Customers rally outside Mount Sinai's Merrily Couture; say prom dresses weren't received on time

The group says they've waited months to receive their dresses from Merrily Couture, some of which cost thousands of dollars, but have yet to receive them or get any sort of assistance from the store's owner.

News 12 Staff

Jun 4, 2023, 4:37 PM

Updated 321 days ago

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Frustrated customers protested a Mount Sinai business on Sunday after they say they paid for prom gowns but did not get them in time.
The group says they've waited months to receive their dresses from the shop Merrily Couture, some of which cost thousands of dollars, but have yet to receive them or get any sort of assistance from the store's owner.
"It's terrible. It's not fair," said Courtney Brown.
The 18-year-old Nesconset resident said she paid $1,100 for a Jovani gown back in January to wear to her senior prom. The big dance is just four days away, but Courtney Brown said the shop owner, Merrily Ottomanelli, still has not delivered the dress.
"Prom should be so exciting. Like it's an exciting thing and it's not fair to have all that happen," Courtney Brown said.
"Merrily won't call you back," said her grandmother Fran Brown. She said she has repeatedly tried to get answers and the $1,100 back from Ottomanelli.
"It's supposed to be a magical time and she's stealing all these precious moments from us because she stole the dress," Fran Brown said.
Kim Ledda, of Miller Place, said she paid $600 for her daughter's prom dress at Merrily Couture last year and got nothing but heartache.
"My daughter didn't get her dress. Up all night before prom crying," Ledda said.
These are not the first complaints against Merrily Couture. Previous customers have told similar stories of paying for gowns and then have to scramble for replacements.
"Most of us have got to scrounge money, work very hard to get the first dress and now you have to pay for a second one?" said Sayville resident Andrea Lafata.
News 12 Long Island tried to get Ottomanelli's side of the story but a worker inside Merrily Couture said she was not available for comment.
During the demonstration, someone from the shop called police about the protestors but the officers said they were they were peaceful.
The customers said this protest was only the beginning. Several are suing Ottomanelli in small claims court. They say they have also filed police reports and complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the state attorney general's office.
"We got to make sure she doesn't do this anymore. She's got to get closed down," Fran Brown said.
Ottomanelli's attorney, John Ray, issued a statement to News 12 Long Island:
"Merrily has been in business for many years and serviced many thousands of good customers. There appears to have been some difficulties with late deliveries. Merrily has assured me anyone who wants a refund will receive one. Anyone who wants a dress that had come in before the wear date of an event can have it. And if they wish, they can come and choose a different dress from the rack or have their refund. The protest is a means of pressure through the media as a way to target the business and get publicity for themselves."


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