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Academy Cruises & Tours Complaints 2

11:04 pm EDT
The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.

Academy Cruises & Tours Wrongful Use of Identify and Did Not Refund Deposit

Dianne Tuttle - Dba: Academy Cruises & Tours - Academy Travel School – Itravelconsultants - Academy Travel Consultants - - 570 Higuera Street, Suite 225 - San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

9/20/2010 – Tuttle email stating a deposit of $800 was required by COSTA

9/25/2010 – Tuttle email stating a deposit of $800 was required by COSTA

9/30/2010 – Signed contract by Tuttle re the joint venture. The Cancellation clause reads as follows:


If Academy and CCPCI decide to cancel the cruise due to insufficient cabin bookings, Academy and CCPCI may cancel the cruise engagement at any time prior to the final payment due date. Refer to final dates above. Refer to Deposit Terms above.

Academy and CCPCI shall suffer their own losses for any pre-sailing costs incurred in their attempts to secure the agreed bookings for each sailing. This assures that both parties will make every reasonable effort to obtain the agreed bookings.

10/15/2010 – A good faith $1, 000 deposit was sent to Tuttle in response to her email stating Carnival required a $500 deposit for each of the two cruises I was considering as a joint venture with Tuttle. The terms of the contract were:

Deposit Terms

The deposit figure is calculated by taking thirty cabins, based on double occupancy, or 60 people, multiplied by $25, equals $1, 500.

Academy will send CCPCI a paid receipt via email for deposits received from CCPCI. When enough cabins have been reserved, and deposits or payments received, that are equal to the required deposits on each cruise, the deposits paid by CCPCI and/or Academy shall be refunded. See Cancellations.

10/15/2010 –I sent her an email cancelling the joint venture, under the terms of the executed contract. I also stated that I had put out “queries” and had found no interest in the seminars under consideration therefore felt there was no logical reason to pursue the joint venture or to make any arrangements or reservations.

10/19/2010 – Email from Tuttle confirming she received the $1, 000. Tuttle also informed me she had decided to upload the advertising website anyway and had secured reservations on Carnival, made the arrangements in Alabama, and was making the reservations in NY despite my request to cancel the joint venture. Tuttle informed me she had sent Carnival the $1, 000 good faith deposit I had provided.

12/30/2010 – Sent second email to Tuttle requesting a refund of the $1, 000.

1/11/2011 – Sent email to Tuttle requesting a refund of the $1, 000.

1/13/2011 – Sent email to Tuttle requesting a refund of the $1, 000.

1/14/2011 – Sent email to Tuttle requesting a refund of the $1, 000.

1/14/2011 – Email to Tuttle regarding the misuse of the deposit monies requested by Tuttle, as required by COSTA, for the COSTA cruise. Advised Tuttle that COSTA had received only $200 as a deposit – not the $800 Tuttle told me in writing was required. I requested a refund of the $600 and the $1, 000 from the Carnival cruises. There had been no disclosure by Tuttle concerning the use and distribution of the $800 – only that COSTA required an $800 deposit. No escrow account was established.

1/18/2011 – Tuttle notified me via email she had cancelled the COSTA cruise and that a refund would be sent. Her email did not state it was in response to a request from me, only that she did not want to do business with me.

1/18/2011 – Again sent an email to Tuttle requesting this time the $1, 000 from Carnival and now the full $800 for the COSTA cruise.

2/3/2011 – Received the $800 refund for the COSTA cruise.

2/8/2011 – Tuttle finally removed the website that continued to advertise the seminars on Carnival with me as the public speaker. The use of my identity, picture and bio were without authorization. This was done only after her attorney was advised, by me, that Tuttle was using the information without authorization.

I have no record of any email or letter or telephone call to or from Tuttle in which I requested she cancel the COSTA cruise – not on 1/17/2011 or any other date. I am an excellent record keeper and am comfortable with the statement I never requested, in any manner, that the cruise be cancelled.

Tuttle advertised on her website that she was affiliated with ASTA. ASTA has confirmed in writing they never heard of her or her agency.

California SOT Program Enforcement Unit has confirmed, in writing, they have an open, active, file on Tuttle.

California Office of Attorney General provided an additional name in which the business is operating, Academy Travel Consultants. No licenses have been found in that name.

California Department of Consumer Affairs has an open file on Tuttle.

The Federal Trade Commission has an open file on Tuttle.

There are sales receipts and a contract agreement from and signed by Tuttle confirming she “sold” me three different cruises on two different cruise lines yet, she holds no license to conduct business in Florida, has not been issued an SOT license, has not paid taxes in Florida, and has not filed tax returns. She and her business are currently under investigation by the Florida Department of Revenue.

