A mother-of-the-bride in Maryland says a tent company pulled out of their rental contract just two weeks before her daughter's wedding -- and then offered to rent her a tent at half price later.
“When am I going to need a 40-by-100 tent again?" Jennifer Robinson asked, her voice rising with frustration. “I only have one daughter, one wedding.”
The company Gotcha Covered Party Rentals still hasn't refunded the thousands of dollars she paid for the tent, and they said on social media that they went out of business.
It all started when Robinson's daughter picked Gotcha Covered Party Rentals to supply the tent for her wedding this past fall. The agreement: Gotcha Covered would drop off the tent the day before the wedding and pick it up three days later.
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With the recent loss of the bride's father, her mother, a Temple Hills resident, vowed to give her the wedding of her dreams.
Trouble with the tent company complicated that.
“About two weeks prior to the actual date that the tent was to be delivered, I was contacted by a representative ... to find out if I can move my date from Friday delivery to Thursday,” Robinson, who forked over more than $2,200 for the rental, told News4’s Susan Hogan.
The reception venue in Washington County, Maryland, said that was OK but that Gotcha Covered would need to remove the tent by Sunday or the family would lose $1,000 of their security deposit.
Gotcha Covered said they couldn’t pick up the tent Sunday because an employee was headed to a reunion, Robinson said. Another employee couldn’t pick up the tent either.
Jennifer Robinson exchanged calls and texts with Gotcha Covered, but the company tried to drop off the tent early anyway, she said.
“She called me and said, ‘They won’t let me in,’” Robinson said. “I explained to her, ‘If you cannot pick up the tent on Sunday, then I can’t let them allow you in because it’s going to cost me a $1,000.’”
The owner of the wedding venue recommended getting the tent from another company.
The Robinsons ended up renting a tent for more than $3,000 just two days before the wedding.
Gotcha Covered initially promised a full refund, but Robinson said she never got the money. Then, the company blamed the venue and denied her any reimbursement.
Instead, they offered to rent her another tent at half price, provided she needed it in the next six months.
“I just wanted my money back," Robinson said.
When NBC4 Responds contacted Chris Linebaugh, the owner of Gotcha Covered, he said he “wasn’t really running that business anymore.”
A Thursday post on Gotcha Covered's Facebook page says the company shut down at the end of 2016.
Robinson filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and with the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, where the company is located.
“Don’t waiver from what’s stated in the contract,” Robinson recommended to anyone planning a wedding. “Push through with whatever you paid for.”