New York (CNN) That’s what every bride has nightmares about: a wedding dress missing, stained or – in the case of New Hampshire resident Jesse Moltenbrey – being held “hostage”.
A billing dispute between now-bankrupt Bed Bath & Beyond and Houston-based Memories Gown Preservation led to the preservation company holding onto customers’ gowns until it received payment from the struggling retailer.
Last week, Bed bath and beyond ( announced its intention 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 interrupt its closures if there is one. )
But as the gigantic retailer irons out its final details, one group has been caught in the middle: the customers themselves.
“This is a bride’s worst nightmare,” Moltenbrey first said in a Facebook post. Her floor-length dress – black with a white floral pattern – was trapped somewhere in an unknown facility.
In early March, Moltenbrey said she decided to send her wedding dress in for preservation. After reading great reviews on Houston-based Memories Gown Preservation, she decided to order the $120 kit through Bed Bath & Beyond.
Moltenbrey received the kit on March 16 and said she was charged an additional $25 for insurance once MemoriesGP received the dress on April 3.
“Why then on April 24th am I getting this email saying they are holding my dress for ransom because of a company going BANKRUPT,” Moltenbrey wrote on Facebook.
In the email that Moltenbrey shared on Facebook, MemoriesGP said it began keeping all wedding dresses received from kits purchased by Bed Bath & Beyond starting March 11, before Moltenbrey said that she had sent them her dress.
“I had a stomach ache from impotence,” Moltenbrey said in an interview with CNN.
Her black dress was so unique the local store didn’t even have a sample, she said, and she’ll never forget the look on her guests’ faces as she walked down the aisle in 2018.
“I knew I wouldn’t look good in a white wedding dress,” she said.
The small business claimed in the email sent to Moltenbrey that Bed Bath & Beyond owed them $42,563.73 and had not been paid for kits ordered over the past year. MemoriesGP told Moltenbrey that he had contacted the household goods giant five times in the past year, but had yet to receive his payment.
MemoriesGP instructed Moltenbrey to call Bed Bath & Beyond customer service to request the company release payment.
“Once payment has been received by MemoriesGP, we will promptly clean, store and ship your dress to you,” the email read. This left Moltenbrey contacting the retail giant for the late payment.
“I’m just one person and a whole company is going bankrupt,” Moltenbrey said.
On Wednesday, Moltenbrey announced that MemoriesGP was returning her unexpired dress after emailing its vice president.
The company asked Moltenbrey to pay the return costs. The $25 she paid for insurance will be used to cover shipping costs.
CNN did not receive a comment after multiple requests sent to Memories Gown Preservation.
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 “gets more than 100 dresses a day”.
“We have no way of knowing which package contains a bathrobe until the package is opened at our facility,” he told her.
“The intent of our generic email was to bring brides to Bed Bath as that is who their financial transaction was conducted with (we are simply providing the service),” Nesbit wrote to Moltenbrey.
In a statement, Bed Bath & Beyond said it had become a legal matter. The conservation kit is currently unavailable on the site. The MemoriesGP website still advertises Bed Bath & Beyond as an authorized reseller and as a registry option.
“We take concerns raised by our customers very seriously,” Bed Bath & Beyond said. “This is a legal issue that we are working to resolve with a third party. As is our practice, we do not comment on legal matters.”