A complaint has been lodged with the IRS Criminal Investigation Division concerning tax issues. The matter is also apparent with the US Treasury Inspector General, the California Revenue Department, and Kentucky Department of Revenue. The matter of taxes owed has also been raised to the San Luis Obispo city and county revenue offices.

Neither Tuttle nor Carnival has ever provided any confirmation that any reservations or arrangements were made on my behalf. No hotel confirmations have been provided by Tuttle or hotels in Mobile, AL or New York City.

Per SOT, there was never a disclosure pertaining to the use of the $1, 000 received from me or the $800. The $1, 000 has never been accounted for – except in writing Tuttle said she sent the money to Carnival. Of the original $800, only $200 was ever sent to Costa. Costa confirmed the receipt of $200 on three different occasions. No information was disclosed by Tuttle pertaining to the legally required establishment of escrow accounts. The $800 was refunded but not the $1, 000.

There was no disclosure by Tuttle pertaining to port closing. I and my companion travelers learned from Costa of the port closings associated with our cruise.

My travel companions on the Costa cruise attempted to cancel their cruise after being advised of the port closings. Because they purchased cancellation insurance they contacted Tuttle direct. Tuttle informed them she had nothing to do with it and that they needed to contact the insurance carrier direct. They did and were informed that because policy information was not provided to the travelers in a timely manner, and that confirmation was not received from them, as required, they were not entitled to refund. When my companions advised the insurance carrier who the travel agent was, they agreed to the refund stating it was a recurring problem that she never processes paper work and that policies were issued in the travel agents name and address, not the travelers.

There is an open investigation through the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. Tuttle did respond, in writing, but with the same form letter she had provided to the California and Florida Attorney General offices, and the BBB. The information provided was false and incomplete. The FDACS stated, in their letter to me, they found the information unsatisfactory.

Complaints are on file with the City and county attorneys in San Luis Obispo, the Florida and California state attorney offices, and the US Attorney’s office.

One of the businesses Tuttle operates is the Travel School and she claims to be a CTC. However, the Travel Institute who Tuttle claims to be affiliated with does not include Tuttle in their CTC database, has removed any advertising links from their website, and is investigating her credentials.

Tuttle either does not have, or her city and county licenses are not in order. This has been confirmed with the local licensing offices in the city of San Luis Obispo and the county of San Luis Obispo, and the county district attorney’s office.

Tuttle has openly violated numerous sections of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act as they relate to refunds, misrepresentation, false and misleading advertisements, and deceptive business practices, among others. These violations are confirmed in writing through correspondence generated by Tuttle and the posting of her website.

Tuttle previously implied affiliation with USTOA and yet they have confirmed, in writing, they never heard of her.

Tuttle lied in writing to the California and Florida Attorney Generals and the BBB in her responses to their queries. That is fraud and I believe a felony. These offices know of the fraud because they have the written documents contradicting Tuttle’s statements. I do not know how they will proceed with any prosecution.

Tuttle told the California and Florida Attorney Generals and the BBB, in writing, that “if a ship does not sail, she reserves the right to keep all deposit money”. This was said, knowing she made the reservations without authorization, stole my identity, and there is record any arrangements were ever made, either before the contract was cancelled, or after.

The applicable “Cancellation” and “Deposit” clauses in the original contract were very clear and precise.

Under the California Disclosure laws, there was no statement made in any of Tuttle’s correspondence or receipts, or the contract that implied tolerance to the state’s cancellation or refund laws, or the Travel Restitution Fund Polices. For example:

“Upon cancellation of the transportation or travel services, where the passenger is not at fault and has not canceled in violation of any terms and conditions previously clearly and conspicuously disclosed and agreed to by the passenger, all sums paid to the seller of travel for services not provided will be promptly paid to the passenger...”

Or, “Sellers of Travel participating in the TCRF must disclose in writing to passengers purchasing from outside of California that the transaction is not covered by the Restitution Fund. This disclosure must also be made orally before or at the time of receiving payment or consideration from the passenger.”

Or, “California law requires certain sellers of travel to have a trust account or bond and the specific information must be provided to the consumer.”

Or, “This business is a participant in United States Tour Operator’s Association’s (USTOA) Consumer Protection Deposit Plan. You may make a claim to this Plan if you are owed a refund. The Plan covers losses for transportation or travel services that were not delivered or not refunded when required. A passenger may make a claim against the plan when the passenger learns of the loss. USTOA’s total liability for all possible consumer claims from this seller of travel’s customers is limited to $(X [e.g., 1, 000, 000]).”

Or, “This business is a participant in (name of escrow company) Consumer Protection Escrow Plan. You may make a claim against this Plan if you are owed a refund. The Plan covers losses for transportation or travel services which were not delivered or not refunded when required. A passenger may make a claim against the plan.”

