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Back to the Caribbean / Back to the Caribbean complaints

1 FL, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 877-267-8897

My name is Ross Fischer. My wife and I are the owners of the company Back to the Caribbean. After googling the words Back to the Caribbean scam and reading the comments, I felt compelled to write my own complaint.

First of all, everyone obviously has the right to complain, especially if they have a legitimate reason for doing so. The problem is that every complaint is published, regardless of whether it is true or not. There is no penalty or accountability for writing a complaint that is false, or even worse libelous or defamatory. There is no vetting procees to find out if it is true or not, which is understandable but disappointing.

The only recourse the company has is to respond to the complaint.

So here goes...

First of all we have sold 23, 000 packages in 6 years, and have less than 50 complaints with the State of Florida. According to the state, we have closed all of our complaints with the title "Closed Satisfactorily" With the BBB, we have 110 write-in complaints. According to the BBB statistics, 98 of 110 the customer was satisfied with our reponse or given a refund, 8 did not respond to our reponse, and 2 we refused to refund or accomodate. That's 2 out of 23, 000.

We are not only a Licensed Seller of Travel with a$50, 000 bond with the state, but we are also a Licensed IATA and ARC travel agency, which means we can book anything; cruises, airfares, and anything else you can think of.

Our complaints concerning the difference in destination choices are generally valid, because we allow our customers 18 months to use each vacation, sometimes we have offered destinations on the phone and by the time someone travels, the resorts change their terms or even change our contract without our consent or approval. What we do is we try to offer destinations that are as good or better, and we try to give extra amenities such as extra nights or extensions. Our terms do say, destinations are subject to change based on availability. This situation only happens about 5% of the time; 95% of the time we are able to give customers the destination they want. 90% of the people that are given alternate destinations are happy with our resolution. So that leaves the half of one percent that has a complaint.

In response to complaints about receiving a refund, we do not give refunds just because 9 months later a person decides they dont want to go any more. Florida law allows a customer 30 days from the date of purchase to cancel, just like most retail stores. After 30 days there are no refunds. We stand by that policy because we allow customers to extend their package a year at a time for $99, or the trips can be transferred to another person 26 or older.

In reference to any complaints that we do not respond to emails or calls(which was very few), this is not true. Once, there was a two week period when there was an employee that was not responding to customers without our knowledge, and when we found out the situation, that was rectified.
I must say the one complaint that hurt the worst is the one from the "unknown" employee. I am 90% sure I know who this employee is, who said we are a scam and I am all about money. This same person was with the company almost from the beginning, was one of the employees that got to go on the company trip to Grand Cayman in 2005, and was not happy with a pay cut due to the fact that I had to hire another person to help with the job she was responsible for.(Hence the 2 week period of unanswered calls).

In reference to changing our name, we have never changed our name. We have been Back to the Caribbean since we opened (you can go to www.sunbiz.org to see our corporate filing rbf marketing Inc. dba Back to the Caribbean) We had an affiliation with the Caymanian company that owns www.backtothecaribbean.com andwere allowed to use their website for the first 3 years. When we no longer had that affiliation we had to create another website, which is how we created www.backtofun.com. We liked it because we do more than the Caribbean, but also when we were on the phone, many people would misspell Caribbean and tell us the website was down.

Lastly, unfortunately with travel, no one ever takes the time to write a positive respsonse, but it is so easy to disparage someone on the internet. Again, we have sold 23, 000 packages and have less than 50 complaints with the state, all responded to satisfactorily.

We will continue to do make mistakes, but we will always try to do the best we can to make things right.

Ross Fischer
Husband to the President
Back to the Caribbean (www.backtofun.com)

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Comments

  • Ta
      4th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    There are complaints only when something wrong has been done. Why will people just crib about anything. If you really want to do something give great service to people so that there are no complaints. Giving excuses and explanations has never helped anyone.

  • Do
      15th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    Interesting Mr. Ross that you state that your company gives refunds up to 30 days as allowed by Florida law. After talking with Anthony Pace (your employee) who takes a lot of time to try to convince you not to be in a hurry to use your vaction package...hmmm why does he try so hard encouraging you not to use the package so soon.

    Also, I asked "Once I get all the detailed paperwork and read through it, can I cancel the package with a refund?" Jeremy Hinckley (also your employee- who records the conversation) says that you don't give refunds unless fraud is involved."

    The reason that your company doesn't send all the details prior to charging you $498- is because once people read the details they will see what all the "strings attached are.

  • Cu
      18th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    It would be nice if Mr. Ross Fischer's facts were correct. Look at the BBB details. He states that "in 6 years, and have less than 50 complaints with the State of Florida", yet the BBB states that "The following grid displays the number and responses to complaints over the last 36 months" totaling 112 to date. Isn't that over 3 per month by my calculations. Not quite how he states it and what was the statistics the previous 3 years?

