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Donna Franca Tours Complaint - Poor Customer Relations

Review by LA in TX on 2007-10-31
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I deposited money w/ Donna Franca Tours for a trip to Tuscany. I paid the deposit of the trip, insurance and purchased my plane ticket through them. About a month after I purchased my ticket, I called and inquired if my ticket would be a paper ticket which they confirmed and they told me they would send me an invoice for the final amount. I never received anything from them. Eleven days prior to my departure I left a phone message for my agent informing him I had not received an invoice, confirmation of any kind nor my plane ticket. The agent then responded via e-mail that the trip had been cancelled due to low participation. When I requested a refund, since I had purchased the insurance, I was informed a claim could only be filed if I had a medical reason which prevented me from traveling. If the tour operator cancels, the insurance does not provide coverage.

I understand that the company must have a certain number of participants in order to be economically feasible but the consumer should not be penalized for their inability to be profitable. Donna Franca Tours should be accountable when they cancel a tour either through the insurance they provide or direct reimbursement from the company. The insurance coverage they provided me was worthless unless I cancelled. Now I am stuck with a $700 credit with Alitalia less $200 penalty for canceling. I am also required to use the ticket with in one year of the date of purchase, this prohibits me from using it in the fall when it is most feasible for my business.

The most unbelievable and incredible part of all this was when Ms. Franca told me that the only way I could get a full refund was to get a doctor to write a letter stating I was unable to travel due to medical reasons. Even though there was NO tour! Hmm sounds kind of like FRAUD!

I filed with the Better Business Bureau and I discovered that there have been 7 complaints filed against Donna Franca Tours in the last 36 months. I can only imagine how many others there may be, who have not filed complaints. Wish I had done more research instead of just taking one personal referral....
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