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A BBB Accredited Business since
BBB has determined that Sports Traveler meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.
BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.
Reason for Rating
BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.
Factors that raised the rating for Sports Traveler include:
- Length of time business has been operating
- Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
- Response to 2 complaint(s) filed against business
- Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business
Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Problems with Product/Service||1|
|Total Closed Complaints||2|
Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews
|Customer Experience||Total Customer Reviews|
|Total Customer Reviews||0|
Type of Entity
Business ManagementMs. Anbritt Stengele, President/Owner
Travel Agencies & Bureaus Event Planners Travel Agencies (NAICS: 561510)
Alternate Business NamesSports Traveler, LLC
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Complaint Trends - Last 3 Years
Customer Review Trends
BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview
BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.
|Customer Review Experience||Value|
|Positive Review||5 points per review|
|Neutral Review||3 points per review|
|Negative Review||1 point per review|
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Problems with Product/Service
Read Complaint Details
Complaint: On Oct 15th 2013 I rec'd a quote from Sports Traveler providing the cost for either 3 Star or 4 Star accommodations, we chose to upgrade to the 4 Star package. Prior to executing the contract I requested more detailed information regarding what hotel we would be staying at. We specifically discussed safety & location. I was told we would not be any further than one block from Copacabana beach & that the hotel would be 4 star rated. We executed the contract & paid 40% down with this understanding. I continued to inquire about the hotel assignment prior to paying the remaining contract amount on Dec 10 2013 & was told World Cup Draw on Dec 6th had to be complete before they could complete room assignments. I was told they would be in touch. I did not get a phone call or email until after I initiated another request. At which time the contract had been paid in full & we were told we would be staying at the ***************** which is neither an accredited 4 star hotel nor 1 block from Copacabana Beach. During my conversations with ***** I was warned about other agencies that promise things to get the contract signed & then once the contract is paid you do not get what you agreed to. It is very unprofessional & unethical to conduct business in this manner. In an effort to keep our business dealings with Sports Traveler intact we sent them an email on Jan 22 2014 listing other hotels in the area that met these obligations & expressed our deep concerns. I received no response, on Feb 10 I sent another email & on Feb 11 ******* contacted me & I returned her call on the 12th. She introduced herself as the owner of the company & proceeded to accuse me of lying & told me we would be staying at the********* I again tried to express our concerns about safety & promises made & was cut off & told that "this conversation is going nowhere & you are going to be one of those". She argued that TripAdvisor listed the hotel as a 4 star which was not true it is & has always been rated a 3 star. More importantly those ratings mean nothing they are based on customer ratings not professional accredited agencies like AAA or AMEX. I tried to explain this to her & she got very angry. I tried to offer another suggestion that she work it out so we could stay most of our time at the ********* which is a little closer to meeting their promises & the other two nights at the********* She responded that she might make the call & then hung up. Later that day I got an email from her stating that she reached out to her partners & that our hotel assignment would be the*********& that it is 2 blocks from the beach (Flamengo Beach - which is also untrue it is at least 3) & that the subway is 1 block away (safety being a major concern - we didn't want to use public transportation). She also now states that it is a 4 star hotel according Booking.com once again not an accredited agency. She also states that her MATCH/FIFA operator has determined it is a 4 star hotel. Unfortunately, we looked that up too & FIFA does not even rate this hotel with their grading system. We were truly looking forward to this once in a lifetime trip & are saddened that it has become such a disappointment as a result of the business practices of Sports Traveler. My husband, being Active Duty Military in the Intelligence Community has reached out to the State Dept. & NCIS for security information & is fully knowledgeable about not being a "soft target" or "stupid American" when traveling, especially with a crime ridden country like Brazil. He is an experienced world traveler & is concerned about the circumstances surrounding; the lack of western traveler business at the hotel, teams, media & other organizations are not staying near this location, friends from Brazil have advised us not to stay here & other force protection measures related to our safety. Staying in a high western tourism area like Copacabana is more secure. We are not misguided tourists that are oblivious to our surroundings.
