Certs, Inc. / How I Got My Refunds Back from Certs, Inc.
Here is my posting that I've been putting anywhere I see someone trying to get a refund from this company. I got burned as well and am sharing how I was able to get my money back. Hope this helps!
Let me start by saying this actually is not a complaint but hopefully a solution to helping those that are looking for a refund from Certs Inc. I read many of the complaints on Certs Inc. collecting deposits but not getting any services and then having a near impossible time trying to get a refund. I too was in the same boat up until a few months ago.
In December 2008, my wife and I had attended a seminar for membership into their travel club which claims to offer great discounts. We were promised free airfare, car rental and hotel even if we didn't purchase. Long story short, we didn't purchase and received our vouchers. If anyone is reading this, then you already know how difficult it it to actually get the plane tickets, car rental and hotel because of all the small details that are in fine print... Pick 2 dates at least 30 days apart, travel must be at least 4 days in length, hotel date choices cannot be within 7 days of a holiday, must b Postal Service money order...You get the picture. If you don't complete any of these correctly the first time, then you receive a letter from them saying sorry, your offer is voided, thanks for playing.
I was really meticulous in following the instructions but missed some really small details. I had sent 3 deposits for plane tickets, car rental and hotel. The plane ticket and car rental deposits were actually returned once they informed me I didn't correctly complete the forms. So they did return my deposits on those offers immediately. The hotel form however, I had dead on. I received a letter saying that the dates were not available and to choose again. I resent the request with two new dates spread more than 30 days apart. Well, I never heard back. Now fast forward to Jan 2010, they still had over $100 in deposits. I had tried to call like everyone else but you always get a recording that says you have to submit in writing any request. I did that twice and never heard back. Even sent the letters Certified mail to confirm delivery. And yes, they were both delivered. This was back in 11/2009, a year later! After 3 months going by an no response, I went to the BBB of Central Florida to file a complaint. They called me back saying they can only help if the company you are complaining about cooperates with them. Well no big surprise, Certs Inc. doesn't cooperate. The BBB sent me some links to file a complaint at the state level. Here is where it gets good...
First I filed a complaint online with the Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum. I got a reply several days later saying they would forward to the AG Economic Crime Section for review. The email also stated to file another online complaint with the Florida Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Consumer Services (DACS). This department is where sellers of travel have to register on the state level. The email included a link to complete an online complaint form. That link is www.800helpfla.com. I completed the online complaint form and received a letter in the mail about 2-3 weeks later stating that they sent notice to Certs Inc to respond. The company has a time frame of window to respond back explaining the situation. The letter also stated for me to send in any proof documenting my complaint. I had luckily made copies of everything, the original forms, postal money order receipts, certified mailing receipts, the whole nine yards. The day I had sent it out, I also received the same day in the mail, a letter from DACS that included a copy of a letter from CERTS, Inc., stating that my refund had been sent. About 2 weeks later, I received a check in the mail for my remaining deposit that was outstanding. So after nearly a year and half I finally had all my deposits back, minus the money I had paid for the postal money orders and the certified mailing. About $10 in the whole after all is said and done. But the important thing is I did get that last refund back.
If anyone is still having issues getting a refund from CERTS, Inc. I would heavily recommend going the route I did as it worked for me. Again, go to www.800helpfla.com. On the left hand side, there is a link to "File a complaint". This is where I got the help I needed because the company is required to respond back to that division on the state level. My remaining deposit was only $110. I read other complaints where people had said they have over $400 in deposits still outstanding. I hope that everyone out there that experienced the same issue with Certs, Inc., will find this useful and will have the same luck I had.
Would also like to hear any other success stories about getting refunds from this company. Good luck!!
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