If you have plans in the near future to claim that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott endorses your business when, in fact, that is not the case, a word of caution: Your ass will be paying the A.G. $64 million.
The offender is Sun Country Travel, a.k.a. Texas Travel Partners, with offices in Arlington, Carrollton and Houston. In addition to hounding people on "Do Not Call" registries, court documents say the travel agency misrepresented "directly or indirectly that the Attorney General had endorsed, approved, or consented to the content of their sales program." Oh, no, you didn't!
Oh, yes, they did. Complaints started coming in 2002, when the Better Business Bureau reports people had a problem with Sun Country offering free trips to exotic locales and then, um, not actually offering them. Complaints to the BBB say that in reality, "They only promise the lowest published fare, plus a rebate of the 5 percent commission."
In fact, you gotta fork over cash to Sun Country before they'll send you anywhere, says the BBB, with memberships ranging from $2,700 to $4,900. A Fort Worth couple complained after they bought in on a $1,599 all expenses paid two weeks in Oceania:
"My wife tried to get that Australia/New Zealand trip and no one knew anything about it. She called every day several times a day for a week and part of the next week talking to different people and there was no such trip."
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Also named in the suit are Jerry L. McDonald, Jr. (and his father, Jerry Sr.) and a David Vavro who, according to Tarrant Appraisal District records, is currently living the high life in a $57k mobile home in Fort Worth. It's hard out here for a travel agent. --Andrea Grimes