Well, this is a sure-fire way to torch your business. It actually carries with it a horrible background story. A Colorado man’s fiancée died before the wedding. He tried to get a refund from the videographer they hired, but he refused. Now, lawsuit threats are flying.
Justin Montney said he understands that the contract they signed was non-refundable but cited the extraordinary circumstances. It’s one thing when a bride or groom calls off a wedding. It’s an entirely different story if a wedding is canceled because either the groom or bride was killed in a car crash.
Oh, and to make matters worse, the company Montney contracted, Copper Stallion Media, attacked him on social media. Montney has rightfully left a bad review on the website The Knot, according to KRDO News.
The posts were heinous, but we now know that this Cooper Stallion Media company is also owned by a convicted felon who cheated scores of couples out of their wedding footage (via The Denver Channel/ABC 7):
Justin Montney says the only reason he and his late fiancée Alexis ever hired Copper Stallion Media was because of the trusted wedding website The Knot.
“We were so excited. It looked like he had good stuff but it was all stolen from other videographers,” Montney said in an interview.
Copper Stallion Media began harassing Montney online after their refusal to refund his money led to bad reviews. The company created a website in his name claiming he was trying to “shake them down.”
The company also posted heartless messages on social media like, “We hope you sob and cry all day for what would have been your wedding day."
Checks Copper Stallion Media used to pay employees have the same Las Vegas, Nevada address linked to other companies owned by Jesse J. Clark.
Clark was arrested in 2013 for allegedly scamming 90 couples out of money for wedding videography they never received. He never paid the $500,000 owed to them and instead fled the state. The judge ruled he was no longer allowed to operate a wedding business in Massachusetts.
Dozens of people reached out to Contact7 from across the country saying they were scammed out of money by Clark for memories they can’t get back.
So, maybe this business was already toast, even before they heartlessly slung mud at Montney. In a weird twist, the company also posted that when this story broke, their customer relations associate committed suicide due to the backlash, but it looks like they just rehashed an old post about the employee’s death from two years ago.
YouTuber Vito Gesualdi summed up this fiasco perfectly, “Protip to small business owners: Money comes and goes, but your reputation is priceless. Everybody is going to side with the grieving widow. Give the refund, don't be an idiot.”
What a crazy story!— YOUTUBE.COM / VITO ?? (@VitoGesualdi) May 25, 2020
1. Guy hires expensive videographers for his wedding. Fiance dies. He asks for a refund. They refuse.
2. Guy goes to media with story. Videographers respond by mocking his dead fiance.
3. Videographer employee commits suicide after social media backlash. pic.twitter.com/h3feHNk6Wu
PROTIP to small business owners: Money comes and goes, but your reputation is priceless.— YOUTUBE.COM / VITO ?? (@VitoGesualdi) May 25, 2020
Everybody is going to side with the grieving widow. Give the refund, don't be an idiot.
(Also, don't kill yourself).
Holy lord, it was just an $1,800 deposit?!— YOUTUBE.COM / VITO ?? (@VitoGesualdi) May 25, 2020
YOU TORPEDOED YOUR ENTIRE BUSINESS FOR $1,800!? pic.twitter.com/niSvFyefjy
WHAT— YOUTUBE.COM / VITO ?? (@VitoGesualdi) May 25, 2020
I couldn’t agree more.