Milwaukee, Wis., April 5, 2012 —The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau (BBB) is issuing a warning about Tropical Travel Vacations of Cedarburg, and its principal, David Biddick.
According to Wisconsin Sport Show organizers, Tropical Travel Vacations was the subject of complaints following a March 17-18 show in Eau Claire, in which Biddick rented a booth and took registrations for vacation packages and door prizes. The show’s organizers say that consumers later received phone calls from an out-of-state group, “Tour America”, notifying them they “won” a vacation, but then requesting credit card numbers.
The Wisconsin Sport Show organizers also report that Tropical Travel Vacations, which has an F rating with the BBB, was using the show’s name and falsely indicating it was affiliated, when that is not true. They posted this warning on their homepage: http://www.wisportshow.com/
The BBB discovered that Biddick has been permanently banned from doing business in North Dakota by the state’s Attorney General:
According to an article in the Bismarck Tribute, in the summer of 2007, Biddick operated a booth at Fargo’s “Rib Festival” in which he ran a contest sign up. The article states that the Attorney General’s office later received complaints from consumers, stating they paid up to $500 for their “prizes” and that the prizes involved hidden costs and fees for a “free” vacation, which required they attend high-pressure time-share sales presentations.
According to the Bismarck Tribune, Biddick, doing business as Tropical Travel Vacations, sold the contact information to telemarketers and some of the telemarketers violated the state’s “do not call” law and other laws protecting consumers from home solicitation. As a result, Biddick and the others involved, were ordered to pay the state and agree to never again do business in North Dakota. The state received a total of $19,500 in settlement money and consumers received $28,000 in refunds.
Three event organizers in Wisconsin who’ve held various trade shows confirm they have also received complaints against Tropical Travel Vacations and said they would not rent a booth to the company again.
Ran Hoth, CEO/president of the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau says, “Use caution when giving out your personal contact information to unknown firms at rented booths at fairs and trade shows, without checking them out first.” Hoth says, “If something sounds too good to be true, remember, it is.”
For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.wisconsin.bbb.org or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Appleton), 608-268-2221 (Madison) or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin). Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
The Better Business Bureau serving Wisconsin is a nonprofit organization that brings more than 70 years of experience in fostering ethical business practices; providing dispute resolution alternatives; offering consumer and business education; and promoting customer service excellence. Our Business Reviews provide the general public with critical information about companies and charities both locally and nationally.