CLEVELAND - Erin and T.J. Nichols were hoping to have the perfect wedding many couples dream about, however, when their limousine broke down on the trip to their reception, the dream was shattered.
The huge stretch limousine simply wouldn't start shortly after the wedding party of 14 finished taking pictures in front of the House of Blues in downtown Cleveland.
"What are we going to do? I just spent thousands on a reception that I'm now missing out on. It's ridiculous," said Erin Nichols.
Nichols told NewsChannel5 the incident left the wedding party in a panic as they searched for a solution. Penny Partlow, who was part of the wedding party, explained how they pleaded with valet operators to help them call a taxi service.
"Everybody is scrambling around. They're trying to get in and out of the limo and they're stepping all over our dresses,' explained Partlow. "We were trying to keep the flower girl and everybody calm."
The incident forced the newlyweds and their wedding party to take taxis to the reception at a cost of $165, which caused the group to be nearly two hours late.
Erin Nichols reports she called the limousine company, hoping to talk to the owner, but claimed she was given little help.
"The problem is I didn't even get a response," said Nichols. "I told the manager that the owner had to call me back within a few hours. He said the owner already knew what was going on, but I never got a call."
T.J. Nichols told 5 On Your Side the limousine company would only refund them $185 of the nearly $600 they paid for the service. The company also refused to compensate them for the $165 they paid for taxis to get to the reception.
"I would expect to be at least compensated for it," said Nichols. "It wasn't like we were just out on the town drinking for the night. It was our wedding. This was a one time event."
NewsChannel5 contacted the limousine company about this case and it quickly agreed to reimburse the couple for all taxi fees
5 On Your Side will not name the limousine company because of its response, and its "A+" record with the Cleveland Better Business Bureau.
Consumers should look for specific information in writing on all contracts before signing up for a limousine service.
The contract should include details on what happens in the event the limousine breaks down and should also include a complete refund policy.
Meanwhile, Erin Nichols is urging "brides-to-be" to do their homework before hiring a limousine company.
Erin had this message for the limousine company owner:
"Just do the right thing. Refund our money. You would want the same done for you," said Nichols. "I would advise anybody who is getting married to really do your research. If you don't, this could happen to you as well."