BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Customers are left with unfinished vacation plans after their travel agency, Boardman Discount Travel, seems to have disappeared.
Tannequa Mayo and her friend gave $200 deposits to reserve a four-day, three-night cruise to the Bahamas. They’ve been making additional payments once a month since August.
Since October 11, they haven’t been able to reach their travel agent.
“I’ve actually been crying because I was so excited, and I gave this lady money,” Mayo said. “We want our money back and then we’ll just start again with someone else.”
Boardman Discount Travel’s building on Market Street is dark and the door is locked. Ohio Edison left a notice on the door, saying the business’ electric services have been disconnected. When the agency’s phone number is called, there is just ringing on the other end.
“I’ve been racking my brain all night long trying to figure out what’s going on,” Mayo said.
She and her friend have to make a payment by Tuesday or the trip is canceled. The cruise line can’t do anything until the reservation is transferred to them, which the travel agency has to do.
Mayo went to Boardman Police and officers told her to send a certified letter asking if the business has closed and for a refund, so she sent one Thursday.
The business can’t be charged with a crime yet, since no one knows if it truly went out of business.
“Boardman Police said, technically, [the travel agent] hadn’t even stolen nothing from us yet because we would have to wait all the way until June, when we didn’t even go on the trip, to fight for our money. So we’re hoping today we get a response from her,” Mayo said.
The Youngstown Better Business Bureau gave Boardman Discount Travel an “F” grade after five complaints in the past year.
“We’re not quite sure what’s going on with this company at this point, but we understand there are some consumers who have made travel arrangements and are kind of left hanging,” said Melissa Ames, with the Youngstown BBB.
The BBB suggested calling the credit card company, but Mayo and her friend paid with a debit card. Now they also need help from their bank in trying to find the travel agent.
The agent Mayo has identified has one case pending in Mahoning County small claims court for $1,800. Another case was resolved for $40.
The owner of Boardman Discount Travel, Darlene Yozwiak, says her business is not closed and that she only sees customers by appointment.
She wasn’t aware of a utilities disconnect notice on the door, nor that her phone was ringing unanswered.
Yozwiak also says she didn’t believe an email WKBN 27 First News sent her earlier in the day asking for comment was real.
She says Mayo’s monthly payment isn’t due until next Tuesday, and assures that she and her friend will get to go on that trip.
As for the low BBB grade and complaints, Yozwiak says she’s never been a member and that she has always delivered quality trips and vacations to every one of her customers.