An Abigail Betz couture dress for your wedding? Think again. R74 000 later & no couture items as promised and expected, just lousy garments which I could have bought on the side of the street. Broken zips, bad bad workmanship, beading that looked like it was done by a 5 year old, ill fitting clothes, bad quality fabric, bones in the bodice that were too long or too short, bodices that had to be stuck down with industrial double sided tape as they kept falling down. My bridal dress and bridal party dresses, waistcoats, mother of the bride outfit, etc were recd at 09h30 on the morning of our wedding – although we started consulting in February. In just 3 weeks, all business and contact with Abigail has gone pear shaped. Calls weren’t answered, meetings couldn’t be confirmed, messages weren’t responded to, website was down, cell numbers changed. Abigail’s boyfriend is suddenly involved and on the scene but in the background, lurking around like a dangerous element – why? My fiance was held to ransom and locked in their flat til final payment in2 boyfriend’s account was done on his cellphone – bizarre! Not a single receipt received for monies paid. Outrageous prices for a couple of additional items ordered – some of which had already been quoted in the first quote. She has derailed if she thinks that paying a large amount of money into her boyfriend’s account is normal. She has derailed if she thinks that a client even dealing with her boyfriend is normal. She has derailed if she tells a client that our wedding garments on the morning of the wedding will not be released until the final payment is made by cash or eft’d into her boyfriends account. At first they insisted on cash which we completed refused. Abigail is not the beautiful couture designer we met at the beginning of the year. The beautifully manicured, groomed, successful, creative power woman that I met no longer wears makeup, hair lies limp on her head, nails bitten down to nothing, dark rings around the eyes, experiences memory loss and constantly refers to drawings, no recons for payments made and sadly more which I shall not mention…… We were put through sheer hell, lied to, ripped off and placed in terrible danger. From a beautiful showroom and property on Houghton Drive to an untidy flat in Illovo – from tea and cake served on a tray with rose petals to a halfhearted explanation that she couldn’t afford to offer champagne due to her ‘circumstances’. What circumstances? We didn’t change anything in the contract? She did – she changed everything. We bought an emotional Abigail and her children supper at 8.30pm after a fitting as there was nothing in her flat to eat – and of course no reimbursement offered. Her boyfriend locked my fiance in the premises and made him feel very threatened and in danger. Beware brides to be. Beware! Don’t say you haven’t been warned. Could have ruined our day – almost did. My 5 bridesmaids couldn’t lie dreamily in bed on the eve of my wedding, dresses hanging on the cupboard door in their rooms, fantasising about the following day’s celebration. We were all sick with worry. And filled with disappointment. Is this representative of the entire SA bridal industry? My recommendation – buy off the rail and save yourself unnecessary trauma during such an important time of your life.
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