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Attorney General DeWine Sues Alan Ray Bridal for Consumer Law Violations

7/5/2012

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced a lawsuit against Alan Ray Bridal and its owner Alan Ray Church for violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act. The business did not notify its customers when it closed and left many consumers with unfulfilled orders.

“In what is supposed to be a happy occasion in life, many brides were left without their dresses when Alan Ray Bridal abruptly closed,” Attorney General DeWine said. “This action sends a message that it is unacceptable for any business to close without first fulfilling its obligations to paying consumers.”

The Columbus-based bridal shop, which had been in business for more than 30 years, was formerly located at 2700 Billingsley Road. It offered bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and a variety of accessories.

After closing in late April, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office received multiple complaints from consumers who said they paid in full but never received their dresses or merchandise. Some consumers also stated that Alan Ray Bridal never ordered their dresses from the designers, requiring them to pay another business to receive a wedding dress in time. Consumers paid Alan Ray Bridal $150 to $3,000 for various dresses they never received.

The lawsuit, filed in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, charges Alan Ray Bridal and Alan Ray Church with failure to deliver and unconscionable consumer sales practices. The complaint alleges that consumers entered into transactions, paid a deposit, and never received what they paid for or a refund. The complaint also alleges that Alan Ray Bridal provided consumers with inconsistent and inadequate information regarding their orders and accepted deposits without telling consumers it may go out of business before the order could be fulfilled. The Attorney General’s lawsuit seeks consumer restitution, injunctive relief, and civil penalties.

Attorney General DeWine offered tips for brides and bridesmaids:

  • Ask for a written contract and save all documents. Ask that all the details of order – model number, designer, and the delivery date– are written in the contract. 
  • Pay with a credit card, if possible. Credit cards allow you to dispute charges if something goes wrong. Debit cards, cash, and checks do not carry the same protections. By disputing the credit card charge, you may be able to get your money back if a business closes. The back of your monthly credit card bill should have information on how to dispute charges.
  • Until you receive your dress, keep any documents related to the transaction, including receipts, invoices, contracts, etc.
  • Keep track of any correspondence sent to or from the business. If the company closes and files for bankruptcy, these letters will give you a better chance of receiving some money out of the bankruptcy action.

Attorney General DeWine reminds consumers that it can be difficult to recover money once a business has closed.

Consumers who have complaints against Alan Ray Bridal or another business should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or by calling 800-282-0515.

Lawsuit:

Alan Ray Bridal (PDF)

Media Contacts:

Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Mark Moretti: 614-466-3840

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