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BBB: Tips to protect yourself when a business shuts its doors

Alfred Angelo closure.PNG
BBB: Tips to protect yourself when a business shuts its doors. (WPEC)

Days after bridal company Alfred Angelo abruptly shut down without notice, the company has finally broken its silence.

The Delray Beach-based company released a statement, apologizing for the inconvenience and hardship after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Many employees and brides were blindsided by the sudden closure on Thursday.

Michele Mason, Senior Vice President with the Better Business Bureau serving Southeast Florida and the Caribbean, said there is a lesson here for consumers, and it’s important to know there is hope that not all is lost.

“We know that many people are trying to make other arrangements right now so they can still have their weddings,” Mason said.

Mason tells CBS12 when a company suddenly closes, the most immediate place to turn may be your bank or credit card company.

“We’re encouraging anyone who paid by credit card to see if they could get their funds back by disputing this with a credit card company or financial institution,” Mason said.

If that becomes a dead end, Mason said consumers should also collect all old receipts and any kind of proof of purchase, especially when services or refunds have not been provided.

“If you aren’t able to get your funds back through the credit card company, you certainly want to reach out to the trustee and get your claim in,” Mason said.

Mason said that may still not mean everyone will get a refund.

Alfred Angelo customers have until Nov. 27 to file a proof of claim against the company.

There is also another warning from the BBB. In this case, Mason said brides should be aware of scammers looking to take advantage of the situation.

“Be careful with companies you’re certainly not familiar with. Check them out with Better Business Bureau," she said. "Get any kind of offers in writing, and be sure to make sure to make your deposits by credit cards, so if you do have an issue, you have the means for disputing that."

BBB has seen dozens of sites already reaching out to help customers.

But in this case, Alfred Angelo filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which means no one can help other than the trustee.

Mason wants future brides to keep in mind that it’s best to make purchases with credit cards and pick up your dress quickly should anything like this happens again.

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