8 on Your Side: Las Vegas couple fights for trip refund

LAS VEGAS - Have you ever bought something with a money-back guarantee, but later found it nearly impossible to get a refund? That happened to one couple, so they turned to 8 on Your Side.

Colleen and Jim Klipstein wanted to enjoy white, sandy beaches, beautiful blue water and palm trees this summer. When they heard an ad on their favorite radio station for an all-inclusive vacation package to Hawaii, they were sold.

"He said it was a five-star hotel and that it included your breakfast and a luau with a pig roast," Jim said.

Hawaii Bound Luxury Travel Group, a company out of St. George, Utah, offered the deal. Owner Gerry Swartz told the Klipsteins space was very limited.

"If we were interested, we needed to book right away, get a check to him right away or we would lose our spot," said Colleen.

Hawaii Bound insisted they pay by check. The Klipsteins say they did not find this odd and agreed. Swartz promised them they could cancel at anytime, no questions asked.

Swartz cashed the check immediately, and the Klipsteins began preparing for their trip. Jim, however, became sick and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He needed a pacemaker. So, they called Hawaii Bound to cancel.

They say the woman they spoke with promised to process their refund right away. That was in April. By June, the Klipsteins still had not received a refund check.

Desperate for help, they turned to the Better Business Bureau and the Utah Attorney General's Office. No one could help them get back their money, so they called 8 on Your Side.

"I've watched you on TV, and you've gotten some good results," said Colleen.

8 on Your Side called Swartz several times to resolve the issue. For weeks, 8 on Your Side received excuses that the IRS was to blame for the lack of a refund and promises that the check was in the mail.

"I got some good news this morning. The IRS agrees with me, and I can let the checks go out probably on Thursday," Swartz told 8 on Your Side during one of the conversations.

That check never came. The State of Utah, meanwhile, is taking action. The state's consumer division is investigating, and a hearing is scheduled to take place in November.

There is no guarantee, however, the Klipsteins will receive their refund.

Remember, if you are planning a trip or a major purchase, never pay with cash or check.

If have a problem you want investigated, contact 8 on Your Side at 702-650-1907.


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