U.S.A Baby franchise closes in Richmond

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - U.S.A. Baby, the Richmond franchise, has closed, leaving unhappy customers upset over missing furniture and no refunds.

Frustrated customers say they're upset the business operated as normal, never telling customers it was having financial trouble. U.S.A. Baby of Richmond is blaming the landlord for its unexpected, unannounced demise.

Matt and Stephanie Cecil met us with their 6-month-old daughter at the closed U.S.A. Baby, Richmond franchise. Once repeat customers, they're furious now.

"For them to up and run, the phone number you call, good luck in trying to find somebody. The P.O. box… the email address doesn't work anymore. Trying to get any kind contact from these people, it's next to impossible," said Matt Cecil.

Inside at the door, there are piles of unopened mail and lots of furniture still unclaimed. The rocking chair the Cecil's ordered isn't among the merchandise locked inside the store. They got a letter a week ago telling them the store had closed, their order could not be filled, and to contact two other companies for help.

"We called them. They said from what it looks, your order was never placed, which draws the question of why did they charge our credit card, and this was back in July," Cecil said. "How many other orders fell in that place?  They came in thinking it was business as usual, which obviously it wasn't."

The official company statement says the store was closed by its landlord, unexpectedly and without notice, August 25th. It also says the landlord abruptly took possession of the building and inventory.

It says the majority of customers have either received their merchandise or a refund, or had their order filled at another store. Still, a remaining sore point for the Cecil's is that the burden of disputing and fighting with the credit card company was left to them.

"We had to contact the credit card company to try to get that rectified. There was nothing done on U.S.A Baby's part at all," Cecil said. "It puts a bad taste in your mouth. It really does."

'D & R Ventures', Inc., which owns and formerly operated the U.S.A. Baby, Richmond franchise says customers with open orders should continue to check the company website. It says it's working with the landlord to fill remaining open customer orders.

Also, a company called, Great Beginnings Baby Store in Gaithersburg, Maryland is helping out some customers.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.