    We have had to extend our contract and still can't get the originally offered locations in which we wanted so guess according to their guidlines, to get to Aruba or Grand Cayman, we have to extend again. We have even communicated interest to the Mayan Riviera or the advertised Cancun and Puerto Rico Sol which became unavailable. The targets keep changing and we now feel we either take it in the shorts or keep pissing good money after bad. Is that your answer Mr. Ross Fischer?

    Customer ID 4081122

  • Bj
      9th of Aug, 2010
    0 Votes

    We just returned from our first vacation, 3 days Orlando/Kissimmie. The hotel rooms were spacious, remodeled bath which was very nice. Carpets were very worn. Lobby & grounds were beautiful. BUT, we got exactly what we expected! Not a luxury suite! However, our deadline was about to run out & it was a last minute deal. I emailed & received a reply from Nina, in less than 24 hours. She was wonderful! She helped me through the entire process, answered questions, gave us directions--couldn't have ask for better. When we reached the resort, the people at Caylpos Cay were very friendly & helpful the entire time. The lobby was nice & breakfast was adequate. I am starting to plan our next trip, hopefully to Aruba, & looking forward to it & have already been in contact with Nina. At this point, Back To Fun has delivered & their people have been very helpful.

  • Ro
      16th of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    This is Ross Fischer. I am writing in response to the comments posted by Tanvini--While I agree with you that one complaint is too many, we do our best to have as few as possible. Unfortunately, this site posts complaints regardless of there veracity. For example, a common theme is someone doesnt use their package for 3 years, and then calls us for a refund. Well, I don't want any complaints but I cannot give someone a refund because they put it in a drawer and forgot about it. We give this person extensions for cheap or for free, but no, they want a refund. And they try to extort it by saying "If you don't give us a refund I will complain to the state, credit card, etc." Well, the state and everyone all side with us and say the customer is not ENTITLED to a refund. So what do they do? They come here and call us a scam, etc. We have a 99% satisfaction rate, so I can say in my heart we do the best we can.

  • Ro
      16th of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    This is Ross Fischer. I am writing in response to the comment posted by Don't Get Taken: First of all, Anthony has been with us 5 years, and has never tried to convince anyone to wait to travel. I don't really even understand what you are insinuating. As you may know, we only call people that fill out a registration form while they were IN the Caribbean, (hence the name Back to the Caribbean) so many people cant travel right away. I dont understand why he would try to convince them to wait anyway, or what you are saying we are trying to "get away" with.

    As you stated, Florida Law allows a 30 day cancellation policy, however I am sure Jeremy(who has been with the company all 8 years and knows the laws), was explaining that if there was fraud involved in any travel company(or if we cant travel you anywhere in your package), you are entitled to a refund whether it is 30 days or 9 months. there are no hidden details, our terms and conditions are written in as big a font(or bigger) than this post.

  • Ro
      16th of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    This is Ross Fischer. I am writing in response to the comments posted by customer ID 4081122. First of all, I like your username, as at least it denotes you are a real customer with a real verification number. Most people try to hide their identity, and then make a bunch of false claims.
    In answer to your first concern, it is a great question.
    BBB complaints are totally different from state complaints. At that time, there were approximately 50 complaints. Many of the complaints overlap(in other words, if someone wrote the state, chances are they wrote the BBB. Many people that write the BBB dont complain to the state. 90% of the time there is a State complaint, it is because the customer is requesting a refund, and for whatever reason we felt was valid, we refused to give it to them. Then the state decides arbitrarily if it needs to be refunded, which usually is decided in our favor.
    As far as the BBB, when I checked last week we had 127 complaints in 3 years. This was much higher the previous 2 years. We have only had 25 complaints in the last 12 months. So about 2 a month. This is out of 28, 000 packages; 3, 0o0 new customers a year. The reason we had more complaints in 2008 and 2009, is that we allowed an affiliate company to sell a vacation package for us, and they did not handle customer service properly. That is no longer the case, everything is done in-house.
    The most important thing about complaints against us, is that 100% of State complaints are resolved, and on the BBB, 125 out of 127 are resolved. That means either the customer was happy with our response, or the BBB/State was happy with our response.
    As far as changes in destinations, we have NEVER, EVER changed a destination ourselves. When a destination is changed, it is something beyond our control, and done without our permsission. Whether it was a Hurricane that destroyed a resort in Cayman, or in your situation with Aruba, the resort we were using went on strike and was taken over by the government and all contracts cancelled. That is why one of our 7 basic terms have to be "destinations are subject to change based on our allotment"
    Having said that, we have the best destinations in quality and quantity that we have ever had.
    We have a contract now with Divi Resorts, and they have given us an allotment at 3 of their beautiful properties: St. Maarten, Aruba, and Bonaire. You may already know, as I responding to this late, I didnt realize this thread was active. Again, because you had to switch destinations, we will always try to give you some extra caveats, depending on the destinations.
    If this has worked out for you, please respond on this board with the same level of intensity as your original post...
    thanks again.

