'Stressed' about wedding day rides: brides, grooms demand refunds from limo company
Owner of Carpe Diem Limousine Service says business operating as usual, despite for sale ad
Brides who have booked their wedding services through a Saskatchewan limo company are raising alarms that they may not have rides on their wedding day — or the money they've put into booking limousines — after social media reports began circulating about the health of the company.
Alison Gilmour booked Carpe Diem Limousine Service for her June wedding. She said she was told the costs would be cheaper if she paid up front, so she sent an e-transfer of $1,000 to do so.
But when she saw social media reports this past week that the company was up for sale and owners were not answering phone calls, she got worried. People on wedding group sites reported getting conflicting stories about what was wrong, she said.
"I'm not the only bride that's stressed right now about what are we going to do for transportation? There's brides getting married in weeks — what happens if the company doesn't show up for their wedding?"
Gilmour got a hold of the owner on Friday and asked for her payment to be refunded, but a couple of days have passed without seeing any money back.
"I was furious. This is my wedding," she said. "I have alternatives, I'm obviously not going to go with them now."
'Too much up in the air'
Brenndan Skwara and his fiancee also had booked the company for a summer wedding in Regina and had seen the troubling social media reports.
Despite paying a deposit, he said he was told by the company his wedding wasn't even booked into the calendar, but that if he had a receipt, the company would honour the booking. But he too is uncertain.
"There's just too much up in the air with people's money, not knowing if I'm going to have a limo for my wedding day," he said.
Owner says refunds may take time
Carpe Diem owner Derrick Engen said he and his wife started Carpe Diem in 2010, and built it up from that time.
However, he said he is finding himself hard-pressed now to run two separate companies, which is why he had put up an online ad for the business.
If I sell part of the company, the whole company or none of the company, every bride is going to have their limo.- Carpe Diem Limo Service owner Derrick Engen
Engen said he's looking for someone who will invest in Carpe Diem and help him build it back up, after a setback in losing a key member of the staff, and several drivers.
Despite some setbacks that he described as not "normal," the company is still operating as usual and brides shouldn't have fears about their service, he said.
"If I sell part of the company, the whole company or none of the company, every bride is going to have their limo."
He acknowledged that he hasn't been able to provide refunds immediately for people demanding one, but said he is waiting on some news that should be emerging within the next couple of days that may change their minds about cancelling.
If people still want refunds for amounts paid beyond the deposit, he said he would "absolutely" be willing to do that, given a bit more time.
"I'm not closing down, not going bankrupt, not leaving the country," he said. "I'm here to stay."