Bride says her wedding dress was held “hostage” in a billing dispute involving Bed Bath & Beyond

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HOUSTON—This is what every bride dreams of: The wedding dress has disappeared, been stained, or—in the case of New Hampshire native Jesse Moltenberg—being held “hostage.”

A billing dispute between the now-bankrupt Bed Bath & Beyond and Houston-based Memories Gown Preservation has led the preservation company to hold customers’ gowns until it receives payment from the struggling retailer.

Last week, Bed Bath & Beyond announced that it plans to liquidate its inventory and go out of business. Founded in 1971, it will now close its remaining 360 stores and 120 buybuy BABY locations. The company is looking for a buyer and will halt closings if one shows up.

But as the retail giant has been tying up its loose ends, one group has fallen in the middle: the customers themselves.

“This is a bride’s worst nightmare,” Moltenberg initially said in a Facebook post. Her long gown – black with a white floral design – was trapped somewhere in an unknown facility.

In early March, Moltenberg said she decided to send her wedding dress in for safekeeping. After reading good reviews about Houston-based Memories Dresses Preservation, I decided to order the $120 set through Bed Bath & Beyond.

Moultenberry received the collection on March 16, and said she paid an additional $25 for insurance once MemoriesGP received the dress on April 3.

“Why, then, on April 24th, I am getting this email that they are holding a ransom because of a company that is going to BANKRUPT,” Moltenberg wrote on Facebook.

This is a bride’s worst nightmare.

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– Jesse Moltenberg

In the email Moltenbrey shared on Facebook, MemoriesGP said it began buying all wedding dresses received from Bed Bath & Beyond as of March 11, before Moltenbrey said it shipped her dress to them.

“I felt nauseous in my stomach because of the helplessness,” Moltenberg said in an interview with CNN.

She said her black dress was so unique that the local store didn’t even have a sample, and she’ll never forget the look on her guests’ faces when she walked down the aisle in 2018.

“I knew I wouldn’t look good in a white wedding dress,” she said.

In the email to Moltenbrey, the small company alleged that Bed Bath & Beyond owed it $42,563.73 and that it had not been paid for sets ordered in the entire past year. MemoriesGP told Moltenbrey that it has contacted the housewares giant five separate times over the past year but has yet to receive its payment.

MemoriesGP asked Moltenbrey to contact Bed Bath & Beyond customer service to request that payments be released to the company.

“Once payment is received to MemoriesGP, we will immediately clean, file, and ship your gown to you,” the email read. That left Moltenbrey to contact the retail giant for late payment.

“I’m just one person and this is a whole company going bankrupt,” said Moltenberg.

On Wednesday, Moltenbrey posted that MemoriesGP is returning her unkept dress after she emailed her vice president.

The company required Moltenbrey to pay freight to it. The $25 you paid for insurance will go to the shipping cost.

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CNN did not receive comment after multiple requests were sent to Memories Gown Preservation.

I felt nauseous from helplessness.

– Jesse Moltenberg

However, in an email to Moltenbrey — which she posted on Facebook — Kyle Nesbit, who is listed on LinkedIn as the company’s former vice president, told her the company “receives more than 100 gowns a day.”

He told her, “We have no way of knowing what packaging the bed bathrobe is in before the package is opened at our facility.”

Nesbit wrote to Moltenbrey: “Our general e-mail was intended to get brides to Bed Bath as that was their financial transaction (we only provide service)”.

In a statement, Bed Bath & Beyond said it’s now a legal issue. The preservation group is not currently available on the site. MemoriesGP still advertises Bed Bath & Beyond as an authorized reseller and sign-up option.

“We take the concerns raised by our customers very seriously,” Bed Bath & Beyond said. “This is a legal matter that we are working on with a third party. As is our case, we do not comment on legal matters.”

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