Parents fighting to get $7k back after prom plans canceled without refund

A group of Kingwood parents is fighting to get their money back after investing thousands of dollars in their children’s prom weekend only to have it canceled due to coronavirus—with no refund.

Their kids are a group of teens who suffered through a year with no high school after Hurricane Harvey flooded out Kingwood High. They told FOX 26 they were hoping to finally have a happy senior year, until coronavirus hit, putting them out of fun, and their parents out of a lot of money.

“This class has seen hardships beyond what I think most have,” said Brad White whose daughter is a senior at Kingwood High School.

“I’d say being upset was an understatement,” said Katie Kuratko, a senior at Kingwood High School. “It was really hard.”

Forty parents of Kingwood High School seniors all pitched in a total of $7,100 dollars to fund their children’s prom weekend at Surfside Beach, but when a coronavirus “stay at home order” was issued for Brazoria County, they were forced to cancel.

“There was no way at all anybody could get into these beach houses during this time—from the government stating the county was closed,” said Shane Craig whose son is a Kingwood High School senior.

Their beach house rental reservation was for mid-April, and weeks later the group of parents is still out $7,100. The parents say the company “Heavenly Views Beach Rentals” refused to refund them.

“Right, this is unforeseen—I get it—but come on,” said Albert Sayegh whose daughter is a Kingwood High School senior. “You gotta do the right thing.”

“I don’t think he has a legal obligation in the way the contract’s written to give the money back, but I think there is a human element here,” said Steve Fetterman whose daughter is a senior at the school.

The owner of “Heavenly Views Beach Rentals” declined to comment on the issue when FOX 26 called him, saying it has now become a legal issue.

“If he could do installments to us, we would take that,” said Ann Marie Sayegh whose daughter is a senior. “Anything we would accept. And it’s not the parents. Now it’s just: do the right thing for these kids.”

What the rental owner did offer was a one-time opportunity to re-book for another date.

“None of us know where that point in time may be,” said Steve Craig whose son is a senior. “The seniors may have already left and gone to college.”

“Really the only reasonable option is to refund the money,” said Albert.

The parents say they’ve gotten a lawyer and given the rental owner until May 15 to refund the money. If not, they’re taking him to court. That lawyer told FOX 26 by phone that he’s dealing with a lot of similar cases during this pandemic.