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  • Report: #70611

Complaint Review: American Voyager Travel

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  • Submitted: Thu, October 30, 2003
  • Updated: Thu, January 20, 2005

  • Reported By:Bedford Texas
American Voyager Travel
3901 Airport Frwy Bedford, Texas U.S.A.

American Voyager Travel stole monies owed refuses to pay commissions operates in violation of Texas State law Bedford Texas

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: COMPANY CLOSES WITHOUT NOTICE

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: COMPANY CLOSES WITHOUT NOTICE

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: COMPANY CLOSES WITHOUT NOTICE

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Not all employees were in on the scam.

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: pete

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I do it for the money, standard practice by American Voyager

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: American Voyager IS legit

*Consumer Suggestion: Travelbridge NOW Known as MR. E's Travel, don't know how these people can sleep at night

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Greg Cato, one of the owners; who by the way, is from Turn of the Century and Travelbridge. He was rude and condensing.

*Consumer Comment: They are in direct violation of the AG settlement

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: AMERICAN VOYAGER TRAVEL IS ONE BIG RIP-OFF!!

*Consumer Comment: You are still in violation with AG

*UPDATE Employee: We were a travel agency long before becoming a timeshare exchange/travel club.

*UPDATE Employee: We were a travel agency long before becoming a timeshare exchange/travel club.

*UPDATE Employee: We were a travel agency long before becoming a timeshare exchange/travel club.

*UPDATE Employee: We were a travel agency long before becoming a timeshare exchange/travel club.

*Consumer Comment: Who are you kidding? Don't say that you are the good guys. What about Turn of the Century Travel in Dallas ...ring a bell?

*UPDATE Employee: No Validity to Complaint on American Voyager Travel

*Author of original report: American Voyager in Violation of the Law

*Author of original report: American Voyager in Violation of the Law

*Author of original report: American Voyager in Violation of the Law

*Author of original report: American Voyager in Violation of the Law

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This company is very, very similar to Travelbridge, so similar in fact that you should look into what the attorney generals office says about the practice of promising a travel agent ID card to individuals.
Summary of Injunctive Provisions:

The Final Judgment and Agreed Permanent Injunction has numerous injunctive provisions which address the fundamental concerns raised in the State's Petition including, but not limited to enjoining Defendants from:

1. Using the terms "Travel Agent rates," "Agent rates," or other similar terms in describing benefits their members are entitled to;

2. Representing expressly or by implication that their members are entitled to Travel Agent rates;

3. Representing expressly or by implication that their members are Travel Agents, outside Travel Agents, associate Travel Agents, or any other similar term that implies that their members are Travel Agents;

4. Issuing identification cards that state or imply that their members are Travel Agents, outside Travel Agents, associate Travel Agents, or any other similar term that implies their members are Travel Agents;

5. Failing to disclose in any oral or written solicitations that their members are not entitled to Travel Agents rates;

6. Failing to disclose in any oral or written solicitations that most major travel suppliers have policies which limit Travel Agent rates to individuals who work in the travel industry;

7. Failing to disclose in any oral or written solicitations that most major travel suppliers require, at a minimum, Travel Agents to possess a valid International Airlines Travel Agent Network (IATAN) ID card to be eligible for Travel Agent rates;

8. Failing to disclose in any oral or written solicitations that individuals must work at least 20 hours per week and earn $5,000 per year in commissions and/or salary in the travel industry to be eligible for an IATAN ID card.

If you are subject to any of these terms please notify the Texas Attorney General's Office.

Jim
Bedford, Texas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/30/2003 06:28 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/American-Voyager-Travel/Bedford-Texas-76022/American-Voyager-Travel-stole-monies-owed-refuses-to-pay-commissions-operates-in-violation-70611. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 21Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

COMPANY CLOSES WITHOUT NOTICE

AUTHOR: B - (U.S.A.)

I AM IN TOTAL AGRREMENT WITH CHRISTINA, WE THOUGHT WE WERE PROVIDING A GENUINE SERVICE TO CONSUMERS ONLY TO FIND OUT THAT WITH NO REMORSE THE COMPANY WILL UP AND MOVE OVER NIGHT WITH OUT NOTICE. ALL FUTURE EMPLOYEES AND PROSPECTS, BEWARE.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

COMPANY CLOSES WITHOUT NOTICE

AUTHOR: B - (U.S.A.)

I AM IN TOTAL AGRREMENT WITH CHRISTINA, WE THOUGHT WE WERE PROVIDING A GENUINE SERVICE TO CONSUMERS ONLY TO FIND OUT THAT WITH NO REMORSE THE COMPANY WILL UP AND MOVE OVER NIGHT WITH OUT NOTICE. ALL FUTURE EMPLOYEES AND PROSPECTS, BEWARE.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

COMPANY CLOSES WITHOUT NOTICE

AUTHOR: B - (U.S.A.)

