Phoenix bridal shop victims to receive restitution
PHOENIX– Consumers who fell prey to a former Phoenix bridal shop’s unethical business practices will receive up to $90,000 in restitution following a settlement by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, according to a press release Monday.
The suit filed against Pearl Bridal and owners Erica and Tyson Miltenberger alleged they deceived brides-to-be with false advertising.
“Wedding celebrations should be filled with love and joy, not with the shock and disappointment of finding out that you will not be wearing the custom dress you paid for,” Brnovich said in the release.
“A business cannot mislead a consumer, collect their money, and then abandon them on one of the most important days of their life.”
Under the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act, businesses are prohibited from the use of deception or unfair acts in connection with the advertisement or sale of merchandise.
According to the settlement, Pearl Bridal collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in prepayments for orders from Aug. 15, 2017, to May 13, 2018. The owners told brides that their custom gowns would take 6-9 months to fulfill, but they would need to the full amount up front.
On May 14, 2018, Pearl Bridal shut its doors and announced on its website that it had closed.
According to the settlement, at least 286 consumers did not receive refunds of their prepayments. Additionally, those that did receive any wedding apparel received “poor-quality, mass-produced dresses that were not what they had ordered.”
While some were able to get refunds through their banks, approximately $90,000 worth of merchandise was refundable.
The Miltenbergers will have to pay restitution to victims as well as up to $250,000 in civil penalties to the state. As part of the settlement, the couple will have to dispose of any wedding dress inventory still in their possession and are banned from being involved in any apparel-related business in Arizona in the future.