5 On Your Side

Wedding bliss turns to blues when rickshaw ride is a no-show

Posted November 14, 2012

A romantic rickshaw ride through downtown Raleigh is how Lindsay Arndt and her husband wanted to end their wedding in September.

"They put the cans on the back of the rickshaw, they come pick you up, they do the whole drive-you-around-downtown. All that stuff," Lindsay Arndt said.

The couple paid $150 to Raleigh Rickshaw to take them from their reception at Marbles Kids Museum to the Marriott hotel.

"Our guests were going to kind of line up here and just give us a sendoff," Arndt said, showing where the special moment was supposed to happen.

But when the time came, the rickshaw never showed. They called and got no answer.

"So basically our reception just kinda fizzled,” Arndt said.

They decided to walk the few blocks when it started raining. Lindsay laughs about her dad coming to their rescue.

"We saw him and I was like, ‘Dad, we need a ride!’" she said. "My dad ended up driving us to the Marriott, which is a little prom-ish. But it was fine, we were thankful for the ride."

After the honeymoon, the couple called Raleigh Rickshaw, which eventually admitted the reservation "fell through the cracks."

Lindsay Arndt Wedding bliss turns to blues when rickshaw ride is a no-show

A refund was promised. But weeks passed and it never arrived.

The couple then went to the building in downtown Raleigh where the company operates, and talked with owner Don Mertrud. But they said the conversation quickly deteriorated and Mertrud told them to leave. That’s when the couple called 5 On Your Side.

"It didn't have to come to this," Arndt said.

Mertrud would not talk with 5 On Your Side on camera. But in a phone call, he said he was out of town the entire month of October and wasn't able to verify the couple's payment until they showed up at his business with records.

"We made a mistake,” he said. "(We) tried to correct as fast as (we) could."

Mertrud said he mailed a check a week after he met with the couple. When asked why it took a week, he said, "We only write our bills and checks at one point."

Mertrud sent the check to the wrong address. The couple is now waiting for it to be forwarded. In the meantime, they are relieved that Mertrud made the situation right.

"If nothing goes wrong, you don't have anything to laugh about - I always heard," Arndt said.

They certainly got some laughs with this one. Ardnt hopes her experience is a lesson for other couples planning their big day.

“This is just kind of something that people need to know about,” she said. “And just kind of a buyer-beware kind of thing."


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  • superman Nov 19, 2012

    I would have contacted them about 3 weeks ahead of time and then about 3 days beforehand. If the guy was "out of town" the entire month they knew they couldnt reach him. For anything that is really important--have a backup plan. If I hadnt heard anything from him at all I would have cancelled the ride and made other arrangments. The couple allowed all this to happen cause of no backup plan. They should have just gone to plan #2 and everything would have worked out.

  • KittenClaws Nov 15, 2012

    Don't hold the customer responsible for this company's failure of follow through. They lost a reservation but had the money for it, didn't show up or answer the phone when called the day of the event, didn't have anyone in the office who could handle the situaion for an entire month while one person was gone and then mailed the check to an incorrect address. Not the customer's fault and it seems like a few too many errors for there not to be something wrong in the business.

  • gospelposse Nov 15, 2012

    Point blank she paid for a service that wasnt rendered.How do you know that she didnt call them to verify. Great customer service is to follow up with your customer.

  • dollibug Nov 15, 2012

    It is sad when people pay a business for a service and do not live up to what they are suppose to do, especially when it is *once in a lifetime occasion*....there should be NO EXCUSES for such as this to happen, perhaps in a perfect world....

  • 68_dodge_polara Nov 15, 2012

    Rickshaw? I suggest a beautiful horse and carriage, it's worth the cost. We skimped else where like no limo. We used Bull City Carriage and they were early and great!


  • AndSheWas Nov 15, 2012

    We used Raleigh Rickshaw for our Downtown Raleigh wedding and they were absolutely fantastic! It's terrible that this article portrays them in such a negative light. Wedding Planning 101 - call ALL vendors the week before your wedding to confirm. Even if you have been in constant communication with them the whole time, it absolutely never hurts to reiterate your expectations.

  • donewithecu Nov 14, 2012

    This is why you call all the vendors the week prior to your wedding. I did this myself and talked with all the vendors and found out many had problems the week of. They were fixed that week.

  • computer trainer Nov 14, 2012

    So, it ruined their wedding? Come on, yeah, I can see that it was inconvenience, but there was NO ONE there with cars that could have taken them? It was embarrassing to ride with her dad? So it is less embarrassing to ride on a bike with a kid hauling your bee hind to the next place?

  • workingforthosethatwont Nov 14, 2012

    they want your money immediately but when it's the other way around it's a different story! bad publicity dude!

  • Squirreling Dervish Nov 14, 2012

    why is she a primadonna? They paid for a service the rickshaw company did not provide, and then the company strung them along when they requested a refund. What makes them a primadonna that they expected something they paid for...?