Travel company fined for deceptive marketing

File photo (WLUK)
File photo (WLUK)

APPLETON - A travel company has been ordered to pay more than $4.8 million for deceptive marketing.

A jury found that Illinois-based Travel Services, Inc., violated state consumer protection laws. Transactions involving two travel clubs, Castaways Vacation Club and Phoenix Vacation Club, took place at Going Places Travel Corp.'s offices in Appleton and Brookfield between 2006 and 2009. Going Places Travel Corp. was the Wisconsin-based marketer of Travel Services, Inc.

The jury's findings included that documents produced and distributed by Travel Services, Inc., contained untrue, deceptive or misleading representations regarding the discounts available to club members, the geographic locations of the travel clubs and the exclusive nature of the benefits available to club members. The jury also ruled the company violated Wisconsin's prize notice law by not making required disclosures in the marketing postcards sent to consumers.

State officials say they began receiving complaints about Going Places Travel in 2007.

The judgment against the companies includes about $3.8 million in restitution for consumers and about $1 million in fines and fees to the state.