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is latinamerica4less. com a legit site/travel agent?

is latinamerica4less. com a legit site/travel agent?

Oct 25th, 2010, 12:47 PM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2
Hi All:

I too have been stiffed by LatinAmerica4 Less. I have several questions:
1. Is the governing jurisdiction Florida or California?
2. Has anybody exercised the binding arbitration condition of their contract?
3. Has anybody filed a criminal complaint?
4. Has anybody filed a civil lawsuit?
5. Does anybody understand whether there is a problem with simultaneously filing claims with one's credit card and travel insurance while also filing a civil suit?
6. Has anybody retained a lawyer?
7. Is there any interest in a class action lawsuit?
8. Is there any interest in establishing an e-mail group to discuss strategy? I would be happy to serve as focal point at [email protected].

Mark
MarkScher is offline  
Oct 26th, 2010, 07:53 AM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1
gigiweb:

Can you list the resources for getting your money back for those of us who just found out via this forum that they're closed? I was to leave on November 21st and hadn't yet received my e-tickets and wasn't getting a response from anyone and I keep calling and emailing and no one responds.

Thanks!

- Faye
fayep71 is offline  
Oct 26th, 2010, 02:03 PM
  #43  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2
LatinAmerica4Less recommended filing a claim with your travel insurance (if you bought insurance) and with your credit card company. But it's not clear to me yet what they will cover.

You can write to the company and demand a refund. I doubt that will do much good.

You can file criminal fraud charges with the Broward County sheriff. I'm hopeful that this will put pressure on the company to declare bankruptcy or resolve the claims. But you can't get blood from a stone.

Your contract had an arbitration clause that theoretically requires adjudication with the Los Angeles Better Business Bureau. You can demand such arbitration from the BBB. However, I'm not sure whether that was an error in the contract. Their business was registered in California and is now suspended.

For a $300 filing fee, you can file claims in the Broward County Small Claims Court for up to $5000.

We could find a lawyer who would file a class action suit on behalf of all stiffed customers. But the lawyer would probably take 1/3 of the yield.

I'm a bit leery of the court options. The owner has already been involved in about a dozen civil cases in Broward County. So he has significant experience with the legal system.

I hope this helps. And I'm open to better ideas.

Mark
MarkScher is offline  
Oct 30th, 2010, 10:52 PM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 5
MarkScher's reply about how to get your money back is exactly what they told me. My husband called and left them a message asking how to get our money. They actually returned his call (surprise) and told him the same thing. They also said that they no longer had credit from the card company(s)?? and without that credit, they could not operate.

I contacted ASTA on the October 21st. to see if latinamerica4less is actually a member, and ASTA confirmed that they are. They also said that they were unaware of them going out of business.

I have filed formal complaints with the Attorney General in both Oregon (where I live) and Florida. I'm still confused about California and Top Destinations. I will file a complaint there too if there is a connection. Anyone sure about it?

I spoke to my travel insurance company and they give you 30 days to make a claim. They will hold and not process the claim until I hear from my credit card company. Right now I am so frustrated because dealing with my card company is like dealing with latinamerica4less. After I get through all the robots, and actually get to talk to a human, I am not allowed to speak to any of the people handling the claim to get my questions answered, and the agents only have limited information.

If MarkSher wants to start an e-mail group, that would be ok with me. Right now, it is just a waiting game.
gigiweb2 is offline  
Oct 31st, 2010, 11:01 AM
  #45  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1
I booked a trip for 4 people to Costa Rica on Oct 7. We were scheduled to leave on Dec 4. After reading of their financial problems, I called them, left a message. They never called back. I contacted the airline, LACSA, asked them if they had a reservation for me on Dec 4, and was the ticket paid for? Here is their reply:

LACSA 671 04DEC LOS ANGELES SAN JOSE 1225A 940A

wed Oct 27:
From:
"edesk"

Dear Dxxxxx,
Thank you for contacting us.
It is a pleasure to greet you.
Regarding your concern, we kindly inform that the reservation code 2SG247 has been located. Nevertheless, since the payment was not completed there is no an issued ticket and without it, you can no complete the travel.
If you have any query, please contact us .
Sincerely,
Ingrid Rivera

I have since called my credit card company twice, and have mailed documention to the credit card company about Latinamerica4less, including this thread.
DClary is offline  
Oct 31st, 2010, 02:07 PM
  #46  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 89
I suspect that the answer to all your woes runs something like this.

1) Get the name and at least a good physical decription of the principals of latinamerica for less.

2) Draw up a list of those countries without an extradition treaty with the US. Failing that, try Paraguay, the whole country's economy is set up on a similar business model to your erstwhile travel agent.

3) Purchase an airline ticket with an established travel agency or or the really advanced, purchase one direct from an airline servicing the country in question.

4) Upon arrival in Asuncion, Kinshasa or wherever, engage a private detective.

5) Purchase a car battery, two lengths of copper wire and an alligator clip. If you prefer, substitute a hand cranked magneto for the power source.

6) Find your man and connect Tab A to Tab B, folding along the dotted line.

You may still not yet your $$ back but it should be a fun holiday.