Desired Settlement: continued from above: We have been planning and researching this trip for over a year. ***** made us feel safe and appeared to care about our safety concerns. We hope to be able to continue a positive business relationship with Sports Traveler but they must understand that we will not settle for anything that does not meeting our concerns about safety and security. We understand that anything can happen, but we can take every step available to prevent making ourselves a target which will allow us to enjoy the trip to the maximum extent possible. We do not want to have to look over our shoulder the entire time or be in fear that we could be a target of opportunity simply due to the location we are forced to stay in by Sports Traveler. Settlement Terms: Fulfill agreed package with accredited 4 Star Hotel(Am Ex, AAA, Mobile or Cande Nast not travel websites) within 1 block from Copacabana beach as agreed upon. If unable to meet the above request, complete refund and we will find a secure hotel location by other means.
Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 8, 2014/02/24) */ This statement is in response to Case Number:********** the BBB compliant filed by *************************** Mr. and Mrs.******** purchased a travel package via Sports Traveler on Oct. 29, 2013. The contract was signed by ***************** is attached in this response. The package details lists their lodging to be a "4-star hotel". At no time was Mr. and Mrs.******** promised a hotel "one block from Copacabana Beach". There is no documentation that exists showing that we offered such a property to the********'s. One hotel name was given to Ms.******** as an example property that could be assigned to her reservation, however this hotel name was not listed on her contract nor in any emails that were sent to Ms.******** by our sales representatives. Throughout the entire sales process, Ms.******** was told both verbally and via email that the hotel assignment was to be made after the World Cup Qualification Draw, after December 2013. The********'s reservation has been assigned to the 4-star ************* in Rio de Janeiro. The hotel is stated to be a certified 4-star hotel by the management of the ************* (see attached documentation provided by hotel reservation management) as well as our vendor FIFA Authorized Hospitality Company Great Atlantic Travel. Sports Traveler is not obligated to provide any other hotel accreditations from Mrs.********'s demands of outside sources. Additionally, we would like to state that the government of Brazil has recently undergone a new class system ahead of the Brazil World Cup to refresh the rankings of their country's hotels. This is very commonplace for nations to do prior to hosting an international sporting event of the magnitude of the World Cup. This system came into effect in 2012-13 and there are still many travel-themed and hotel ranking websites around the world that have not updated their pages to reflect the new rankings. Additionally, Sports Traveler would like the BBB to record that Ms.******** agreed to and signed the Sports Traveler terms and conditions contract agreeing to the following aspects that apply to this complaint: Section 3: Intermediary Status. You understand and agree that we act solely as an intermediary for travel, hotel rooms, and events. You understand that there may be additional terms and conditions that are imposed on your travel, accommodations, or event tickets by the provider of such services. You will be required to comply with those terms and conditions whether or not we disclose them to you. We make no representations as to those terms and conditions. You understand that as an intermediary, we do not purchase the travel tickets, hotel rooms, or event tickets, but rather these services are provided by third party vendors, not Sports Traveler. Sports Traveler has no control over the actual bookings or ticket purchases. Any dispute as to the travel arrangements, hotel rooms, or event tickets, including the failure of the third-party vendor to fully perform, is solely between you and the third-party vendor. Section 5: Deposits and Payment for Tour Packages. All payments are non-refundable. Section 12: Confirmation of Hotel Reservations. Due to the nature of travel packages arranged with hotels, you may not be able to confirm your reservation directly with the hotel until 24 hours prior to your arrival. If you have questions about your hotel reservation, you agree to contact Sports Traveler about that reservation up to 24 hours prior to your arrival at the hotel. Section 13: No Representations as to Accommodations or Ticket Locations. You understand and agree that tickets and/or the accommodations in the package or tour have been provided to us by third parties. We make no representation or warranty as to any hotel to be provided or its rooms, bedding, or location or as to any restrictions placed on the use or occupancy of the hotel or the rooms by either the providing hotel or applicable law. Such restrictions may include, but are not limited to, age restrictions in addition to those required of all Registered Users. All reservations are subject to substitution of a hotel or ticket with a hotel or ticket of an equal rating and/or price. You agree that bedding requests cannot be guaranteed by us and are assigned at the discretion of the hotel. You agree to abide by all hotel policies and laws, and you agree to contact the hotel if you have any questions concerning the policies and laws prior to travel. The hotel assignment for this reservation stands as the *************. The hotel is located near the US Consulate and the beach, is full-service, and meets all standards of a 4-star Brazilian hotel. Sports Traveler has complied with all aspects of our contract with Mr. and Mrs.