In 2017, your BBB® has received 7,000 complaints regarding travel agencies and the services they offer. Most of the time, these complaints are about misleading ads or travel offers that agencies and agents fail to deliver.
However, sometimes customers discover that they’ve paid for bogus travel arrangements advertised by scammers. As some of you travel in and out of state for spring break, your favorite BBB would like to share a few tips to keep both you and your money safe:
Book through a reliable website or travel agent. If you need someone you can trust, check them out at www.bbb.org and you will find their BBB profile, customer complaints, and rating.
Get everything in writing before signing or paying. Make sure that all the info is included: dates, total cost, any restrictions, flights, hotel reservations, car rental, cancellation policy.
Shop around and do your homework! Try to find out as much as you can about the travel agency/agent and if you still have questions, call your BBB for more info. However, make sure to really shop around before deciding on a vacation package, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
Pay with a credit card. This type of payment offers the most protection in case something goes wrong and you need to challenge the charges.
Did you really “win” a trip? If you didn’t enter any raffles or contests and have no idea how you could’ve won, it’s most likely a scam. If you indeed win a trip, it should be given to you for free. If you’re asked to pay a fee upfront, that’s another red flag!
To conclude: do your homework beforehand, ask your BBB for help and get everything in writing! If you need us, you’re a phone call away. Enjoy your spring break and should you need to report a scam, go to bbb.org/ScamTracker!