Hundreds of people lost their money after they used a Florida-based travel company to book trips.
The people affected booked their vacations through Sarasota-based travel company Legendary Journeys.
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Fort Myers Shores resident Betty Willis and her husband were shocked when their trip was canceled, just weeks before departing.
“I’ve used Legendary for over 10 years for numerous trips and we never had a problem with them,” Willis said.
Good reviews and recommendations led others to believe they were booking through a reputable company.
“Because you think you’re good going with a travel agency that’s been in business that long, well what could go wrong?” added Cape Coral resident Kim Pettichord.
Legendary Journeys abruptly closed its doors late last year. The owner, Adrian Ferguson, could not be reached for comment, but posts on his Facebook blame the closure on employee theft, hurricanes and government relations with Cuba.
Ferguson also admitted in a post he’d be canceling some trips but no guests would lose any money.
However, Willis and Pettichord are still out thousands of dollars for their canceled trips and are now looking for answers, even thinking about red flags raised about the company itself.
“When they said something about paying in cash, that put up a red flag,” Pettichord said.
The two women both paid in cash or check, and are now learning it’s best to pay with credit in order to file a dispute and get reimbursed.
“Next time I would pay everything by credit card and I would also get the travelers insurance from a third-party,” Willis said.
The attorney general has an open investigation on Legendary Journeys. Both their office and Better Business Bureau received nearly 150 complaints about the company and say there are victims nationwide.
BBB Advice for What to Do if a Company Goes Out of Business
When a retailer closes their doors, customers are often left confused and wondering what will happen to purchases they’ve paid for but haven’t received. The same applies in situations where warranties or unused gift cards are involved. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) provides advice for consumers regarding steps they can take if a retailer goes out of business but doesn’t officially file bankruptcy, as well as what their options are when companies file Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcies.