FAMILIES have spoken of their devastation after claiming an events company ruined what were meant to be special days, including a birthday party, charity fun day – and a wedding.
Danny Collins, owner of Tiger Events, based in Portsmouth, strongly denies he was at fault for any of the events falling through.
But Donna and Sam Josiah say their wedding, on August 30, was ruined when Mr Collins failed to put up their marquee at Fort Purbook in time.
They say they paid him a deposit of £750 to provide the marquee, tables, chairs and a dance floor.
But they claim they had to move the location at the last minute after Mr Collins was late putting up the marquee – and failed to bring other equipment.
Mrs Josiah, from Waterlooville, said: ‘The marquees were still not up at 1pm and he said he didn’t have a dance floor or the tables and chairs. We were getting married at 4.30pm.
‘In the end we had to urgently find another venue and we held our reception in a pub but our wedding day was completely ruined.’
Mr Collins put the blame squarely at the feet of the couple and said he went out of his way to help them and only refused to get the tables and chairs because they had not paid the other half of the money they owed. They say they had it ready to pay on the day once the work was completed but he did not even have enough pegs for the marquee.
In response Mr Collins said: ‘I feel bad because I was looking forward to doing their wedding, using a lot of equipment, and increasing my profile to get more weddings.
‘The fact is that when they left the site on Saturday they informed me they were going off to get tables and chairs and they didn’t come back. I would have had it finished by 4pm but it was their choice to walk off the site.’
Jo Oliver says she was left ‘humiliated and in tears’ after spending months organising a fundraising day at AFC Portchester to raise money for a life-changing operation for Grace Shiers, who has cerebral palsy, and none of the bouncy castles turned up.
The 32-year-old mum-of-two, from Portchester, said: ‘He promised to provide everything to make the day amazing, free of charge.
‘But he just didn’t turn up. When I rang him he promised to send someone but subsequently ignored my calls.
‘It was utterly humiliating as people had paid to come in and enjoy the activities. I sat down and cried. He let me down so badly.’
When The News put Mrs Oliver’s claims to him, Mr Collins said: ‘I had personal problems and I could not make it. I was not in any fit state to talk to anyone. I said I would get inflatables there if I had any but I wouldn’t make promises.’
On the same weekend, Mr Collins was due to deliver a huge inflatable bouncy castle and slide for the 16th birthday party of Samantha Triggs’ daughter Lucy in Cadnam Lawn, Warren Park.
But, again, Mr Collins did not turn up.
Ms Triggs, 36, said: ’We were frantically trying to get hold of him but he let us down.
‘It was supposed to be a celebration for my daughter’s birthday and exam results. We couldn’t believe he could do that to us.’
Mr Collins said he had problems with his own inflatables and had asked another company to provide Mrs Triggs’ bouncy castle and slide.
He said he did not know they hadn’t turned up until Mrs Triggs called him.
Mr Collins also said he intended to refund the £50 deposit until he was ‘bad-mouthed’ on Facebook and it led to him winding up his business.
‘I’ve stopped trading now,’ said Mr Collins. ‘What’s the point? My business has been trashed on Facebook.
‘All my marquees, bouncy castles and inflatables have been sold to another company.’
Trading Standards say they will look into any complaints made about Mr Collins.