Southfield, MI – September 2, 2011 – Consumers have alerted the Better Business Bureau (BBB) that they have received a deceptive, official looking postcard requesting package pick-up, when in fact, it is an attempt to lure them into purchasing a vacation package.
The postcard is green in color and comes from Package Services (a.k.a. - Summit Package Services, Express Package Services and Apex Services) located at PO Box 820, Whitehouse, TX. The recipient is asked to call an “800” number to schedule a package pick-up and is provided a package number. When the call is placed, consumers are finding that it is a solicitation for a travel agency called “Cruise – Drive – Fly” presumed to be located in Ann Arbor, MI. Their intent is to sell vacation packages.
Further investigation has revealed that the PO Box address is associated with a vacation certificate and voucher company called CDA Consulting, LLC in Tyler, TX. This company holds a BBB rating of “F” due to having a total of 93 complaints filed against the company, failing to respond to 62 of the complaints and having nine complaints labeled as serious.
“This is basically a telemarketing scam”, said Patrick Bennett, BBB Director of Community Relations. “They use deceptive marketing tactics since there is no package for pick-up. Also, there is concern that just by calling the phone number on the postcard, your phone number may be shared or sold for future sales calls.”
To avoid falling prey to deceptive marketing and vacation or travel scams, heed the following advice:
- As simple as it sounds, if you have not ordered anything for delivery, have not sent a package that may have been returned or if you do not have one to pick-up, alert your Better Business Bureau.
- Before you contact any suspicious companies, do your research and check with the Better Business Bureau.
- Ask detailed questions. Including if your information will be shared or sold.
- Be wary of “great deals” and low-priced offers.
- Be suspicious of companies that require you to wait at least 60 days before taking your trip.
- Get all information in writing before you agree to buy.
- Don’t give your credit card number or bank information over the phone without verifying with whom you are doing business.
- Don’t send money by wire, messenger or overnight mail.
- Don’t be pressured into buying.
- If in doubt, say “NO.”
You may register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry or file a complaint of violation at https://www.donotcall.gov/. For more consumer tips and news you can trust, visit BBB’s news center at http://easternmichigan.bbb.org/bbb-news/.
The Better Business Bureau Serving Detroit & Eastern Michigan is a non-profit organization with the purpose of promoting trust in the marketplace by assisting in the protection of consumers and businesses from fraud and unethical business practices. In addition to its recognized dispute resolution services, the BBB maintains reliability reports on the customer service history of more than 80,000 local businesses and provides consumer education materials on numerous topics. The BBB provides its services free to the public and its service territory stretches across Eastern Michigan from Ann Arbor through Metropolitan Detroit, Lansing, Flint, upward to Alpena, and covers the entire Upper Peninsula of the state.