Birthday wish spoiled by store's sudden closure

A young girl?s birthday party has been put on hold due to the unexpected closure of a Springfield company.

Larissa Perrone, 5, was planning on having her birthday party at the Young Chef?s Academy. However, her party plans came crashing down when her mother, Lisa, called to confirm the party and discovered the company had gone out of business.

?There was a message saying ?due to the tough economic times, we are closed.? I did not receive any correspondence,? Lisa Perrone says. She says she couldn?t figure out what happened ? so she called News 12 New Jersey.

There was a note on the door saying the academy was closed, but Perrone says her credit card was charged $100 and she was not informed directly about the closure. ?They had my e-mail, house number, husband?s number,? she says. ?Nothing.?

When she called MasterCard, Perrone says she was told she needed proof in order to have the charge refunded. She offered to take a photo of the note on the door, but was told that wasn?t enough. Perrone says she doesn?t care about the money as much as the principle of the matter. She is also upset that Larissa was disappointed.

News 12 New Jersey called the Young Chef?s Academy corporate offices in Waco, Texas and spoke with co-founder Julie Burleson. ?We are sorry this happened,? Burleson says. ?Our corporate offices were not informed of the Springfield closing. We will certainly refund any customers.?

The Young Chef?s Academy in Toms River caught wind of Perrone?s story and has offered to host Larissa?s party for free.

Anyone caught in a similar situation can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. The complaint will stay on record for three years. If a company is confirmed to be out of business and a customer has paid for services they haven?t received, the BBB can help refer the customer to an appropriate legal agency.

Young Chef?s Academy

Better Business Bureau

For additional footage of an interview with Lisa Perrone, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

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