• Report: #184774

Complaint Review: Discount Global Travel

  • Submitted: Mon, April 03, 2006
  • Updated: Wed, May 09, 2007

  • Reported By:Corona California
Discount Global Travel
25554 Woodward Ave. Royal Oak, MI Royal Oak, Michigan U.S.A.

Discount Global Travel, DGT, Peder Seglund, James Ballester ripoff Royal Oak Michigan

*Consumer Suggestion: DGT Lawsuit

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: DGT was a good, reputable company

*Consumer Comment: Not true this company has ripped off thousands of people and have not paid off

*Consumer Suggestion: LET COURT SETTLE YOUR DISPUTE

*UPDATE Employee: Royal Oak MI operations center My 2 Cents

*UPDATE Employee: Royal Oak MI operations center My 2 Cents

*UPDATE Employee: 10 reasons that rebutt you!

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: complaint not warrented

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Peder Explain your F rating by the BBB, that is the bottom

Discount Global Travel clearly misrepresented their service and benefits in their selling pitch. The misrepresentations were in areas material to the contract, which should invalidate the contract and should result in a full refund of the purchase price, interest accrued, and renewal fee paid to DGT.

The selling agent James Ballester lied about the services that DGT provides. While most of the untrue claims were made verbally, I have a sheet that he used during the selling pitch. You can see the numbers that he wrote, and while some of the conversations that I will lay out were not written out, I am confident that if you interview other members or prospects on the selling presentation given to me, they will give confirmation on almost every point that I make.

Services Promised:

James Ballester knew that my wife and I had little interest in the condos, so he altered his sales pitch and he concentrated on our interest in international travel. He spoke about wholesale travel. He said that members of DGT have access to wholesale travel rates on every type of travel. He stated that DGT members would receive 30-70% savings above and beyond the prices offered by Expedia, Orbitz, and other sites. He guaranteed the lowest price on airfare, hotels, cruises, car rentals, and package tours or DGT would beat any outside offer by 10%.
We were concerned that we were paying thousands of dollars upfront for a service that only provides rebates, so my wife asked, How often do you have to honor the guarantee?
James Ballester looked us in the eyes and solemnly stated, Never, we don't make any money that way. He went on to say that if we book timeshare condos, we have a 94.8% chance of receiving our travel request, so long as we booked it 30 days in advance.
He repeatedly stated that these fares were not available to the general public, yet as a member we would have access to a password protected website, that nobody without the membership could see. He also stated that if we buy the membership, we could see all the discounts in real time.
My wife and I responded, If we buy this membership, we will not only be able to see these membership discounts in real time, but we will be able to book them ourselves?
He responded, It is even easier than booking it yourself, you simply call the toll free number and our agents will handle the whole booking process for you.


Amber's Experiences with DGT

A few days after we bought the Discount Global Travel's service, I wanted to check out the claims that were made. I went to the password-protected site that they had given me, the site where members-only (discountglobaltravel.net, password: sunshine) can access the supposed great deals and searched around for a while. I then did a computer search for Discount Global Travel, and to my surprise, I found they had the same exact site at discountglobaltravel.us that was not password protected, that anyone, whether a member or not can access. Feeling scammed, I searched around more and found a Rip Off Report written by a couple that had had a trying experience with the company.
Wanting to test out the waters with DGT, I put in 2 requests for airfare a week after we had bought the service in May. I was signed up to go on a missions trip to Nigeria with the Christian Medical and Dental Association June. For a standard trip fee, the CMDA paid for our travel expenses from JFK in New York. I was responsible for buying a ticket to New York to meet up with my team. I placed a request for a flight from LAX to JFK. I also wanted to see what good deals that DGT could offer to Nigeria from JFK since they touted their international airfares, so I also put in a request for JFK to Lagos, Nigeria.

