Refund trouble after football camp canceled

March 23, 2011 4:35:51 PM PDT
A football camp that was to feature a popular Houston Texans player was called off at the last minute and now parents say getting a refund has not been easy.

The camp was advertised as featuring Texans running back Arian Foster and we are told about 40 kids signed up at $100 each to meet their favorite player. But the camp was canceled.

Arian Foster ran his way into the Texans record book and into the hearts of fans across the city this year. So when a football camp that was to feature the All-Pro running back was scheduled for Legends Sports Complex, dozens of kids were signed up, including Jason Pondant's two sons.

"It's spring break; I thought it would be a great opportunity to get out and play with him, just get to meet him," Pondant said.

But days before the camp was to begin, Pondant says the event was canceled. Pondant adds getting a refund has not been easy.

"The email itself was distancing Legends from the whole thing, 'There is nothing we can do about it, please contact this person,'" said Pondant.

While the camp was advertised by Legends, the general manager, Todd Parsons, says it was another man, Anthony Nichols, who set up the event.

"I did not collect any of the money. I was just one part or one factor of the event going off," Parsons said.

He went on to say Nichols agreed to rent Legends for $2,500, but adds there were problems with the deposit.

"The deposit check came back insufficient funds," Parsons said.

We spoke with Anthony Nichols on the phone this afternoon. He says it was Legends that canceled the event. Legends says that was because of the insufficient check.

Nichols told us only 24 kids signed up for the camp, not enough to cover Arian Foster's appearance fee so the camp could not go on. Even so, there may be good news for parents looking for a refund because Nichols took the registration fees through Paypal.

"It they used a credit card or Paypal to make this purchase, both should have payment protections in place," said Monica Russo of the Better Business Bureau.

Nichols told us he wants to refund all the money, but cannot because his Paypal account has been suspended due to a large number of parents disputing the registration fee.

We also spoke with Arian Foster about the canceled camp. He told us Nichols agreed to pay an appearance fee to the running back. However Nichols says with two days to go before the camp, not enough kids registered so the appearance fee could not be paid.

Foster told us this is not the end of the story.

"I am going to be throwing a camp in Houston and I am going to get into contact with all the kids that were affected by this and all the parents, and all those kids are going to able to come out for free," Foster told us over the phone.

Again, Nichols says he has every intention of paying back all the registration fees. But he does not know how soon that can happen because his Paypal account is frozen.