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UPDATED The Buzz: No laughing matter, some comedy club patrons stuck with bill

Comedy Quarter shut Sept. 7, leaving some customers with worthless tickets

Sep. 25, 2013
 
Comedy Quarter and its attached restaurant Gilligan's were located at 1575 Plaza Drive in the Town of Menasha.
Comedy Quarter and its attached restaurant Gilligan's were located at 1575 Plaza Drive in the Town of Menasha. / Maureen Wallenfang/Post-Crescent Media

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UPDATE: The reader who sent in the question below was credited today for the full amount. Rob Uffenbeck, Comedy Quarter co-owner, said Wednesday morning that they’re still getting credit card numbers for people who are due refunds. “We refunded $5,000 last Thursday and are hoping to refund $3,000 this weekend,” he said. Anyone with questions about refunds may contact him at comedyquarterrefund@gmail.com.

Reader question: You had mentioned that the Comedy Quarter was closing and refunds would be available, though the process of receiving them was not yet determined. As someone who is trying to get his $100 dollars refunded, I can attest to the fact that it is posing difficulties. I originally contacted the owner, Rich, through the main number and left a message on the machine. I received a returned call from an employee two days later but she was unsure how to refund the money and said they would have a manager contact me. That was seven days ago. I attempted to contact them again and the mailbox has been full and no more messages were being accepted.

Answer: The Comedy Quarter in the Town of Menasha closed Sept. 7 and co-owner Rich Wickesberg said in a prepared statement that “all pre-ordered tickets will be refunded.” That appears not to be happening, as I’ve gotten several calls from people who have not gotten refunds. The voice mail for the club, 920-722-5653, was full this morning.

As an alternate route to getting your money back, call your credit card company, file a dispute and request a refund. If they want proof that the business closed, go to postcrescent.com/thebuzz and scroll back to the story Sept. 9.

I also checked with Susan Bach, regional director of the Better Business Bureau for northeastern Wisconsin. She said those who are in this situation should file disputes with their credit card companies right away. “You have a limited opportunity to do this. It’s 60 days from when the charge appeared on your statement,” she said.

Those who used a debit card to buy tickets might not be able to get refunds, but it might be worth calling the card issuer to see what policies and protections they have in place.

You may also file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau by going to its website at bbb.org. The state’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection also has a complaint form at datcp.state.wi.us. Those records are used to warn future consumers if the owners of the business start up another comedy club. Comedy Quarter was at 1575 Plaza Drive, with a mailing address of Neenah. It opened in spring 2009 by Wickesberg, Rob Uffenbeck and Pat Szalanski.

Meanwhile, if you’re stuck with a Comedy Quarter gift card, another comedy club is stepping up to help you. Cliff Diedrick, owner of the Skyline Comedy Café in Appleton, said his club will honor verifiable cards towards the price of admission through Dec. 30. Other restrictions apply, so call the box office in advance at 920-734-5653 to make a reservation, provide documentation numbers from the card and make sure it meets the club’s criteria.

— Maureen Wallenfang: 920-993-1000, ext. 287, or mwallenfang@postcrescent.com; on Twitter @wallenfang

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