A group of families He planned his vacation with great enthusiasm and trusted a tourism agency that ended ripping them off. all hired your trips in 2019 to travel in 2020, but in March of that year the coronavirus pandemic arrived and they had to postpone the date. At that time, they believed that everything was under control.
However, three years after that hiring, they still could not travel. The money was stolen and the company closed its offices arguing that they only work remotely. The victims decided to tell their cases in TN and The People so that there are no more victims.
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The illusion of a married couple to know the United Kingdom
A Henry and his wife they like to travel and without knowing that they were going to be scammed they approached the travel agency The friends to organize the holidays. The first contact was september 2019. The company’s headquarters were at 800 Santa Fe Avenue and it has several branches in the City of Buenos Aires. But since last year all the offices are unoccupied.
Enrique made the contract through the website. Pago US $ 5000 for both packages. The idea was to travel april 2020but when the coronavirus pandemic was already beginning to be talked about in January, he decided reschedule your trip.
“I contacted the representatives in January 2020 because I imagined that we would not be able to travel in April of that year. So we agreed that we were going to reschedule the vacation. Among 2020 and 2021 gave me a lot of turns. i think they did run the time so as not to return my money. They stopped answering the phone and I never had contact with them again,” Enrique explained.
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The man contacted the airline and got a refund of the money for the tickets. But when he called hotelwhere supposedly The friends had made the reservation, they told him that they had nothing to their name. “As I realized that it was a scam, I approached Consumer Defense to pose my problem. And with the passing of days, I found out that my case was not the only one. That’s why all of us who were scammed got in touch and made a presentation to the Ministry of Tourism and Sportsbecause this agency appears on its website as authorized”, he related with anger.
The truth is that the class action lawsuit was received at the ticket table on December 20, 2021, but still did not receive a response of the Ministry.
The group of victims, according to Enrique’s record, are 56 passengers telling him and his wife. The figure that all of them paid for the vacations they did not have amounts to US$ 121.542 y $72.500.
Mirta was going to travel to Cuba with her family
Al Mirta’s brother recommended to the agency Les Amis to put together the package to the Caribbean, more precisely to Cuba. The man was in charge of collecting the money from the five people who were going to travel and paid in cash. Each paid a little more than US$2000.
The contact with the company was in November 2019, and the idea was to travel in april 2020. As in the case of Enrique, They rescheduled the trip due to the coronavirus pandemic. And almost like a traced case, they were scammed.
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“First they rescheduled us for November 2020, but it was still not possible to travel because the flights were canceled and the borders were closed. So they offered us april 2021, and we accepted, but we couldn’t travel either. I was in contact with a saleswoman who told me to stay calm because she had time until December 30 of that year to be able to travel to CubaMirta recalled.
The days passed and the woman began to suspect. Her brother who lives opposite the branch that The friends It is on Avenida Callao at 1200, he ran across it when he saw that they were removing all the furniture. “She approached to ask and they told her that they closed because they were going to work remotely and then the office was not necessary”.
From that moment on, the contact that Mirta had with the agency was via WhatsApp and by mail. “December 2021 was approaching and Sabrina, my only contact with the company He blocked my phone and stopped answering my emails. My brother is very distressed by this situation, because he feels responsible. We are all the same because they played with our time, they kept the money and despite the complaints in Consumer Protection and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, no one has given us an answer so far”.
A family trip to the United States that could not be made
Nora she was also scammed by Les Amis agency. Unlike the other victims, she was customer for 10 years and never had a problem. However, in 2019 contracted two trips that he could not make.
The idea was travel in 2020 to the United States with their children, and in the same year to Brazil. Altogether they were seven passengers. For the entire trip He paid US$17,000 in cash. And just like Enrique and Mirta They did not return the money.
“With the pandemic in between, they rescheduled my trip to july 2020then for March 2021 and finally for february 2022. But the last email they answered me was last year. Since then I have no contact with anyone. I only spoke with the one who was my operator who was fired from the company without paying him compensation, “said the woman.
to move around MiamiNora had rented a van. He got in touch with that company and they told him that they had refunded the money. “At hotel I hired told me the same thing. That is, what they kept everything. I joined the complaint filed by the other victims in the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. And now we are in contact with a criminal lawyer”, she concluded angrily.
The explanation of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports
TN wanted to contact the company Les Amis, but got no response. He also contacted sources from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports who they made their defense and said that they received other complaints against that travel agency.
“The Les Amis agency has about 40 complaints and all are being processed within the agency division of the Ministry. The complaints are for various reasons, but most are for the Non-return of money for suspended trips and non-provision of contracted services”, they explained.
The authorities of the Ministry summoned those responsible for the company, until January of this year they appeared and then they stopped doing so. “They were intimidated, they presented themselves again and a while ago they stopped responding. Therefore there is a file that is progressing”.
To finish, they detailed that the next step is the suspension.” If then the agency still does not respond, we proceed to “the definitive cancellation of the license and an economic fine”.