Several parents file complaints over refunds from local youth soccer academy

Updated: May. 26, 2020 at 7:09 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has brought many youth sports leagues to a grinding halt. That’s led many parents to call WBTV wondering what happens if you have paid out hundreds of dollars for your child to play in a competitive sports league.

Many parents, instead of screaming and cheering for their teams, are screaming for a refund. They tell WBTV they’re getting the runaround from their kids’ sports leagues.

The Charlotte Soccer Academy is a non-profit youth program that provides competitive player development for 6,500 boys and girls, ranging in age from 4 to 19.

However, with coronavirus cutting the season short, young athletes like Brian Haupricht’s daughter Alexis, won’t get to realize the season they had hoped.

He says her season was cancelled after one practice due to coronavirus.

“In the grand scheme of things, the $185 isn’t a ton of money, but it just doesn’t feel right to get one practice in for $185 and not really get the full refund or at least a full credit,” said Haupricht.

Haupricht is not alone. In an online search, we found numerous other complaints from upset CSA parents. All seem to be questioning the same refund policy.

Brad Wylde is the Director of Charlotte Soccer Academy. Wylde provided a statement to WBTV Investigates.

“We are definitely sympathetic to what has occurred and we are trying to do everything we can to ensure we support as many families as possible and, of course, stay afloat to continue to provide soccer programs in the future,” Wylde said.

CSA Claims to have given back over $700,000 in credits and refunds to various programs.

However, “significant costs are already incurred before we even start playing and have continued to accrue during the suspension. Items such as field maintenance (CSA maintains all the fields we use), registration, fees with the state association, scheduling, administration, risk management etc. Costs are excessive, and we are trying to ensure we support our families but also to continue to operate in preparation for when we are able to continue with our programming.”

Tom Bartholomy with the Better Business Bureau says when it comes to youth sports leagues during the pandemic, parents are fortunate to get any type of a credit.

“BBB has been seeing a lot of activity lately regarding refunds and returns. It’s really been on the rise and really the challenge is determining what’s fair,” Bartholomy said. “To be completely honest, an offer of any kind under these circumstances, can be considered generous.”

Wylde says the goal is to get back on the soccer fields June 1 to try to provide a new, four-week program for their membership with a minimum of two sessions a week as well as provide a 50% credit to members for next season.

He says, CSA feels their plan is more supportive compared to other organizations, some of whom are offering minimal credit and no additional programming for the summer.

“People are frustrated and don’t feel like they’re going to come back,” said Haupricht.

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