Bus Company Reinstates Cancellation Policy

Attorney General Spitzer today announced a settlement with a Capital Region bus touring company to provide refunds to customers who canceled travel plans in the wake of theSeptember 11th terrorist attacks.

Upstate Tours, a division of Upstate Transit, Inc. of Saratoga Springs, has agreed to reinstate its original refund policy after complaints about a new no refund policy that was enacted retroactively.

"Companies have a right to change policies in light of new circumstances," Spitzer said. "What they ought not do, however, is renege on existing commitments or otherwise surprise consumers with new requirements after a service contract is reached."

Due to the actions of Spitzer's office, Upstate Tours has already paid at least $10,000 in refunds to its customers and an additional $2,000 to cover the costs of the Attorney General's investigation.

Spitzer's office was initially contacted by a Queensbury senior citizen who, due to fears of traveling in the weeks that followed the September 11th terrorist attacks, attempted to cancel his travel plans to Radio City Music Hall and receive a partial refund, as permitted under Upstate Tours' longstanding cancellation policy. He was told by Upstate Tours that he would not receive a refund because it had recently adopted a no refund policy.

After being contacted by Spitzer's office, Upstate Tours - which provides bus service throughout the Eastern United States and Canada - agreed to stand behind its former cancellation policy and provide full refunds for those expressing the desire to cancel at least two weeks prior to the travel date.

At least 80 consumers have already received refunds from Upstate Tours ranging from $35 to $145.

This case was handled by Associate Attorney General Robert Vawter of the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau.

Consumers who would like more information about cancelling travel plans with Upstate Tours should call (518) 584-5252. Individuals interested in filing consumer complaints should call the Attorney General's consumer help line at (800) 771-7755.


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