Cleaning Service damaged my vintage Alma Purse

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  1. Hello ladies! So glad I found this forum. First-timer here. In a nutshell, I inherited a vintage Alma purse from my mother. It’s about 20 years old. It had its imperfections & needed a cleaning. I took it to a “reputable” cleaning service & it came back with the Patina 2-3 shades darker, more uneven in color and the scratches more prominent. The leather was also cracking. They said it was the best they could do because “the bag was so old.” Before I call my credit card company to dispute the charge, I wanted to ask any experienced LV lovers to weigh-in. I have attached photos of the before/after here. The before is the photo with the accessories included. Are they in the wrong or did I have unrealistic expectations? All I wanted was a cleaning of the bag, not sure what happened. Also, is there any hope in evening out the color any? Thank you in advance
    C1CC3A1F-2A89-40BB-B72C-B5F4E92B3C1F.jpeg B7586653-2592-41E1-B721-9EE8F10168A5.jpeg
  2. I cannot speak to whether you have a case or not since I have never sent a bag to be cleaned or refurbished. It does look like they used some sort of dark polish on it.

    If the canvas is still good, you could get a quote from LV to see about replacing the leather and basically have a new bag. Or read through this thread to see what others have done with bags that look like yours.
    PurseAddict728 likes this.
  3. It's no help but I'd have cleaned that up myself. Find out what they used on it before doing anything.
    muddledmint and PurseAddict728 like this.
  4. Honestly I feel like this is just the result of normal risk that was taken by trying to clean vachetta. In most cases it rarely comes out lighter/more even from what I have seen. At this point, I would probably accept that,it is what it is, if they weren't willing to give you a refund or discounted price on cleaning since it honestly doesn't look better. If the bag has sentimental value to you and you would like to carry and enjoy it I would contact LV and have vachetta replaced. Just my opinion, sorry this happened.
    cbarrus likes this.
  5. I don't think I would ever trust a cleaning service to handle my bags. You never know what harsh chemicals they might potentially use on it. In your before picture the leather just looks a little worn with a few scratches. I would have just buffed it out with a little bit of water and a soft cloth. In the second picture the leather does look very different. Is it wet? Maybe the appearance will change after the leather has dried.
    muddledmint likes this.
  6. I don’t know if you have a case, but they clearly applied a product to the natural leather that darkened it.

    If you plan on keeping the bag, I would take it to LV and ask for a quote to replace the leather. It would look like a brand new bag.

    Good luck!
  7. What did they do to your bag?! I recently bought a 21 year old speedy 25 and restored it myself. Yes the patina did get 2-3 shades darker but it did not look blotchy like that! So NO that is not the best they can do.

    Attached is a before and after picture of what mine looks like for reference.
    fullsizeoutput_12f3.jpeg IMG_1991.JPG
    47109 likes this.
  8. I think you should bring it to LV and see what the cost is to replace all of the leather. If the price agrees with you I think you should go for replacing all of the leather.
  9. They are not nice at all for trying to evade responsibility .it definitely looks different and worse sorry to say . I'm a huge fan of painted almas if that's not an option don't lose hope just may have to put in some extra money .
  10. Hi! What did you do use/do to restore the vachetta? It looks great!
  11. I just cleaned up a 2005 well used saumur with a magic clean eraser and some conditioner. It evened out the vechetta and lightened the super dark spots and darken the lighter ones for an even tone. In my opinion they ruined it. If they were scared to clean such a "vintage" bag they should have refused!!
  12. I absolutely agree with you. They did mess it up. I hope you were able to at least get your money back from them... I was referring to the restoration photos from littlewhitebear. The restoration on their Speedy looks great and you can't see the water spots.