Janette Jahoda believes these mailings are connected to a new discount travel company called Access Travel Deals. Access Travel Deals (www.accesstraveldeals.com (http://www.accesstraveldeals.com/))
Access Travel Deals’ website is virtually identical to the websites of several other travel companies, including www.globalvacationdeals.net, www.selectedvacations.com, www.lifetimetraveldeals.com and www.reliabletraveldeals.com. All sites have nearly identical home pages, testimonials and other information.
Janette Jahoda said the mailings have the capacity to mislead the public, using a company name similar to US Airways. “People have every reason to be wary of these mailings. There is no company called US Airlines,” she said.
“It appears that the sole purpose of these letters is to get people to attend meetings to listen to sales pitches for a travel club,” Jahoda said. “There simply are too many questions to believe at this point that this is a good deal.”
Several Phoenix area residents have contacted BBB in recent days, asking about the tri-fold mailer. The mailings have no return address and typically are marked “Final Notice” and “Personal and Confidential”
Customer service representatives who answered a toll-free phone number included with the mailing said the company had been hired by a Scottsdale.-
One of the representatives asked the caller a series of qualifying questions, then said that the travel voucher could be redeemed during a meeting with company sales representatives at a local hotel. He said the sales presentations would not include “bullying”
The customer service representative was looking to make an appointment for the “highly” entertaining presentation. The customer service representative said proof of identification and a credit card would be required to attend.
The website for Access Travel Deals calls the company “the nation’s leader in discount travel agency promotional appointments.”
Jahoda contacted the BBB in Phoenix, Arizona, which noted that Selected Vacations, US Airlines and Travel Union are alternate names for American Travel Deals.
BBB has recorded 65 complaints against the business. That number excludes dozens of reports to BBB that are considered informational. Most consumers complained that the mailings are deceptive or misleading.
In its report on American Travel Deals, BBB says that “US Airlines” and “American Airways” (another name used by the company) “are companies that do not exist.” BBB says it has been unable to confirm a physical address for this company after numerous attempts to locate it. Phoenix BBB made several attempts to reach principals of the company, but did not receive a reply.
BBB offers the following tips when receiving unsolicited mail offers:
Make sure you know exactly who sent the mailing. If you can’t identify the business or individual, you probably should not give them your business.
If the mailing includes an offer for a gift, make sure you understand exactly what will be expected of you to get the gift.
Do not be pressured into doing business with a company.
Do not enter into any agreement without understanding it completely.
Ask a company for references and contact them before doing business.
If you make any payment, pay by credit card whenever possible in case you need to challenge the charge.
Research any company thoroughly before doing business. Check a BBB Business Review (http://stlouis.bbb.org/
For more information on travel scams please contact Janette Jahoda, Cruise Planners, Glendale AZ at 623-688-0968 or email her at JJahoda@CruisePlanners.com. You may also visit us online at www.ArizonaCruisePlanners.com or like us on Facebook.com/
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