Howard steps in after a baseball tournament gets canceled

Posted at 11:05 PM, May 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-22 16:09:34-04

The USC Knights, a 13 and under baseball team from the Bronx, prides itself on being one of the best teams in the city.  The nights wanted to prove they’re one of the best in the country so they entered a tournament sponsored by a Michigan company, Magic’s Tours, also known as TNC.  It was supposed to be held two weeks ago in Brooklyn as a qualifier for the next phase to be held in Virginia.

Team treasurer Jennifer Fanduiz told me she sent in a check for $525 to the company. But as tournament weekend approached, there was still no schedule.

“About 4 days before the tournament we started emailing. Release the schedule because we need to plan for the weekend.”  That’s what Jennifer says her email to the organizer said.

Jennifer maintains she never heard back. So she kept trying to call. Finally, the day before the first game, she got through to the guy in charge, one John Graham.

“I called. He answered the phone and said the tournament is canceled… and he said next time we have a tournament in the city we can give you a credit.  No date of when and he said absolutely you’re not getting your money back.”

“So, “ I asked her, “When you called Mr. Graham to try to get your money back what does he say?”

“He was yelling at me,” Jennifer responded. “But what’s the reason for not giving the money back?” I wanted to know.  Her answer: “He says he just doesn’t.”

The kids on the Knights were very disappointed.  And it turns out that John Graham’s outfit has disappointed others.

Its web sites boast of the tournaments its run.

But the company has an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau because its tournaments don’t always come off as planned.

So, with Jennifer right there with me, I called Graham in Michigan.

At first he stuck to his guns.

“(The) refund policy is right on the web page,” he told us. “It says if for any reason a tournament is canceled, you receive a credit.”

But after a little “friendly” persuasion from Jennifer and me, Mr. Graham came around.  He had to get in a couple of little digs first, though.

“You lied,” Graham said to Jennifer. “You said you paid $500 when you didn’t. You also said (you) didn’t accept the credit into another tournament. But I’ll tell you what. I don’t wanna, you know, the TV guy, who cares about him?  I don’t care about him. We have a written policy.  I wanna do what’s right by your team. But at this point I want something in writing.  At your request, you are requesting a refund.  And I’ll tell you what, we will take care of you ma’am.”

Jennifer had a one word response, “Awesome.” And she sent the requested email right away.  We’ll see if Mr. Graham follows through.