Remember Efren Bojorquez? All he wanted to do was take his dad to Super Bowl XLIX. You’ll recall that despite his best efforts to purchase tickets through a secondary market options scheme, ticket prices skyrocketed, and brokers selling the options could no longer procure tickets, even if they wanted to. Ticket brokers canceled their agreements with participants, keeping loads of cash, and leaving would-be game attendees empty-handed.
The way Bojorquez responded to the ticket scandal proved important to how his story — and our involvement — played out. It also taught us a valuable lesson about rules, and when they are meant to be bent.
Bojorquez had invested $3,000 in the scheme, with the hope that one of the teams he selected would make it to the Super Bowl. When the operation ground to a halt, Bojorquez felt ripped off, and rightly so. The organizing ticket brokers made many thousands of dollars, and refunded money only to a small fraction of participants.
When this drama unfolded, Bojorquez first tried to get a refund directly from Ludus Tours, the company that sold him options for the tickets. The company never acknowledged his refund request.
Then Bojorquez tried disputing the charges with his two credit card companies. The first card, Bank of America, sided with Bojorquez, but the second, Capital One, sided with the merchant.
Feeling out of options, Bojorquez consulted an attorney, who framed the claims in a complaint filed in small claims court in Bojorquez’s home state of Arizona. The claims were made under Arizona’s consumer fraud statute, in part, because the company advertised that the purchase was a “guarantee” for face value tickets. Because of the stated guarantee and the failure to deliver on the promise, the complaint alleges the company violated the consumer fraud statute, by engaging in: “deceptive or unfair act or practice, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation or concealment, suppression or omission of a material fact with the intent that others rely on such concealment, suppression or omission, in connection with the sale of any merchandise … whether or not any person has in fact been misled, deceived or damaged thereby.”
Bojorquez lives in Arizona, but his broker-defendant lives in Texas, where Bojorquez hired a process server to deliver the complaint. When the company received the complaint, it decided to ignore it — a mistake that would prove to be fatal to its defense.
When Ludus Tours did not answer the complaint or appear in court, the judge ruled in favor of Bojorquez, in a default ruling. The court never heard the merits of the case, and Bojorquez was handed a ruling against Ludus, the company that wouldn’t refund his money. The court awarded all of the funds he had paid, plus court costs, for a total of $2,100.
It was at this point that Bojorquez contacted us. He knew that in order to enforce the judgment, he would have to have the court’s order domesticated in Texas, a separate legal process with its own costs that would undoubtedly start eating into his recovery.