38 Comments for this article

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — President Obama’s cancelled outdoor speech did more than disappoint. It will cost one Columbus County woman thousands of dollars.

Ann Brown co-owns Rolling Tours Charter Bus Company. She was contracted to take people from our area to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte Thursday to see President Obama speak at Bank of America Stadium.

She needed three extra buses, so she hired them from Double M Charters out of Ocean Isle Beach.

“The event was cancelled due to weather conditions, which we knew would be an act of God,” Brown said. “The contracting parties did not cancel the event, but the event was cancelled.”

Brown paid Double M Charters $5,400 for the three buses. That money came from the passengers who were expecting to go to the DNC. Brown contacted Marty Biddle, the owner of Double M Charters, to try and get them a refund.

“In this case, Mr. Biddle refused to refund anything,” Brown said. “He said he had bills to pay, so he was not refunding anything.”

Brown has been in the charter bus business for nearly 25 years. Maintaining her good reputation is why she’s making sure her customers get refunds.

“I’ll do whatever I have to do to give the money back to all the people who paid to go to the Democratic Convention,” she said.

That means Brown is going into debt to pay everyone back.

We contacted Biddle, who told us his attorney said he did not have to return the cash, because he would be out thousands of dollars. When we asked to explain what this cost him, he was not happy.

“Who the f*** are you to be asking me this, lady?” he said. “Are you a f****** attorney? Who are you?”

He then hung up.

Brown says she is contacting an attorney to see if there is any recourse.


Comment on this Story

  • GuestMan.

    You are basically a parrott. All you can do is repeat the SOS that you hear from other people. An original thought would bust your head wide open, cupcake. So, what tired old cliche do you have for me now?

  • Grand Ole Party

    I call people names that get upset when they are called names, and yet do it themselves. That is called hypocrisy. Now what new material would you like to hear buttercup? It’s hard to come up with anything new when all we hear is the same old drivel from the left.

  • GuestMan.

    You like to call people hypocrites for calling names and yet you do it all the time. Talking about sheep and hypocrites is getting old, cupcake. Do you think you can up with some new material or will we be subjected to your same inane bluster in the future?

  • Suzie

    What I am intersted in knowing is why it was necessary to bus people in to see the speach in the first place. Was it a given “opportunity” or as I have “heard” need to fill empty seats?

  • Guest2020

    It is so easy to bash someone when you only get one side of the story. Without viewing the contract, we cannot say who is in the wrong. If Mr. Biddle is acting in accordance with the contract then he is well within his rights to retain the money. I don’t blame him for not wanting to speak to the press. They called him with an accusation, which he does not have to answer unless he is taken to court.

  • Grand Ole Party

    It in fact was not taken out of context. How about the BS you leftie libs keep repeating? You don’t have an issue with that right? You sir are the biggest hypocrite on WWAY. You are full of it. For some reason you were very upset that I called Obama a clown, but you have no issue with saying Bush can’t put together two sentences, or calling Romney tweedledumb. Do you really think anyone is listening to you? You are nothing more than an old sheep, head out to the pasture and get to grazing.

  • James Raymo

    Obama is a liar, your just not smart enough to figure it out

  • Guest350

    It is pretty safe to assume that the “bashers” are Republicans. That’s the one thing they are good at. As for Bill Powell, hope you are proud of your greedy self. Maybe you could get a job driving a bus for Biddle.

  • Carolina mom

    Mrs. Brown, apparently you aren’t the only one who got ripped off during the DNC in Charlotte. Read on…


  • Old Man

    That’s what you get for doing business with Democraps.

  • Bill Powell

    I once got into a contract dispute over the sale of a house. The sale was supposed be through the Government (red flag). Buyer had to back out due to improper paperwork by his caseworker. Had already paid the down payment. He was supposed to be disabled. Got a letter from his attorney about his problem. My attorney wrote a letter back that I was in no way obligated to return his money. We finally came to an agreement about 6 months later. That’s why they are called contracts.

  • Bluesy Singer

    Well, my “singing the blues” voice has already been warmed up for the last 4 years, so IF Romney is as bad as Obama, I’ll already be in top form

  • Jason

    Why is it assumed the guy is a Republican. There are just as many shady operators on either side of the political aisle. Just because you get your underwear in a wad, dont start making up your own facts. The only fact is the guy is a bad operator with no morals. Everything past that are just wild, unbased accusations

  • SurfCityTom

    from the brief glimpse displayed on screen, there was reference to a 30 day cancellation clause.

    Add to that the definition of natural disaster. An act of God is well defined. Rain, or anticipated rain, does not normally qualify as an act of god. Hurricanes and tornadoes qualify as acts of god. For the record, I do not believe the Charlotte area had significant rain on the evening in question.

