Customers demand refunds from Indiana party rental business for canceled events

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 19, 2015)-- An Indianapolis-based party rental company is facing a lot of tough criticism as some of its customers have been waiting weeks to get refunds for canceled events.

Joanne Standley is one of them. In May, she hired Dad's Do It Best Party Rentals to bring a bounce house and a dunk tank to her daughter's 16th birthday party. She met with owner Christopher Doyle to go over the contract. She paid the $150 total up front.

“He was very nice. Very personable,”  she recalled.

However, just 24 hours before the party, she got some bad news. She was informed via a Facebook message that Doyle had been involved in a car accident and that the company wasn't going to be able to make the party.

She said she was promised a full refund, but it never came.

“I was very mad.”

So was Marissa Temple. She said Doyle also cancelled on her the day before her daughter's birthday, citing the threat of severe weather.

“It didn’t storm that day,” said Temple who had to hire another company last-minute.

As she asked for a refund, Doyle apologized to her via Facebook message and admitted, "I got in way over my head with booking to much that I could handle."

CHRISTOPHER_DOYLE_MESSAGE

“It wasn’t because of the weather," Temple told FOX59. "It was because he got overwhelmed and overbooked.”

She got some of her money back, but she's still waiting on the rest.

“Never did I hear from him again," said Temple. "He’s blocked me on Facebook… he doesn’t accept my calls, my text messages, nothing anymore.”

FOX59 talked to other customers who also suffered last-minute cancellations and then found themselves begging for their refunds.

FOX59 got a hold of Doyle on the phone. He told us he's not a scam artist, but he doesn't agree with how much he owes Standley. He said the others would eventually get paid, but wouldn't tell us exactly when.

“They’re receiving their refund. They were informed that they were gonna receive their refund,” Doyle told FOX59 over the phone.

Then he posted a message to his customers on his company's Facebook page:

"To all who is involved. There has been some problems and injury's to the say the lease. Some have been refunded for june 6th some have not. It is not the company's intention to keep anyones deposit. Or to cause anymore problems.

We thank the ones who have been patent. If you are still owed a refund and there is not a disagreements then you should be hearing from us soon. Thank you for the understanding."

Standley doesn't think she will ever get her money back. She just wants people to be aware of what happened to her and other customers.

“I just want to know that he’s not going to continue to be able to do this to other people.”

Standley, Temple, and at least one other customer are planning to file complaints with the Indiana Attorney General's Office, the BBB, and are discussing a civil lawsuit against Doyle and his business.