Spagoda / Unable to redeem gift certificates
I came across this board after googling Yvonne Cline, who is listed under the Ga. Secretary of State's site as the Registered Agent of Spagoda, and on the Better Business Bureau site as one of Spagoda's "additional management" members.
I only found out today Spagoda's connection to the company 1-800-sky-ride, first through a phone call I received today from one of the company's customer service representatives (saying he was with Spagoda and 1-800-sky-ride), and second, after finding this site, and coming across Ms. Cline's name in connection with a lengthy series of complaints against Sky Ride.
Spagoda and SkyRide share the same management team, same addresses, phone #, etc., the primary address being 2593 Kennesaw Due West Rd NW Ste 300, Kennesaw, GA [protected].
These people (Yvonne Cline et al) ripped me off out of $240 under their Spagoda program. I purchased three $80 massage gift certificates from them last November, one for my dad, one for my mom and one for my sister. Then, every time my folks would try to call to make the appts., no one would answer the phone. They'd get voicemail, and, of course, no one would return the calls. I sent the company an e-mail to their customer service, no response. I found a 770 number buried in the fine print of their policies, and same runaround, voicemail and no call back. I checked the Ga. Sec of State's website, and discovered that Spagoda company had been voluntarily dissolved on 07-10-07. Today, I got a phone call from one of their customer svc representatives, saying he was with 1-800-sky-ride and Spagoda. He left me a voicemail. I called him back, and got HIS voicemail. I called back a few minutes later and spoke to a woman, who told me that yes, Spagoda is still in business, and yes, they would honor the certificates, and yes, the number that Eric had told me to call was the number my folks should call to make their appointments: [protected]. Which is odd, because this number turned up NOWHERE on the Spagoda site or our gift certificates. It seems like, if this was the correct number all along, it would have been somewhat more visible.
I'm also finding it hard to believe that a company that has been dissolved, according to the Secretary of State, claims to still be in business and honoring the certificates. As one last-ditch attempt in recouping my money, I told my mom to call the number and attempt to make an appointment, just to see what happens. Though I doubt it will be honored, I'll be glad if it is, just to put this ordeal behind me.
If NOT, I think small claims court is in order... though, as it appears that SO MANY people have been ripped off, perhaps a class action suit would be the correct route.
ALSO, I found THIS today on the Better Business Bureau website re. 1-800-sky-ride, at: http://www.atlanta.bbb.org/commonreport.html?compid=13003271
On May 10, 2007 the State of Georgia through Joseph P. Doyle, Administrator of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act of 1975, ("Administrator") by and through Thurbert E. Baker, Attorney General for the State of Georgia filed a complaint for injunctive relief, civil penalties, and restitution with the Superior Court of Fulton County, State of Georgia against Cary V. Quattrocchi, Benny W. Butler, USSO, LLC and Atlanta SC, Inc. (Defendants) alleging violations of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act of 1975.
The complaint filed by the Administrator alleges in part that:
Cary V. Quattrocchi and Benny W. Butler own and operate USSO, LLC and Atlanta SC, Inc.
Cary V. Quattrocchi, Benny W. Butler, USSO, LLC and Atlanta SC, Inc. maintain and operate more than 900 web sites including but not limited to: www.1-800-SkyRide.com and www.ThrillPlanet.com through which they advertise "booking" services. Booking agents and reservationists for www.1-800-SkyRide.com and www.ThrillPlanet.com represent to the public that they book appointments and sell gift certificates for extreme outdoor adventures including sky diving, hot air ballooning, race car driving, river rafting, and assorted other sporting adventures.
The Georgia Office of Consumer Affairs received 62 consumer complaints regarding the Defendants. The majority of the complaints allege failure to provide services after receiving full payment from consumers, failure to provide gift certificates after receiving payment in full, or consumers being unable to redeem the purchased gift certificates. Specifically, the Defendants received payment and made reservations for sky diving, ballooning and other sporting services without knowing whether the appointed times or sky diving centers that consumers requested -and believed they were being booked for- were open or available. Additionally, consumers were promised certain appointment times, locations or dates without fulfillment, while other consumers would arrive at the diving facility only to discover that the facility had not received booking requests or payment for those services on behalf of the consumer, or that the location where the appointment was booked was not convenient or nearby as represented.
Prior to purchasing gift certificates, consumers inquired into the locations where the certificates could be redeemed. Representatives falsely assured the consumers that the gift certificates were redeemable at numerous locations convenient to the consumer. Additionally, the web sites misrepresented affiliation with certain companies and the number of locations where customers could redeem their gift certificates. As a result, consumers were unable to timely redeem their gift certificates because they where unable to find convenient or nearby locations as represented.
When consumers requested refunds for the unused services, undelivered gift certificates, or non-redeemable gift certificates, the Defendants fabricated various reasons for denying the consumers refund requests, including that the consumer had not paid "refund fees," inclement weather policies, unexpected facility closings, the unavailability of dive instructors, the lack of responsibility for the practices or operations of independently-owned diving centers, and lack of responsibility for failed mail delivery.
Defendants falsely represented to consumers that their facilities were certified, affiliated, or approved by the United States Parachute Association ("USPA") and that some of their instructors or employees were also certified by the USPA.
After reviewing the consumer complaints and conducting a thorough investigation, the Administrator served upon the Defendants a "Notice of Contemplated Legal Action" as required. The Administrator's efforts to resolve the allegations against Defendants by having them enter into an assurance of voluntary compliance have not been successful.
The State of Georgia (through the Administrator) is seeking injunctive relief, monetary relief by way of penalties, and restitution to persons adversely affected by the Defendants' actions.
The complaint has been filed with the court and is a matter of public record however, the case has not yet come to trial.