SEATTLE - July 31, 1998 - The Attorney General's Office today took action against travel sellers in Yakima and Bellevue for allegedly failing to deliver the travel purchased and deceiving consumers about cancellation rights and refund policies.
“People take vacations to get away from their troubles, not add to them, ” said Attorney General Christine Gregoire, “Not only were vacations unexpectedly canceled, consumers never got their money back.”
Actions were filed against two travel sellers and their owners: Nevada Winners and David Ward and Sandi Jensen of Yakima and Andina Tours and Travel and owner Frank Rosenthal of Bellevue.
The Attorney General's Office filed a lawsuit against Nevada Winners alleging it used deceptive practices including failing to disclose that flights would be canceled unless 50% of each charter flight was booked in advance. In addition, the AG's office was granted a temporary restraining order prohibiting the company from further violations and preventing the company from destroying records.
Over 200 consumers complained about the Yakima company, which uses the Internet to sell seats on charter airlines to Reno and Las Vegas. The company also books hotel reservations and provide other travel services.
Andina Tours, a company that specializes in travel to South America, allegedly collected over $22,000 from 14 consumers who never received the travel they purchased.
The lawsuit filed against Andina requests refunds for consumers and reimbursement of legal costs and fees.
“We suspect there are other consumers who were cheated by this company,” said Gregoire. “This travel company marketed primarily to people from South America who may not know they should complain to our office.”
According to Gregoire, last year travel companies generated more complaints to her office than any other industry category. In the first six months of this year, travel ranks in the number two position on the complaint list.