Under California law, “you must state in writing and with specificity all terms and conditions relating to the air or sea transportation or travel services. Whatever cancellation policy you follow, it must be conspicuously and completely made known to the purchaser at the time of purchase. Any cancellation penalties not so disclosed in writing are unenforceable.”

According to the California Department of Justice website, if you want to file a complaint against a seller of travel, you should complete the Consumer Complaint form from their office. Upon receipt of your complaint, they will forward a copy to the involved seller of travel. The Office of the Attorney General does not represent individuals; however, when possible they claim they will file actions against sellers of travel that violated the law.

The DOJ also recommends that you send a copy of your complaint to the District Attorney's Office where you are located and/or where the seller of travel is located. Further, the DOJ tells you that if you believe that your payment has been misappropriated, you may also wish to contact your local police department. Unfortunately, many police agencies which are unfamiliar with the specialized laws in this area believe that such conduct is "civil" in nature only and does not involve any violation of criminal statutes.

The interesting part of the law – or their statement, is “and file actions against sellers of travel that violated the law.” Do not hold your breath. It doesn’t matter how many of the laws the SOT broke, unless they have a majority – large number of complaints, they will probably do nothing.

The District Attorney’s office has already confirmed Tuttle is operating without a local license and they do not enforce those laws – according to their office, so why would I believe they would enforce any other laws. They have access to the same evidentiary documents as the State Attorney, Attorney General, US Attorney, the California Department of Revenue, US Treasury Inspector, and the IRS Criminal Investigative Division.

The bottom line – is enforcing or adhering to laws “optional” or “selective”.

Even though I had contacted the US Patent and Trademark Office and requested that my application to own [protected]@Sea be classified as inactive, apparently USPTO processed and approved my application anyway. As of May 3, 2011 I own the use of [protected]@Sea in any variation under Reg. No. 3, 956, 205, Ser. No. [protected]. Anyone using this servicemark or any implied variation that is similar, without authorization, and according to the USPTO can be found guilty of trademark infringement.

Tuttle knew of my application to USPTO and while I had the initial contract with Tuttle I had assured her, verbally and in writing, she would not have to pay any royalties for use of the name. However, that contract was cancelled on October 15, 2010 and she acknowledged the contract cancellation on October 19, 2010.

If Tuttle had not stolen $1, 000 from me I might not look at this as trademark infringement – or given the fact she used my identity on her website without authorization.

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Jun 12, 2012 3:31 pm EDT

I did some work for her and took her $1000 travel course. I had the most difficult time getting paid my comissions from her and eventually terminated the working relationship with her. Her travel agency was not allowed to sell tickets on more than one airline due to unpaid debit memos. I wouldn't advise doing business with her.

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6:01 pm EST

Academy Cruises & Tours Fraudulent travel agency etics

$800 cruise deposit was made but only $200 was sent to the cruise line. Agent, Dianne Tuttle, cancelled and rescheduled the cruise four times without my knowledge. The trip, according to the cruise line, is now cancelled but I have not received the refund. I learned about the mishandling of the deposit money after talking directly with the cruise line.

A $1, 000 deposit was provided on October 15, 2010 for two additional cruises but the cruises were cancelled before the deposit money was sent to the cruise line. The agent acknowledged the trip cancellations but said she decided to send the money to the cruise line anyway. I have not been able to confirm reservations through the cruise line or retrieve that $1, 000. These two cruises were part of a joint venture for seminars on cruise ships. The contract was cancelled on October 15, 2010, but the money was not returned to me and she continued to advertise the seminars without permission.

The travel agent also continued to use my picture, name and company information on her website, without authorization, even though all reservations and the contract had been cancelled and a refund had been requested.

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Overview of Academy Cruises & Tours complaint handling

Academy Cruises & Tours reviews first appeared on Complaints Board on Jan 24, 2011. The latest review Wrongful Use of Identify and Did Not Refund Deposit was posted on May 19, 2011. The latest complaint Wrongful Use of Identify and Did Not Refund Deposit was resolved on May 19, 2011. Academy Cruises & Tours has an average consumer rating of 3 stars from 2 reviews. Academy Cruises & Tours has resolved 1 complaints.
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  1. Academy Cruises & Tours Contacts

  2. Academy Cruises & Tours phone numbers
    (805) 781-2630
    (805) 781-2630
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  3. Academy Cruises & Tours address
    570 Higuera St. Suite 225, San Luis Obispo, California, 93401, United States
  4. Academy Cruises & Tours social media
  5. Jenny
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    Jun 13, 2024
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Academy Cruises & Tours is ranked 286 among 517 companies in the Travel and Vacations category

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