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Songs travel corporation to pay back refunds to Washington college students who paid out for cancelled audio trip to Europe

Voyageurs Intercontinental, a new music journey corporation, will pay out additional than $464,000 for refunds to 235 Washington students who signed up for the company’s 2020 European tours, Attorney Typical Bob Ferguson announced Wednesday.

The Colorado-primarily based corporation, which organizes annually tours to Europe for substantial-faculty musicians, unlawfully charged 235 Washington college students at the very least $1,900 in cancellation penalties following the covid-19 pandemic resulted in the organization canceling its July 2020 European excursions, mentioned Ferguson. The enterprise also illegally retained an more $775 fee, for a complete of $2,675 for every university student, from 23 students who signed up to prolong their tour to Greece.

The place a travel company these types of as Voyageurs cancels a consumer’s travel, Washington law permits the vacation company to recoup its losses by charging consumers cancellation penalties if the business was clear with the shopper about the opportunity for those people penalties.

When the vacation agency cancels, the law prohibits journey companies from charging cancellation penalties higher than these the firm incurs from its 3rd-social gathering vendors – these as airways or accommodations.

Voyageurs unsuccessful to lawfully disclose the risk of penalties and illegally charged buyers penalties greater than what the enterprise incurred from its vendors, according to the state’s lawsuit submitted with the consent decree.

Voyageurs deceived its prospects by sending them a letter saying the company “paid out extra than $1,900 for every college student for the future tour period that it are not able to recoup, the lawsuit alleges. That assertion was false, Ferguson reported, incorporating in actuality, the organization was equipped to recoup extra than 60 % of what it charged customers.

“Avoiding journey in the course of a worldwide pandemic is the suitable point to do,” he mentioned. “Deceiving customers about the expenses incurred is not. Right now, we ensured these hardworking families will get their money back.”

Under the consent decree, Voyageurs is expected to shell out the refund sum to the Attorney General’s Office. The office environment will then call the Washington learners and their family members straight to set up their refund.

For extra data for consumers, see my blog Rita R. Robison, Client and Personal Finance Journalist.