After the news that Ryan Buell was being investigated by an ABC reporter for scamming his fans went viral this weekend, the former reality television personality of A&E's "Paranormal State" sent a few of his friends to do some damage control on his Facebook page on Sunday. It seems that Buell's Facebook admins are working around the clock to remove comments from anyone requesting refunds or talking about the lecture tour fiasco.
An ABC news affiliate in North Carolina picked up an Examiner story about the alleged fraud allegations of celebrity ghost hunter Ryan Buell last week. I-Team "Troubleshooter" and investigative reporter Diane Wilson of ABC affiliate WTVD-TV in the Raleigh-Durham area tried to reach out to Buell regarding the allegations but he couldn't be reached. Wilson's segment "Troubleshooter: Ryan Buell Fans Want Refunds" aired on Raleigh's ABC11 Eyewitness News on Monday and a follow-up story "Troubleshooter: Ryan Buell's Long-time Friend Speaks Out" with an interview from Chip Coffey aired on Tuesday.
Tired of the all of the cancellations and endless and empty promises, angry ticket-holders began sounding off on Buell's Facebook page about how unhappy they were this summer. Fans requesting refunds for past events were soon called "trolls" and "haters" by Buell and his team of administrators that run the page. Inquiries and comments from fans were ignored and were eventually deleted by his moderators.
Customers that messaged Buell and PRS requesting refunds received a copy-and-pasted excuse stating that PayPal had frozen Buell's account and refund requests had to go through PayPal. A rep from PayPal responded on July 15 to someone requesting a refund and said that the company was not holding payments from Buell's account and that the funds are still in the seller's account. According to PayPal's policy, refunds cannot be given after 45 days have lapsed after the purchase date.
Instead of focusing on issuing refunds to ticket-holders, it seems that Buell and PRS members are working harder to censor and delete comments from people requesting refunds on his social media sites than actually sending the refunds out. So far the only ticket-holders that have gotten refunds are the customers that paid with a credit card and had the charges disputed. A lot of Buell's fans are beginning to think that he cares more about censoring his Facebook page rather than issuing refunds.
One of Buell's Facebook admins posted the following statement:
A quick update for those waiting for a refund for the recent tours: A number of you have received refunds. We are doing our very best to move the refund requests along for the USA and Canadian tours.
We note that ours and Ryan's recent prior statements concerning the tours have been misquoted and mischaracterized by others who have their own agendas. Be advised that Ryan is not in any condition to make public appearances of any kind. Any suggestion to the contrary is incorrect.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Many people are wondering if Buell really is so sick, then why did he announce on June 20 that he planned on doing the lecture tour that was scheduled to kick-off on July 14 and run through the end of the month. One of Buell's Facebook admins made an announcement on July 27 that Buell wasn't well enough to make public appearances. Things don't seem to add up and it is just another jab at his fans. Ticket-holders are tired of the excuses and they want answers and they deserve refunds.
Investigative reporter and "Troubleshooter" Diane Wilson of Raleigh's ABC 11 Eyewitness News will have more on this story today at 5 pm.
To file a report, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre can be reached toll-free at 1-888-495-8501 or a report can be submitted online through a form on their website. Additionally the United States Federal Trade Commission can be reached at 1-877-FTC-HELP or a report can be filed online via their website. Consumers can also file complaints through the North Carolina Attorney General's office in Raleigh on their website. To contact fraud investigators at the Wake County Sheriff's Office in Raleigh, North Carolina, call 919-856-6900 and ask to be connected to someone in the Fraud Unit. The Raleigh Police Department encourages people that have paid for events and haven't received refunds to call and make a police report at 919-996-3335.