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Missouri AG asking Columbia Party Bus customers to file formal complaints

The Missouri Attorney General’s office is asking customers to contact them about the Columbia Party Bus company.

This is just 24 hours after ABC 17 News reported customers claimed they were being ripped off.

ABC 17 News reported Monday night the owner of the company, Ben Bradley, had promised two brides refunds after the company failed to send the bus on their wedding day.

As of Tuesday night, the women said they had received nothing from Bradley.

Since the story first aired Monday night, ABC 17 News received nearly 20 emails with people citing similar stories.

Four of those emails were wedding parties, who say the company also no showed on their big day.

And those complaints didn’t even include the many comments on the ABC 17 News Facebook page.

Now, the Attorney General’s office is asking those customers to file a formal complaint.

“This sort of very clean scam, very simple scam,’I paid for services, I didn’t get them…’ We don’t need many complaints before we take action on those,” said Joe Bindbeutel, with the Consumer Protection Division of the Missouri Attorney General’s office.

Bindbeutel said the more information consumers provide, the better.

“If it’s just a matter of a systematic taking money up front and not delivering services, we’re going to make it right by the consumers or we’re going to take legal action,” he said. “If this individual has continued to take money with no intention of providing the service or paying the money back, that very well may be a criminal matter that we’ll see when the time comes.”

But customers of the Columbia Party Bus company are not the only ones who reached out to ABC 17 News with complaints.

A man who claims to be a former bus driver for the Columbia Party Bus company stopped by the ABC 17 News station to share his story.

He wanted to remain anonymous. He said the buses did break down on occasion, but the company they used to fix the buses refused to fix them because they were given bad checks by Bradley.

He said he and other drivers had trouble getting paychecks from Bradley and that the checks always bounced.

The Attorney General’s office still wants to hear from the people who may have actually gotten a refund.

“Even if they get their money back, frankly, if they think they’ve been treated badly by a business, they should call the BBB and they should call the Missouri Attorney General’s office,” Bindbeutel said.

ABC 17 News talked to a Better Business Bureau representative out of St. Louis Tuesday. He said two complaints had been filed against the Columbia Party Bus that afternoon.

He said he encourages others to report their complaints as well.

To file a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, you can call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-392-8222.

To file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, you can call 573-886-8965.

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