Tuesday, October 7, 2003

Brides say dress shop jilted them

Women claim they paid for gowns but never received them from store

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MONROE - Here come the brides-to-be - and they want their wedding gowns.

"I felt like I was kicked in the stomach when they told me my dress had not been ordered, was not going to be ordered, and I was not going to get my money back. ... I cried," said Diane Taylor, 24.

Taylor was among several women who filed police reports last weekend, alleging that a bridal shop in Building 11 at Traders World Flea Market took their money, but then failed to deliver gowns as promised after the business was sold to a new owner.

"Instead of the runaway bride, it's the runaway bridal-dressmaker," said Monroe Police Detective Mike Staples.

However, the former owner, Jill Dixon, claims the new owner is obligated to satisfy customers' needs, under the contract that transferred the shop's ownership. "The contract does not lie. If the contract was followed, each one of these girls could get the dress they wanted," Dixon said.

Staples said he had spoken to Dixon, but had not yet been able to talk to the new owner. Staples said his investigation was continuing and it was too soon to tell whether anyone would face charges.

An assembly line worker, Taylor made several 120-mile round-trips from her Sidney home, north of Dayton, Ohio, to make cash payments totaling $900 on a "perfect" gown; elegant and "not too fancy."

Taylor, planning a Dec. 27 ceremony with an Army lieutenant who is stationed in Germany, said the shop's new management offered her another dress - but its price tag is only $500, "so I'm out $400."

Taylor said she was among two dozen women who signed a ledger at the shop, saying they wanted to sue the former owner.

"All of these brides put their trust in her," Taylor said. "Some of these girls had all their bridesmaids' dresses ordered there, too. ...One girl, they practically had to pick her up off the floor, because her wedding is like next weekend."

Planning a wedding is stressful enough, Taylor said, without something like this happening.

Taylor said she had learned a lot from the experience - and next time she'll pay with a credit card for such a purchase, because that would give her the right to challenge the payment if a dispute arises.


E-mail jmorse@enquirer.com

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