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In Northeast California

BBB Accredited Business since

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BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Educational Discovery Tours 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 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Educational Discovery Tours include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 1 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

1 complaint closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 0
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 1
Total Closed Complaints 1

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

1 Customer Review on Educational Discovery Tours
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 1
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 1

Additional Information

BBB file opened: April 01, 1995 Business started: 09/25/1985 in CA Business started locally: 09/25/1985 Business incorporated: 09/25/1985 in CA

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Seller of Travel
P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento CA 94244
Phone Number: (916) 322-3360

Type of Entity


Business Management
Mr. John Baker, President Mr. Kris Pantain, Operations Vice President Ms. Julie Zangara, Operations Vice President
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. John Baker, President
Customer Contact: Mr. Kris Pantain, Operations Vice President
Business Category

Tours - Operators & Promoters

Alternate Business Names
Alpen Group Travel Services Alpens Educational Discovery Tours California Group Associates, Inc.

Additional Locations


    15735 Donner Pass Rd

    Truckee, CA 96161 (530) 582-6030


    PO Box 10200

    Truckee, CA 96162

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Complaint Detail(s)

7/8/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: EDT has been hired by the North Tahoe High School to organize a trip to NY City in February of 2014. I have been paying for the trip, initially paying a $200 deposit and subsequent payments with invoicing fees totaling $651.00 to date. My son recently decided that he no longer wished to go on the trip, and so I respectfully requested that my son be taken off of the list, and that the money I paid so far, be refunded. I received only $443 in the form of a check. Apparently, the $200 deposit was deducted from the refund. Their literature states that the $200 deposit is non-refundable, however our request to disengage from the trip was well within the time allowance for a refund of 100% of whatever payments have been made thus far. I would like to know why $200 must be retained at this point by EDT, and why they cannot refund my deposit since my request was well within the time allowed. Also, why must they retain all of the $200? For what purpose? Is simply stating that the $200 is non-refundable legal, or legalized extortion? If the deposit was used for the purchase of "goods" needed to carry out their service I could understand, however no services have been provided, other than collection of the monthly payments which included invoicing fees not to exceed $16.00, those of which have also been collected, and were not part of the refund I received.

Desired Settlement: DesiredSettlementID: Refund I would like EDT to refund to me the $200 deposit.

Business Response: Business' Initial Response
Our cancellation policy, which is clearly printed on both the front and back of our registration form is as follows: Between Point of Registration and 60 days prior to departure: Deposit is non-refundable ($200 in this case) Between 45 and 60 days prior to departure: 30% of trip cost is non-refundable Between 15 and 44 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost is non-refundable Less than 15 days prior to departure: 100% of the trip cost is non-refundable Additionally, we charge an invoicing fee for the first 4 invoices mailed our for any trip. Trip many be paid in full to avoid these fees. Ms. *********** completed and signed our registration form and sent it to us with her deposit. On April 4, 2013, we received a cancellation request via mail and processed the cancellation per our policies. A refund check was sent out on April 4th less the $200 deposit and any already incurred invoicing fees. We then received an email from Ms. *********** on April 6, 2013 stating that she was unhappy with the refund and had filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. On Monday, April 8, 2013, we replied to her email including a copy of the registration form for North Tahoe High School. Ms. *********** filed her complaint with the BBB before we became aware that she was unhappy with her refund. The above referenced trip is scheduled to depart in February of 2014 with approximately 100 passengers. We begin working on our trips as soon as they are booked. We have secured airline seats and other reservations for this group. There is cost involved in preparing for a trip like this. Additionally, we have labor cost to process payments, issue refunds, respond to phone calls, etc. Our customer states that "their literature states that the $200 deposit is non-refundable, however our request to disengage from the trip was well within the time allowance for a refund of 100% of whatever payments have been made thus far." At the time of their cancellation request, it was after the point of deposit. Per our clearly stated cancellation policy, the deposit is non-refundable once made. We encourage our participants to purchase trip cancellation insurance from an outside provider to protect them from losing money should they be unable to attend a trip. We also expect that prior to registering for a trip, participants fully review the terms of the agreement prior to registration. Although the complaint was filed without trying to resolve the matter with us first, our cancellation policy will remain in place and we do not intend to issue any additional refunds.

Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) *****, I am not surprised that you are still attempting to dissuade me. While I appreciate your efforts to prove to me that your policy is in line with other businesses like yours, I will say that with little effort I too can provide a list of travel agencies, and businesses who possess less stringent policies with regard to refunds, deposits, etc. But even so, your revelation still does not make me wrong. I am not interested is what other businesses do. I did "business" with your company - not anyone else's - and furthermore, telling me that other parents "accepted the cancellation policy.....without discussion" just proves to me that some people are foolish when it comes to money. They would almost rather lose their deposits than to allude to the idea that they need it, or maybe they just don't feel that they want to go to the trouble of arguing with you. I can only speak for myself. Then again, I suppose if a family can afford to send their child on a $2000+ trip for four days, then they can stand to lose a meager $200 deposit, right? Wrong. You see, I still feel EDT is ridiculously unfair. I feel that your 'policy' of a $200 cancellation fee was created to keep profit margins fat. A non-refundable deposit at ANY time says that regardless of exceptions or conditions - your business will profit whenever possible; regardless of what is fundamentally correct; regardless of how anyone feels about it. You just don't care. My husband is a firefighter and must work approximately EIGHT HOURS to earn $200. At this point I will share my story with the people I know, and hope that they will take note of businesses like yours, who uphold policies which are self-serving and devoid of practicality or sincerity. I will NEVER do business with you, or with any agency, store, person etc. whose flagrant rules/policies are such that do not allow for simply being human. If it were not for these students and their 'wealthy' families your business would not exist let alone thrive. Nothing lasts forever!

Business' Final Response
Please see document online.

BBB's Final Determination: After reviewing the position of all parties, BBB determined that the business made a reasonable effort to address the complaint. However the consumer remains dissatisfied.