• Report: #406575
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Wed, December 31, 2008
  • Updated: Sun, June 12, 2011

  • Reported By:los angeles California
www.thrillplanet.com Las Vegas, Nevada U.S.A.


*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Rebuttal to D & R Balloons review about the "other balloon" company

*Consumer Comment: Highly Recommended

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For my daughter's 18th bday, I wanted to take her on a balloon ride. I was going to be in Las Vegas on a specific weekend & after calling a couple of companies (sent an inquiry e-mail to D&R Balloons in Las Vegas - no reply at all!), I booked with what I thought was a local LV balloon company under a listing of www.balloonrideslasvegas.com.

The customer service rep was nice & did tell me the "gift certificates" were non-refundable & that if I missed the ride for any reason, especially weather, I could reschedule at any other location. I reside in CA. After taking all of my info, he stated I would be receiving a confirmation e-mail & an informational phone call with details of the ride (location, time, etc.).

Once we hung up, I noticed the charge to my card was IMMEDIATE (by Thrillplanet.com) but no confirmation e-mail. After a couple of hours, I called the same rep (Ty) only to find out that he had noted my e-mail incorrectly. Once I received the e-mail, I noticed that my contact phone number was also noted incorrectly. I couldn't understand this, being that he repeated all my info back to me and seemed he had captured it accurately. Another phone call to Ty was made.

As the date of my daughter's b-day neared, I thought I'd be proactive since I still had not received an informational call & so requested to speak with Ty. After pointing out the inconsistencies with my contact info (which I had already called to correct), he gave the excuse that this was the possible reason why I had not been contacted. He then told me that I was "set to go" & that I should call Doug (pilot) at D&R Balloons Las Vegas. I was annoyed at the fact that I had to deal with this non-communicative person being that when I was searching for balloon ride companies, he was the only one that didn't bother to reply to my inquiry of phone call & e-mail. Didn't he want the business or have the professional courtesy to say he's booked or he got my messages???

Regardless, I called D&R Balloons (this was a couple of days before the day of the flight) and no reply was ever received. I then looked at the website closely (which I actually found two very similar ones with different e-mail addresses & phone numbers for D&R). I grew increasingly suspicious & made it a point to call this Doug person at various times all-day just to see if an actual person EVER picked up the phone. No such luck.

At one point, the machine said I could not leave a message because it was full! I have friends in Vegas & requested that one go to the physical address that they note only to find that it was a Mailboxes, Etc. location!!! I immediately called my bank & filed a fraud report. Luckily my awesome bank was able to credit the funds to my account in no time.

Still wanting to take my daughter on a ride, I contacted another balloon company in LV and a nice gal picked up the phone & assisted in booking a tentative flight for the original date. However, I grew suspicious when she sounded out of breath as she "walked & talked" & I quickly figured the phone # on the website was a cellphone! Also, she strongly stated that she could deliver & meet me to give me the info & arrange payment at my hotel or LV location. Why couldn't I go to their offices????!!!

She sent me an e-mail from an e-mail address that was a charity name (apparently to ward off nosey family members in case the flight was a surprise!). MY @SS!!!! I never followed up with them. I wasn't about to get screwed again. A search on the internet revealed so many complaints & warnings to consumers for these companies. I found a ton of cookie-cutter websites & false "testimonials" for nation-wide sites that all they did was change the city, state of the individual!!! These people are worse than the devil! Evil in its truest form. FRAUD FRAUD FRAUD!! They hope that you go away & don't follow up on getting your money back.

Please beware of 1800skydive, thrillplanet.com, ballonridesinanycity.com, etc.! these people will ruin your special occassion & most importantly,
if you have been the victim, REPORT THEM TO THE AUTHORITIES!!!

los angeles, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/31/2008 05:07 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/thrillplanet-1800-skydive-skydivinglasvegas-dr-balloons/las-vegas-nevada/thrillplanet-1800-skydive-skydivinglasvegas-dr-balloons-buyer-beware-scam-scam-s-406575. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Rebuttal to D & R Balloons review about the "other balloon" company

AUTHOR: Buffy - (United States of America)

Under the D & R Balloons review, "Anonymous" from California wrote about calling another hot air balloon company to help celebrate her daughter's 18th birthday since she wasn't pleased with D & R's policies and procedures.

I am the person she contacted at the "other company" (Adventure Balloons).  She claimed that I was "out of breath and walking and talking on a cell phone."  I was given the wrong medication, Methatrexate, in 2009.  Sadly, it worked it's way into my lungs and in March 2010, I was diagnosed with two (2) fatal lung diseases and I'm only working with 50% lung capacity.  My voice, on a good day, sounds fine except I sound out of breath (because I am - talking)but on a bad day, I sound like a robot talking and sound as if I've just run a marathon - with no marathon in site.   I am definitely short of breath most of the time.

"Anonymous" from California is absolutely correct in stating that I give out our deafkidskamp@earthlink.net email address (website:  www.deafkidskamp.com) in order to hide surprises.We send out "mini-contracts" to our potential passengers so they know what they are getting and we have, in writing, their  credit card authorizations - signed and dated and their credit card information completed by them.  We do no financials over the phone due to identity theft and this protects our passengers and us.  If "anonymous" would have checked  our www.deafkidskamp.com website and our www.smilerides.com website, she/he would have been able  to validate the validity of both.   We have had many many customers/passengers who are appreciative of us not doing financials over the telephone and emailing/faxing them our two credit card authorizations (mini-contracts).  Therefore, our passengers know exactly what they are getting and we have permission to process their credit cards.  We have a deadline of 3 days in which to return the authorizations.  If the passengers do not return them within 3 days, we release their date of flight for others to use.  If we do get the authorizations within 3 days, we process their credit card and their "Pre-paid Flight Packet of Information" and either mail it to them or deliver it to their hotel for their arrival.  OR

if "anonymous" was making the reservation within 24-72 hours, the credit card does not have time to clear and we accept CASH only for those flights and we go to the hotel/motel and deliver our "Pre-paid Flight Packet of Information" to our passengers in exchange for their cash.  They also get a receipt and a copy of the "mini-contract" that they have signed reflecting a "cash" purchase.

We are a home based office and we are not "zoned" for walk-in traffic to purchase flight certificates.

We have been in the ballooning business since 1979 and flying in las Vegas since 1999 and have celebrated anniversaries, proposals, birthdays, "bucket list", and "just because" events in our balloons with satisfied customers.

We have provided a free one week residential kamp to over 600  deaf children only from 1992 - 2009 (I had to stop the Deaf Kids' Kamp due to my lung disease).  However, we now have "Deaf Kids' Funding" at the same website.  So our kamp and ballooning companies have been in existence for many many years and we are not on this earth to scam/Fraud/deceive anyone. 

I'm sorry that "anonymous" from California did not follow through with our company.  We have done many many successful flights over the years and pride ourselves in our service and our policies and procedures.  Please see our website at:  www.smilerides.com 
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#2 Consumer Comment

Highly Recommended

AUTHOR: John - (United States of America)

What a wonderful Experience!! The flight was superb. The staff was friendly and professional. Doug from D&R Balloons in Las Vegas is an excellent pilot. Returned to meeting spot without any problems. Everything was explained perfectly. No hidden charges. Well worth the money. I will probably schedule another flight in the future. 
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