CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Attorney General Josh Stein is asking anyone who feels like they’ve been ripped off by Eat Work Play to file a complaint with his office. This comes amid new concerns and calls for refunds.
“A newer version of what used to be the Charlotte Foodie Passport,” EWP founder Davon Bailey told FOX 46 back in September, holding a blue passport featuring a gold crown . “This time, we’ve got new experiences, events and ways to connect with other people just like yourself around the city.”
At $25 a pop the “EWP Passport” was supposed to provide access to exclusive deals, discounts and “local events, hot spots, new restaurants,” Bailey said.
“This is just a really cool opportunity or you to get connected to the best of the city right here in Charlotte,” he told FOX 46 Good Day Charlotte. “Free experiences all across the city, so you definitely want to pre-order.”
Clint Beavers bought one after seeing it advertised on Instagram, and sell out, last year.
“A lot of people were talking about it,” Beavers said.
Months later he has yet to receive anything. Beavers says he has spoken to other people who also never received the promised passport and want a refund. He says when he complained to Eat Work Play, he was blocked from contacting them.
“I didn’t get any response at first until I started going and posting on every single reply from my personal account on Instagram,” he said. “Then they blocked me without responding.”
Eat Work Play’s Instagram account has now blocked anyone from commenting on its posts. On Friday, Bailey’s company posted a photo of the Charlotte city skyline, calling it “ unmatched.” Beavers calls Bailey untrustworthy.
“It makes me angry,” he said. “That’s $25. I could have bought a tank of gas.”
Days after our first investigation aired, Bailey paid Smart Start of Mecklenburg County $250. The early childhood education non-profit says it was promised $10,000.
“We received a $250 contribution by Davon Bailey on October 31,” two days after FOX 46’s story aired, said executive director Nancy Hughes. “But nothing else since then.”
Gabriela Chassange says she was also refunded days after telling her story to FOX 46. Chassange was excited to spend her birthday with her friends at a Willy Wonka themed gala that was suddenly canceled, and postponed, until next year without warning.
“I did, on 11/2!” she emailed.
Bailey previously apologized to his customers. He blamed an “oversight” for charities not getting promised donations and faulted an unspecified “issue with a catering vendor and alcohol permitting” for the postponement of the November gala. He said he didn’t want the event to “fall short of our expectations.”
In an email to FOX 46 last week, his public relations spokesperson Aryel Nicole said Bailey wanted to give his side of the story and “provide clarity and updates.”
“EWP’s Founder would also be more than happy to address any additional questions or concerns that you may have as well,” Nicole said.
When FOX 46 investigative reporter Matt Grant called Nicole on Friday morning, on the work number she listed, she said she couldn’t talk because she was “at work.” Repeated requests for comment to both Nicole and Bailey throughout the day were ignored.
You can file a complaint here.