CLEVELAND (WJW) — Brides, grooms and their wedding parties were left scrambling for answers after American Commodore Tuxedos suddenly closed the doors to many of the company’s Northeast Ohio stores on Monday.
Dustin Davis showed up at the American Commodore store in Parma on Tuesday morning to get fitted for a tuxedo for his brother-in-law’s wedding, and was alarmed to discover that without warning, the store was closed.
After tugging on the locked door, Davis told FOX 8, “It’s deplorable that they’re just out of business and he went two weeks ago to set everything up and they didn’t mention anything to him about it, and here we are to get fitted and they’re closed.”
Another Northeast Ohio customer, Haylie Flick, is getting married next weekend and was stunned when she learned that her local American Commodore store was closed, after her fiancé and 14 other members of the wedding party had already shelled out a total of nearly $4,000 to rent their tuxedos.
“I had got a text from someone that there were rumors that American Commodore was closing effective immediately, so of course I freaked out, tried calling, but it went straight to voicemail,” Flick said. “I mean, 12 days before the most important day of your life, when you trust these companies and they pocket your money with no reason, no reimbursement, no option for you other than you have to figure something out for yourself.”
The Better Business Bureau in Cleveland has received a number of complaints about the closing of American Commodore stores, but the BBB says all efforts to get answers from the company have been unsuccessful.
“We are aware that American Commodore Tuxedo is owned by a Georgia-based company called Dapper & Dashing, which also owns six other formalwear brands,” said Cleveland BBB President Sue McConnell.
The BBB is urging customers to keep all documentation of their transactions, in the event American Commodore files for bankruptcy or state authorities elect to pursue legal action against the company.
“They cannot just keep money that they have taken from consumers. If a company had accepted deposits or taken payments, knowing that they were not going to be able to deliver on the merchandise or the services, the attorney general can take action,” said McConnell.
She added that customers who made payments to the company with their credit cards may be able to dispute the charges through their bank or credit card company.
It appears the closing of American Commodore stores is a business opportunity for other tuxedo rental companies, which are now offering deals to wedding parties left in the lurch.
Haylie Flick is one of the fortunate brides. She found a store that will be able to rent the 15 tuxedos needed for her wedding, and after the nightmare of dealing with American Commodore, Flick decided to pay for the tuxes.
“I felt I had to do it, because I didn’t feel that it was right to make them pay again, when they already all paid $260 for their original tux that they were planning on getting,” said Flick.
We have attempted to reach American Commodore for comment, but so far, the company has not responded.