I deposited money w/ Donna Franca Tours for a trip to Tuscany. I paid the deposit of the trip, insurance and purchased my plane ticket through them. Eleven days prior to my departure I left a phone message for my agent informing him I had not received confirmation of any kind nor my plane ticket. The guy is such a chicken, he responded via e-mail that the trip had been cancelled due to low participation. When I requested to get my money back since I had purchased the insurance. They informed me a claim could only be filed if I had a medical reason which prevented me from traveling. If the tour operator cancels, the insurance does not provide coverage.
Then the ticket I purchased can only be used as a credit with Alitalia less $200 penalty for cancelling. The airline will issue a credit which has to be used within a year of my purchase date which was early August. Due to my business the best time for me to travel is in the fall, another inconvenience they have caused me.
I understand that the company must have a certain number of participants in order to be economically feasible but the consumer should not be penalized for their inability to be profitable. Donna Franca Tours should be accountable when they cancel a tour either through the insurance they provide or direct reimbursement from the company. The insurance coverage they provided me was worthless unless I cancelled.
The most unbelievable and incredible part of all this was when Ms. Franca told me that the only way I could get a full refund was to get a doctor to write a letter stating I was unable to travel due to medical reasons. Even though there was NO tour! Hmm sounds kind of like FRAUD!
I filed with the Better Business Bureau and I discovered that there have been 7 complaints filed against Donna Franca Tours in the last 36 months. I can only imagine how many others, have not filed complaints. Only one was resolved, and last year their membership was terminated due to violations of BBBs membership.
Wish I had done more research instead of just taking one persons referral....
Donna franca tours
El Paso, Texas