By Mark Ackerman
BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4) – Hundreds of women believe they’ve been ripped off after spending hundreds of dollars to attend Christian events in Colorado and across the country.
The “Belong Tour”, an off-shoot of the popular “Women of Faith” tour, was scheduled to play the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield last September. But, the event was canceled and a number of ticket holders haven’t received refunds.
Amy Wiebe of Lakewood bought 10 tickets to attend with her church group.
“We went in 2016, and it was a great event about grace and love and how we live together as women,” she said. “So we purchased tickets for the 2017 event as well.”
But, what she didn’t know is that months earlier, “Women of Faith” and the “Belong Tour” sold to G.J. and Alita Reynolds, who turned around and shutdown the tour’s offices, fired the entire team and canceled the 2017 tour citing poor ticket sales.
Reynolds told CBS4 the Belong Tour was not nearly as successful as Women of Faith, which drew more than five million women over a 20-year run.
“Buying the Belong Tour was like buying the Titanic after it hit the iceberg,” G.J. Reynolds said. “I didn’t realize how much damage we had.”
Reynolds said the Belong Tour lost almost $4 million in its first year. They say they simply didn’t have the cash to immediately refund every ticket holder, but are working to pay everyone back.
In an online video the Reynolds said, “We apologize for the slow refunding of tickets. We continue to ask for your Christ-like patience and understanding.”
The couple initially promised to refund the tickets by the show dates. But, six months later, Amy Wiebe hasn’t seen a dime of the $690 she’s owed.
“Well my patience is running thin,” Wiebe said. “There are times for what we might term in the church world as righteous anger. I think this is one.”
Wiebe asked for a refund, initiated a fraud complaint with her bank and filed an internet crimes report with the FBI.
“My confidence is running low if they will ever refund us at this point,” she said.
She’s also joined a Facebook group “Belong Tour Cancellation – Waiting on our Refund” where women from across the country share updates and frustrations with the refund process.
While customers wait for their money, the Reynolds are planning a much smaller “Women of Faith” event in Breckenridge this April. Alita Reynolds is named on the list of speakers. Tickets for the event, which includes lodging, are $549.
G.J. Reynolds said they are still holding Women of Faith events to help raise money to refund Belong Tour tickets.
But, Amy Wiebe remains skeptical.
“If they are trying to do things to make money to pay us back then I applaud that,” she said. “But, I certainly wouldn’t advise a friend to go. You are putting your money are risk.”