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Refund update for Halloween debacle

Seven On Your Side
November 16, 2009 9:45:02 AM PST
It was a wild scene.UPDATE 12:31pm Wednesday 11/4/09

Event promoter, Alex & Leo Entertainment and Tavern On The Green just issued a joint statement for hundreds of party-goers who went to Saturday night's Halloween party at Tavern On The Green, but never got in.

Alex and Leo Entertainment say they will be responsible for organizing the refunds. The statement says those who purchased valid tickets online using a credit card or PayPal should request a refund directly from the online ticket seller. Customers should also dispute this charge immediately with their credit card company.

The promoters also say "those who purchased tickets using cash should email their refund requests to Halloweenrefund@gmail.com." Each request "must include a copy of the ticket(s) purchased, together with the place and date of the purchase, as well as the ticket holder's mailing address. Alex & Leo Entertainment will process each request within four weeks of receipt."

It's advised when customers send your email get a documented record of when the email was sent and whether it was received/opened. If you find that refunds aren't received 4 weeks after delivery of email, contact the promoters at the email listed above. If that doesn't work, contact 7 On Your Side.

Alex and Leo Entertainment say the overcrowding problem was caused by "the sale of hundreds of counterfeit tickets by unauthorized promoters." 7 On Your Side found event tickets with numbers that ranged up to nearly 5,000. Tavern On The Green can only accommodate roughly 2,000 guests. We talked to the company that printed out the tickets for Alex and Leo Entertainment, they wouldn't say how many tickets were printed out. But it's spokesperson did confirm if we had a ticket with a number in the 4000's, that meant they printed up at least 4,000 tickets. When asked how many tickets were printed, Alex & Leo Entertainment never responded.

CLICK HERE for the full text of the press release.

Thousands of Halloween revelers paid to attend a party, but ended up on the outside looking in; packed together, unable to move. In the end, many of them never got in.

It was a nightmare on Central Park West. That's where more than a thousand unhappy Halloween party goers waited last Saturday night for hours, in the rain, shut out of a party they paid for.

"I was scared because I was crushed," recalled frustrated party guest, Christina Musso. "I was up against police barriers, it was a total nightmare."

"It was scary because people were pushing and someone could have been trampled," added her fiance Peter Black.

Christina, Peter and perhaps as many as thousands of others were in this crowd last Saturday night at Tavern on the Green.

"We waited about 2 hours and we realized it was a total waste of time." Then Christina says she and her fiance went home. A damp Halloween night was wasted, both their wallets light $60 apiece.

That's the price she and scores of others paid for tickets. Some paid $130 for so-called V.I.P. tickets.

"The police finally showed up and started escorting people away," said pretty party-goer Danielle Villatta. "But, it was getting really rowdy."

The party was thrown by a group call Alex and Leo Entertainment which rented Tavern for the event. Now, thousands have gone on a Facebook page documenting the debacle to vent and share pictures taken outside the restaurant.

A rep from the company who printed the tickets told 7 On Your Side they routinely number tickets sequentially. We found one ticket from the event numbered close to 5,000.

A spokesman for Tavern on the Green says the group has rented the facility before and should have known this many people would not fit.

"Our capacity, it's 2350," says Tavern rep, Shelley Clark. "We're very aware of that, so are the people that did this event."

All the party-goers we spoke to have tried to get their money back with no success. Tavern on the Green says they're owed, too.

"We have not been able to talk to them, their person cell phones now direct traffic to Tavern on the Green. They owe us quite an amount of money," says the restaurant representative.

But even a refund won't make up for a Halloween that turned out to be more trick than treat.

"For thousands of people, their night was ruined," proclaimed peeved party-goer Christina Fenn.

We heard from the event's promoters, Alex and Leo Baskin, today, by email. They said the restaurant, not them, caused the debacle by not opening to party-goers on time. When we asked why close to 5,000 were apparently printed, we didn't get an answer.

They did promise to come up with a plan to process refunds by sometime today. But, as of now, they haven't made this plan public.

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Story by: Tappy Phillips


Produced by: Steve Livingstone

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