In what might be the most extreme story I have ever seen involving a photography business, a wedding videographer told a man whose fiancée died a car crash before the wedding "life is a b***h" and "we hope you sob and cry all day for what would have been your wedding day" after he requested a refund.
Justin Montney was due to marry his fiancée in May of this year, when she was tragically killed in a car crash in February. He requested a refund from his wedding videographer, Copper Stallion Media, but things quickly went downhill after a brief exchange of emails.
The story blew up when the company made a (now deleted) Facebook post with a link to the couple's wedding website and text that said:
Today would have been the day where we would have filmed Justin and Alexis' wedding in Colorado Springs. After what Justin pulled with the media stunt to try and shake us down for a refund, we hope you sob and cry all day for what would have been your wedding day. Sorry not sorry.
Meanwhile, Copper Stallion Media bought two domains, justinmontneywedding.com and justinmontney.com and continues to post emails related to the saga, voicemails, media coverage, and more, saying:
Justin Montney then contacted the failing news station, KRDO in Colorado Springs, CO to tell his story. In the news story he admits that the contract was non-refundable but says we should give the money back due to the circumstance. Life is a bitch, Justin.
We understand a death occurred, but it's not right for people to turn to the internet and sodomize the reputation of a company. This is malice and the intent was to do harm. We know Justin is still young and in his 20s but this was wrong. He could have quietly filed a small claim to 'try' to recoup the non-refundable deposit. Instead, he chose the internet to shake us down.
This website is registered with us for the next two years.
Let this is a precedent for anyone looking to bash their wedding vendor. Justin Montney said "presence will be taking place on social media." Well, here it is, Justin.
The site claims that the emails shown constitute the complete set of exchanges between Montney and Copper Stallion Media, with just four emails shown. In the initial email, Montney notifies the company of the death of his fiancée and requests a refund. The company then replies with condolences and says that per the contract, the fee is nonrefundable. Montney replies a few hours later, saying:
Well then I would like to push my reservation for 10 years from now in case I ever get married! That or I could have a refund and I can even send you a picture of the death certificate. I would either like to still receive the services I am forced to pay for with the death of a party on the contract, OR a refund.
All the other arrangements were understanding durring this tragitity. [sic] Please let me know what options I have going forward.
After no further exchanges for three months, Montney replies again, indicating that he will be taking to social media to obtain his "legal refund."
Digging deeper, the story gets even more bizarre. Denver 7 says Montney reached out to the news station after Copper Stallion Media threatened to sue him for the review he left the company on its (now removed) The Knot page. A videographer who worked with the company before said he left because they refused to pay him, as did several Reddit commenters.
The videographer mentioned in the Denver 7 story says his final paycheck came from a company called Organized Weddings LLC, which is registered to a man named Jesse Clark. In 2013, Clark was accused of scamming over 90 couples out of money for undelivered wedding videos and has been sued multiple times. He has operated multiple wedding videography businesses in the past under various names and aliases.
Meanwhile, in January 2013, a judge forbade Clark and an employee from engaging in any videography or wedding services or accepting any deposits for business purposes, though it isn't clear when that injunction was lifted. Middlesex County Attorney General Martha Coakley froze his assets and sought $75,000 in restitution for undelivered work that same year, some of which appeared on the website as promotional material for Wedding Filmology, Clark's fifth videography business.
It's not clear at this point if either side intends to move forward with a lawsuit.