I AM IN TOTAL AGRREMENT WITH CHRISTINA, WE THOUGHT WE WERE PROVIDING A GENUINE SERVICE TO CONSUMERS ONLY TO FIND OUT THAT WITH NO REMORSE THE COMPANY WILL UP AND MOVE OVER NIGHT WITH OUT NOTICE. ALL FUTURE EMPLOYEES AND PROSPECTS, BEWARE.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Not all employees were in on the scam.

AUTHOR: Kristina - (U.S.A.)

I'm an ex-employee of American Voyager Travel. I'm writing this to inform others that not all the American Voyager Travel employees were in on the scam. The department I worked for for American Voyager Travel has recently closed down. They gave us no notice, as well as no severation letter. Also, the last couple months we were open, our payroll checks were bouncing all over town. To the people who were scammed by "us", I apologize, but some of us were just doing our jobs.
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

pete

AUTHOR: Johnny - (U.S.A.)

pete, if you are the same pete we nicknamed "Pete Pitching Heat" (beacuse his sales pitchs always brought down heat) than you of all people know that the owners as well as greg cato were always on your case about lying to potential members to sign them.

of course many salespeople would tell the people anything to get them to sign on but it had nothing to do with the higher ups encouraging this unethical practice but had everything to do with the salesmans greed for the high commisions paid to them. my only conclusion about your post was that for some reason you were let go and hold ill feelings toward the company for firing you, but since i dont know the exact circumstances of your dismissl this is only my opinion
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I do it for the money, standard practice by American Voyager

AUTHOR: Pete - (U.S.A.)

I was employed by American Voyager Travel and told directly by the owners , Mathew and Melissa to do ANYTHING I could to get money in. ANYTHING.
So I lied about anything the people wanted to hear in order to get a deal.

This is a standard practice by American Voyager.
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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

American Voyager IS legit

AUTHOR: Johnny - (U.S.A.)

As an ex employee of this company I will be the first one to say that the only thing this company is guilty of is a member base who doesnt take the initiative to become better informed about the program and all its benefits. There is no free ride and in order to get these incredible savings on travel one needs to put a certain amount of work to make it happen. Commisions are always paid when they are deserved. People complaing about not recieving commisions are the same ones not taking time to learn the whole system and might be expecting monies owed to them from non commionable bookings. The difference between Travelbridge and American Voyager is that American Voyager strives to follow through with customer service after becoming members, while travel bridge stopped after recieving the membership fees. This company in essence is a good legitamite business but like all a few bad seeds may exist in some of the sales people but they are dealt with as they come to light. Being no longer employed by them one would presume no loyalties to the company to be present but after reading these allegations I had to try and shed some light on this before unjust legall problems arise for a good business.
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

Travelbridge NOW Known as MR. E's Travel, don't know how these people can sleep at night

AUTHOR: Janet - (U.S.A.)

I am a Travelbridge member and have been for some time. However that really does not mean anything. In November I was informed that the Houston office was shutting down and everything was going to be ran out of the Scottsdale AZ office. Well the office in Houston is gone and the manager of said office is now in business for herself as MR. E's Travel. I was told that if I continue to book with her that I will receive my commission and there would be no membership fee. Well so far she has implemented a fee to join. So here we go again. It seems like these companies open, take everyones money then disappear and reopen and start all over again. I do not know how these people can sleep at night. The manager here in Houston moved here for Travelbridge and we do not need her or anyone like her in Houston... So please if you read this go away and leave the people in Houston alone.
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#9 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Greg Cato, one of the owners; who by the way, is from Turn of the Century and Travelbridge. He was rude and condensing.

AUTHOR: Helen - (U.S.A.)

In May, I became a member. I was so excited because I was treated professionally and felt that my experience would be quite rewarding.

My first surprise was attending a class given by Greg Cato, one of the owners; who by the way, is from Turn of the Century and Travelbridge. He was rude and condensing. Class material was Poor.

Even though Greg Cato's class was lacking, I still wanted to feel confident and made a commitment to do the web site. There are numerous problems here. The webmaster, is the father in law of the owner; Melissa Samei, who in her rebuttal represented herself to be the Manager. The site rarely works. Emails to Hugh Erwin are ignored. This is a joke.

Melissa represented that there is a 40 hour a week training program. This is not true. Nor, is the commission 100% on the website, unless they have subsequently increased this without notice to the older members.

When you call Melissa in Dallas for assistance, she does not return calls, nor do the assistants.
In spite of their lack of cooperation, I have had about 18 bookings.

GUESS WHAT? NO COMMISSIONS RECEIVED

Last week I attended a class. The now manager was in the hall way using profanity. It seems that their additute is WE HAVE YOUR MONEY. SO WHAT?