    Further proof, perhaps, that more folks are not better off than 4 years ago.

    But, go ahead; retain an attorney and sue. The attorney is the only one who will win.

  • sO

    “This story was about a foul-mouth bus owner ripping off a tour company owner.”

    How dare you call the government foul-mouthed!!! The government built that BUSiness…like every other business. Or are you calling Obama a liar?

  • anne

    When operating a business, word of mouth is your most valuable tool. Well he certainly has shown what he is. I am from Ocean Isle Beach and if I ever needed charter service, you can be sure he won’t be the one I hire. I would go to Miss Brown in Whiteville first – she has shown what she is made of and he has shown what he is made of. His filthy mouth says more about him than I want to know

  • PJ.

    Hopefully all of us will remember this man’s name and the name of his business and use any bus company but his in the future. One would hope a businessman would know the value of positive word of mouth vs negative. Doing the gracious thing could have created a positive story about his bus line.His buses never left. He spent no money on gas. It is doubtful he turned away any business since it was a weekday. But all those things aside, he’s just created a public relations nightmare for himself. One angry customer can undo thousands and thousands of dollars in advertising.

  • GuestVader

    If the flight proceeded without you, I can see where you would not get a refund. However, the busses did not roll, so Biddle kept all the money without performing any service. He owes her at least half her money back. Maybe not legally, but sometimes a moral obligation takes precedent over the legalities. I am sure Biddle has damaged his business and reputation beyond repair, so she will be the ultimate winner in the end because she is doing what is right by her customers.

  • SurfCityTom

    Business is business. And the operator of the bus company signed a contract and was able and prepared to provide the contracted services.

    He did not cancel; there was a 30 day cancellation clause in the contract.

    Think he’s wrong? Use another bus company the next time you are booking an event.

  • Tammy

    Get your money from Obama and his campaign,this shouldnt be a suprise to anyone he has not done anything he said he would and changes his mind like others change their underware

  • Guest350

    It is pretty easy to recognize the character and class of those who choose to be Republicans. This story was about a foul-mouth bus owner ripping off a tour company owner. However, some took the opportunity to turn the post into a bashing session for the President. What small minds some of you have. Hopefully, and most likely, Romney will lose. However, if he wins, it won’t be long before you’ll be singing the blues for a monumental error in judgement. You deserve him.

  • Vog46

    Subsequent information indicates the outdoor show was cancelled due to security concerns (they actually made an arrest if I’m not mistaken).
    I’m sure nothing like that is in the contract.
    As for any outdoor event I believe it would be up to the renter to insure there’s a weather related cancellation clause in the contract.
    Heck I’m a dumbbell and I would’ve asked for at least that.
    She should submit the bill to the DNC….and see what happens


  • SurfCityTom

    I can only go by what was posted on WWAY. Every posting indicated it was moved indoors due to weather issues.

    Having said that, I concur, she should submit her bills to the White House and the DNC as well as the Committee to Re-Elect.

    One item no one has addressed is the other failed promise. All of the folks with tickets earned them, I believe, by ringing door bells and making phone calls in support of the re-election effort.

    Why is there no concern for all of the thousands who put in the time and effort, in part to earn a ticket to the Big Event, and were then stiffed?

    I’m not going to address intelligence levels, it would likely be construed as a racial issue.

  • Joe Rhino

    This lady doesnt understand how the transportation business works. For example if you booked a flight to Charlotte and the event was cancelled does the airline refund your money. How about a resounding “NO”. The DNC created business for several tranporation companies in NC and SC. By committing to her reservation and bypassing other business Mr Biddle essentially lost business that otherwise he should have had. If he had a contract which states no refunds are given during a certain timeline then he was justified. From my understanding Ms. Brown actually signed a contract with the understanding that no refund would be given if a cancellation occurs within 30 days. I wonder if the media did their homework to find this key piece of evidence meanwhile another small business owner has his reputation tarnished. How about we call it what it is “Yellow Journalism” or maybe “Lazy Journalism”

  • B m

    what’s a few thousand dollars compared to what this man has cost the country in the last 4 years, and considering the DNC skipped town owing a measley 5 mil after getting Duke Power to spring for an additional 10 mil consider yourself getting ot light!

  • samantha

    obviously you commented without knowing anything about what you are commenting about first of all busses do not run on gasoline and being a resident of wilmington ms browne is not the upstanding person shes trying to be she is actually the wolf in sheeps clothing investigate what you are talking about before you run your pie hole!!

  • John

    The talking point your referring to “You didn’t build that” was taken completely out of context, and the more you repeat such nonsense to dumber you appear.

Related News