Bryan Cohen Mar. 11, 2014, 2:21pm
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced on Friday that he filed lawsuits against two travel club companies for allegedly deceiving consumers about membership benefits.
In one lawsuit, Koster alleged that Anytime Vacations made multiple promises about travel benefits to consumers but failed to deliver better deals than free services like Orbitz and Travelocity. In the other suit, Koster alleged Red Rock Travel LLC, doing business as Endless Travel Vacations, and its owners, Sherri Wolff and Jack Keefe, allegedly engaged in the same type of fraudulent business practices.
Anytime Vacations allegedly promised consumers discounts on cruises, hotel accommodations, airfare and other travel benefits for joining its travel club and paying fees of hundreds or thousands of dollars. Koster's office received 50 complaints against Anytime Vacations, alleging consumers paid a total of more than $140,000 for benefits that were never delivered. Anytime Vacations also allegedly refused to issue refunds.
Koster's office received five complaints about Endless Travel Vacations alleging they paid $19,000 in total fees.
Both lawsuits allege the companies failed to register with the state, failed to provide proof of sufficient reserve funds to provide the services they promised and told consumers they had just three days to cancel contracts when they actually had three years to cancel.
"Some travel clubs use high-pressure tactics to make it difficult for consumers to say 'no', and then put up roadblocks for consumers to cancel," Koster said. "My office will pursue travel-club businesses that cheat Missouri consumers and violate our state's laws."
Koster's lawsuits seek consumer restitution, civil penalties and attorney costs.