SeaLand Travel Offer

This mailer invites potential customers to a meeting, but we didn't get a friendly reception.
The President of Destinations Unlimited, Bill Johnston confronts me, saying, "You just want to come down and disrupt business and be sensational."
I responded back, "No I don't. This is the only way I can find you. I can't go to a P.O. Box and talk to someone."
Johnston says, "You could have walked in here without a camera."
I said, "Well this is what I do for a living." He answers, "I understand that."
Here's the background.
A travel company has rented out a conference room here at this Embassy Suites Hotel off of I-25 and Woodmen Road.
I'm told employees are pitching their travel club offering memberships to married couples who make at least $40,000 a year.
But a Colorado Springs family tells us don't bother... it's not worth your time or your money.
Pete Michaud says, "They try to become your friend you know. They put on a real good presentation. They tell you stories that they cannot produce."
Pete and his wife Julie say a tempting mailer from Destinations Unlimited out of Dallas, Texas got them to attend the meeting.
Just for being there they were offered a complimentary three day/two night Hyatt getaway to one of many Hyatt properties in the U.S. along with some other perks.
Julie Michaud tells us, "It turns out that the airline voucher... you have to send in $50 per ticket..." "...and when you fill out the dates you want to travel... they have to be on a Monday or Tuesday."
The Michauds say salesmen spent an hour trying to get them to join a club which wasn't Destinations Unlimited, but another company called SeaLand Travel.
They say salesmen bragged about cheap airfares and great prices for stays in luxury condos by using the travel club's exclusive website.
Club memberships can cost you up to eight-thousand dollars ... depending on how many weeks you purchase.
The Michauds ended up paying nearly three-thousand using their credit card ... only to regret it once they returned home and read about the company on the Better Business Bureau website.
Katie Carrol with the BBB of Southern Colorado says her agency has issued warnings about SeaLand Travel and its associated companies.
Carrol says, "This company, number one, uses high pressure sales tactics, misleading advertising and the bottom line is... they don't deliver what they promise."
Carrol says many of the complaints about the company... deal with its refund policy... only giving money back within three days.
Most folks say they aren't given access to the company's website to see what kind of vacations they can choose from for seven days ... too late for a refund.
We talked to the offices of Attorneys General in Florida, Texas, and Missouri and learned of countless complaints. Most members say they were disappointed to find no deep discounts. In fact, they say they found similar prices booking trips on their own.
We asked the president of Destinations Unlimited about that... when we found him at the hotel bar at the Embassy Suites.
I asked Bill Johnston, "They're saying they're not getting any benefits from that... that it's not cheaper... that there are not any of the perks that are promised."
Johnston responds, asking, "Have you ever used a travel agency as opposed to doing it yourself?"
I said, "Sure."
He then asks, "Is there a convenience factor in there?"
I respond, saying, "Well sure."
He then asks, "Isn't that worth something?"
I say, "Sure, but is it worth $8,000 is what I'm asking."
Johnston says, "It depends on what it is and where you are going."
The Michauds were able to get their money back because they acted within the three day refund timeframe.
The lesson here... before you buy a travel membership or join any kind of club... do your homework.
Make sure you have time to try out the product before the refund period's up. It's easier to hang onto your money than try to get it back later.
By the way, we also contacted Hyatt Hotels and a public relations director says Hyatt had no idea Destinations Unlimited was using the Hyatt name on its promotion.
We're told Hyatt is now considering legal action as well as reporting the company to the Colorado Attorney General's office.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Christoper Location: Fort Worth on Feb 19, 2012 at 03:17 PM
    Agree, I can't even get them to call me back...we got duped and they continue to avoid my calls. If no one knows of a class action suite, I will contact the AG to see how to start one.
  • by Ron Location: Gulf Coast of Alabama on Aug 22, 2011 at 03:38 PM
    I too was scammed by James Rugg, sales person who represents Destinations Unlimited. Contract was on SeaLand Travel paper. I have received absolutely NO VALUE and have found the same or even better deals on the internet travel websites. I called when my annula renewal membership came due to cancel. When speaking to Tom in membership services, he told me that Destinations Unlimited out of Denver CO. was an independent ditributor who SeaLand travel no longer works with. I don't believe this. I would like to know about any class action lawsuits as well out of Alabama. I will research and contact Alabama Attorney General. This should be stopped.
  • by JOANN Location: DALLAS, TX on Aug 16, 2011 at 08:41 PM
    john, did you get any info. on class action suit?
  • by JOANN Location: DALLAS, TX on Aug 16, 2011 at 08:36 PM
    Ray, do you currently have any info. on class action suit in Texas?
  • by JoAnn Location: Dallas, Texas on Aug 16, 2011 at 08:32 PM
    Is there any class action lawsuit in Texas against SeaLand Travel?
  • by susan Location: Keller, TX on Jun 6, 2011 at 12:59 PM
    Please provide us with any info available to join in class action suit. This org. was not licensed to conduct business in Texas per AG office.
  • by Ana Corey Location: DFW on Mar 21, 2011 at 07:46 AM
    I would like to join in a class action law suit. We were taken in three years ago. Still trying to get our money back and not pay anymore membership dues!
  • by MAC Location: DFW on Mar 4, 2011 at 07:59 AM
    We were scammed by SeaLand in July of 2009 in their Dallas office. We are interested in the class action suit. I contacted the Dallas AG office, but I wasn't told of a class action suit, only the state's order to shut them down. Is there a private class action suit by citizens seeking remuneration from SeaLand? If so, please post info. Thanks. Let's get these low-lives and make them pay!
  • by Mark Location: Ocean Springs, MS on Feb 25, 2011 at 02:26 AM
    Need contact info for class action suit.Thanks They are working out of Gulf Shore Alabama also.
  • by Cheryl Location: San Antonio, TX on Jan 26, 2011 at 09:34 AM
    Ray Carroll: Contact the AG office in your city. There is a class action suit currently underway. They will tell you what you need to do in order to be a part of this suit. Good luck!
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