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Columbia Party Bus customers say they’ve been ripped off

Customers of a Columbia company claim they’re being ripped off.

They say they paid hundreds of dollars to the Columbia Party Bus company, but the buses never showed up and now they want their money back.

Katie Boller and Patty Ludy are two friends who began planning their weddings earlier this year. They were both set to marry on October 11.

Both brides wanted to rent party buses for their big day, so they turned to Columbia Party Bus.

Boller said she booked with the company in July.

“I had asked about different options for party buses,” Boller said. “As it got closer, I sent an email to Columbia Party Bus to try to confirm that they were still planning to come and I never heard anything. So I just kind of had an unsure feeling. I didn’t know if he was going to come or not.”

When the big day arrived, Boller said that unsure feeling became a reality.

“The wedding day, he is supposed to be there at 2 o’ clock,” she said. “Never showed up.”

Boller said she was heartbroken.

“I was very upset,” she said. “Everyone had told me you have to get a party bus, it’s the best part about the wedding, having that moment with all of your wedding party, just all of you guys to yourself to drive around and take pictures. I mean, that’s what I was looking forward to and when he didn’t show up, I felt bad for the wedding party. We were kind of stranded, not knowing what we were going to do. I just cried.”

After her wedding day, Boller says she called and emailed the company and its owner numerous times to try to get an explanation and a refund, but had no luck.

“I just want, even an apology,” she said. “Even a, you know, ‘This is what’s going on, I’m sorry for your inconvenience, I’m sorry for your day, the biggest day of your life and not being there and not coming through.’ But nothing.”

And her friend Patty Ludy has a very similar story, as she also hired Columbia Party Bus.

“We booked it and paid our full amount, which was $450, and he took that payment out of the bank that very next day,” Ludy said. “He never showed up. We tried to call the number he gave us, never returned our phone call, kept saying the number wasn’t available.”

Ludy says they had to make last minute changes to get the wedding party where they needed to go.

ABC 17’s Jillian Fertig tried contacting Ben Bradley, the Columbia Party Bus owner, via phone over the course of two days to try to get some answers for the brides, but calls were not returned.

So Fertig tracked down his address and paid him a visit.

Bradley agreed to talk with ABC 17 News, but only at his attorney’s office. So that’s where Fertig met him.

“If we’re going to talk about this on the news, we’re going to lay out all the facts,” Bradley said. “We’ve been quiet. We’ve been doing what were supposed to do.”

Fertig asked him about Katie and Patty and Bradley said he had been in contact with them.

“We’re taking care of these people,” Bradley said. “We’re sending them certified funds. We’re sending them cashier’s checks. We’re apologizing.”

But the two brides tell ABC 17 News they haven’t heard from him and can’t get a hold of him.

ABC 17’s Jillian Fertig did some digging on Ben Bradley and found he is charged with two felonies for passing bad checks for amounts over $500.

Bradley was in court last week for a hearing on one of those charges.

But he tells ABC 17 News the charges were brought on him because of a business relationship gone sour and that he is innocent.

“We are the victim here,” Bradley said. “There’s a lot of stuff being said about us that is just not fact.”

He also said his employees are to blame for the buses never showing up and the customers not receiving refunds.

“We never had these problems when I was just running the party bus on my own,” Bradley said.

Fertig asked Bradley if the company was still up and running and where the buses are right now.

“We had the buses break down and that, we’re remedying that right now,” he said. “The buses are being fixed.”

Maybe not. ABC 17 News found the buses on a tow lot. A source said they were repossessed by the bank, but Bradley’s lender will not confirm that.

As far as those who are waiting on refunds, Bradley said they should get their money by this week.

“If any of them didn’t, you can bring them with you and I’ll have cash for them at that point and I’ll pay them live on the air,” Bradley said.

ABC 17 News will follow up with customers and Bradley this week to find out if they got their refunds.

Customers are recommended to call the Attorney General’s Office consumer protection hotline at 1-800-392-8222.

The Better Business Bureau is asking customers to call their consumer line at 888-996-3887 to file a complaint, or send an email to

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