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BBB Release: Make Sure Travels Don't Unravel

BBB Tips for Researching Vacation Seminars and Offers

Anchorage, Alaska – Feb. 3, 2011 Looking for a warmer location to visit during the winter months? An advertised vacation seminar, workshop or other offer may sound like a deal, but sometimes brings more stress than relaxation.

Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington offers tips for deciphering whether travel seminars and promotions are truly a good deal:

§ Be wary of high-pressure limited-time offers.

§ Don't jump at the word "free." Ask questions and make sure you're actually interested in the offer. In some cases, consumers who thought they were getting a free gift at a workshop were disappointed to find out that not every attendee got the featured gift or that the seminar took up hours before the gift was distributed. If the offer is a "free trial" read all the fine print and find out when the trial needs to be canceled to avoid fees.

§ Verify legitimacy. Don't be fooled by a professional looking website. Get a BBB report on the company at www.bbb.org. Verify the business is properly licensed to do business in the state.

§ Get details in writing. Read contracts and never sign agreements with missing details. Get the business names of all travel providers involved: airlines, hotels, car renters, etc. Contact these businesses directly to verify arrangements. Understand cancellation and refund policies. Always ask for confirmation of travel arrangements in writing.

§ Pay with a credit card. Credit card companies often allow consumers to dispute a charge within 60 days of buying, if the purchase was not provided. Check the card provider's policy.

§ Contact BBB if there is an unresolved problem. BBB helps consumers and businesses through complaint and dispute resolution services, when they can't resolve an issue on their own. Consumers can file complaints at www.bbb.org.

For additional information on travel scams, visit BBB's website.

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