Family warns of ‘unreliable’ Johnson County caterer who won’t refund their deposit

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – A metro family is out hundreds of dollars after the caterer they booked for their daughter’s wedding stopped talking to them.

In August, Sue Besse paid the owner of Plan B Catering, Chad Bartling, a $685 deposit to cater her daughter’s wedding in May. They never signed a contract, but Besse said Bartling came highly recommended.

“I gave him $685 in good faith with the menu to be determined in October,” she said.

For two months, Besse tried scheduling a tasting, but Bartling kept saying that he had other commitments, according to emails exchanged between the two.

Sue Besse

“When he said he booked another event for the end of October, I said, ‘When’s another date?’ and he said he was very busy because it was during the holidays,” Besse said.

She was understanding and said they finally agreed to meet for the tasting on Jan. 7.

“I reached out to him that morning of, and he texted me back and said, ‘Sorry.' He had scheduled another event for that night, so that wasn’t going to work,” she recalled.

Bartling stopped communicating with the family after that.

“As soon as I gave him that $685 check, it was like done,” Besse said.

With the wedding just four months away, the Besse family decided Bartling was unreliable and they would rater have their money refunded and find another caterer.

“My husband and I decided let’s go to his office and ask for our money back,” Besse said.

Chad Bartling

They drove to the Overland Park address listed on the invoice receipt Bartling provided -- but it was a UPS store.

“He has on his invoice that it’s a suite, and it’s actually a PO Box,” she said. “That’s a little bit deceiving.”

Besse reached out to the FOX4 Problem Solvers, who talked with Bartling several of times over the phone.

Bartling told FOX4 he sent an email to Besse in late December explaining that he wouldn’t be able to make the tasting on Jan. 7. But Besse said she never received the email, and Bartling refused to forward it to FOX4 to support his claim.

He also told FOX4 that he cut ties with the Besse family because he felt like they were harassing him. He even called Olathe police. Besse confirmed she got a call from police, but Bartling told FOX4 he never filed a formal complaint.

“When you have given money to someone and they have done absolutely nothing for it, how can that be harassment?" Besse asked.

When FOX4 asked why Bartling wouldn’t just give the family back their deposit, he said his attorney advised him not to comment. He refused to give FOX4 his attorney’s name.

“I’m a business owner myself, and I would never treat anyone like this,” Besse said.

She said if Bartling won’t return their money, she at least wants others to beware of how they were treated.

“He’ll take your money and not do anything for it,” Besse said. “I would be very leery of him.”

FOX4 could not find Plan B Catering listed on the Better Business Bureau, and records show the company’s state license is currently expired.

The Besse family has since found another caterer and finalized their daughter’s wedding menu on Wednesday. They plan to sue Bartling in small claims court.

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