Report: #574639

Complaint Review: Southern Travel and Tourism Association, Inc.

  • Submitted: Wed, February 24, 2010
  • Updated: Sat, January 26, 2013
  • Reported By: small business owner — Alabama United States of America
  • Southern Travel and Tourism Association, Inc.

    Brewton, Alabama
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I was approached one afternoon in September 2009 by an older man with lots of southern charm.  He stated he represented Southern Travel magazine and was sent to my place of business by another local female business owner whom I knew very well. 

He complemented my store and said  he was doing an issue around the first of the year that would be highlighting different female business owners in the surrounding area and would love to feature me and my store for a 2 page spread. 

He then proceeded to pull out a copy of a past issue showing me a similar 2 page story.
He said I would receive the two pages full of photos of my store and myself, along with an interview and written article.  All for a small donation of $295.00, he let me know that the original price for a two page add would have been over $2,000.00 

After I wrote him a check:

He said he would be back the first week of November for the photo shoot and interview. I Never Heard From Him Again!  No one would answer or respond to the messages or emails for months and months.

There has yet to be a photo shoot or interview and No One has called me back!

The same exact thing was done to the other female business owner who sent them to me.

$295.00 may not sound like allot to lose but with this economy any small business owner will tell you they would have rather spent that on a real marketing add rather than a scam... it is a daily struggle to own a small business.  How can one survive with people like this walking around!
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/24/2010 10:49 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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Updates & Rebuttals


#1 UPDATE Employee

Legal Representation For STTA

AUTHOR: STTA Customer Service - (United States of America)

As legal representatives of the estate and former business of the STTA, the identities of the writer above and all others have been discovered. It is foolish to feel you are legally protected on a site like this.
The writer above is not an employee and has chosen to defame and make open and false statements against two individuals in efforts to cause harm.
This has been done as a form of blackmail and extortion. These individuals are not responsible for the death of the founder and main benefactor that died. This death led to lack of funding and the business was eventually closed. These people are not operating a landscaping business in Florida nor are they operating a publishing company of any kind. The man in reference suffered a severe stroke in late March of 2012 and was hospitalized through late October 2012. He is completely physically and mentally disabled from this and is mostly bedridden. His wife does not work to care for him. They actually had to give up their home due to this medical crisis. There has not been a major lawsuit won in the past nor do these people have numerous estates. All these statements have been published to cause direct harm to these individuals by name. This goes far beyond a refund request. This now goes into defamation of character, slander and much more.
Please be aware that you are not protected from having comments placed against you and your business on this site which will follow you forever. It is dangerous to feel you can do this to someone and not be discovered. You do not always remain anonymous. In fact this site encourages the same actions be taken against you. As far as the stroke comment there are many medical records to prove all this true as well as doctors and hospital personnel. It is truly a disgrace to try and bring harm to someone that cannot even defend himself personally. The STTA is officially closed and has been for some time.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds


AUTHOR: STTA Customer Service - (United States of America)

Please be advised that this company was closed by an Estate Court due to the death of its founder and main benefactor. It is not in operation. This has been reported by the court to the Better Business Bureau as well.
Again, this company is closed and has been for some time. This information has already been reported to this site.
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#3 UPDATE Employee


AUTHOR: Jim Clifton - (United States of America)

This is not true....

The Owners of the company - Jim Clifton and Beverly Howell Clifton - are living in Florida and both are alive and well...and have continued their businesses.

One of the owners - Jim Clifton (Jameson Robert Clifton, Jr) - claimed to have suffered a stroke. He's made a recovery and now operates a landscaping business in Florida, along with his publishing businesses which they have recently transferred to Florida.

He was with the Alabama Department of Economic Development and served on the Governor's Blackbelt committee for economic growth.

Beverly won a significant wrongful death law suit some time ago following the death of her 1st husband and inherited property and a business from her brother in Atlanta, and more recently from the death of her Mother in Florida.

You can find them in the Destin area and Defuniak Springs where they own property, along with property they own/owned in Brewton Alabama (2 properties) and Atlanta Georgia (1 property).

Perhaps they are now in the position to make good on their previous debts?

Lets hope so....
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#4 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Business Not Active - Please Be Advised!

AUTHOR: STTA Customer Service - (United States of America)

Please be advised the STTA is no longer active due to the death of its founder and main benefactor. Efforts were made to continue, but due to funding issues the estate closed the business entity completely. The STTA provided beautiful and informative products for several years. This was primarily made possible by the private funding of the benefactor. To be clear, there has never been any intention to harm anyone. The overall goal was to highlight people in a positive light. In today's economy this was only possible with the additional aid of the benefactor. The death of the benefactor was a great loss and unexpected.

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#5 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Features Are Complete for Meridian and LaGrange Participants

AUTHOR: STTA Customer Service - (United States of America)

To address the comments from two business participants from Meridian, MS and LaGrange, GA, both of these clients were contacted and worked with on numerous occasions and have had their full feature development completed. For Meridian, MS, this business owner has received numerous documented email correspondence, story development, extensive photo shoot and complete feature development. The STTA actually traveled an eight hour round trip to conduct the custom photo shoot. The photos were great and the four-page feature spread extensive. This business owner was notified of the change for his service area and the STTA has worked very hard to represent his business in a positive way. For LaGrange, GA, this business owner has received numerous documented email correspondence, story development and was told on several different occasions that her feature was in production and when she could expect delivery for her complimentary feature. For her donation, the STTA created a beautiful and impressive four-page feature production complete with story and custom photos. The STTA also made an eight hour round trip to this establishment to conduct the photo shoot. We are happy to have the opportunity to clarify these concerns. Our custom features take time to produce, and we work many months in advance with our coverage. We regret these custom productions cannot be instant as we are diligently working to showcase our clients in a positive and professional manner. We are hoping they enjoy their feature productions as we have sent their actual digital files to use again as they desire.
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#6 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Sorry That We Missed You!

AUTHOR: STTA Customer Service - (United States of America)

In reference to the complaint below, we are not sure what business this is but will be happy to assist if we have an email address to make contact. We regret if communication was missed but will be happy to work and correct the mistake if the owner would like to email direct. We will be more than happy to work with you in the future. Again, we regret this has happened. We did have some service interruption due to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill which caused us to have to change deadlines and coverage in several areas.
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#7 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Southern Travel Tourism Association Scam!


I too have been a victim of the Southern Travel Tourism a*s. scam.  For a mere $100 "donation" I was offered a wonderful advertising opportunity that would be targeting our little town. They also told me that they had other businesses in town that were going to be a part of this they told him to come see me because I would want to be a part of this advertising. They came and  interviewed me and took many photos. The only contact I've had with them by email saying that they were still working on my advertising and it's going to look wonderful! The Clifton's get around don't they? Please be warned, don't do business with this company.
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#8 Consumer Comment

I had the exact same thing happen to my store.

AUTHOR: Scammed - (United States of America)

I had the same man, from your description, come into my store 1.5 years ago wanting to do a story on my town and wanted my store to be a part of it.  He stated another business had also recommended my store as he did with you.  Every thing you stated they did to you is almost word for word what they did to us.  He showed me a copy of the magazine and told me it would be distributed across 8 states.  His wife Beverly Clifton came months later and took photos.  It looked like a great deal but it cost us $1,000, not $250.  I have contacted the company and have only been contacted back by email.  The email stated they were almost finished with production and promised me it would look great and that I would receive a link to the story in March of 2011 to review for proofreading.  It is now Sept. 30, 2011 and I have not received anything.  I call the number and always get the answering machine.  I email them and never get a reply except the one time.  It's been almost 2 years now.  I feel taken.....
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