Bride left £700 out of pocket after dress from Beautiful Dresses, Hendon, failed to arrive

Mandy-Lee with her three-year-old son

Mandy-Lee with her three-year-old son

First published in News Times Series: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A woman has been left hundreds of pounds out of pocket after the “perfect” dress she ordered for her sister’s big day failed to arrive.

Mandy-Lee Haggart ordered the sparkling white gown from Beautiful Dresses, in Parson Street, Hendon, for her sister Cadence Nicholson to walk down the aisle in on her special day in November 2013.

The full-time mother spent £713 on the frock last July, after the owner – known only as Gillian – promised it would be ready within two weeks.

However five weeks later, she was still waiting for it to arrive and Gillian failed to return any of her calls or text messages.

On August 17, Gillian eventually returned Mrs Haggart’s call and said it would take another five weeks to arrive, so she asked to cancel the order.

More than a year on Mrs Haggart has received just £201 of the £717 – despite a court order instructing Gillian to pay up.

When the Times Series contacted Gillian, she said the shop had fallen on hard times and she had been struggling with poor health.

Gillian said the supplier had failed to send the dress on time so had reimbursed her the money in August 2013, but she was unable to repay her debt to Mrs Haggart as she was overdrawn.

Mrs Haggart, who lives in Surrey, said: “I was supposed to take the dress to my sister in South Africa so it could be altered – she was devastated when it didn’t arrive on time as it was perfect.

“I couldn’t sleep at night, I kept wondering how I was going to get that money back. I felt so guilty for my sister. I felt scammed and there was nothing left for me to help my sister.

“You just don’t do something like that to someone who is planning their dream wedding.”

Gillian admitted she owed the money and offered to pay her instalments of £150 a month, but the court ordered she pay it in full.

Mrs Haggart then spent £100 on bailiffs, but when they arrived they failed to find anything worth £717 to reimburse her.

Gillian told the Times Series: “The supplier failed to send the dress to me on time, so I had asked them to cancel the order.

“They paid me back immediately but I am overdrawn and times are tough, so I didn’t have any money to pay Mandy-Lee her money back.

“I have now reimbursed her £200 and plan on paying it back in instalments. I am sorry for this, but it is all I can afford.”

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