Dry Cleaning Liability
How do you know if your dry cleaner is legally to blame when he doesn't treat your clothes properly? What are you liable for? What is the cleaners liable for?
Look at your dry cleaned clothes as soon as they are returned to you and point out any problems right away. Some may be curable. If the clothing comes back damaged from the cleaners, the store is often blamed as the last to handle the garment. But the responsibility may lie with the manufacturer or retailer- or with you- the consumer.
Care information should be permanently attached to all clothing. If instructions are not displayed and the garment is damaged as a result, the responsibility is with the manufacturer or you for tearing the tag off. In the first case, your best recourse is to go to the retailer who sold you the clothing. Good retail practice requires that stores exchange a defective item or refund the price.
If the information was available but you did not follow it, the fault is of course on your own shoulders. However, if your dry cleaner fails to follow care instructions or did not exercise reasonable care, then the cleaner is at fault. You are entitled to recover the value of the garment's remaining life expectancy, according to the International Fair Claims Guide for Consumer Textile Products. It is up to you to negotiate an adjustment with the cleaner.
Keep in mind that some stains simply cannot be removed by any known method, and while no one is to blame, there is no remedy. This is also true of the damaging effects of age on all fabrics.