Prom dress shop dispute in Raleigh

Sally Morris and her mother
March 11, 2013 2:04:02 PM PDT
A prom dress dispute left a local teen ashamed because of the way she said a store manager treated her.

Sally Morris went to Triangle Town Center in Raleigh to find a prom dress. She brought her sister and cousins to Chique Prom in hopes of finding the perfect dress.

What she said she got was anything but.

"We were looking at the dresses, we had just gotten in the store and he said, 'Mom must be with you to try on dresses'," Morris said.

The store's policy was that a parent must be present for someone to try on and purchase a dress. But for Morris, that's not possible. Her mother died when she was 15 from a rare form of cancer.

"I've never had the privilege of having my mom go prom dress shopping with me or even have the option to have my mom go prom dress shopping with me," Morris said.

She said her adult cousin explained to the salesman that Morris' mother had passed away, but that did not resolve the situation.

"He said, 'That's our policy and if you don't like it, you don't have to shop here'," Morris said.

He is Chique Prom's William Shepherd. Shepherd said that at the time he didn't understand that Morris' mom was dead.

"All they had to do was pull me aside and say, 'Hey you, her mother's dead. There's nobody.' Anything could have been done like that. She would have been able to try on dresses," Shepherd said.

Shepherd said he was just following the store's policy.

"If you come in looking for a quality dress and they've got picks and pulls on it," Shepherd said. "Kids 15, 17 years old will come in here and want to play with the dresses, and we have to say please don't. It will destroy the product."

Shepherd apologized to Morris Monday morning on a radio show and offered to give her a free dress.

Morris declined the dress, and said she has found another one to wear to prom instead.

"It was just mind-blowing to me that someone could be that insensitive and rude," Morris said.

Chique Prom has changed its store policy to allow girls under age 19 bring an adult who is paying for the dress with them.

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