Unfortunately, I was not home when they called me back, and the agent left the quotes for both flights on my answering machine. I called back the next day, just to find out that the quotes were no longer valid because prices change all the time and the agent would have to check again. Calling me back in another couple of days during the daytime when I was at school, I was again not able to answer the phone, and thus we went back and forth for over a week. This is certainly not the state of the art service promised.

In addition, the prices being quoted for the domestic flight were similar to what I could get myself on Expedia and Orbitz, even though we had paid $6000 for this service. I was quoted around $1350 for the flight to Nigeria, which also surprised me because I found a quote on Expedia for around $1400. This was only a 3.5% difference in price. In this case their rebated 10% would have been better than what I had been quoted, even though my husband and I were told by the sales rep that this scenario rarely happens.

In addition, I was totally flabbergasted that each time the representative called back, I was quoted a price for only ONE flight, and was not given a few flights to choose from as most travel agents do. So if the flight times for the single flight were bad for me, they would have to go recheck and call me back a few days later. I asked why they only quoted one flight and they said they guaranteed the lowest price, so they pick the one flight that is the lowest price to offer you (so humorously you get an airfare that is not any better than you can find yourself and there is no choice in the times). This is totally different from what we were told by the sales rep (look at the writing on the sales presentation sheet) who claimed that all DGT's airfares are 30-70% less than any prices we could get ourselves. I was so frustrated with the archaic and difficult booking process and with the meaningless savings that I just stopped trying with DGT and booked airfare myself.
During this same trip, I had also requested a quote for 1 night in the midpriced Radisson Lexington in Manhattan, as I got in late the night before the day I was to leave for Nigeria. I knew that the Radisson was a bit expensive but I was told by the DGT sales rep that the hotels they quoted were to 2/3 less than anything we could get ourselves, so maybe it would be affordable. The price I was quoted by DGT, around $189, was also what www.hotels.com was offering. I booked Comfort Inn myself on hotels.com.
After this, my husband tried avidly to get our money back. We were a newly married couple and the $6000 that we paid went on our credit card and was a real burden to us. We had thought since we plan to travel, that the discounted airfares and hotels would save us a lot of money. We were only modestly interested in the timeshares because many of our trips are not to classic tourist locations (eg. Nigeria). The company refused to give the money back even after several calls to the manager in Michigan.
Feeling helpless and at the mercy of a company that promised things it couldn't deliver, we attempted to use the service we were stuck with a few more times. The next request I made was in the fall, November 2004. I was being interviewed for medical school on the East coast and I needed a flight in to New York and leaving from Philly. After back and forth calling, DGT was still quoting similar prices to Expedia and Orbitz, and just told us to send in our receipts for a 10% rebate. I ended up using my grandpa's frequent flyer miles instead.
After this I just kind of counted my losses. I know my husband attempted to book things through DGT over the next year without much success, but I didn't put in a travel request with them for several months.

The last time I put in a request for travel was in early May for a trip to Chengdu, China in June. I was going to do some research on HIV in Chengdu, and I needed to meet up with my team in Beijing first. My husband would then meet me in Chengdu 2 weeks later, so we actually needed 2 tickets. The process was so frustrating, calling back and forth yet again.

The agent was quoting prices around $1150 and I bought my ticket for $951. Fly China travel agency was also able to book James' ticket for $1150, but they were able to quote me prices on the phone as I talked with them and so I figured I would just send in the receipt for a 10% rebate from DGT. I never did send in for the rebate because I was so disgusted with the company. At the time of purchase we had even asked the sales rep directly how often it turns out that they would not be able to quote a much lower airfare price and would have to resort to matching a price that we could find ourselves and rebating us 10%.

I was particularly concerned about this point because we would not have purchase such a costly service for only a 10% savings. We were told NEVER, that this scenario was unlikely. It turns out that DGT can't offer anything better.
Beyond all the false savings, they charge $99/year additional for the service. We haven't even save $99 total! With the interest payments on our credit card and the initial service payment, plus the $99 we paid in May 2005 and another $99 that they are sure to charge this May, we are out more like $7000.

