Parents’ fury as bouncy castle business leaves children in the lurch
- Credit: Farren Hutchings/ Casey Page/ Jessie-Lou Richardson
Parents have accused a Suffolk bouncy castle business of not showing up to their children’s parties, leaving the youngsters distraught.
Three mums from Sudbury in their 20s told this newspaper that Sudbury & Cornard Bouncy Castles and Soft Play never delivered, leaving them “horribly stressed”.
Farren Hutchings, 26, booked the company in February 2021 for her daughter Marnie’s fifth birthday in July, paying a deposit of £21. Around 30 kids were scheduled to turn up at Long Melford Village Hall for a post-lockdown treat.
Her multiple calls to the company before the event to confirm details went unanswered .
On the day of the party, Ms Hutchings said it became apparent 30 minutes in that the unicorn bouncy castle and soft play equipment she had promised her daughter would not be arriving
“Eventually my partner got through to him and he claimed he and his team had Covid”, Ms Hutchings said. “He said he'd contacted me the night before to cancel but I had no voicemails, missed calls or emails.
“My daughter was crying her eyes out in the empty hall and the kids were so upset. We had to improvise and Marnie did have a lovely birthday, but it was traumatic for her.
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“I got my deposit refunded in the end but I just don’t understand why you’d do that to children.”
Fellow customers were given the same excuse when they received last minute cancellation texts. They managed to salvage their children’s parties by frantically calling other hire companies and getting lucky.
Casey Page, 24, was told at 8.15pm the night before her daughter Evie’s first birthday, on January 8, that the boss had tested positive for Covid and that all his other drivers “were on holiday”.
Despite asking several times, the Great Cornard mum still hasn’t been refunded her £27 deposit.
Jessie-Lou Richardson, 28, from Sudbury, received near-identical news at 7pm the night before her son Theo’s fourth-birthday on January 23 that the boss had “felt ill all day and had just tested positive for Covid”. He added that his other staff were away.
"It was so stressful", she said. "I struggle with my mental health anyway but this really set me off."
The customers said that the man behind the company never told them his name, and we were unable to reach him for comment.
However after we contacted the company, Ms Richardson said the £80 she paid to hire the Paw Patrol bouncy castle appeared in her bank account.