Drummer tries to get refund from cancelled event

Seven On Your Side
September 24, 2013 6:51:23 PM PDT
A Long Island teenager's love of drumming almost cost him hundreds of dollars.

He had raised the money to take part in a competition.

But when it was cancelled, his money was gone.

The organizer promised to give the money back, but it took 7 On Your Side to make it happen.

We see these vanishing entry fees in everything from cake-baking to cheerleading contests.

The good intentions may be there, but when something derails the event, it's the competitors that wind up losing.

Ever since his hands were big enough to hold the sticks, Christopher Savarino has been drumming.

"He started playing the pots and pans in the kitchen with wooden spoons and everything," said his dad Chris.

"I''ve been studying Latin, jazz, rock, all different stuff, reading music, everything, since I was five," Christopher said.

At 10, a stint in rock school had him performing with a band.

Now at 15, he wanted to take his talent to a new level. Last fall he entered his first drumming competition, Drum Fight 9.

"He loves to play in front of people, so I figured let me get him up against older kids and see how he does," said his dad.

The talented teen fund-raised the $300 entry fee and started preparing with an instructor.

"I was looking through old books to write new songs and I was coming up with everything," Christopher said.

He practiced his performance for almost a year: the drum-off kept getting delayed, then they found out it got cancelled altogether. All the donations had to be returned.

"I was pretty disappointed," he said. "I was thinking this is going to be cool, I get to play in front of people," said Christopher.

"So I was like okay send me my money back, here's the address, and he was like, sure no problem," said his father.

The owner of the music academy organizing the drum-off made that promise in May, but his school in Amityville then closed up shop. Father and son were still waiting for their refund.

"Well, I'm on vacation, then, he said my assistant was supposed to send it to you next week. Then he got nasty on the phone and i got nasty back and I said let me email 7 on your side," Savarino said.

We called the drum-off organizer who admitted he had Chris's refund check right in front of him, and just two days later, drum roll please, he finally paid back the year old entry fee in cash.

"I got my 300 back. We called 7 On Your Side and I got paid!", Chris said.

The drum competition organizer said the delay was caused because his own music company running the contest went out of business. But when we pointed out he was running another music business with a similar name, he paid up.

Remember always get a receipt with refund terms before entering competitions like this.