Woman pays over $3 thousand for dancing trip that never happend

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3 On Your Side Gary Harper is trying to help a Phoenix woman who says she is owed $3,500 dollars.

The woman says she is owed the money for an out-of-state group trip but the trip never really came together.


$3,500 is a lot of money and she says sure would like it back. Lisa Autino explains, "Dance, for me, really brought me out of my shell." Lisa loves dancing. "Well I have been dancing for at least 16 years."

It is been at a Fred Astaire dance studio that she has spent most of those years. She says, "It gave me just a new sense of self esteem, it really did, it proved my self-confidence"

In years past, Lisa says the Fred Astaire dance studio offered group trips to dancers to help build camaraderie and this year was no exception.

Lisa says, "I have taken many, many trips with the dance studio and decided that I was gonna take another trip with them in June 09. This one was gonna be to Mackinac Island." To make sure she was on the trip list, Lisa says she had to put down a down payment." She says, "I paid $3,500 to start, which was half of the cost."

Nevertheless, a couple of months later Lisa started to get a bit concerned because she had not heard of any other dancers who signed up. She says, "I had asked several times, is there anyone who's interested in the trip?"

Finally Lisa says she found out that, in fact, no one else was going so she decided she did not want to go either. After all, it was supposed to be a grouptrip, not a trip by herself so she asked the owner of Fred Astaire for her money back. She explains he said, "Either the 1st or 2nd email he sent me indicated he would pay me in 3 equal payments over the course of 90 days."

As the 90-day deadline approached Lisa says she never did receive any of her deposit back, not one installment so she contacted 3 On Your Side.

She admits, "I wasn't having any success in getting my money back myself and in seeing how 3 On Your Side works for other people, I just wanted to give it an opportunity."

3 On Your Side contacted the Fred Astaire dance studio and on the day of our inquiry management told 3OYS that they had ironically just cut a check to Lisa.

In a statement they tell us:

"You will be gratified to know that, coincidentally, on the day you called...the refund amount in question to Ms. Autino was executed in the form of a cashier's check that same day."

Lisa says she is ecstatic to have her $3,500 back. She adds, "Thanks to 3 On Your Side for helping to get my money back".