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About Ellen F. Rosenblum
Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced that a Florida travel company that sells student travel packages over the Internet must change its advertising and refund policies in order to operate in Oregon. Named in an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance are Lyman Andreas of Juniper, Florida and his companies Student Travel, Inc., E-Student Travel.Com and Surf and Sun Travel.
"Problems with travel companies that target high school and college students have increased over the last two years," Myers said. "Parents should be aware of possible problems with out-of-state, travel tour packages being sold over the Internet. Families must carefully research the travel offers and compare them to those offered through a local travel agent."
Seven students from Oregon State University purchased vacation packages over the Internet from Surf and Sun Tours for a school break trip to Acapulco that never materialized. Calling itself "party headquarters for the world's best student vacation packages," Surf and Sun Tours required $735 from each student in exchange for "first priority reservations." Four months later, the tickets had not arrived and students canceled two days before their departure date. Refunds promised within 14 days of cancellation never arrived.
Under the terms of the assurance, which was filed today in Marion County Circuit Court and does not admit violation of law, the Florida company agrees to comply with all Oregon laws before conducting any business in the state. In addition, the company will provide full restitution to the students or their parents within 60 days, change its refund policies, marketing materials and provide information on accommodations and related services in a timely manner.
Andreas will pay $5,000 to the Department of Justice consumer protection and education fund.
Attorney General Myers offers the following tips for students and their parents "surfing" the Internet for student vacation packages:
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