James's experience with DGT


In late 2004 for I started a job that required that I travel several times a month, and by early 2005, I had put in a number of travel requests to DGT, and I had never booked through DGT. In most cases, DGT never got back to me until after the travel had already taken place, but on a couple of occasions I was persistent, and I called until I received a quote. I never received a quote that I couldn't find or beat myself. On one occasion they booked a car for me, but the information was incorrect and I rebooked it myself on the car rental website and I received the exact same price they quoted. It was a cumbersome process trying to book through DGT and I was unsuccessful in obtaining any savings over going to a different online travel site myself.

In the last year and a half I have traveled to Utah (more than once), multiple Texas cities (more than once), St Louis (more than once), Louisiana (more than once), Alabama (more than once), Mississippi (more than once), Florida (more than once), Ohio (more than once), Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota (more than once), Wisconsin (more than once), Illinois (more than once), Indiana (more than once), Michigan (more than once), Tennessee (more than once), Nevada, Idaho, Arkansas (more than once), Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky (more than once), and Arizona (more than once).
Internationally I spent more than 3 weeks in China and Tibet.
On many of these trips I attempted to book through DGT, but I did not get a response in a timely fashion and/or the price quoted was the same or worse than what I found myself.

My most recent attempt to use their service was earlier this year. In late January/ Early February, I put in a request for a timeshare so that my Grandparents could celebrate their anniversary. I understood that they were 94.8% successful in booking timeshare 30 days in advance. I specifically requested the Marriott timeshare in Newport Beach, but I wanted to be sure that my grandparents got their timeshare, so I left it open to any timeshare on or near the beach between San Diego and Santa Barbara. Approximately one month later, I received a phone call saying that they were still looking for a timeshare, and asked if I wanted to continue the travel request. My grandparent's anniversary had already passed so I canceled the request, that should have been fulfilled easily within day according to James Ballester (the selling agent).

Conclusion:

For 2 years we have been members of DGT and the cumulative savings has been less than one $99 annual renewal fee. For much of this time I had accepted that we had been had by a group of con artists, but yesterday I brought my case to a lawyer specializing consumer fraud and contract law. As soon as I showed him the binder, he said he was familiar with DGT. He already had 2 clients that had been defrauded by Discount Global Travel, and told me that the Better Business Bureau had given them an F rating.
Out of the 2 clients the lawyer represented, one received a full refund, and the other client's case is still pending.

My case goes back to summer of 2004, weeks after I purchased the membership. I made a number of attempts to get a refund of the $6000 membership. They told me that refunds were only offered within 3 days of purchase, which is not adequate time to see that the membership is a fraud. They also told me that most people were happy with their memberships, and I had not given them a fair shot.
I responded by asking them to buy me membership back if that were the case, they refused, because my membership was obviously worthless.
I brought to their attention the false promises made by James Ballester, the selling agent. They responded by saying that they were not responsible for the claims made by their selling agent, and that I had signed a contract and I was bound by it.
If verbal claims are made that are material (claims that are the deciding factor on whether or not to purchase the membership) and not withheld or are untrue, then the contract is void able by the party that was lied to.
Furthermore, since this charade began I, James, have paid $6000 for the membership, more than $1200 dollars in interest payments, a $99 annual renewal fee, with another $99 due next month. I would like a total of $7300 refunded to me within 2 weeks or I will start a class action lawsuit against DGT and subpoena all current and past members.
If any couple should have benefited by being members of DGT, Amber and I should have. In the 2 years we have been members, our cumulative savings is less than one annual renewal fee, and we have spent tens of thousands on travel. DGT is not a service to anybody but Peder Seglund, the owner.

I demand a full refund of the purchase price, interest accrued, and annual renewal fees paid.

