FISHERS — After being open since 2009, Dottie Couture Boutique is closing all of its locations.
In an email sent Tuesday, the store announced it is closing online and in-store sales on Friday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.
Several shoppers WRTV spoke to say they went to the stores after receiving the closing announcement email, which also included information on a liquidation sale, and the doors were locked.
One man says his wife bought $200 in gift cards to the boutique just last week and went to every location only to find nothing. The couple now plans to file a lawsuit in small claims court.
"I've fought to get Dottie right side up post pandemic and just wasn't able to do it," the email to customers read. "I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the best 13 year run. My gosh, I love this little shop."
On Sept. 15, the boutique offered a gift card BOGO promotion where shoppers could buy a $50 gift card and get $50 in credit to use in the store.
Shoppers who returned items to the location were also given in-store credit to use, as the store does not offer refunds.
WRTV visited the shipping facility and warehouse for Dottie Couture on Thurs., Oct. 13. The doors were locked and a sign on the door said pickups had been moved to the boutique's Fishers location off River Crossing Blvd.
Online shoppers also had the option to select warehouse pickup.
WRTV found the Fishers location had lights on but the doors locked. Several pickup orders in bags were sitting on the shelf.
On Tuesday, Oct. 11, Dottie Couture Boutique's official Instagram page also posted that they would be closing on Friday.
When WRTV went to check the same page on Thursday, Oct. 13, their Instagram was no longer active.
If you find yourself in a similar situation with a business you should start by filing a complaint through the Indiana Attorney General's Office.
The AG's office shared the following process for filing a complaint and when to expect a response. They tell us the time frame for each complaint is different depending on its nature.
- The consumer files a complaint online at https://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/consumer-protection-division/2 [in.gov].
- Then that complaint goes to the intake office where they send the consumer a letter to confirm we’ve received their complaint.
- The intake office then decides which department the complaint needs to go to.
- The complaint is sent to the department it needs to go to, where that department then sends a letter stating the complaint has made it to the right hands.
- The consumer is updated on where the process goes from there depending on the type of complaint.
The Better Business Bureau Serving Central Indiana tells WRTV the odds of getting money back are slim, but there are steps you can take:
1. Try to get ahold of the business owner and see if they will give a refund
2. Contact your credit card company if you used a card to purchase the gift card. Some have policies to refund you your money.
"If you found out that the company has not filed for bankruptcy, they are still obligated to fulfill their side of things. You could take legal action against the business owner directly ... it doesn't guarantee a refund and it's also probably going to take a lot of time and probably cost more than what the actual gift card value is in itself," Jennifer Adamany with the BBB said.
The BBB says it has received a complaint about Dottie Couture and encourages those who file a complaint with the AG's office to file one with them as well. That complaint has not been published yet in order to give the business time to respond.
Adamany says the BBB helps foster communication between the business and customers, but the BBB cannot force resolution.
The BBB advises customers buying any kind of gift card to buy it on a credit card and find out what their policies are before purchasing.
Experts also tell WRTV you can try to file a claim with your bank, reporting fraud.
There are several Indiana boutiques who are trying to help customers who have been impacted.
Brianne's Boutique in Greenwood is offering 20% off to anyone who has a Dottie Couture gift card. B'Dazzled Boutique in Pendleton is offering 50% off any purchase to anyone that brings in a valid Dottie Couture gift card or shows online credit owned by Dottie Couture.
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