Back to the Caribbean / Back to the Caribbean complaints
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.
Husband to the President
Back to the Caribbean (www.backtofun.com)