Cheerleaders want refund on travel package

The Young Champions of America
July 26, 2011 4:37:23 PM PDT
A Triangle cheerleading squad is scrambling to find a way to get to a national competition in Las Vegas. They group says it was misled about a travel deal.

It started with a fax detailing a once in a lifetime summer sale.

"It said you could get a flight and hotel package for $150 per person," mom Marina Espinal said.

She says she thought it was the perfect deal to get the cheer group, The Young Champions of America, to Las Vegas for the Girls National Cheer Competition. Espinal says she and some other moms called ASAP Travel.

"We contacted them several times, asked several questions," mom Tonya Badby said. "I kept stressing to her she has to leave on the 28th. Is that going to be a problem? And she said, 'Oh no, it's 30 days you have plenty of time.'"

Bradby and five other families signed up for the promotion and paid between $300 and $1,000 for the vacation packages. That cost was dependent upon the amount of people traveling in each family.

Espinal was first to get her travel package via email. Immediately, she realized big problems when it came to activating the deal.

"It would take 30 days, then another 14 days," she said. "Then we knew something was wrong because it said it was only for adults and we clearly said it was for children. It was a cheer leading competition."

In addition to that, Espinal realized the deal was only a hotel and no flights were included.

"We were misled, we were misinformed, we were told we were purchasing flights and hotel," she said.

Espinal says they called the travel company right away.

"They hang up on us, managers aren't available, the people that booked this don't work there any more, we are just getting the runaround," she explained.

Now, the moms don't know how the cheer group is going to get to Vegas.

"All the money that we fundraised, we put into these packages that we were supposed to get," Espinal said.

The moms reach out to the Troubleshooter, who contacted Coast to Coast Travel. Cost to Coast works with ASAP Travel. A supervisor said the company can refund the group its money, but the group is not agreeing to the terms and conditions, which includes a hefty cancellation fee.

The supervisor said the group was never told it would be able to travel the dates it needed as the travel packages are based on availability. He also said everything was explained verbally to the group at the time of ordering the package and was recorded to prevent these kinds of situations.

However, the moms say that's not the case and instead, they were sold a bad deal.

"Don't believe them, when you call them and it sounds all beautiful and all," Espinal said. "Yes, it is a package and this and that. All they want is to make their money. They don't care about you as you as a consumer."

You should never agree to anything over the phone. Ask the company to send you all the information and read it over before you pay a dime. Of course, when it sound too good to be true, it is.

In the case of the cheerleaders, the moms are scrambling to find last minute air fare for the competition this week in Las Vegas. Many say they've had to borrow money to pay for flights and hotels.

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