Complaints stack up over Wine Run that never happened - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Complaints stack up over Wine Run that never happened

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It's an organization that holds wine runs across the country, but one local woman says it ripped her off. And... she's not alone. 

Lots of folks say the Ultimate Wine Run has left them with a sour taste in their mouths.

The Ultimate Wine Run advertised to have its November 19, 2016 run at Firestone Vineyard nestled off Highway 154 on Foxen Canyon Wine Trail. However, the tasting room manager says she has no record that the event was even scheduled there. 
"It's incredibly frustrating. It really, really gets to me that it keeps going on," said Karla Jacobsen of Atascadero.
Jacobsen signed up and paid $38.95 to participate in November's Ultimate Wine Run. Eight months later, her glass remains empty.
Jacobsen registered for the 5K in May of 2016. Two months later, she received an email saying the event was rescheduled due to a lack of registrations.
Then on November 16, three days before the original run was supposed to take place, Jacobsen got another email. It said it was postponed again, and no refunds would be issued. 

Fast forward to July of this year...  
"I reached out to them a couple different times. I tried through Facebook. I had two different emails that I did and there was zero response from them," Jacobsen said.
Jacobsen isn't the only one who's lost money to The Ultimate Wine Run.
Complaints with the organization are nationwide. On its Facebook page, some people have posted their negative experiences.
Others had better luck with the events that actually happened.
The Ultimate Wine Run went into business in Corona, California in August of 2015. It has earned an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau. That grade is based on complaints, and it's received at least 40 complaints over the past year.

The organization has responded to some complaints online, defending itself. 

"When someone is not being real transparent in where they are or how to contact them, that's a red flag," said Rick Copeland, President of the TriCounties BBB.
Copeland says it's imperative that consumers read the fine print when it comes to refunds.
"But you really just have to do your homework," Copeland added.
It's also recommended that you file a complaint when you think you're being cheated.
While Jacobsen is out nearly $40 for her VIP ticket, she said, "I know that there are other people who are falling for it. They have a really good front on the company that makes it look very professional and you don't really see the red flags until things start going wrong."

KSBY had an interview scheduled with the Ultimate Wine Run organizers on July 13. However, due to our coverage of the Whittier Fire, we had to postpone it. We've tried several times since then to reach the group by phone and email and have not heard back.

The BBB says the company can improve its rating with fewer complaints and by addressing the ones it has.

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