Mass. AG: 780 complaints made against Boston cruise company

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office said in three years it has received hundreds of consumer complaints against a Boston-based cruise company.

The AG’s Office received at least 783 complaints against Vantage Deluxe World Travel since Jan. 1, 2020, including 147 complaints filed in 2023, a spokesperson said. Michelle Couch-Friedman, founder of Consumer Rescue, said she’s been in contact with hundreds of customers who are not getting refunds or finding their trips cancelled at the last minute.

“The people who are contacting me are distraught,” Couch-Friedman said. “Some people have been waiting for refunds for three years.”

Vantage did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The company, which markets its trips as “deluxe travel,” has offices on Canal St. and has been around since 1983, according to its website. The AG’s Office has been in contact with the company regarding its “recently reported problems” but an AG spokesperson said they could not provide any additional information.

Couch-Friedman said her organization helps mediate complaints between customers and companies. She has documented the problems with Vantage on her website.

“I’m getting so many complaints from couples waiting for a refund of $20,000, $40,000. I have one lady who has been waiting two years for a $66,000 refund,” Couch-Friedman said.

The AG’s Office said most of the consumer complaints against Vantage come from outside Massachusetts. 69 of the complaints are from Bay State residents. An AG spokesperson encourages consumers to file complaints with their respective AG offices.

Florida resident Karen Wilcox said Vantage owes her $6,234 after she cancelled her Icelandic cruise in January. At the time, she said Vantage told her she’d get her deposit back because she cancelled her trip within a 24-hour window.

“We still haven’t gotten a refund,” Wilcox said. Wilcox joined a Facebook group with more than 500 members, all with similar complaints against Vantage.

“It’s been a nightmare for many customers that booked with this company,” Wilcox said. “My issue is not nearly as bad as some others who are owed $40,000 or $50,000 for cancelled cruises.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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