Thursday, August 6, 2009
Attorney General Abbott Charges North Texas Travel Club With Using Unlawful, High-Pressure Sales TacticsDALLAS – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today charged an Irving travel club with unlawfully using high-pressure sales tactics to mislead prospective customers about its travel services. The state’s enforcement action, filed in Dallas County District Court, names Infiniti Vacations, L.L.C. and its principals, Brad A. Cormack, Craig Narez and Jerald F. Jackson.
An investigation by the Office of the Attorney General found that the defendants purported to offer free trips, airline tickets and even gasoline if customers agreed to attend sales presentations about the company’s travel deals. Additional conditions were added once prospective club members attended the defendants’ sales presentations.
Customers were told they needed to pay various deposits and port charges or taxes to redeem the “free” trips and airline tickets; and would need to participate in lengthy surveys in order to obtain “free” gasoline. Customers who paid various fees and taxes for the “free” trips often found that the travel restrictions were so onerous that the trips were virtually impossible to schedule.
Customers who paid between $1,900 and $7,000 for Infiniti Vacations’ memberships were promised travel values for “pennies on the dollar” and at the “lowest prices for travel.” However, Infiniti’s Vacation Travel Club members soon discovered that their options for booking travel were limited. Additionally, customers discovered that they could have successfully booked the same trips using various Internet travel services for approximately the same prices. The defendants’ promises of significant discounts promised on cruises, air travel, hotels and condominiums proved no better than competing travel companies’ deals.
The Attorney General seeks up to $20,000 per violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, as well as restitution for financially harmed customers. The Attorney General also contends the defendants violated the Contest and Gift Giveaway Act by failing to live up to advertised promises of “free” trips, airline tickets and gasoline.