Is it a scam? YOU BE THE JUDGE!!!
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#10 Consumer Comment

They are in direct violation of the AG settlement

AUTHOR: Beth - (U.S.A.)

It is now time for anyone that has been taken by this company, or a company like it, to stand up and contact the media and the AG's Office. They are in direct violation of the AG settlement, and they, as well as all travel clubs like them, are just making a great living off you hard earned money. You can't pay money to become an instant travel agent any more than you can pay to become anything else you want to be. It takes hard work and a will to learn this ever changing and growing industry. Just because you plunk down 1900.00 + and get a card (nobody will recognize), does not make you eligible for the same benefits as someone with an IATAN card. They are not one and the same. What is happening to this industry is these companies are making the world a travel agent. Cruise and Tour companies are very tired of people calling and saying they are a travel agent, but they have no knowledge of the information required to complete the booking. When I went to school to be a travel agent, we really never talked about travel agent rates. FAM trips are not vacations. If you hear the word FAM this is a familiarization trip and is just to get you knowledgeable on a product. You have hardly any free time and are shuttled on and off busses, site inspections on up to 10 hotels a daydoes this sound like fun? They are designed to educate you, so you go back to your office and sell what they have to offer to your clients. Dont get me wrong there are a lot of good outside agents continuously going to trainings, vender breakfasts at 7:00 a.m. and traveling all over the country to do so. This is the trend of the future, there are enough of them, so save your money and book your travel with someone you trust, and whose eyes you can look into.
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#11 UPDATE EX-employee responds

AMERICAN VOYAGER TRAVEL IS ONE BIG RIP-OFF!!

AUTHOR: M & A - (U.S.A.)

It first starts with a phone call from a telemarketing company offering a "FREE" trip to you if you come to a 90 minute presentation. Once there you are introduced to a salesperson (guide) they ask you question about your traveling habits, then tell you that it is not a timeshare or vacation club.

In the presentation they tell you that you can travel like travel agents as long as you buy their program. They offer classes to help you with you new venture. At the end of the presentation they tell you if you buy today you will receive extra items: like 250 free business card (they fail to mention that you have to pay for the shipping and have to use the Dallas address), a website, an extra ID card for your spouse, and an increase of commission from 25% to 80%.

If you say no then a second person will come to the table to try to lower the set price from $5995.00 to as low as $1900.00. Telling you that everything is a 100% tax right off. Also telling you that the "FREE" trip is yours weither you buy the plan or not. Once they have gotten you to agree, they then take you into an other room to do the paperwork.

They get your ID cards done after they do the paperwork, give you a handbook, a bag, and a class schedule. Then you pick up your free trip. At first they didn't tell anyone that you had to pay a refundable deposit on the "FREE" trip along with never getting your dates that you want. Upgrades are available with an additional cost to you.

The classes are a joke. They basically give you the run around about commissions and how to get travel agent discounts. I have booked two trips and never seen a commission check yet. Also the website cost $40 a month and doesn't work properly most of the time. During the presentation or the introduction class they don't tell you that the website cost $40 a month.

This company should not be in business. They now have there own telemarketing team and a website called almostfreetrips.com. To get more victims into there company. They like people between the ages of 40 and 65. With an annual income over $50,000.00 a year. The reason that they pick people between those ages is that most will not report that they have been scammed.

If you read this PLEASE do not fall for this scam and tell others not to either!!

I hope the Texas Attorney General nails you to a wall on this.
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#12 Consumer Comment

You are still in violation with AG

AUTHOR: Beth - (U.S.A.)

Based on your response, you are in violation of the AG agreement. You are stating that people are paying you money to get travel agent rates. If you were an a accredited school with outside agents that would be one thing, but we both know that the sales staff sells your product for the travel agent rates. If I were you I would check out your employers background, and be careful of defending what they are doing.
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#13 UPDATE Employee

We were a travel agency long before becoming a timeshare exchange/travel club.

AUTHOR: Melissa - Travel Manager - (U.S.A.)

Dear Sirs,

American Voyager Travel, Inc. is different than other companies listed. We were a travel agency long before becoming a timeshare exchange/travel club. Unlike the other companies we offer a 40 hour a week training program and assistance for building a home based business. Our training coordinator was the head of the travel agent training department at a local community college. We are a large volume agency that receives many discounts in addition to the agent rates. The information regarding commissions is false. We send out over 500 commission checks monthly ranging from $3 to $3000. We have an inhouse support team that helps our customers build 24 hour access websites for which they earn 100% of the commissions. American Voyager Travel, Inc. organizes many cruise opportunities and seminars at seas for the benefits of our members/outside agents only. Unfortunately, not every customer is satisfied and we do our best to resolve those issues.

Finally, we do disclose all issues regarding agent rates, including the qualifications for the IATAN ID. I believe the title of this report is wrong and should be changed.
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#14 UPDATE Employee

We were a travel agency long before becoming a timeshare exchange/travel club.

