7 On Your Side
Construction causes wedding hall deposit issues
NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- Imagine planning your wedding at a place under construction.
They assure you the hall will be ready in time for your big day.
It happened to a local couple, but they get nervous when was not ready.
So they scrambled for a backup and to get their deposit back.
Wedding rings, check.
Cake topper, check.
Wedding party, check.
Cindy Conklin and Aaron Englishman were all ready to get married, but just not at the wedding hall the couple originally booked to tie the knot, which they say wasn't ready to host their big day.
"Oh it was heartbreaking," Conklin said.
The bride-to-be's frustrations are with Farrington Manor - A.K.A The Place on the Lake.
In October 2011, she and her fiancé paid them two deposits totaling $3,000 to save their wedding date a year later.
"It was on the lake, it was outside, it was so pretty," Englishman said.
It was going to get even nicer as Farrington Manor was starting major renovations.
But have no fear, the wedding hall's representatives sent emails promising they'd be open in time.
First, a January opening, then June, and then to mid-July.
In September, a month before their wedding date, the maître'D left a message on Cindy's cell phone saying the place obtained their "temporary certificate of occupancy."
But Eyewitness News obtained the C of O.
Incredibly, Farrington Manor didn't get it until October 11th, just one day before Cindy and Aaron's scheduled wedding day.
By this time the bride and groom had hired another wedding hall.
"How are you supposed to plan a wedding like that, with uncertainty?" Conklin said.
But what about their $3,000 deposit?
"The owner wouldn't call us back. Convenient," Englishman said.
So 7 On Your Side went to Farrington Manor.
The owner argued, blaming the couple for never canceling the contract in person.
"They haven't canceled the contract. How can they ask for a refund without canceling the contract?" Anek Patel, of Farrington Manor said.
So they did. Patel then said he sent the couple only half their deposit, but they never received it.
When the owner stopped responding to 7 On Your Side, we called for help from New Jersey's Consumer Affairs.
Hours after they contacted the owner, investigator Joe Singh made a special delivery, a check!
"Without you guys we wouldn't have gotten it, we are so happy you helped us out!" Conklin said.
Cindy got not one, but two checks for the full refund.
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