FALLS CHURCH, Va. (WJLA) - A dry cleaner in suburban Virginia that closed its doors suddenly without returning clothing left customers steaming mad.
"I'm very upset. I can't believe it," said one customer outside the store.
The owners of the Max Cleaners in Falls Church posted signs that they were no longer taking drop-offs and that they were not responsible for clothing not picked up.
Their customers obviously didn't get the message that the business was closing though, with plastic covered dress shirts and blouses clearly visible through the windows.
All day long on Friday, customers have been pulling up to Max Cleaners expecting to pick up their clothes - and instead are winding up in disbelief that the store is suddenly not open.
"Wow, wow. That's shocking, really. Unbelievable," said one slighted customer.
The situation was even more frustrating for customers who prepaid their bill, leaving them without their clothing and the cash they already paid - since, some told ABC7, the store made them pay in advance.
"No credit, all cash, up front," one customer said angrily.
One frustrated customer posted a sign of their own, telling the store's owners that they "should be ashamed of themselves." The same owner has another cleaner nearby, but he wasn't there when a reporter visited.
Nicole Jensen says her husband's five favorite shirts are all inside. Her ticket says as of April 11, she had 30 days to pick them up, and the sign inside the store also says customers have 30 days.
But Jensen says she had no warning the store would be shut down before that.
"They have everybody's phone number, you would think that they would at least make a phone call, just say, 'we're closing our store, come get your stuff,' Jensen said. "Just a courtesy phone call. But, nothing."
Some customers dropped off clothes as recently as last week.
"One week ago, that sign was not there," one customer said. "They didn't give any warning."
Another angry customer even posted their own sign, stating: “Your actions are shameful…You have essentially stolen from your customers.”
When the man we believe to be the owner came back outside to rip down that sign, we pressed for answers:
ABC7: "Can you just explain to us what happened so we can report it accurately?"
Man: "The landlord is so bad...that guy is making money from us, $2.5 million. The new tenant got a lot of money..."
He then posted a new sign, telling customers where they can pick up their clothing:
McLean Super Cleaners, 6263 Old Dominion Dr., McLean, VA.
As a result, at least one customer left satisfied:
"I'm happy...I'm like, super lucky that this guy showed up just when I was hanging out and I got my clothes back," said Erica Rodriguez.
Late Friday night, we spotted workers inside, taking clothing off the racks – possibly to move them to their new location.
The Fairfax County consumer affairs branch is investigating the matter after numerous complaints, and told ABC7 the following:
"We are encouraging customers to file a complaint with Fairfax County Consumer Affairs. They can either call 703-222-8435 or file online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/consumer.htm."