Anchorage, AK (September 12, 2014) — Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington has received a recent pattern of complaints regarding the sales and advertising practices of Classic Connections Travel Company Inc in Tukwila, Wash. The company’s website appears to provide information on vacation packages, but consumers allege they have been conned out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In a complaint to BBB, one consumer says he lost $156,000 to the company. “I want the contract either honored and finalized or my money back,” he said.
Consumers say it starts with a phone call from a CCTC operator saying he represents a buyer who is interested in purchasing the customer’s Mexican timeshare property. The company promises no up-front fees to complete the transaction, consumers report. However, victims allege just before the deal closes, CCTC claims the Mexican government now requires prepayment for taxes and fees.
Complaints filed with BBB reveal the company repeatedly requests consumers to wire thousands of dollars to cover these supposed fees. Victims have paid amounts ranging from $2,350 to $156,000. After paying, they say CCTC no longer responds to their phone calls or emails. Complaints against the business come from consumers all over the country, including Idaho and California.
“We cannot get anyone to call us back or even email us…We are out over $6,000 including wire transfer fees,” another complainant said.
Additionally, BBB has learned CCTC is not licensed for timeshare or real estate transactions in Washington.
BBB urges timeshare owners to be on alert anytime a business claims to have a buyer for them, especially if the property is not listed for sale.
– Gather the facts. Make sure the company is who it claims to be. Check to see if it is properly licensed and consider its BBB Business Review.
– Read reviews. Research the business to see what other people are saying about their own experiences. Look for verified Customer Reviews from BBB.
– Be wary of wire transfers. Businesses who ask for wire transfers or payments via a prepaid debit card should raise red flags. Never wire money to a stranger.
– Avoid upfront fees. Legitimate companies typically take their fees after the sale is done or deduct it from the sale price. Do not pay for a promise.
Better Business Bureau advises consumers to report suspicious business activity. If a business appears to be dishonest and will not work to resolve concerns, file a complaint atBBB.org. And stay connected with the latest consumer alerts and warnings at BBB’s Social Hub.
Michelle Tabler, Alaska Regional Manager: 907-644-5208 | firstname.lastname@example.org
David Quinlan, Senior Director of Public Relations: 206-676-4119