James & Amber

Don't put up with Peder Seglund

Flood the BBBs with complaints in So Cal, Cleveland, and Michigan.
This case is a slam dunk. We are not bound by the arbitration agreement since the contract is voidable by the parties.
I want to be contacted by all of you

File BBB.org complaints online then send full description to


Don't forget all the agencies that they are a part of
arda.org//AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home
astanet.com/ ---has contact number
cruiseassoc.com/forms/form.html?id=16
This is a link to to contact CLIA
iata.org/index.htm
iatan.org/welcome

Cooperative Association of Resort Exchange
care-online.org/bylaws.html

James
Corona, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/03/2006 09:18 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Discount-Global-Travel/Royal-Oak-Michigan-48067/Discount-Global-Travel-DGT-Peder-Seglund-James-Ballester-ripoff-Royal-Oak-Michigan-184774. 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 7Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

DGT Lawsuit

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

Peder. Your ridiculous employee rebuttals are not working. We all will continue to gather speed and put together a Class Action Lawsuit. Whether you want to pick up your mail or not we will get you subpoenaed eventually. We know who you are and cannot hide forever.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

DGT was a good, reputable company

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

I was a client of DGT. I used DGT to go to Cabo and Maui. I received a condo from them for Cabo for only $199 for the week and the retail was $265 a day. The Maui condo was only $399 a week through DGT and it was over $300 a day retail. I also saved a couple hundred on a Carnival Cruise. I liked the service so much I went to work for them.
The company was a good company. The owner Peder was a great person to work for. Most of the employees were with the company for years, were loyal, and some worked 12 hours a day to try to satisfy clients needs. I have many satisfied clients of my own.
It is hard to satisfy everyone - especially in travel. However, I can testify that the company did a great service, the condos were fantastic, it was a reputable company, and they did everything they could to satisfy all clients.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Not true this company has ripped off thousands of people and have not paid off

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

Hello

I too fell victim to this company, I asked for a refund approx. 2 mons after I purchased the service. The people on the phone were rude and their discount was not much of a discount. I got the run around now they disappeard and this new company CastAway Vacations has taken over the clientel, do I trust them apsolutely not.

IF DGT was a decent company and acutally took care of their customers they would have contacted the people way before this new company did and gave them back their money and let them decide if they want to go with Castaway Bay...How ridiculous and immortal to take peoples hard earned money, dreams about going on trips and elderlys dream of traveling what kind of person is that. I want to sue them I want a class action law suit and I want them to never be able to open up another any name!!!! They should go to jail for stealing thousands of dollars. If anyone knows of any Class action lawsuit against DGT please let me know I want to join.

We pulled everything we had to put down this money so we could save on trips. I called numerous times trying to get discounts and nothing no phone calls back or if they called their prices were no better then what I could find on the net. They wonder why people have a hard time trusting this is why...we should all start calling our government and flooded them with numerous phone calls so they take action, someone needs to stop this person from scamming....

I am going to contact my local news and plaster their names and faces all over it so everyone knows not to trust them, look out DGT Ruth to the rescue is on her way!!

Piera
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

LET COURT SETTLE YOUR DISPUTE

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

Let me state first that I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY NOR IN ANY WAY ASSOCIATED WITH THE COURT SYSTEM. Furthermore,ANY STATEMENTS I MAKE ARE ONLY MY PERSONAL COMMENTS OR IDEAS BASED ON MY INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCE !

I rec'd an e-mail from Global Travel today & wanted to research the company before making any commitments.... Your report just caught my eye immediately. Considering the $$ amount involved, I suggest that you consider filing a complaint with SMALL CLAIMS COURT - after cheking the maximun $ award for your state (the amount varies state to state). There are several reasons/benefits to having your case in Civil rarher than Criminal Court (other than the length of time waiting for your case to come up)
1)you don't have to pay an attorney
2)Probably only have 1 day in court to resolveissue
3)Case is decided by a Judge/not a jury

LAST & MOST IMPORTANT....

