Posted: 3:56 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Action 9 confronts travel club over consumer complaints

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ORLANDO, Fla. —

A Eustis woman claims a travel club took her cash but gave her nothing in return, and Action 9 learned the central Florida company has a few dozen complaints about its travel deals.

Action 9's Todd Ulrich confronted company managers about member complaints, and he got results.

Janie Hirst just wanted to get away, so when someone approached her about a travel club offering deep discounts on vacation resorts and flights, she wanted to know more.

“We were promised the most inexpensive bookings on airlines and hotels. We would get two condo stays in addition to that," she said.

Hirst said she paid $1,000 after a sales presentation by Map Destinations in St. Augustine and was told the company is based in Winter Park.

She claims an attempt to book a trip was impossible by phone and she couldn't get answers for weeks.

"They always say someone will call you back, but no one calls back,” Hirst said.

Map Destinations has a C-rating at the Better Business Bureau, with 36 complaints, and shares a website with Map Destinations in South Carolina, which has an F-rating.

Ulrich took Hirst's case to company managers in St. Augustine.

“I talked to a consumer,” said Ulrich. 

“Turn the camera off,” responded a manager.

“She says the dream vacation was a nightmare," said Ulrich.

“Is that right? Let's walk outside,” said a manager.  

Ulrich explained, “She says she paid $1,000 and could not get a trip.”  

“Is that right?” replied the manager as he escorted Ulrich out of the building.

Later, senior managers showed Action 9 Hirst's membership file and how someone had been assigned to call her. 

The company offered a cheaper contract when Hirst missed a payment and everyone who wants to travel through the Winter Park fulfillment company can.  

The company  will now give Hirst a refund.

“I don't want to waste my time with them anymore. I don't want to spin my wheels,” said Hirst.

Winter Park company RSI actually arranges the travel for Map Destinations, a marketing company.

RSI is rated A-plus, but many customers told the BBB they did not save money buying travel that way.

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