LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - An investigation spurred by numerous complaints made against local bridal shop, Bliss Bridal at 3806 50th St., countless customers who said they have been struggling to get dresses they paid for months, or even weeks, before their wedding day.
It’s a story the KCBD Newschannel 11 Investigates team has been following since November. Now, after following up on numerous concerns about late orders, lost dresses and a lack of communication from Bliss Bridal, many brides are still waiting for a resolution.
Dianne Leyva, an attorney from Odessa, is one of those brides.
She made her way down the aisle in October, but said she is still waiting for the money back on a dress she has never seen. That is added into five additional months of wedding-day stress, made up by what she calls “months of lies” from the store’s owner, Kristi Cook.
“She definitely just completely stole what was supposed to be a wonderful experience…my whole wedding day experience was completely stressful because of her,” Leyva said. “Since I started having problems with her I was like okay all communication is going to be through text message and email because I need to have some sort of proof or evidence if something goes wrong. And sure enough everything just kind of messed up.”
As an attorney, Leyva said she almost immediately recognized the red flags and kept record of every exchange between her and the Bliss Bridal staff. A collection of nearly 40-pages of documents exclusively obtained by KCBD demonstrates the endless effort Leyva made to get an estimated arrival on her wedding dress.
In August, three months after ordering her dress and two months before her wedding, Leyva said she had to reach out to Bliss Bridal on Instagram because they were not returning her phone calls. The Lubbock Bliss account commented back and assured her there was no need to stress, but then blocked her from their Instagram page.
On Aug. 20, Leyva reached out to the vendor of her dress, who told her they never received her order from Bliss Bridal. Over text message, she requested a refund from a Bliss employee, who responded with an order confirmation that did not include a tracking number and Leyva said appeared to be fake.
Then on Aug. 28, in an email exchange with Cook, the vendor, and Leyva, Cook accused Leyva of harassing her employees and suing for more than she paid. Receipts provided to KCBD show Leyva was requesting the exact amount that she had paid when ordering her wedding dress last May, $1,601.53.
“Had I had more time I would not have given her this many chances,” Leyva said. “And a lot of the times with the other brides and what we’ve talked about, some of the girls couldn’t afford a second dress. Some of the girls, like me, were like ‘hey this is all the time that we have,’ so you have to keep giving her the benefit of the doubt because you don’t really have that much time.”
Eventually that time ran out and Leyva had to purchase a second dress ahead of her October wedding.
In November, she traveled from Odessa to Lubbock, asking Cook in-store and in-person for a refund on the dress she never received. Cook claimed she couldn’t afford the $1,600 bill upfront and agreed to reimburse Leyva in five separate payments.
Just when Dianne Leyva thought she might see the end, four of the five checks bounced. After failed attempts to get a hold of Kristi, Leyva took matters into her own hands, filing multiple claims with the Hot Check Office in Lubbock.
To this day, she’s only seen money back on two of the five payments.