******** and we will not be providing any refunds or compensation. If they wish to cancel their trip, they will forfeit all payments as noted in the terms of our contract with them. Final Consumer Response /* (3000, 10, 2014/03/02) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) Other greater issues have come up recently regarding this trip. This discussion will have to be tabled until the military gives their final approval on my overseas travel. We request this discussion remain open until that date. I can not guarantee it will be on or before Mar 6th. Thank you. Final Business Response /* (4000, 12, 2014/03/12) */ The original complaint and settlement terms filed by Mr. and Mrs.******** were to dispute the 4-star quality of their hotel that was purchased from Sports Traveler. Attached is an additional certificate stating the hotel is a 4-star Brazilian property. Sports Traveler believes it has filled all requirements of the purchase agreement between our company and the********'s and also has provided sufficient supporting documentation. We respect the military service of Mr.******** however, Sports Traveler was not notified until 3 months after the********'s signed and purchased the travel package about Mr.********'s "potential" travel restriction. In the meantime, Sports Traveler fulfilled all aspects of the********'s contract including the procurement and payments for their hotel room, their flights, their airport transfers, and all other aspects as described in the contract - all of which are non-refundable to Sports Traveler. I have communicated to Mr.******** that if he does present Sports Traveler with documentation from the US Military stating he does not have travel clearance, our company will forward that document to pursue all efforts to recoup funds from our vendors. However, due to the nature of this major International sporting event, we are not able to guarantee that any funds will be available. As of this date there has been no document presented. We are requesting that this case be dismissed by the BBB.
Read Complaint Details
Complaint: I first contacted Sports Traveler early morning Dec 8th to ask about their MSU Rose Bowl Package tour from Lansing Mi. I asked in particular about the $300 per ticket upgrade to sideline tickets. The rep I talked to on the phone stated that the seats would be located between the goal line and the 20 yard line. It was also stated on the description of the package that our tickets for everything included would be Fed exed to us 1 to 2 weeks prior to the event. When we did not get the package a week before departure by charter flight I called Sports Traveler and was told they were to be sent out that day and a tracking # would be emailed to us. When we received no tracking # that day , I called again the day after Christmas and was once again told they would be overnighte to us. Later that day**** from Sports Traveler contacted us to tell us that they still hadn't received the tickets and they would be waiting at our hotel on Sunday Dec. 29. I asked her to call us back to let us know our seat locations for the game. would call the same afternoon of the 26th. After not receiving her callback that day contacted her on Friday Dec. 27. She then told me that our seats were in section 2, row 42, seats 1 and 2. I quickly learned that these seats were in the Stanford section as designated by the Rose Bowl. I called**** back and complained about our MSU tour package designating us seats in the Stanford section.**** told me not to worry, that the rep on site in Pasadena could most likely fix that. We found out that Sports Traveler had basically purchased the tour from Prime Sports and their VP ***** told us their was nothing he could do. We had a nice flight, good accommodations, etc. and everything went well until we received the package at the front desk and we did not receive the lanyards from Sports Traveler to hold our tickets for the Parade and game. But the worst was yet to come. When we got to our seats we found that not only were they not between the goal line and the 20 yard line, they were directly behind the tunnel entrance to our section. Throughout the per game, the game, and the awards presentation, people were blocking our view while walking to and from concessions and the restrooms. 20 to 25 people, as they walked by us, commented about how we had the worst possible seats. My wife was about crying and I was thoroughly disgusted to not be able to actually see most of the game. It made what should have been one of the most delightful days of our lives , instead, one of the most frustrating. That pretty much sums up our complaint.
Desired Settlement: We are seeking reimbursement for the 2 $300 upgrades to our tickets.
Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 7, 2014/01/22) */ Contact Name and Title: **************** Contact Phone: ************ Contact Email: ***@sportstraveler.net To Whom It *** Concern: Mr. ******* purchased his package on the Sports Traveler website and agreed to the Terms and Conditions stating that Sports Traveler lists travel packages as an intermediary for many official tour vendors. I have included a copy of these terms and conditions for review (See section 3). For the event Mr. ******* attended, Sports Traveler partnered with Primesport and their recently acquired company Premiere Sports Travel to have their Rose Bowl and Parade product display on the Sports Traveler website. Primesport is the official hospitality and travel package provider for both the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade and the 2014 Rose Bowl. Primesport charged Mr. ********* purchase to his credit card and his credit card statement reflects this fact. The tickets he received were exactly as he purchased noted as "Side line ticket" on his receipt. The tickets were assigned by the ticket allocation staff at Primesport. At no time was Mr. ******* promised a ticket on the MSU sideline nor was he promised a ticket located in the "goal to 20 yard line" area. The tickets he received were in Section 2 and this is designated as a side line ticket by the Rose Bowl Committee. As the official agent for this event, Primesport sells the ticket assignments as governed by this committee. The ticket did not have an obstructed view nor were they marked as such by the Rose Bowl Committee. In terms of "people blocking our view", fans walking around during a game is very commonplace. Sports Traveler did experience several ***** shipping delays during the holiday season and this package was one of those that was delayed. Primesport's office attempted to ship this package along with others for overnight delivery, but the package was delayed due to weather. I personally called every client affected by this shipping delay, including Mr. *******. He package was ultimately delivered in plenty of time before his departure to Pasadena. I also informed Primesport of the complaint Mr. ******* had prior to his departure about the seats being in the "Stanford Section". I explained to him that this is a national event and fans of both teams will be scattered throughout the arena. Primesport made a note of his complaint and told me to have Mr. ******* speak to his onsite representative when he arrived to see if he could be accommodated. I would like to have this complaint removed from the Sports Traveler file as it was filed against the wrong company. Sports Traveler did not handle any funds for this transaction nor do we have any funds to refund for this transaction. Sports Traveler did not assign tickets for this event, nor did we operate the tour. I would like to direct Mr. ******* to contact Primesport directly for any further complaints at X-XXX-XXX-XXXX and reference his transaction number of STXXXXX. Thank you, **************** Owner Sports Traveler, LLC Final Consumer Response /* (3000, 9, 2014/01/22) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) I understand the company's statement but I do have to disagree with the following. Our package did not arrive before we left for our tour. We received the package at our hotel in ******* Hills. The package also did not contain lanyards as promised by Sports Traveler. Also, I was told by an agent of Sports Traveler that my tickets would be between the goal line and the 20 yard line. I did not tape the call, so it is true I have no proof of that conversation. I have reread the "agreement" and realize that Sports Traveler did not provide the tickets. I no longer expect to receive the partial refund of $600 from Sports Traveler. However, Sports Traveler, in my opinion, did misrepresent the "MSU tour" when they themselves admit that the tickets could have been in either team's sections. As far as restricted view is concerned, it is true there were no pillars in the way, just a constant stream of spectators walking to and from their seats. No one knowing those seat locations would have agreed to pay a $300 per seat upgrade. In summation, I do feel that I have a valid complaint, although I no longer expect Sports Traveler to provide a refund. Final Business Response /* (4000, 11, 2014/02/05) */ To Whom It *** Concern: It appears that Mr. ******* is now retracting his request for a refund from our company. We provided Mr. ******* with all his travel documents several days prior to his departure via email. As stated previous, his tickets were delayed due to ***** but Sports Traveler made sure his tickets were waiting for him when he arrived at the hotel. We also waived the shipping fee of $20 from his order as a courtesy due to the shipping delays. Our on-site representative from ********** did run out of the plastic ticket holder portion of the "ticket holder and lanyard". Our representative sincerely apologies for this minor problem. The package was marketed as an MSU themed program because the package included passes ** the official pre-game tailgate party for Michigan State fans. This wristband pass was included in the packet that Mr.******** received when he arrived at the ******* Hilton and he attended the party. Mr. ******* bought an official Rose Bowl travel program, he received his tickets and all of the other components exactly as it is stated on his order receipt, and he took part in all aspects of the tour. Since Mr. ******* is no longer seeking compensation I am asking for this complaint to be closed.