GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Brandon Humes, who runs B Social Sports and Entertainment, is accused of running off with thousands of dollars after promising a trip to one of college football’s biggest games of the year.
A group of co-workers said they turned to Humes in order to travel to East Lansing to go outside Spartan Stadium last October. Michigan State University took on the University of Michigan.
Patron Nate Katerberg said: “Instead of renting a bus, we felt it made more sense to attend an event already scheduled. This included transport, drinks, a tailgate to watch the game and return transport. and shirt.”
Katerberg said he met with Humes’ Grand Rapids-based company and spoke to him by phone. Excited that there was space left on the bus, Katerberg said he and about 20 colleagues paid Humes $65 each to reserve a seat. He said they were using the Venmo app.
But once Humes was paid, the band said Humes’ communication became patchy.
Boss Audrey Hoyt said: “People had actually asked her, ‘Hey, what’s going on? Where do we meet?'”
She added: “We didn’t know where to meet until two days before so we got there around 7am as we were told. [and] waited until almost 9 o’clock.”
Hoyt said a total of about 50 people were waiting for the charter bus in downtown Grand Rapids with Humes.
Another customer, Kelsey Boerma, recalled: “Probably after the…first 45 minutes of waiting, I kind of realized I was like, ‘Okay, there probably won’t be. bus that will come today.'”
Katerberg said: “After, you know, an hour and a half to two hours, he came out and said, ‘Hey, sorry guys. There are no buses. I will refund everyone’s money. “”
He added: “So you have to give him the benefit of the doubt. Hey, something happened. We asked him which bus company. We contacted the bus company and they said, ‘There is no has no contract, we don’t know this guy.'”
Band members said there was a red flag after the next one, and they emailed Humes over the next two months asking for a refund.
Hoyt recalled: “And it’s a different story every time. One time it’s up to the insurance company, he’s waiting for the money to come back, he has a death in his family, and he has to do this or that for which I can be sympathetic because, but at the same time, there is an incessant miscommunication.”
Boerma said, “Every new apology was kind of like, ‘Oh! Ok. That’s creative. Like, good job. You found a new one. “”
So Katerberg reached out to FOX 17 troubleshooters for help in exposing the situation and to try and track down Humes. His company number is not working. Troubleshooters stopped at several addresses, including the home address listed for his business.
A woman (who we later learn is a relative) came to the door and said no one by the name of Brandon Humes lived there.
An employee of the facility where the bus was to arrive told us that he had heard of the complaints but could not reach Humes. It also lists this particular establishment on some of its event flyers.
In total, the group suspects Humes collected at least $3,000 from patrons looking to have a good time outside of the game.
Katerberg’s message to Humes is “don’t scam people, and if it’s legit [then] communicate.”
“It’s $65. Whatever. I can cut that loss. But at this point, it’s now the principal and the lack of communication that frustrates me,” Hoyt said.
The owner of the charter bus company told FOX 17 that the only time he did business with Humes was in 2012.
Problem solvers would still love to hear from Humes and fix this problem. In the meantime, we will continue to dig deeper.
If you plan to attend a pre-scheduled event like this, the Better Business Bureau suggests using a credit card. It may be easier for you to dispute the charges. Also, research the company. If you can’t find much online, be careful. Remember that a social media presence is not an indication that a company is more credible. You can also file a complaint with the BBB. The organization can try to help mediate. At the very least, a complaint filed online will be seen by potential future customers.