Local limousine businesses say one company is hurting the industry’s reputation as customers continue to fight for refunds from Aqua Limo, which has a long history of complaints.
The Cleveland-based limo service has racked at least 19 complaints from the Better Business Bureau over the last three years.
Left in the lurch
Last year a Parma couple told News 5 they were left stranded on their wedding day after paying a $1,200 deposit for several wedding-related events. The company couldn’t be reached for a refund.
Since their story aired in December, the BBB has received subsequent complaints. Only one complainant verified that the issue was resolved to their satisfaction. Some of the issues were so bad, that at least 11 customers turned to the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
According to records obtained by News 5, eight complainants never recovered any of the money that they lost.
The complaints allege:
- failure to provide services
- unsanitary conditions
- failure to respond to complaints
News 5 spoke with several local limousine companies who said they’ve had to bail Aqua Limo's clients out of situations in the past. One Medina company has even filed a lawsuit.
Giving others a bad name
Business owners said the negative experiences are hurting their industry as a whole.
“We don’t want them, they just hurt our industry,” said Larry Crystal, Owner of A-1 Mr. Limo in Wickliffe. “We’d like them to be gone and policed really more than it is.”
Chrystal said he warns potential customers that they need to “look before they book” because seeing a company’s fleet in person is the only way to truly protect against issues on the day of the event.
“You want to make a memory that’s going to last a lifetime,” Crystal said. “And it’s devastating when things go wrong.”
Businesses said they believed the company might be operating under other names. As of Tuesday evening, request for comment from the company went unanswered.
Consumers who believe they have lost money can file a complaint with our office to enroll in our informal dispute resolution program.
To file a complaint, consumers should visit www.OhioProtects.org or call 800-282-0515. They also may have the ability to pursue private legal action.