No big introduction here…the blog is back and it’s better than ever, much like the Hess Truck. Hello to all six of my readers! And onward we go…
I’m not a negative person – and I don’t like having to be one. But Year 2 of Kevin Reviews Things is starting off with a negative review, because I’m still mad about something that happened a week ago. I don’t hold grudges and I’m more than willing to give a second chance in life – but I’m rather peeved by something that happened last Monday night. And since I’ve given the perpetrators of this civil injustice a chance to explain themselves with no response as of yet, I feel well within my rights to file an appropriate public reaction. So, McFadden’s at Citi Field – it’s on.
I’d only been a part of two live fantasy football drafts before – one during freshman year of college in our main lounge and one during junior year of college in a friend’s living room. They both made for enjoyable evenings. But wouldn’t it be great to have a draft at a bar, with dozens wings on a tray and beer on tap? Our fantasy league certainly thought so. (Note: This is one of the two fantasy leagues I’m in, the one made up of roommates and other close friends from Syracuse University. The other league is also close friends from Syracuse, but it’s compiled of friends from student media.) So when a couple of the league’s owners went to a Mets game at Citi Field and found a flyer advertising a fantasy football deal at the McFadden’s located at the stadium…it seemed like a no-brainer to try and set our draft for there.
And try we did! First, it was Louis Milman, one of our league’s owners who emailed Pamela from McFadden’s. (Note: The woman who we corresponded with is not actually named Pamela, and I’ve changed her name for anonymity’s sake.) After Pamela emailed Louis with the potential fantasy-draft deals, she didn’t respond to any of his further attempts at communication. That raised a red flag, and when I didn’t hear anything new about the situation from Louis, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
So on Monday, August 20, I called McFadden’s. I was sent straight through to Pamela and discussed the draft packages with her, and asked for an email just to clarify the different draft packages. I was also told during this conversation that McFadden’s was closed that night – but that the bar would still be opened for our fantasy draft. This was confirmed by Pamela during our conversation.
On that same Monday, August 20, I emailed back Pamela with the following contents.
“Here’s what our group is in for:
1) 10 people
2) Tuesday, September 4 at 8:30 PM
3) $20 special per person
And three other questions: How long do we have the place for? Where exactly in the bar are we? And is there wi-fi?
Thanks so much once again.”
I am still waiting for a response.
At 4:56 PM that night, I called Pamela’s cell phone, which was not answered.
On Tuesday, August 21, I called McFadden’s general number. The call was not answered, and I left a message asking to speak to Pamela.
On Wednesday, August 22, I called McFadden’s general number. The call was not answered, and the voicemail box was full.
On Thursday, August 23, I called McFadden’s general number. The call was not answered, and the voicemail box was full.
On Friday, August 24, I called McFadden’s general number. The call was not answered, and the voicemail box was full.
On Friday, August 24, I called Pamela’s cell phone, which was not answered. I left a voice message.
On Friday, August 24, I emailed Pamela and left the following message.
Wanted to check and see if we were all set here. I left a message a few days ago on the McFadden’s number and have not heard back. Thank you.”
On Monday, August 27, I called McFadden’s general number. The call was answered, surprisingly, and I chatted with a man whose name I was not given. I informed him of the details of our proposed fantasy draft, and he confirmed that we were, in fact, confirmed. We confirmed the date after he asked “Tuesday, September 4th?”, paused, and followed up with “sure, you’re all set.”
Seemingly confirmed by one source and definitely confirmed by another, our group of eight owners (four couldn’t make it to McFadden’s) assembled at Citi Field at 7:30 before an 8:30 draft. We stayed outside the dark, empty McFadden’s until 8:30. We then left.
During that time, five calls to Pamela were all sent straight to voicemail. A message was left that has not been returned. Three calls were placed to the general number as well, but no one was there to answer the phone, so that proved to be a fruitless exercise.
At 8:30, our group decided to head to Valley Stream and the house of another one of our owners, Eddie Del Castillo. (Keep in mind that our group consisted of two people coming from Connecticut, two coming from New York City and four from various areas of Long Island, so even more traveling was not part of Plan A.) The night turned out to be a fun, albeit long one, with wings, chips and beer purchased late, so all was not lost. But the bottom line is this – we were promised a draft and then left alone. We had many different attempts of communication blatantly and completely ignored. And we have not seen any response since.
A few days ago, I sent the following message to McFadden’s:
“To whom it may concern,
I am writing to express my immense dissatisfaction and frustration with this particular McFadden’s at Citi Field. I set up a fantasy football draft for Tuesday, September 4, at 8:30 PM at the ballpark for me and nine of my friends – and no one from McFadden’s showed up. I was told by both Pamela Jones – who has been entirely unresponsive to any emails, phone calls and voice messages since the day I first spoke to her a few weeks ago – and by another employee that we were confirmed for that date, although the bar was not open. Our group of friends and I converged at McFadden’s at 7:30 and left at 8:30 when no one showed up to let us in. If not for a parking attendant who allowed us to sit in the lot for that time span, we would have continued to circle around with nowhere to go.
The group involved in this event was coming from two different boroughs of New York City, four different towns of Long Island and two different cities of Connecticut. We chose McFadden’s as somewhat of a logical meet-up spot and ended up having to scrap all plans, greatly inconveniencing everyone involved in this league. I tried calling Pamela, who supposedly set the draft up for us, at least five different times. Each time, my call went straight to voicemail. No messages have yet been returned.
My first contact with Pamela came in an email on August 20. Since then, despite multiple emails, phone calls and voice messages, I have not heard back from her. If Pamela was unavailable, someone else should have been available to assume her work. It was obviously impossible for us with no point of contact to do anything on Tuesday night, as neither her cell phone nor the main number provided on the website led to an answer. Also, the voicemail box for the main number was full and has been for days, so I was unable to leave a message there.
In closing, an event which we were all extremely excited to attend turned into a completely inconvenient plan gone wrong, and there was no way we could have known about it or nothing we could have done about it. I am disappointed that a company offering such a package as the fantasy football draft deal would completely disregard a group of customers – and furthermore, make no later attempt to contact them. It’s a feeling I had never experienced until Tuesday night.
Thank you for your consideration.”
That’s all I have to say about McFadden’s – except I have to assign it a grade, don’t I? So let me review the place…
Drink Selection: F
Functionality of TVs: F
Smell of Bathrooms: F
How Slippery The Floor Was: F
Rats in the Corner: F
Arguments by Bouncer against Universal Health Care: F
…OK, none of the above nine things are actually true. But this next one is.
OVERALL GRADE: F
Back to things I actually like tomorrow. Thanks for tuning in.