Couples stranded on wedding day say they're still struggling to get refunds from video company

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Saturday, October 22, 2022
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Couples stranded on their wedding day say they're still waiting for refunds from videography company Petit Four Films more than a month later.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Couples stranded by a videography company on their wedding day say they're still waiting for refunds more than a month later.

Jessica Akers and Jesse Debie say friends have told them their NorCal wedding was the best they'd ever been to.

"Amazing, it was so incredible," said Akers.

This was despite some drama that happened just days before. The couple, along with dozens of others, say the company they hired to film their wedding, Petit Four Films, ghosted them either before or on the big day.

"I'm frustrated and sad," said Akers.

Some couples received a cancelation text, others did not.

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"Completely unprofessional," said groom Kevin Broderick.

In September, the company told the I-Team, "Unfortunately, due COVID, inflation and the economic swings over the past few years in the industry; it is to our deepest regret that we have had to cancel a portion of our weddings and enter into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. We have been and are currently issuing refunds. We deeply apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused any of our couples and will be in touch with them with the next steps in the process."

Petit Four Films posted a similar message on its website, but more than a month later, many say those refunds in the thousands have been hard to come by.

"I still don't have a refund and my dispute is still open," said Akers.

Bride Marykate Glackin says she repeatedly emailed the company asking for a refund and alerted them that her bank had declined her dispute.

She also filed a complaint with the New Jersey Attorney General's office, where she lives, and the Illinois Attorney General's Office, where Petit Four Films is based.

After emailing the company she planned to take legal action, Glackin received a response she was scheduled for a refund that same day. She was stunned when a short time later, she got a call from someone who said he was Jason Groh, the same name listed on an August 2021 Illinois state record as Petit Four Film's president and manager.

Groh issued Glackin a refund via Zelle, paying her $1,000 from Petit Four Films LLC and the remaining $799 from Groh.

In September, by phone, Groh told the I-Team he had sold the company but would not say to whom.

Glackin says she asked Groh about his role. She says he told her he didn't know where he stood right now in the company.

"We're just looking for accountability at this point," said Glackin.

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The I-Team spoke to Groh for more than 90 minutes by phone last Friday. He would not say how much money is owed to customers, videographers or photographers. He turned down our request for an interview.

By text this week, he told ABC7 News reporter Melanie Woodrow he wanted to continue to stay focused on helping everyone out as best he could.

Akers and her husband want to know where money couples gave to the company ultimately went.

"We prepaid you so, at one point, you had my money and you had everybody else's money. You should be able to refund us if you took our money and didn't offer the services that were promised," said Akers.

"Cause otherwise what did you do with that money," said Debie.

The Illinois AG's Office says it has received 41 consumer complaints regarding Petit Four Films, the majority of which are not Illinois residents. A spokesperson for the AG's Office told ABC7 News, "We are reviewing the complaints as we receive them..."

A private Facebook group filled with couples, photographers and videographers who say they're owed money has grown to more than 400 members.

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Glackin says Groh told her Petit Four Films isn't refuting disputes customers file with their bank or credit card company, but Akers says her bank messaged her Petit Four Films told them "no credit is due."

"If the dispute doesn't go through in my favor, I will still owe that money," said Akers.

"I just feel so badly for the brides who don't have their films who don't have their pictures. For the photographers and videographers who haven't gotten paid because that's their livelihood that's food on the table for them. For the brides who didn't have someone show up at their wedding or just had a cancelation last minute and had to scramble or they just had to give up and say we're not going to have video," said Glackin.

Some whose weddings were shot have been trying to locate their videographers directly in an attempt to get the raw footage from their special day that they say Petit Four Films hasn't delivered yet.

You can connect with reporter Melanie Woodrow by emailing her at melanie.woodrow@abc.com or contacting her on Facebook or Twitter.

Take a look at more stories by the ABC7 News I-Team.

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