Fort Worth, TX (PRWEB) August 27, 2014
As many people prepare to take their last vacation of the summer, Better Business Bureau® of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Inc. (BBB of Fort Worth) warns consumers to beware of suspicious travel offers. BBB of Fort Worth has five complaints from consumers who say they have lost collectively more than $10,000 to two Arlington,TX-based travel companies claiming to offer them a timeshare, round-trip airfare, or free hotel stays.
“Regardless of where they originate, these types of promotions seem to have many things in common,” said Larry Taylor, president and CEO of BBB of Fort Worth. “They ask consumers for money upfront, pressure consumers into making a decision on the spot, and promise deals that seem too good to be true. It’s important for consumers to remain vigilant and know how to spot these suspicious travel offers.”
According to consumer complaints filed with BBB of Fort Worth, two consumers paid collectively more than $5,000 to an Arlington,TX-based travel company. Consumers say they were called by a representative from the company who promised them a timeshare located outside of the United States. Consumers were told they had to pay an upfront fee for Mexican taxes and after the money was sent and contracts were signed, they were notified that the sale fell through and were told to expect a refund in six to eight weeks. Complainants say they never received the refunds and have been unable to reach the company.
Although information provided to consumers from travel company listed an Arlington, TX address, a BBB of Fort Worth investigation found no business record for the company in Texas. Multiple attempts to contact the business were met with a notice that the phone number has been disconnected and the website for the company is no longer in operation.
According to other complaints filed with BBB of Fort Worth, nearly $6,000 was paid collectively by consumers who say they received a flyer or postcard in the mail from another Arlington, TX-based travel company. Consumers say the mail piece promised them round-trip airfare and a free hotel stay for listening to a timeshare presentation. Consumers say after they attended the presentation, they never received the travel incentives that were offered and the discounted travel rates that were offered at the presentation turned out to be much higher than what was advertised.
Although information provided to consumers from the company listed an Arlington, TX address, a BBB investigation found no business record for the company in Texas. Consumers in California and Ohio have filed BBB complaints on the business and nearly 100 requests have been made for the business’s record on BBB’s website within the last month.
BBB of Fort Worth urges consumers to beware of suspicious travel offers and provides these tips:
--Beware of offers that ask you to send money via a wire transfer. Wire transfers are unsecured and are equivalent to sending cash. Once the money is gone, it is very difficult to get it back.
--Don’t be afraid to say no. If you’re feeling pressured or if a company representative asks you to make a decision right away, they may not be a company you want to do business with.
--Don’t share your personal information. Never give your credit card number, social security number or bank account information to pay for fees, taxes, or shipping costs for anything that you may have “won” or are getting for “free”. If you have to pay for something to collect a prize, you haven’t won anything.
--Ask a lot of questions and get all of the details. Make sure you’re clear on contract terms and all stipulations.
--Know your rights. Make sure you understand what you will need to do should you sign an agreement and then decide to cancel within three business days, per the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) three-day cooling off rule.
--Do your homework. Always research a company with your BBB at bbb.org
BBB of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Inc. serves businesses and consumers in eight North Texas counties: Tarrant, Johnson, Hood, Somervell, Wise, Parker, Erath, and Palo Pinto counties. To find a local BBB Accredited Business, visit Search4BBB.org. For consumer articles, to view company ratings, or file a complaint, visit MyLocalBBB.org or call BBB of Fort Worth at (800) 621-8566.
About BBB of Fort Worth
Better Business Bureau of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Inc. is a not-for-profit agency serving Tarrant, Johnson, Hood, Wise, Erath, Palo Pinto, Somervell, and Parker counties. BBB of Fort Worth provides education and information on business and business standards; and serves consumers by helping resolve consumer complaints regarding businesses. For more information, call (800) 621-8566 or visit fwbbb.org.
About BBB For 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2011, consumers turned to BBB more than 100 million times for Business Reviews on more than 4 million companies and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at http://www.bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 115 local, independent BBBs across the United States and Canada, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution and industry self-regulation. For more information, visit http://www.bbb.org.