State of Biss: Company to Refund Customers
by Shane Miller
Dec 03, 2008 | 2261 views | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Rego Park-based tour company has reached a settlement with the Attorney General’s office for cheating its customers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by canceling prepaid tour reservations without notice.

Biss Tours, Inc., 62-85 Woodhaven Boulevard, cancelled nearly 2,000 tour reservations in August of 2007, and then failed to refund nearly $350,000 it had collected from more than 1,000 customers for the booked trips. Under the settlement, the tour company will fully refund all bilked customers.

“This settlement shows that companies cannot leave their customers in the dust and expect to get away with it,” said Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

The Attorney General opened an investigation after his office, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), and Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York (BBB) received over 150 complaints collectively.

Biss Tours coordinated North American bus excursions by chartering private or third-party buses. In August of 2007, Biss stopped making payments to its bus provider, and the provider subsequently cut off bus service.

Not only were future trips cancelled, but some travelers were stranded mid-trip thousands of miles from home and forced to find a way back to New York City.

The Attorney General’s office and DCA have identified affected customers and are working through BBB to distribute the refunds. The exact amount of restitution will be determined after consumers make claims for their refunds.

Customers of Biss Tours who have questions about their refunds can call the Biss Restitution Fund phone line at (212) 358-2857.

“These hard-working New Yorkers who saved and paid for vacations deserve their money back, and we’re pleased to have been able to get it for them,” added DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz.

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