Consumers Claim Westlake, Ohio Travel Company Took Them for a Ride

plane 150x150 Consumers Claim Westlake, Ohio Travel Company Took Them for a RideComplaints have been piling up in BBB files about Now or Never Travel, a Westlake, Ohio business that sold travel  club memberships.  Over 40 complainants since the beginning of this year report Now or Never Travel has not lived up to promises and owes members tens of thousands of dollars in promised refunds and rebates.

Now or Never Travel first came to BBB’s attention in 2011 when it began pitching its travel club membership.  Consumers were offered 2 free airline tickets and a $100 gas voucher to attend sales presentations  held at local hotels.   During what some complainants described as high pressure sales presentations lasting up to 2 hours, consumers were offered membership in a travel club that, according to company representatives, would save them hundreds of dollars on hotels, airfare, etc.  Prices started at $7,000 – $9,000 and were discounted down to as low as $2,000- $3,000 to reluctant buyers who joined on the spot. Initial complaints to BBB indicate the “free” items were not “free” and were only available after paying fees.

More recent complaints on file at BBB state that Now or Never Travel has failed to provide promised “rebates” of $100 for each airfare purchase and 25% on hotel expenses.

Some complainants also told BBB that the business has not honored its promise of a refund of their membership fees if they didn’t use the club for one year or requested to cancel for any reason.

Now or Never Travel is owned by Richard Kenney.  Kenney has not responded to BBB complaints since February, 2013.  BBB has referred consumers to the Ohio Attorney General for assistance.

Travel club memberships have become very popular and companies offering them typically reel consumers into sales presentations with the promise of “free” airfare, vacations, or other items.

Nationwide, BBB received over 200,000 inquiries nationwide in 2012 from consumers checking out travel clubs, and over 2,000 consumer complaints on travel clubs during the same time.

BBB has this advice:

  1. Check the company’s BBB rating at bbb.org prior to attending a travel club presentation;

  2. Be wary of offers that claim you’ve won a contest that you did not enter;

  3. Be wary of solicitations that fail to disclose the name of the soliciting company;

  4. Be wary of sales staff who use high pressure sales tactics or tell you that the offer is only good that day. Ask for a copy of the contract to take home and review before making a decision;

  5. Be wary of suspiciously high savings claims that you aren’t able to verify prior to making a purchase;

  6. Research your right to cancel prior to going to a sales presentation;

  7. Leave credit cards at home to avoid the chance of making a hasty purchase before you carefully consider the benefits and costs.

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About Sue McConnell

Sue is the senior vice president of BBB Serving Greater Cleveland. She began her BBB career in 1980 and has served on various national BBB committees. Sue has conducted peer trainings locally, regionally, and nationally and represents BBB in local print and broadcast media.