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Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster Image by KTTS News File Photo
From A Press Release
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today filed a lawsuit against a travel-package business that took consumers’ money without providing the Branson vacation promised them.
Koster’s suit names Christian County resident Andrew Callison, who operated Mr. Nice Guy’s Vacations Corporation. Koster’s lawsuit claims that between December 1, 2009, and January 3, 2011, Callison took upfront money ranging from $99 to $839 from at least 35 consumers for Branson vacation packages. Callison told consumers they would have up to 12 months or longer to redeem the trips, which were promised to include hotel accommodations and entertainment passes. However, when consumers tried to contact Callison and Mr. Nice Guy’s Vacations, there was no answer at the number provided, and consumers did not receive either the trips or refunds.
“Mr. Nice Guy’s Vacations took the hard-earned money of Missourians who were seeking a few days of vacation,” Koster said. “My office will continue to work to protect consumers and to pursue individuals like Mr. Callison when they fail to provide services as promised.”
Koster said consumers who have done business with Mr. Nice Guy’s and have not received services as promised should contact his Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222 or file a complaint online at ago.mo.gov. Consumers should also file complaints against any other travel business that has not provided promised services. Koster is seeking restitution for consumers, as well as civil penalties and court costs. He is also seeking a court order prohibiting Callison from doing business in Missouri.
As part of National Consumer Protection Week March 3-9, Koster is offering information and tips that consumers can use to prevent themselves from becoming victims of scams. The following tips can help protect consumers in the focus areas of travel and timeshares:
Travel packages · Be cautious of firms that ask you to pay before confirming reservations. Most reputable travel agents will provide confirmation before payment is expected. · Deal with an established firm. If a business is unfamiliar, consumers should check with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office or the Better Business Bureau. · Request written information on total cost of the package and all items included. · Ask about the right to cancel, as well as cancellation insurance.
Vacation Timeshares · Avoid high-pressure sales tactics. If the sales person is overly aggressive, reconsider. Do not sign a contract or any documents at the presentation. Take the paperwork and review it carefully after the pitch. If signing a contract at the time of the pitch, insist on taking a copy of the contract with you. Do not let the business send it later. Ask to talk with other owners of the timeshare as references. · Check the company’s complaint records with the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General’s Office. Always read the fine print.
Timeshare resale · Beware of unsolicited calls claiming to have a buyer for your timeshare, or offering to advertise your property for sale. Interview several resale agencies before signing an agreement. · Never pay an up-front fee. If a consumer pays any type of fee before the timeshare is sold that money may be lost and the timeshare never sold. Check the company’s history of complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General’s Office before agreeing to do business with them.
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