No love for Tempe bridal boutique that didn't deliver dresses

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By Jim Carr By Jim Carr
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jennifer Polk is getting married soon, and is putting the finishing touches on her wedding decoration.

“I'm very excited,” she said. “It's definitely something that keeps me busy.”

Her dress is ready, and so are the bouquets.

But just days before her big day, Polk says she's still waiting on dresses that her bridesmaids ordered from this Tempe business called Once in a Life Tyme Bridal.

“I just want proof that they're going to be here on time,” Polk said. “That's all I want.”

She says the four dresses were ordered last fall and claims each bridesmaid paid an $83 deposit -- half the price of the dress -- up front.

But for some reason, only one dress came in. Polk expected the other three dresses to arrive in early January.

But she says Once in a Life Tyme Bridal has been stringing her along ever since, telling her the dresses would arrive any week.

They never did, so Polk emailed 3 On Your Side.

“You call and they don't answer or they put you on hold. They say a manager will call you back and nothing!” she said.

Polk says she’s frustrated with Once in a Life Tyme Bridal, and she isn't alone.

Last May, 3 On Your Side told you about Chelsea Johnson, another bride-to-be who claimed the sizes for her bridesmaids dresses were way off, even though Once in a Life Tyme Bridal took measurements for a custom fit.

“It's just been hard. I mean, it's already stressful with everything else I have to try to arrange and deal with,” Johnson said.

Her bridesmaids wound up buying dresses somewhere else.

But since that story aired, a steady stream of complaints continues to roll in to 3 On Your Side. In fact, there's even a Facebook page dedicated to criticizing the store.

“I don't even have words to describe it,” Polk said.

3 On Your Side contacted Once in a Life Tyme Bridal and their attorney tells us owner Frank Hambicki is aware of the complaints the company is receiving.

In an email, the company's attorney attributed the trouble to the downturn in the economy, and a flood in the store a couple years ago which caused the company to lose a $1 million in inventory.

Polk says she has no idea what a flood has to do with her dresses and took matters into her own hands.

She personally contacted the designer, who said her dresses were ready but weren't delivered because the designer was never paid by Once in a Life Tyme Bridal even though the deposits had been paid.

The dresses were shipped, and paid for again. Even though her wedding went off without a hitch, Polk says brides-to-be should beware.

“It's frustrating,” she said. “It’s definitely frustrating. I don't understand it.”

Dozens of complaints have earned Once in a Life Tyme Bridal an F-rating with the Arizona Better Business Bureau.

3 On Your Side is still awaiting a decision on whether Polk’s bridesmaids will be given a refund.

Statement from Once in a Life Tyme Bridal