4)In criminal court the decision is made based on the premise of "REASONABLE DOUBT"(considering your evidence & evidence presented by DGT). In Civil Court, the decision is decided based on the probability that things happened as you said...or stated another way "MORE LIKELY THAN NOT".

I don't recall if you said DGT contacted you by email, postal or what but you might have some leverage by letting them know that you plan to report this entire issue for assessment of postal and/or internet fraud...which could make this a Federal case ...FBI, etc

Be sure to save any documentation you have & start a "diary/log of EVERY CONTACT YOU HAVE WITH THEM...phone, email, postal, etc make entries as they happen - WHEN THEY HAPPEN -they will be more credible than if you write them a day or so later(fading memory, etc)Don't wait too long to file....there is a deadline

By the way,,,,Congratulations on your wedding....
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Royal Oak MI operations center My 2 Cents

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

I'd like to add my 2 cents. ( I have been here since day 1) . I believe in our fulfillment department. Or I would not be here. I have been in the travel industry for over 25 years, I have even taught travel and tourism, *SO* I know what I'm talking about. The one thing that I know for sure is that people hear and see only what they want to. That's the one thing that has never changed over the years.

The travel agents here work above and beyond to make sure that they have applied every discount code that we have to ensure our rates are the lowest out there. All prices change and are not guaranteed until booked, they are subject to change. We wish we had that magic wand and could get condos anywhere or the non stop air flights in that little town that doesn't even have a gas station , hotels, cruises, tours and car rentals when there is no availability .

(WE CAN NOT DO THE IMPOSSIBLE) I can not tell you how many times a request has to be redone because when an agent calls back a client they are not available, and when they finally call back, sometimes a week lateror more, everything has changed and the request must be done all over. BUT THE ONE THING THAT REALLY UPSETS ME is the complaint when a member states they have a lower rate than we quoted, its very few, They never have written supporting documentation to prove that claim.We are not perfect, there is no business that is.

BUT WE STAND BEHIND WHAT WE DOover 10,000 members strong, with More Thank You notes than we can keep on file. As for past employees. Many will trash a company if they leave without dignity. (All bad apples must be weeded out) Also, many employees have left and returned all in all, We have a wonderful staffThe Reservations Travel Manger, Operations Center Royal Oak, MI
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#6 UPDATE Employee

Royal Oak MI operations center My 2 Cents

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

I'd like to add my 2 cents. ( I have been here since day 1) . I believe in our fulfillment department. Or I would not be here. I have been in the travel industry for over 25 years, I have even taught travel and tourism, *SO* I know what I'm talking about. The one thing that I know for sure is that people hear and see only what they want to. That's the one thing that has never changed over the years.

The travel agents here work above and beyond to make sure that they have applied every discount code that we have to ensure our rates are the lowest out there. All prices change and are not guaranteed until booked, they are subject to change. We wish we had that magic wand and could get condos anywhere or the non stop air flights in that little town that doesn't even have a gas station , hotels, cruises, tours and car rentals when there is no availability .

(WE CAN NOT DO THE IMPOSSIBLE) I can not tell you how many times a request has to be redone because when an agent calls back a client they are not available, and when they finally call back, sometimes a week lateror more, everything has changed and the request must be done all over. BUT THE ONE THING THAT REALLY UPSETS ME is the complaint when a member states they have a lower rate than we quoted, its very few, They never have written supporting documentation to prove that claim.We are not perfect, there is no business that is.

BUT WE STAND BEHIND WHAT WE DOover 10,000 members strong, with More Thank You notes than we can keep on file. As for past employees. Many will trash a company if they leave without dignity. (All bad apples must be weeded out) Also, many employees have left and returned all in all, We have a wonderful staffThe Reservations Travel Manger, Operations Center Royal Oak, MI
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#7 UPDATE Employee

10 reasons that rebutt you!

