TUCSON (KVOA) - It was supposed to be an "R&B lovers dream vacation" but quickly turned into a nightmare for dozens of ticket holders after a series of festivals in the Caribbean were canceled at the last minute.
In January, the News 4 Tucson Investigators first covered how the Solfest and Sol Comedy Jam, hosted by the company Music Getaways at the Hard Rock in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic were abruptly canceled and left fans scrambling.
The events were supposed to seamlessly flow together following the Warren Hill Punta Cana Jazz Festival, Hill is a renowned saxophonist and owner of Music Getaways.
The Jazz fest happened as planned but dozens of ticket holders for the other events were only notified of a cancelation the day before Solfest was to begin, some fans were already about to board planes other who took part in the jazz fest were already there. Many told the N4T Investigators the cancellation email hit their inboxes around mid-night.
Several ticket holders found themselves without a hotel room as the venue, Hard Rock Punta Cana, stated they were not paid by Music Getaways to reserve the rooms. They offered a "discounted" rate to impacted guests but many told us the cost was still too much.
Many struggled to find flights back home.
“Definitely feel betrayed man and surprised this happened," said Derrick Gory.
Gory and his wife Jamella live near Tucson and saw the notice of the cancellation just before they planned to board a flight to the events.
After almost two months most ticket holders tell the N4T Investigators they are still trying to get refunds or credits back from their banks. There are multiple people who have stated their banks have excepted their disputes and issued permanent refunds. There is a lot of different outcomes depending on the banks the ticket holders used.
Christy Herndon from Chandler said she had success getting a credit back from her bank until Music Getaways sent out emails for a "Refund Request Form."
The form asked various questions such as if they had disputed the charges with their bank, Christy answered honestly but then soon found her credit retracted.
“Within two hours my credit card company received a email back from them [Music Getaways] with documentation showing my contract, saying I shouldn’t be credited because I was getting a credit from them for the event," she said.
But she doesn't want a credit for a future event, she wants her money back.
“At least six times now I emailed Music Getaways and tried to get a hold of them on social media, which you can’t do anymore," she said.
Wanda Lewis is also still waiting, she spent thousands for all three events hoping to give her husband a special birthday gift. The situation she said ruined her husband's birthday.
“Just have to wait it out and see at this point I may have a better chance of hitting the lottery," Lewis said.
Hard Rock Punta Cana has accused Music Getaways of breaching its contract with them and not issuing guest funds to have reserved the rooms for the ticket holders. HRPC threatened legal action against Music Getaways but so far the N4T Investigators have not been able to find any lawsuits filed.
The N4T Investigators contacted Music Getaways and Warren Hill before our first report in January, we received no response until Thursday March 2nd. Music Getaways sent us the following email:
"We have been informed that you are running a story on the Punta Cana cancelled events.
Due to the wrongful allegations and threat of litigation that have been asserted against our companies, we have been advised by counsel to not provide additional comment or information. We assert that there was no breach, default, or violation of any agreement in our part, and that we are trying to address and resolve the matter reasonably and as soon as possible."
Dozens of ticket holders told the N4T Investigators they have reached out to attorneys but so far we have found no lawsuits filed from them.
Music Getaways now has more than 20 complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau.
Music Getaways is planning another series of Solfest events in Los Cabos, Mexico in October. It's now been announced by the company the events will also not be held at the Hard Rock as planned but will be held at a soon to be announced location. Wanda Lewis said she fears the same thing will happen to other consumers.
“It’s a bunch of jive, he’s just taking people’s money, robbing Peter to pay Paul and he’s constantly trying to catch up to the next event. The dominoes are starting to fall," she said.
We will update you as we learn more about this developing sitaution.
If you have a story you'd like the N4T Investigators to look into email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our tip line at 520-834-9446.