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.
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).
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
astanet.com/ ---has contact number
This is a link to to contact CLIA
Cooperative Association of Resort Exchange