the C cup that was boned into the bodice. This in turn pushed my boobs down towards my waist ruining the corset affect and making it impossible to sit for any length of time and impossible to eat......
Thanks to Berketex my day was ruined in more ways than one and i would discourage any bride from shopping in there. You pay that much for a dress you want the best; what I got was so far from the best it's unreal and I got to pay an additional £180 for the pleasure. DO NOT SHOP HERE!
I am probably risking taking a lot of criticism for this review, as I am reviewing a shop in which I've never actually bought anything. However, wedding dress shopping is different to normal shopping experiences in that you don't just pick something up from the shelf, take it to the till, then bring it back if you're not happy with it. Wedding dress shopping is an experience in itself, where the process you go through and the advice you receive is as important as the purchase itself, and can prevent the purchase from taking place. This review is aimed at anyone who is considering buying their dress from Berketex, to give them an idea of the process involved and the advice you will receive. This experience was at the Chester store, I can't speak for other branches of Berketex.
==The booking process==
Firstly, most wedding dress shops require you to make an appointment rather than just turning up on the day. This is because you are allocated a member of staff to advise you through the dresses and styles that suit you, and also because wedding dresses are so heavy you'll probably need someone to help you get in them!
When I made my appointment with Berketex, I also made appointments with three other bridal shops for the same day. I rang them all to make sure I got the times I wanted, because I didn't want my friend and I to be trapsing from one end of town to the other all day. Berketex were the only shop I couldn't get through to on the phone. It rang out despite me trying several times. I remembered seeing an appointment booking form on their website, so submitted a request that way. I received a standard automated response to my email address saying they would confirm the date and time. Two days later I still hadn't received anything, so I phoned them. This time I managed to get through, but I was told they hadn't received my email request. Strange, considering I had received a reply! Then she got the diary out to book me in, and I was already in the diary. Apparently someone had tried to phone me to confirm the appointment (they couldn't have tried very hard because my phone is never switched off and I'd had no missed calls or voicemails from them). Hmmm....not a great start but I was booked in. The woman told me to look on their website and make a note of the names of dresses I liked the look of.
The shop seemed quite small inside and didn't hold as many dresses as the other ones we visited that day. It was clean enough, and the changing rooms were a decent size. The changing rooms were a bit of a let down because they were basically separated by curtains between each person. After visiting bridal shops where you get a room to yourself with a sofa for your friends this was a bit of a let down, and meant my friend couldn't come in with me. Instead she sat on a chair outside waiting for me to come out and show her each dress. The mirror was directly outside the changing rooms, so I didn't have to go far, but there were a few of us trying dresses on (it was a Saturday) so it felt a bit like we were getting in each others way. Not quite the pampering glamorous experience you see in the movies! The shop had dresses, a sale rack, and accessories such as tiaras and veils on display.
I had noted down the name of about four dresses that I'd seen on the internet and liked the look of. I could only find one of these in the shop, so I asked the assistant who had been allocated to me. She said she didn't recognise the names of any of these dresses, and asked her colleague who confirmed that she'd never heard of them. "When did you get these off the website?" she asked. "Last night" I replied. Bit embarrassing on their behalf as they are either advertising dresses that don't exist, not stocking them in all branches, or the staff aren't very well trained.
She told me to have a look round and pick any that I wanted to try on, but to be honest apart from the one I'd seen online I couldn't see ANYTHING I liked. They all seemed quite old fashioned with lots of frills, lace and fussiness. The assistant was actually quite helpful at this stage and talked me through all the dress styles and what type suits different people. This was the only shop who did this with me so full marks for that.
In the absence of me choosing any dresses I liked (to be honest at this stage I'd already decided my dress wasn't going to be from here so just wanted to get out of there and have a glass of wine with my friend), the assistant decided the best thing to do would be to try me in as many as possible. Without checking my budget (surely the first question anyone should ask in this situation?), she proceeded to stick me in dress after dress, none of which did anything for me.
