BBB Investigation: Consumer’s discounted vacation turns into expensive trip

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It was a deal too good to pass up for Betty Adams and her husband. To stay at a resort for five days in Cancun, all Adams would have to do is pay $496.99, book her own flight and attend a timeshare presentation. ClubBookIt, the company that allegedly made her reservation, would do the rest and even told Adams they would supply a taxi from the airport to the resort.

“They were so jolly on the phone,” Adams said.

But a fun trip to Mexico turned into what Adams called a frustrating series of events.

The taxi that was supposed to take Adams and her husband from the airport to the resort was never there. Instead, Adams paid for it.

After arriving at the hotel Adams tried to check-in, but the staff told Adams there was no record of a reservation with her or her husband’s name.

“They had never heard of us,” Adams said. “They had told us all these things like we would be met at the airport and there was nobody there.”

With no reservation in place for their trip, Adams said she paid for a one night stay. It was the second time that day she was forced to pay out of pocket for an expense she believed had been already taken care of. Not wanting to pay more money, Adams booked a return flight for the next day and took another cab back to the airport.

When she returned home, she called ClubBookIt to get some answers and a refund. Adams said she received neither.

“They told us we didn’t have a reservation because we didn’t give them our employment information, but we’re retired,” Adams said. “They then said we never gave them definite dates, but they emailed us a document with a supposed reservation.”

“They said there would be no refund and that it wasn’t their fault. The man on the phone was really nasty and aggressive,” Adams said.

In total, Adams claims to have lost close to $2,000.

BBB received complaints similar to Adams.

One complainant alleges they contacted the business, after paying upfront to book a resort reservations through ClubBookIt.com, and found out a reservation was allegedly never placed just prior to their planned trip. Some complainants also allege there was no record of a reservation after arriving to their booked resort. Complainants further allege they have difficulty reaching the business or receiving a callback regarding requested refunds for non-booked resort reservations.

BBB has contacted the business through email to discuss their complaints, but has yet to receive a response. Additionally, the business would not answer questions after BBB contacted it through the phone number listed on its website.

The company’s number was also listed on mystictravel.us and iigetaways.com, two different travel websites that have a domain registrant name of Thomas Cunningham and are allegedly located in Williamsville, New York. These two websites and ClubBookIt.com all share the same registrant email address.

The mailing address found for ClubBookIt.com was in Waco, but did not belong to the business. BBB confirmed the address listed on their website registration belongs to an unrelated business in Waco and have yet to receive a definite physical address.

If you are looking to travel to a resort or hotel, Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas, and the Permian Basin advises you to keep these tips in mind:

  • Be alert for travel scams. Unsolicited mail, emails, websites and calls offering deeply discounted travel packages could leave you out of a vacation and money. Watch out for scams saying that you have “won a trip.” If you have really won a free vacation, a legitimate company won’t ask you to pay any upfront or processing fees.
  • Get all vacation details in writing. Get all the details of your vacation in writing, including travel itineraries and booking confirmations before you leave. Get a copy of the company’s cancellation and refund policies. Be sure to verify your reservation with the hotel or resort directly. Ask the travel company to send contact information for any additional services like taxis or car rental agencies
  • Consider travel insurance. Travel insurance is designed to cover such things as trip cancellations or medical emergencies. The U.S. Travel Insurance Association maintains a list of licensed travel insurance companies. Certain travel companies have different policies and levels of coverage based on whether you purchase the car rental, flight or hotel. Ask questions, and always read the fine print to see what’s covered.
  • Pay with a credit card. A credit card gives you additional protection if something goes wrong with the travel reservation.
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One Response to BBB Investigation: Consumer’s discounted vacation turns into expensive trip

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