Best of luck!
Carlos69 is offline  
Nov 1st, 2010, 03:36 PM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 6
My son and I were to depart 18 Dec for Peru. I checked here today and read the news. Have had same result calling LatinAmeric4Less. Called LACSA/TACA, on which were supposed to fly, and gave them the record locator on my itinerary. It was real but the reservation had been cancelled; they couldn't tell me when it had been cancelled. I've begun the claims process with credit-card and travel-insurance companies, but both will want proof that LatinAmerica4Less has gone out of business. What are the rest of you using for proof?
vettpf is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2010, 04:53 AM
  #48  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 4
You may try your luck with this:

https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=...Yzk5NTE4&hl=en

A big thanks goes out to the original poster!
danjng is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2010, 06:40 PM
  #49  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1
Ahhhhhh!!

Does anybody have the name of the travel insurance company that LatinAmerica4Less used for their trips? I purchased the gold package, but of course that is all that I know. I don't even have the name of that company to even contact. What a mess.

Was supposed to leave on Sat Nov. 20 from JFK airport for the Nature and Culture Trip to Rio, Iguassu Falls, and Buenos Aires. Has anybody else who was going on that trip been able to find a comparable trip with the same dates? Please let me know asap if possible.

What an upset to us all
dara0921 is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2010, 02:03 PM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 6
TravelGuard is the travel insurance company. I started my claim with them MOnday evening. I also filed a claim with my credit-card company.

TravelGuard's claims line is 800-826-1300. Hope this helps someone. They'll cover your loss up to the amount of coverage you chose, less whatever reimbursement you get back from your credit-card company.
vettpf is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2010, 05:20 PM
  #51  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 3
I have booked a Great South American experience with LatinAmerica4less.com and supposed to leave on Dec 25th. Same as many of you I have received by E-mail a letter informing me they will not provide the package I purchased. I have filed a dispute with my credit card company. But my credit card has cancelled it as my credit card shows Top Destinations as the company that took payment and letter shows LatinAmerica4less as ceasing its operations. They argue that they are two different companies. Is there any way I will be able to get my money back? Did anyone have the same problem? How can I fight this?
dora1102 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2010, 05:21 AM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 4
Yes, they're two different companies, but one was dba (doing business as) the other and should therefore accept full responsibility. Check your invoice/receipt that you signed and it directly connects Top Destinations to LA4L; make sure you forward this to your credit card company too since they can only work with what they have.

I would send email to [email protected] requesting more information about this and even tell your credit card company to call them and do the same. They should be able to confirm this.

There's no reason why other people would be able to receive a refund and you can't. We're all in the same boat.
danjng is offline  
Nov 8th, 2010, 09:19 AM
  #53  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 6
Go to LatinAmerica4less.com and print out the screen that shows the site is offline. Send that to your credit-card company. In the LatinAmerica4Less logo at top left, it says "A TopDestinations, Inc. Company". Connection.
vettpf is offline  
Nov 8th, 2010, 09:22 AM
  #54  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 6
Also, whois.com shows TopDestinations, Inc., as the registrant of the domain name latinamerica4less.com. Another connection.
vettpf is offline  
Nov 9th, 2010, 10:35 PM
  #55  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2
Did you sent an email to them? I did it to [email protected] and got a letter with the Topdestinations and latinamerican4less names on it. They answered my email 3 days after, but they did it and they also sent me copy of the original invoice where it say Topdestinations. I was able to get a full credit from my credit card company, they will probably argue that you need A, B, C etc o like in my case they said that I purchased that more than 4 billing cycles ago, doesn't matter, if latinamerican4less didn't provided you with the services, the credit card company should cover you any way.
MGrant is offline  
Nov 12th, 2010, 10:37 AM
  #56  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 5
To dora1102

I am curious, is your credit card Visa, Master, or American Express? I have American Express, and I am STILL waiting for them to make a decision. Absolutely no communication from them other than a letter saying that they are "working on it". They have not asked me for any documentation or clarification on my claim.

You can file a complaint with the state of Florida so they can investigate the company. The on line form is under the "Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services" for Florida.
If they get bombarded with complaints I think it will help all of us.
gigiweb2 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2010, 11:29 AM
  #57  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 3
Hi All,

Thank you for all your responses. So far no lack with my credit card company. I was told that they will be able to file a dispute after the date of the trip if I do not receive any vouchers for hotels, tours and flights to dispute charges based on services not rendered.

MGrant Could you please share what did you say for LA4L to sent you another letter indicating TD as well? I have received it an invoice from TD but letter that was sent only mentions LA4L and my visa dispute department does not want to pursue it saying they do not have a case as TD got my payment and letter says that LA4L will not provide the service. For them they are two different companies and they say TD may still be in business. If anyone knows how to get LA4L to issue another letter showing both TD and LA4L please let me know!
dora1102 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2010, 03:26 PM
  #58  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2
I sent an email asking for a letter explaining if they are or not Topdestinations and after 3 days I got the same letter advising that they are ceasing operations and it mention that Latinamerican4less is a division of Topdestinations.

I feel sorry for those guys, I have traveled with them 4 times without any problem in the past. I appreciate that they called me and sent me copy of the invoices, that help me to get the credit from my credit card right away.
For what I understand the credit card companies should have some deposit in warranty and that's why we need to made the claim directly with the credit card company, then they will deal with the travel agency.
MGrant is offline  
Nov 15th, 2010, 10:29 AM
  #59  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 3
To MGrant,

Thank you for your reply. I will sent them an E-mail and see if they will reply to me.
dora1102 is offline  
Nov 18th, 2010, 12:28 PM
  #60  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4
I purchased a trip to Chile for January 2011 and received a letter emailed to me yesterday (November 17) that they are going out of business. We're now trying to recover the cost of our already paid for trip.
J_Sue is offline  
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