SEATTLE - February 8, 1999 - The Attorney General's Office today filed a lawsuit against Sunscapes Travel, a Bellevue company which advertised widely over the Internet and specialized in Hawaiian vacations, for failing to deliver more than $67,000 in travel services.
“This company left consumers holding the bag,” said Attorney General Christine Gregoire. “Without warning, refunds or apologies, this company closed down its web site and virtually disappeared.”
The Attorney General's Office was first alerted to problems in late December when consumers who had already paid Sunscapes for travel services found themselves without airline tickets or hotel reservations. As of yesterday, 36 consumers, 11 from Washington, had filed complaints with the Attorney General's office.
“We suspect the complaints we received are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Gregoire. “Marketing over the Internet means thousands of consumers all over the world could have been ripped off by this company.”
The lawsuit alleges that Sunscapes Travel, Inc. and its owners Maureen and Richard Cheal failed to provide the travel purchased, give refunds or deposit money paid by consumers into a trust account as required by the state Travel Sellers Act.
The state is asking for an injunction to stop the defendants from selling travel services in Washington, restitution for consumers, civil penalties and costs and fees.
Washington consumers who paid Sunscapes but failed to get what they paid for should contact the Attorney General's Office at 1-800-551-4636.