ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - One family is out nearly $5,000 after they paid a travel club for a vacation they never received.
Charles and Shirly Bondy from St. Augustine said they paid Ancient City Escapes $4,900 in hopes to travel with their family. After they paid, however, they said they never heard from the travel club and can't get a hold of anyone on the phone.
“We’ve been scammed, I think we’ve been scammed we can’t get in touch with anybody,” Shirly Bondy said.
She and her husband came to Florida to retire. In March after getting an ad from the club advertising "great" hotel and travel deals, they enrolled in the club.
“We didn’t have our checkbook with us and he said 'Well I'll follow you back to the house,'" she said. "That should have been the first red flag."
They ignored it until they started having issues booking a hotel on several occasions because the website was down.
They contacted the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in Jacksonville only to find the company has an "F" rating and several customer complaints.
“From what we’ve been able to determine, it looks like they closed sometime in November,” said Tom Stephens, president of the BBB. He said the company didn’t renew their license. He said it happens more often than you think, which is why he recommends doing some homework before you open your wallet.
“Check them out in advance and use a credit card to make the Purchase,” Stephens said.
The Bondys are sharing their story in hopes others don’t fall victim of a similar incident.
“I’m just afraid there’s too many senior people that are out there that can fall into this too easily,” Charles Bondy said.
First Coast News tried to call the company multiple times and got a busy signal.
The BBB warns that you should always research the company before using their services.