A strange combination of despair, impotence and rage was what was transmitted by the affected by the Transhotel travel agencywhich closed unexpectedly last Monday and left its customers without a response or money back. Yesterday a number of people approached Acevedo Díaz street demanding answers from the Ministry of Tourism and those responsible for the company.
At that time the number of complaints against the firm amounted to 230, but according to those who approached to make the claims, this does not mean that it is the same number of people. Some made the complaint by family group, others by groups of friends. In addition, there are those who have not yet filed the claims.
According to information provided to El País by sources from the Ministry of Tourism, it is estimated based on the number of complaints made that the scam could reach some US$500,000. The owner of the agency appeared this Tuesday at the portfolio’s headquarters to clarify what happened and propose a solution in this regard. In any case, so far he has not disclosed any response to the victims.
Ricardo PerezHe arrived at the place once the demonstration was ending and he approached because he wanted to know how to file a complaint. “I had the trip to the Falls with my wife and I found out from the press that we had lost it,” she said.
Richard lost about US$ 900 in money. To buy the ticket he had contacted an employee of the firm on several occasions, after what happened he tried to talk to her again.
“I called her and she told me that she had resigned a few weeks ago. I don’t know if it’s a story, but it sounds logical, “said the victim.
Her case is not so serious when compared to that of María del Luján – who was also yesterday on Acevedo Díaz Street – who, together with family and friends, all bought from the same company and thus lost US$34,000. In total, the victims of this group were 29.
On August 20 they had a date to start the trip and two days before the seller of the package informed them that they would not leave. Some time later they received a call from the owner of the company, Radames Monterowho assured them that “he was not a swindler.” He even told them, according to María del Luján, that he was going to “return the money.”
The company’s lawyer contacted the legal representative of this woman, and assured her that they were going to return the money. But after a series of delays, the lawyer told her that she would not be reimbursed “because there was no money.”
“We have the bags ready. They cheated us out of money and dreams, because we lost licenses, loans and time,” says María del Luján.
And they were not the only ones who borrowed money to be able to travel. In the middle of the demonstration diana da silva He told El País that he took out a loan of US$1,060 in a bank to be able to make “the trip to Spain that he dreamed of” after retiring.
He bought the plane tickets through Transhotel in May, to travel in October. He has not received the tickets and the airline told him that they did not have a reservation in his name.
Most of the victims are people who bought trips abroad. But there is also a group of these that were doubly scammed, because they were also sold tickets to shows that they never received. About 100 people are in this situation.
Daniela Lugo had bought a package that included tickets, hotel and tickets to see the Coldplay concert in Buenos Aires. He paid in April, and now he does not hide his desperation and bewilderment at the lack of response.
The demonstration took place peacefully, except for some altercation between the demonstrators and the drivers of vehicles who wanted to pass through the street, which was intermittently blocked.
Ministry gave him 10 days to get a loan
According to El País, the owner of Transhotel not only defrauded his clients but also tried to return their money with bad checks. The Ministry of Tourism gave the owner of the company a period of ten days (since last Tuesday) to manage a bank loan. If this is not achieved, Transhotel will use the guarantee it has in the State Insurance Bank for 1,400,000 UI (about US$ 180,000 at current value), which was the maximum required by the portfolio of travel agencies.