Customers frustrated with Durham cleaners after missing, lost items

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Several customers say they have not gotten their items back from a Durham cleaner (WTVD)

When you drop your clothes off at the dry cleaners, you expect to get your clothes back in a timely fashion. Several customers of Southpoint Cleaners in Durham say not only has that not happened, but the cleaners lost their clothes.

Diane Haithcock paid the cleaners to dry clean a white jacket for her. "They couldn't find it. I went back several times," she explained. Twelve times to be exact.

"I carried the receipt for my jacket, and they said I would receive a check and that they would give me a call to come pick the check up," she said.

Diane has waited for months and still has not gotten a call or a check. She said, "This has been a long time. I have been very patient and understanding, but it's been three months."

Another customer has been waiting since January for seven pieces of clothing that they prepaid to be cleaned. They brought Southpoint Cleaners their receipt and still have not received their clothes or a reimbursement.

Most recently, a customer was surprised when she went to pick up her clothes and found that the building was empty.

"I dropped off four items and paid for them in advance." When she went to pick them up, "nothing was in the building. No sign on the door," Sharon Ugochukwu explained.

I met Sharon at Southpoint Cleaners and there was a pad lock on the door and a notice from the sheriff's department and the landlord. The notice said that Southpoint Cleaners had failed to make rental payments, and all customers were directed to "I Clean Dry Clean."

The new location is also known as Wayne's Cleaners and is just a few miles from Southpoint Cleaners. After I called the business multiple times with no answer, I went to the dry cleaners to get answers.

As soon as I walked into the business, the employee at the front went to the back of the store, leaving a man at the register waiting for change. The employee told me the owner was not there and that he is only there "sometimes."

"What do you want to talk about?" another employee shouted from the back.

I asked the employee why these customers could not get reimbursed for the clothes that the business lost.

The employee admitted that she has taken the customers information and told them she would turn in their receipts to the owner for reimbursement, but she said that's all she could do.

"I don't own this place," she kept repeating. I told her that she might not own the business, but someone still needs to be accountable. She replied, "Well, I'm not accountable."

I asked for the owner again and the employee told me she had just texted him. We waited a little longer and instead of the owner, a Durham police officer showed up.

The police officer said he did not know who called him, but it was either and employee or the owner. The employee said that the owner was not going to come in, so I left details of how much each customer is owed with her.

The customers are still shocked with how they have been treated. "It didn't seem to matter to anyone that I didn't get my jacket," Diane said. "I didn't get my money, and no one even cared enough to call."

There is one bright side to this. Sharon, who went to get her clothes at Southpoint Cleaners and found an empty building, was able to get her clothes back after visiting the new location.

The rest of the customers are still waiting for their money back.

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