AKRON, Ohio - Tom Scovell of Akron wanted to give his daughter a wedding to remember, so he took a chance and placed a bid for a $1,000 limousine package through an auction hosted by a local radio station.
Scovell was elated when he happened to win the limousine ride for just $335. He contacted the company just days later and booked the package for his daughter's June 18 wedding day.
"I emailed the owner of the limousine company, and he verified that the date was open and gave me all the instructions I needed," said Scovell. "He told me at that time he would send me a certificate, and that all I had to do was contact him with that certificate number and everything would be set."
When the certificate arrived, Scovell called the limousine company and was told he needed to call 30 days before the wedding to firm up the place and the time.
"The owner never called me, so three weeks before the wedding I called the company," said Scovell. "The owner told me I was supposed to call him to set up a contract, and that our date was booked to somebody else."
The Scovells were left scrambling to find another limousine ride, and were still out their $335.
"The owner never told me I was required to set up a contract and obtain a verification number," said Scovell. "We had to call more than a dozen other limousine companies hoping to find a replacement.
NewsChannel5 will not name the limousine company in this case, because this seems to be a simple breakdown in communication.
Consumers should keep in mind that contracts are critical when booking a wedding service of any kind. Consumers should demand a written contract, with specific performance guidlines, before they issue a downpayment.
Fortunately, the Scovells found another limousine, and the radio station refunded their $335 -- a lesson learned, marital bliss maintained.
"I would get everything in writing, I would log and document all emails and phone calls," said Scovell. "Above all, make sure you have all commitments in writing."