SEATTLE - October 8, 1997 - In an agreement negotiated by the Attorney General's Office, Vacation Time Worldwide will reimburse consumers who purchased travel club memberships and have not received their promised vacations. The Bellevue travel club has established a $100,000 trust fund to cover the reimbursement costs.
The AG's Office filed a lawsuit against Vacation Time Worldwide in March after receiving more than 330 written complaints from consumers. The complaints allege Vacation Time Worldwide lured consumers into attending sales presentations with false claims they had "won" free prizes. The complaints also allege the company misrepresented the value and availability of travel discounts -- including promises that club members would receive the lowest air fares available.
"Travel is our number one consumer complaint this year," said Regina Cullen, Assistant Attorney General. "Many of those consumers fell victim to empty promises of big savings on dream vacations."
According to Cullen, the bottom line for consumers is not the size of the discount, but the actual cost of the trip. Consumers should consult established travel agencies for information on travel prices and arrangements.
Consumers purchased Vacation Time Worldwide memberships for between $1,195 and $3,195 and were guaranteed substantial travel savings. In many cases the discounts were not realized.
In the agreement, consumers who never received the Vacation Time Worldwide services or discounts they purchased and were promised, have until December 1, 1997 to request a refund. Claim forms are available by calling the AG's Office at 1-800-551-4636. The completed claim forms must be returned to the AG's Office by February 2, 1998.