5 On Your Side

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

Posted November 14, 2012 5:25 p.m. EST
Updated November 14, 2012 6:38 p.m. EST

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."

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."