7 On Your Side

AC Breakdown on a prom party bus

Monday, July 16, 2012

On the hottest day of the year, Vinny Aloi and 44 friends found themselves in a bus with no air conditioning to take them to the Baldwin High School Prom and after-prom.

The seniors say the bus showed up so sweltering on the inside that some parents wouldn't let their kids on it.

"The parents were so concerned, saying that is unhealthy and that we can't go in there. It's unsafe, that people are going to pass out. They were like there's no way you're going to get on this bus," Gianna said.

"The parents came back to get me like the bus is broken what's going on, so I walked out and talked to the driver he said there was nothing he could do," Aloi said.

The group missed hours of their prom as other rides were arranged. Vinny says the company sent a different, smaller bus to pick the kids up and take them into the city for after-prom, but that one was hot too.

"Prom was ruined. People had to get off the bus because it was too hot, even the second one," Vinny said.

"People who even paid for the bus said 'Forget it. I'm leaving. I don't care that I paid for this," Gianna added.

The bus rental cost $5200, and wasn't easy for many students to afford with all the other costs of going to prom.

Vinny says he tried unsuccessfully to get a partial refund so his friends could get some money back, but the company initially offered $2,000.

"It's not even half of what we paid, but they only called me because Channel 7 reached out to them," he said.

So we negotiated with the company to refund more. The limo company refunded $3500 total.

Most of the kids have part time jobs and paid every month for the last year to afford their portion, so this $80 is going to help a lot.

One lesson to learn here is make sure refund details for breakdowns or mechanical problems are spelled out whenever you sign a rental contract.

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