A man who lost his fiancée in a car crash has been threatened with a lawsuit after he requested a refund from the wedding videography company the couple had hired.
Justin Montney, 24, was forced to cancel his May wedding after his 22-year-old bride-to-be Alexis-Athena Wyatt died in February.
Montney said the Texas, US-based videography company Copper Stallion Media refused to refund his US$1,800 deposit, saying it was non-refundable.
The man told Buzzfeed News he reached out to the company again last week, informing them he planned to share the dispute on social media. The company threatened to sue him and Wyatt’s family in response to a review her mother wrote on wedding website The Knot.
“They should have been able to [issue a refund] because they didn’t render any services,” Montney told KRDO-TV.
He said the company offered to extend their service to his next wedding, which was “a very a very insensitive thing to tell me”.
Montney said other vendors did not hesitate to refund their money after learning about Wyatt’s death. “They obviously felt terrible for what had happened,” he said.
After Montney went public with his experience, Copper Stallion Media created a website using Montney’s name – JustinMontney.com – to rebut his claims, accusing him of driving a “smear campaign”.
“We understand a death occurred, but it’s not right for people to turn to the internet and sodomize the reputation of a company,” read the text, which has since been removed on the website.
“He could have quietly filed a small claim to ‘try’ to recoup the non-refundable deposit. Instead, he chose the internet to shake us down.”
On May 23, the company posted a photo of the couple with the caption: “Today would have been the day where we would have filmed Justin and Alexis’ wedding in Colorado Springs.
“After what Justin pulled with the media stunt to try and shake us down for a refund, we hope you sob and cry all day for what would have been your wedding day.
“Sorry, not sorry.”
Copper Stallion Media has since shut down their pages on Facebook and The Knot.
Videographer Alex Murphy, who used to work for the company, told The Denver Channel he left because they refused to pay him.
He said his final paycheck came from Las Vegas-registered company Organized Weddings LLC, which is associated with a man named Jesse J Clark.
Clark was sued by Massachusetts’ attorney general in 2013 for defrauding 90 couples by accepting payments and failing to provide their wedding videos, according to the Telegram & Gazette.
This article originally appeared on Over60.