  • Ro
      19th of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    Please note the new thread I have started, "Back to the Caribbean now has Grand Cayman and Aruba again, plus St. Maarten and Bonaire"

  • Gl
      12th of Jun, 2012
    0 Votes

    Wow! Some people make mistakes and then try to blame somebody else for it. It's NOT the responsibility of "Back To Fun" to remind customers that they have a trip booked and then when the time lapses, they want a refund! Then, when they can't have one, the have the odacity to try and smear their reputation? Boo hoo hoo! It's their OWN fault for NOT paying attention to their responsibilities! HOWEVER, MY family and I took a trip to Aruba And had NOTHING BUT FUN, FUN FUN! I am GREATFUL to have gotten the opportunity to go down and spend a week there (which was WAY WAY WAY TOO SHORT of a time to spend there!) We had TOO MUCH FUN and didn't wanna come home so soon! We made friends there and hope to one day go back and visit again. Scuba diving was AWESOME there, exploring the island, riding horses on the beach into the ocean, exploring caves, learning Auba's

  • Wa
      4th of Mar, 2014
    0 Votes

    Dear Mr Fischer. I would love the opportunity to rate a vacation taken with Back to the Caribbean - Back to Fun, however what is a considerable investment for a single woman (mother of 5 and grandmother of 6), I have never been able to access my account. I have sent several emails and left several phone messages - too many to count at various times over the last year or more. I have been forced to book my vacations by other means. I'm a very fair and reasonable person and would love the opportunity to try out the service I purchased. But at this point I am having serious doubts that I will ever be able to see any benefit from my investment. In fact I am hoping that I have not fallen victim to a full on scam. My member ID is 1046941. I love to travel, which is why I signed on to this service. If you could pass along my ID information to someone who is able to rectify the situation, I would be happy to post a more positive experience.

  • Ka
      13th of Aug, 2014
    0 Votes

    Ross Fischer, please phone me about a charge that was put on my credit card unauthorized. If you look back at your records I booked a vacation in 2012. The phone representative was not truthful on the phone so my vacation was refunded in August 2013. Today I have a charge on my credit card...haven't authorized anything from your company. Someone did call and I told them I was not interested...that does not mean to charge me again! I have left several messages within the last two days. Also emailed several addresses...we will see if this gets a response. Some of the phone numbers are disconnected. I can be reached at 573/644-7466 8-4 central time or you have my home phone on file. Looking forward to your call.

  • Un
      4th of Dec, 2014
    0 Votes

    I would like Ross or anyone from Back to Fun to contact me. I have left messages with my email since Oct. 31 and no one has made any attempt to either call me, nor email me. On top of that, when I got my November credit card bill, I found an unauthorized charge for $349. When my last contact with them was in January 2014, when I did successfully book a vacation that I was satisfied with, I don't know how they felt authorized to make a charge to my credit card. No response has been made to my numerous calls and emails to them since Nov. 11 concerning either trying to book my remaining 2 vacations, nor the unauthorized charge. I've found some of the phone numbers are no longer in service that are on the internet, and the others all seem to have full voice mails for days on end. Please respond to one of the messages I have left you!

  • Di
      14th of Jan, 2015
    0 Votes

    Mr.Fischer, I too purchased a vacation package from back to the Caribbean which later became back to fun.I've been trying unsuccessfully for several months to get in contact with the company in order to book a vacation.all the phone numbers have been disconnected and there are no responses to my emails.My name is Dianne Bryant.You can reach me at (213)219-4736 if there is any way you can assist me.thank you in advance for your response.

  • Ag
      15th of Jan, 2015
    0 Votes

    I WOULD LIKE ANY REAL PERSON TO ANSWER THE PHONE OR RETURN MY NUMEROUS PHONE CALLS/EMAILS REQUESTING ASSISTANCE WITH BOOKING MY VACATION. I HAVE FOUND THE ABOVE COMMENTS TO BE TRUTHFUL: PHONE NUMBERS ARE NO LONGER WORKING NUMBERS, EMAILS NEVER RESPONDED TO, ETC. I HAVE TRIED TO BOOK MY VACATION FOR A MONTH NOW ALSO! I GUESS OUR ONLY OPTIONS ARE TO CONTACT THE BBB AND OUR LAWYERS! MY CONTACT INFO MR. FISCHER IS AMY GREGG AT 859-983-9131. FEEL FREE TO CALL ME AND SCHEDULE MY VACATION, ALL WHILE CLEARING YOU BUSINESS NAME THAT HAS SO MANY NEGATIVE COMPLAINTS! I LOOK FORWARD TO SPEAKING WITH ANYONE!

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