Friday, May 10, 2013

The Pain of Renting a Tux with a Teenager

I have to accept that I'm an embarrassment to my 17-year-old, no matter where I go or what I do.
A few weeks ago, we went to Men's Wearhouse to pick out a tuxedo. We had a $40 off card for the tux rental.
Spencer and Tucker in their tuxes 2012
Tucker's date is wearing a navy and silver dress. We felt like that ruled out a black tux. He decided he wanted a white tux with a silver vest and a navy tie. The helpful woman pointed out two tuxes to choose from, both of them costing $124.99 for the overnight rental.
I couldn't really tell the difference. I let Tucker choose. After some measuring, we sat down to pay while they filled out the forms. When we got to the end, the woman said, "The total will be $156."
I was perplexed. $124.99 minus the $40 coupon should not be $156.
"Can you show me the breakdown to explain why it costs that much?" I asked.
Tucker, sitting in the chair beside me, just slunk down lower in his seat.
"Hmmm. Wait a minute," the woman said. She clicked a few things on her computer screen then excused herself, disappearing into a back room.
Tucker and Jordan in 2012
"Why do you even argue with them about the price?" Tucker asked. His fury quickly going from 0 to 100. "It never gets you anywhere. Just pay the price."
Much easier to say when you aren't the one paying.
I didn't bother explaining to Tucker that questioning the price was not the same thing as arguing.
When the woman came back, she said that the two white tuxes she'd shown us were not the same price. One was $149.99 and, of course, that was the one Tucker had chosen.
Since we couldn't tell a difference between the tuxes, I suggested we switch to the less expensive one and Tucker agreed, still squirming.
"Just pay the deposit and I'll fix all this in the computer later," the woman assured me.
Hmmm. Call me skeptical, but I doubted that it would get "fixed."
"Could you let me know the price once you get it taken care of?" I asked.
"Sure, I'll email you a copy," she said.
So I paid my $20 deposit and left.
The next day, I found the email with my receipt. The total was $156.
What? The exact same amount she told me the day before with the more expensive tux? Yep.
After I finished work that day, I stopped by the Men's Wearhouse to discuss tux prices.
Spencer and Claudia in 2011
The manager who looked up my account and explained that the woman who helped me the previous day was new. The manager promised she would change to the less expensive tux.
"Okay," she said, as she finished entering the information. The total then is $129.99."
"That's better," I said, "but I still don't understand how a $124.99 tux, with $40 off ends up being $129."
"Well," she explained, "the price we show you is really $30 off so with the $40 off coupon you only get another $10 off."
"I'm pretty sure that's illegal," I told the woman. "I don't think the Ohio Attorney General would agree that is fair advertising."
Suddenly, the price reduced, plus she gave me an extra $20 off for the trouble of having to come in again to straighten out the problem. She said I would owe $81 plus tax when we picked up the tux.
And today, we went to get the tux.
If fit; it looked very white with the white shirt, white jacket, white pants, white shiny shoes. Tucker was practically ready to start work on an ice cream truck.
The efficient sales associate got the tux hung up in the black bag and we walked to the register.
"That'll be $111.81," the man said.
"Is that after my $20 deposit?" I asked the guy. Tucker's eyes rolled back into his head.
"The woman I talked to said I would owe $81 plus tax," I explained.
"What woman?" the sales associate asked.
Ty and Grace in 2009. The dress was much
less expensive than a tux, but I did have to
pay for the hair.
"This woman," I said pulling her card from my purse and setting it on the counter.
"Oh, she's with another customer. Wait just a minute and I'll get her."
We stepped aside to let the next customer pay.
"You can wait in the car," I told Tucker. He bolted from the store.
Several other families from Tucker's school came by paying for their tuxes while I waited. Finally the helpful woman walked to the register.
"The discount I put in the other day didn't save," she explained. As she corrected the price to $88, she apologized for the mix up again.
"No big deal, except I embarrassed my son again," I told her.
I paid and exited with the long black bag full of tux. As we pulled out of the parking lot, Tucker said, "Next year, I'll pay for my tux."
"I don't mind paying," I told him, "but I'm not just going to pay any price they say at the end if it doesn't match the price they showed us earlier."
"Whatever," he said.
I hope he saves a lot of money for next year's prom. I noticed that the boy behind him was paying $174, after his deposit.


Esme said...

I would have done the same thing.

Linda said...

Good for you. I was just remembering the other day things which embarrassed me so much when I was a teenager. So glad those days are past.

Just Me said...

I would have been like Tucker when I was a teenager (although not permitting myself to show my embarrassment) and I can only hope I would like you today.

Just Me said...

p.s. Love the pictures

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

Very funny story! & so embarrassing kidding!

Ali said...

How infuriating! I'm glad you stood up for yourself.

Anonymous said...

I point out errors in bills too, which used to frustrate my husband. Now he'll sometimes do it too. :-)

Unknown said...

This is such a funny story and very very entertaining. I think all teenager love Tuxedos.

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