Finally there was a dress that looked vaguely flattering, so I asked her for the details so we could leave the shop. She wrote it down for me - the dress was around £1,100 (WAY over my budget) and she knocked 20% off if I bought that day (no chance!). The alterations package was another £180 on top of this. I wasn't sure how they could decide this when she hadn't discussed what alterations I would need. Surely a bit off the length wouldn't cost the same as the whole thing being taken in? I wasn't really bothered because the dress was the best of a bad bunch and wasn't THE dress thankfully, otherwise I'd have been heartbroken that it was out of budget.
To give credit where it's due, the staff were very friendly and put me at ease. It's a strange experience stripping off to your underwear in front of a stranger and having them pull and squeeze you into huge dresses. My assistant was very knowledgeable about styles of dresses, but not about the shop's stocked range. She was very lovely though and not at all 'snooty' as some of these places can be. The only thing I didn't like was that she didn't check my budget before we started, so was sticking me in dresses I knew I couldn't afford. This could have been disastrous if I'd found something I liked but then discovered it was too expensive.
The relationship you have with your wedding dress shop is one that requires trust and communication. You will be dealing with these people for months, and going back for fittings, alterations and so on. The wedding dress is one of the most important elements of the wedding day, therefore you need to have complete trust that the shop you buy it from will not let you down, and will give you good advice. Although I received some good advice from the member of staff I saw, I wouldn't put my trust in this shop to see the order through and communicate with me throughout the process. I was disappointed with Berketex because they are one of the better known high street wedding dress shops, and I expected better service from them.
I ordered 2 bridesmaid dresses and bridal gown from this store - they were great until I signed the order form then it all went wrong! They told me I could arrange fittings when visiting parents and then found out it was only on a thursday and I live 3 hours away. I ordered hair comb and when it arrived it was totally different - still waiting fro refund 4 months after the wedding. My sisters bridesmaid dress had additional length and then they wanted to charge for having it removed. The manager has no customer service skills when dealing with compliants. The dress was the wrong size and then they said I had put weight on, when in fact I had lost weight otherwise I would not have got into the smaller dress. When I was in tears as they said nothing they could do they then just ignored me didnt offer any solutions - I had to get it altered privately and pay for this. Sent a letter of complaint and they not even acknowledge it! I would not want anyone to go through what I went through 4 weeks before my wedding date so avoid this place and buy your dress somewhere else!
I have just sucessfully taken Berketex to the small claims court to get a refund on my wedding dress and three bridesmaids dresses. They let me down no end and to summarise, I had to travel over 250 miles to their head office in Grantham to collect my order 8 days before my wedding.
I found the dress of my dreams in Berketex Glasgow. The girl in the shop was lovely and very helpful. This was 3 months ago I bought the dress. Two weeks ago, I got a phonecall to say they could no longer carry out the order. Since then I have been trying to get my money back but there is no sign of it yet. Customer Services have repeatedly promised to call back but have failed to call back even once. I cant even bring myself to trust another shop to order my dress on time now - it can take 6 months to get a dress in, so if this happened to me again I would be left with no dress. AND because they havent returned my money to me, I cant buy another dress yet! In summary: Lovely Dresses. Friendly Staff. Rubbish Customer Service. Broken Promises. Broken Dreams. I DO NOT RECOMMEND BERKETEX!
I consider their dresses to be outstanding - excellent quality for the price.
However once cash had been paid up, I experienced poor customer service at Manchester branch and I found that they had a strange way of prioritising their customers. They said they would phone me back and didn't. On one occasion, my dress fitting was cancelled on whilst I was travelling to be there! I explained to staff one bridesmaid had flown from Germany and one had travelled from Reading. Management was least apologetic.
I was impressed with the speed and the detail at which my complaint was dealt with at head office. However their investigation didn't seem to match clear facts that had happened. For example, it was claimed at the store I tried my dress on twice, I know I only tried it once!! I found customer service at Berketex Watford good. I would only recommend their alterations package to people that need a great deal of work on their dress.