LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — Instead of a refund, a busy signal and a full mailbox is all Shiela Hollenbaugh is getting from the Lockport Cave.

“Never have I had a situation where they wouldn’t give us our money back for services not rendered, or they wouldn’t render the services,” Hollenbaugh said.

Hollenbaugh and her husband travel the country looking for unique tourist attractions. When this Tennessee resident found herself in Lockport, booking a boat tour of the Lockport Cave was a no-brainer.

“The day of our tour was July 8,” added Hollenbaugh. “So I show up there, and the place is shut down, and the building department has it closed. I’m not sure why they took my money in the first place.”

Hollenbaugh said she booked and paid $110 for tickets online on June 16. That was four days after the caves were closed until further notice after one person died and several others were injured when a tour boat capsized.

She says the option to buy tickets should have been immediately turned off.

It’s a similar story for Valerie Ruda of Georgia, who spent $200 on tickets to take the cave tour with her family.

“My granddaughter said that she saw on Facebook that the caves were closed,” Ruda told News 4. “So, I tried calling and I’ve been trying to call, I’ve emailed and I have not gotten a response from anyone. Something about the electricity being out or something.”

Ruda is talking about this Facebook post from cave management more than two weeks after they closed:

News 4 reached out to the Lockport cave for answers and has not heard back.

Ruda thinks the electricity being cut at the cave is a bad excuse for not yet offering refunds.

“I keep the paperwork on my table, it sits on my table and I’m hoping I’m going to hear from them,” said Ruda. “Will I hear from them? I don’t know.”

Ruda told us if she doesn’t get her money back — she’ll cut her losses.

Hollenbaugh said she may take legal action.

Meanwhile, the Lockport Cave is still closed with its power cut after exposed wiring was found underwater.

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Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.