We were first alerted to these complaints a few weeks ago, when a Don Tollefson organized trip* to see the Birds play in Denver was cancelled and some bargoers were pissed that they hadn’t received a refund.
In the past few weeks former 6ABC and Fox29 sportscaster Don Tollefson has taken heat from locals around Montgomery County for selling packages of away games for $750 to local organizations that would raffle them off to their customers, then failing to deliver the tickets.
Tollefson said he would buy the tickets from the Eagles, as if he were a fan buying a ticket to a game, and sell them to different business and individuals. The proceeds from the ticket resales would go to his charity Tackle Hatred Now, a group that works in Philadelphia.
The trouble came when people who had ticket packages for the Sept. 29 game against the Broncos in Denver were unable to reach Tollefson for instructions on how to get the tickets or how to get to the away game.
Tollefson was promoting his trips through bars and local businesses. One of them was Kenny’s Madison Tavern, in Warminster. A person who had purchased tickets for the trip through the bar, Barbara Fecker Terra, started the following conversation on Facebook [Michelle Kenney Meehan is the owner of Kenny's]:
Last month, I briefly conversed with Barbara, one of her friends and another person who had purchased a ticket. That third person, who prefers to remain anonymous, told me that they would give Tolly a week to refund the money and follow up if he didn’t. I never heard back, but asked that person again today if they received a refund. They haven’t. They told me: “I saw The Times Herald piece. He’s full of shit.”
I also reached out via Facebook to Michelle Kenney Meehan, the owner of the bar. The message was “seen.” I received no response.
The Times Herald contacted Tolly:
In a telephone interview Friday, Tollefson said he had never approached anyone with the idea the trips were sponsored by the Eagles. He said his only affiliation with the Eagles is that he was an in-stadium broadcaster for the team from the 2009 to the 2012 season, but he did not partner with the Eagles when selling the tickets.
He denied accusations made by some that he has been avoiding calls and is taking money for himself.
Tollefson said he is working on re-paying everyone who spent money on the trips, but re-paying people is complicated.
“Some people paid for the tickets through Pay-pal and are asking to be reimbursed through a credit card and others paid for more than one person for the trip, so I’m working out who should be paid back.”
That’s a questionable assertion. PayPal offers a 60-day refund policy, so returning the money should be very easy. And if the trip was purchased more than 60 days ago, it’s easy enough to remit payment to the buyer in the exact amount of the trip.
In a statement, the Eagles told The Times Herald:
We were originally alerted on the Thursday before the Denver game by a distressed fan who contacted us. Our immediate concern was for those fans who were affected by this situation as they were just trying to cheer on their team. Since then, we have spoken with Don Tollefson and have expressed our concerns about this situation. To be clear, the Philadelphia Eagles do not have any affiliation with Mr. Tollefson and he was not authorized to use our trademarked logo in this or any promotion. He did not seek or obtain our approval for any facet of this promotion and we are troubled that he would portray that we were part of this in any way.
We’ll keep you updated.
If you want a real trip, organized by people who do it right, check out the Phans of Philly Flyers trip to Nashville.
*That should be the new “Zagat rated” for sports trips.