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News Story: Graduation cruise ruined for Wayne County High seniors

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I google "Travel Agent Fraud" every time someone thinks that using a travel agent prevents problems like this. This time I found, "Feds: Family-run travel agency stole $1 million from churches". http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/i-team/feds-family-run-travel-agency-stole-1-million-from-churches

Some people would say Karma for the church.

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Some people would say Karma for the church.

 

 

Karma to The church, or these churches? Not all churches abscond with money or do not use it wisely. Painting a group with a broad brush is dangerous 'cause there could be someone in your community, your next door neighbor, a close relative, etc. who does an unspeakable crime and you and yours get broad brushed.

 

The church trips I went on pointed everyone to a Travel Web site after taking a deposit if the person didn't know what they were doing but they had to pay through the Travel Agent's site. They also encouraged everyone to buy trip insurance and gave instructions on how to look for some and what to look for.

 

Ramona

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True not all churches are the same. It is a shame for the people who have lost their money but the church will survive, there is always someone willing to give even if they cannot really afford it.

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True not all churches are the same. It is a shame for the people who have lost their money but the church will survive, there is always someone willing to give even if they cannot really afford it.

 

I get annoyed when people bring up church, Christians when bad things are done in the name of God. If the only crooks, crimes or fraud, bad behavior emanated from so called "Believers" than I would not argue; however, atheist, those other than Christians or religious folk have committed heinous crimes and those not so heinous. Christians are told to "test the spirit" because everything and everyone is not of God.

 

Ramona

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I get annoyed when people bring up church, Christians when bad things are done in the name of God. If the only crooks, crimes or fraud, bad behavior emanated from so called "Believers" than I would not argue; however, atheist, those other than Christians or religious folk have committed heinous crimes and those not so heinous. Christians are told to "test the spirit" because everything and everyone is not of God.

 

Ramona

Perhaps the word church can be replaced with religious institutions then.

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From WSAV:

 

Fundraising saves Wayne County HS graduation cruise (May 23rd)

A group of Wayne County High School seniors who say they were cheated out of a graduation trip will get to go on the cruise, thanks to the community.

 

Last week, the group found out the money they paid Jackie Bozeman-Dean to arrange the trip was not used to book passage.

 

But community members and businesses raised tens of thousands of dollars in ten days to make sure the students have a trip to remember.

FULL ARTICLE HERE

 

Woman involved in graduation cruise scam arrested in Wayne County (May 31st)

A woman accused of collecting payments from Wayne County High School seniors and using some money for personal use has been arrested.

 

Jackie Bozeman-Dean, 45, was arrested on one count of racketeering activity by engaging in more than two acts of theft with a similar scheme. She was supposed to organize a cruise for high school seniors and is accused of taking tens of thousands of dollars from those students and families and never booking their Caribbean vacation.

FULL ARTICLE HERE

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Can't trust anyone with your money anymore.

 

"?" You could never trust ANYONE with money since money began to be used as a means of trade and before that.

 

Ramona

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GOOD an arrest was made and she will stand trial for her alleged awful acts. What she is alleged to have taken from those kids cannot be returned..

 

 

Great the community came together to help t he kids.

Edited by sail7seas

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While my reply may be after the fact I am sorry that this happened to the students.  A reputable travel agent will process payments of Deposit and Credit Cards directly with the cruise line.

 

Hence your credit card statement would show"Carnival Corp $850 Deposit along with an invoice from the Travel Agent showing the deposit and remaining balance along with the Final Payment Date, Remaining Balance and any promos such as OBC. 

 

What also is provided after a valid Deposit is a Booking Number. I have booked with a Travel Agent and right away I go onto the Cruiseline Website to verify the Booking# and Cabin# is correct and fill out my online checkin.  Once the Final Payment has been made by the Travel Agent I call into the Cruise Line to verify this.  I do not take "oh yea the Final Payment has been made".  The Travel Agent would then send another Invoice reflecting the Final Payment.


In Group Bookings every reservation is given a Group ID# and individual Reservation#s. The Lead should get an invoice with the Total Paid to the "Senior Cruise Group" for Deposits, remaining balance and Final Payment Dates with reminders for it.   The Travel Agent could have the Parents either pay the Final Payment using an online Payment System or call it into the Agency or go there in person. 

 

Writing a Check for a cruise is fishy because if the agency did not have money to pay off the cruise using an Escrow account then the line is not paid.   
 

Also a Travel Agency that is reputable has an Errors and Omissions Insurance, has a CLIA#,ASTA,CST#, IATA#. Before dealing with the agency verify that they have a $1 Million or more Bond, Sellers License to sell travel etc.   A John Smith could lie and say he is a travel agent but is really not one.

 

When a Travel Agent books or accesses a booking with the Cruise Line they have to give their Agency ID# or Agency Phone# in order to process the booking and get commission.   I personally would e-mail the Executive Office if there was a problem of a travel agent who did not go forward with the booking.

 

What happens after the Option Date or Final Payment Date is if any cabins do not have the Final Payment paid off they will cancel the reservations and perhaps forfeit the deposit and release the cabins. Now if  Carnival is generous they may give a 5 day extension but is under no obligation ot do so. The Travel Agency will give a 7 day payment date that is before the Cruiseline''s Final Payment Date to ensure that the credit cards are valid etc.

 

One way a Group operates is the Group Leader puts the Cruise and Deposit on their Credit Card and everyone writes them a check(which I do not recommend) because each Credit Card holder is covered if something goes wrong and its easier to deal with the refund to the individual. 

 

I hope this helps.

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Our school trip to Germany many years ago was something of a disaster, (we still had a great time), lucky for us it was arranged by the school and a travel agent that specialises in group travel.

 

This was back in the 90's so we had to give our money to the school secretary, it was all my birthday/Christmas /babysitting money and my parents made up the difference.

 

It was during Easter week, so a lot of the attractions we were meant to go to were closed. Our teachers were furious that we hadn't been warned. We didn't care though and had so much fun.

 

I feel sorry for the students who won't get to have this experience 😞

 

 

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On 5/18/2018 at 11:01 AM, Expat Cruise said:

If they paid credit card they will get a 100% refund from the credit card service. Just need to file a credit card dispute. Many grounds for a dispute including fraud. So they should not loose any money.

I have five kids, and have been writing checks for school trips for over a decade, your credit card is useless. Just recently I’ve been able to charge oay to play sports and play tickets online, everything else is cash or check, trips, spirit wear, booster clubs, chromebook insurance, program ads....

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