CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - The Better Business Bureau is issuing a consumer alert for people registering for youth baseball tournaments with a business in Carbondale, Illinois.
According to the BBB, DF Sports allegedly failed to issue refunds after tournaments were canceled, failed to communicate with consumers, and provided overall poor customer service.
Several people filed complaints with the BBB accusing DF Sports owner David Scheible-Hall of owing them hundreds of dollars.
A man from Ewing, Illinois, told BBB that DF Sports owed him and his team $925 for fees paid for tournaments and an all-star game sponsored by the business.
The man said his team is responsible for all of its expenses.
“My players and their parents busted their rear ends to make that money so the boys would be able to play,” the man told BBB. “This man has ruined a lot of faith that us local Southern Illinois teams had in bringing good, quality tournaments locally to give some of these kids who can’t afford to travel far a chance to play travel ball.”
The man said Scheible-Hall repeatedly told him a check was in the mail for refunds. The man said he has not received that money and Scheible-Hall has not responded to phone calls and messages left by him.
A man from Carterville, Illinois, also filed a complaint with the BBB, accusing DF Sports of owing his team just over $600.
The man said his team was only able to play in one of three events they paid for, because rain canceled two of the tournaments.
According to the man, he was told by Scheible-Hall that a refund check had been put in the mail for his team. The man said he never received money from the business.
The man said the loss of money had an effect on his team’s activities. He said the team usually has a season-ending party that is paid for by team funds. He said this year, the team had to ask parents for donations in order for that event to take place.
“The kids got ripped off,” the man said.
A parent of a player from Miller City, Illinois, told BBB that he lost $100 to DF Sports in July 2019. The man’s son was scheduled to play in an all-star game in Marion, Illinois. The man said the money sent to DF Sports was for a uniform for his child to wear in the game. The man said the game was canceled and his son never received his all-star uniform.
The man said he could not contact Scheible-Hall. He said he was able to get a refund thanks to his bank. He said DF Sports “didn’t have anything to do” with the refund.
Due to incidents like these, the BBB gave the business an "F" rating, the lowest on BBB’s scale.
“These teams have limited budgets with money raised by parents and players in order to play ball,” said Whitney Quick, BBB Cape Girardeau regional director. “Every dollar this business failed to refund is a dollar taken from a child who only wanted to play baseball with their friends.”
According to Illinois secretary of state records, the business was formed in September 2018 as Illinois Game 7. The business changed its name to DF Sports in May 2019.
BBB attempted to reach Scheible-Hall by mail, email and phone, but received no response. The business did not respond to a BBB letter regarding what the business is doing to address its pattern of complaints.
BBB offers the following tips for dealing with youth sports programs:
- Research any business and its owners carefully before paying any money. Check the company’s BBB Business Profile at bbb.org or by calling 888-996-3887.
- Ask for references and contact them. Talk to others who have participated previously in the organization’s events. Most organizations have an online presence that can help consumers seek out teams who have experience with the organization.
- Find out the organization’s refund policy. What happens if your team wants to withdraw from the tournament? What happens if weather halts or cancels the event? The refund policy should be clearly spelled out by the organization.
- Pay with a credit card in case you need to challenge the purchase later.