AUTHOR: Melissa - Travel Manager - (U.S.A.)

Dear Sirs,

American Voyager Travel, Inc. is different than other companies listed. We were a travel agency long before becoming a timeshare exchange/travel club. Unlike the other companies we offer a 40 hour a week training program and assistance for building a home based business. Our training coordinator was the head of the travel agent training department at a local community college. We are a large volume agency that receives many discounts in addition to the agent rates. The information regarding commissions is false. We send out over 500 commission checks monthly ranging from $3 to $3000. We have an inhouse support team that helps our customers build 24 hour access websites for which they earn 100% of the commissions. American Voyager Travel, Inc. organizes many cruise opportunities and seminars at seas for the benefits of our members/outside agents only. Unfortunately, not every customer is satisfied and we do our best to resolve those issues.

Finally, we do disclose all issues regarding agent rates, including the qualifications for the IATAN ID. I believe the title of this report is wrong and should be changed.
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#15 UPDATE Employee

We were a travel agency long before becoming a timeshare exchange/travel club.

AUTHOR: Melissa - Travel Manager - (U.S.A.)

Dear Sirs,

American Voyager Travel, Inc. is different than other companies listed. We were a travel agency long before becoming a timeshare exchange/travel club. Unlike the other companies we offer a 40 hour a week training program and assistance for building a home based business. Our training coordinator was the head of the travel agent training department at a local community college. We are a large volume agency that receives many discounts in addition to the agent rates. The information regarding commissions is false. We send out over 500 commission checks monthly ranging from $3 to $3000. We have an inhouse support team that helps our customers build 24 hour access websites for which they earn 100% of the commissions. American Voyager Travel, Inc. organizes many cruise opportunities and seminars at seas for the benefits of our members/outside agents only. Unfortunately, not every customer is satisfied and we do our best to resolve those issues.

Finally, we do disclose all issues regarding agent rates, including the qualifications for the IATAN ID. I believe the title of this report is wrong and should be changed.
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#16 UPDATE Employee

We were a travel agency long before becoming a timeshare exchange/travel club.

AUTHOR: Melissa - Travel Manager - (U.S.A.)

Dear Sirs,

American Voyager Travel, Inc. is different than other companies listed. We were a travel agency long before becoming a timeshare exchange/travel club. Unlike the other companies we offer a 40 hour a week training program and assistance for building a home based business. Our training coordinator was the head of the travel agent training department at a local community college. We are a large volume agency that receives many discounts in addition to the agent rates. The information regarding commissions is false. We send out over 500 commission checks monthly ranging from $3 to $3000. We have an inhouse support team that helps our customers build 24 hour access websites for which they earn 100% of the commissions. American Voyager Travel, Inc. organizes many cruise opportunities and seminars at seas for the benefits of our members/outside agents only. Unfortunately, not every customer is satisfied and we do our best to resolve those issues.

Finally, we do disclose all issues regarding agent rates, including the qualifications for the IATAN ID. I believe the title of this report is wrong and should be changed.
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#17 Consumer Comment

Who are you kidding? Don't say that you are the good guys. What about Turn of the Century Travel in Dallas ...ring a bell?

AUTHOR: Beth - (U.S.A.)

Are you saying that you did not hire Ex-Travelbridge employees? In fact did you not hire a lot of them? And, are you not in the same location they were in at the Willowbrook Mall? Don't say that you are the good guys. What about Turn of the Century Travel in Dallas...ring a bell?
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#18 UPDATE Employee

No Validity to Complaint on American Voyager Travel

AUTHOR: Dobber - (U.S.A.)

American Voyager Travel has Been in business for several years, and I have worked with them since their inception. Furthermore, I worked for Travelbridge as well providing marketing for that company. There is a vast difference between the two companies and American Voyager Travel, not only provides a quality product, they deliver on their promises as opposed to Travelbridge, who lost a lawsuit judgement, failed to pay and left their members out of money.
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#19 Author of original report

American Voyager in Violation of the Law

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

American Voyager Promises to Offer Travel Agent ID Cards in Violation of Texas State Law. See Attorney General website regarding Travelbridge.
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#20 Author of original report

American Voyager in Violation of the Law

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

American Voyager Promises to Offer Travel Agent ID Cards in Violation of Texas State Law. See Attorney General website regarding Travelbridge.
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#21 Author of original report

American Voyager in Violation of the Law

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

American Voyager Promises to Offer Travel Agent ID Cards in Violation of Texas State Law. See Attorney General website regarding Travelbridge.
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#22 Author of original report

American Voyager in Violation of the Law

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

American Voyager Promises to Offer Travel Agent ID Cards in Violation of Texas State Law. See Attorney General website regarding Travelbridge.
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