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

I currently work for the Royal Oak office of Discount Global Travel, and I have some things to say in our defense!

1. Look at the fact that we have approximately 10,000 members (bet ya didn't know that) and there are a whopping 11 complaints on here and 26 on the BBB (which the Royal Oak office is in good standing with). That is about a 95% success rate. Who's got the problem? If you are always looking for the negative in something that is all you will ever find.

2. The sales reps may accentuate the positive to get you to join, but every example they present to you was actually gotten at one time or another, and could possibly be gotten again. Everything is based on availibility and prices have to be compared apples to apples (same day, with the same flight times, hotels etc.) Prices are everchanging and you can see that for yourself. Check the same airfare every day for a month and see what happens. And any travel agency will tell you the same thing.

3. Airfare is a courtesy, we are a non ticketing agency therefore we cannot make our own prices on airfare, but we DO find you the lowest rate AT TIME OF BOOKING! What you book two weeks after we quote you does not count. Furthermore the less touristy the destination, the less of a discount. Not to mention the fact that with all the airline biz going on over the last few years, the airlines have cut travel agents out of commissions all together. And of course the china travel agency (who specializes in that) will have the best rates, when they make the rates and the tickets right there. We have not boasted savings on airfare ala carte in a long time. (Our specialty is resort condos)

4. You try to do my job! 15-20 agents work on our 10,000 members! Every day we have dozens of requests, each, to fulfill. Only natural that it may take us a bit to respond. Then you are not ready to book when we quote you. So of course when you ARE ready we have to re-check it again (sometime 3,4,5 times). It would be IMPOSSIBLE for us to do every request as it came in! We have a system, specialty departments, and we prioritize. We have 18 lines that ring off the hook 5 days a week. We work hard to get you the best deals, and over all, we do just that. On a daily basis I hear "thank you for saving me so much money" on this or that! We can spend up to several hours on one request. Some require negotiations, which result in alot of phone/e-mail tag for us as well, with our wholesale suppliers. It takes time and patience to get the best of anything, right?

5. A great deal of what you pay for when you purchase the membership is for someone else to do the work for you. It is YOUR fault that YOU choose to put all of your time and energy into trying to proove us wrong. And as you said yourself we have the same rates that you can find, so why not get those rates (or better in most cases) while someone else does the work. Seems pretty convenient to me. (Most members trust us and like this feature the best)

6. The promotional trips are paid for by DGT before you even walk in the door, and what the promo company charges you and puts you through has nothing to do with us! We fulfill all of your future travel and WE DO OUR JOB!

7. I personally have about an 80% success rate on saving the member money off what is out there. We save you hundreds on condos alone. As for the car rentals it is extremely rare that someone even meets my price, let alone beat it. And in the case that our price does get beaten then you get your 10% back in the rebate. That would be called YOUR SAVINGS! One way or another our members get there savings!

8. Our reservations and customer service managers work very hard. They are loyal, dedicated, honost, helpful, knowledgible, and are constantly trying to fix whatever happens to be wrong. Tough job to have in this business.

9. There are plenty of clients just like you out there. Unhappy, rude, arrogant, you name it we deal with it, and it's not easy. But in the end most of them are happy. There will always be people you just can't help, because they let their attitude get in the way!

10. You can please some of the people, all of the time; all of the people some of the time; but you can never please all of the people all of the time.
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#8 REBUTTAL Owner of company

complaint not warrented

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

We have tried numerous times to satisfy this client. Some clients we are unable to satisfy no matter how hard the staff tries. We offer this client a full refund in the manner of which he paid. The interest did not go to us so there is no interest to refund. The nominal $99 annual dues are for numerous hours of multiple agents and customer service reps trying to appease this persons demands.

We are happy to refund entire purchase within reasonable time after return of all materials - hand delivery not accepted. Many clients enjoy and understand the benefits of the service. The staff would much rather try to assist them.
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