March 19, 2012 | 47 Comments »

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Jeannette Maw is the LOA party host at GVU and publisher of the rave reviewed Good Vibe newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.

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47 Responses to “ Deleted ”

  1. Julie Masters on March 20, 2012 at 12:43 am


    I thought of a lot of things when I read this post. How I’ve felt angry, and frustrated with injustice, and disappointed with something or someone. How intensely I’ve wanted the situation to just CHANGE already!! And how I didn’t need anyone to tell me to feel better about it, thank you very much!

    And I thought about one of Nancy’s recent posts where she quotes Abraham, as saying that when a person is having a hard time with something, it’s not a good time to tell them they create their own reality! :) But YOU know that, and you know it so well, I have no doubt that it will be a quick trip up that vibrational scale!

    I also remembered having watched this recent video of Esther/Abraham speaking of her car getting hit in the parking lot. Good “it happens to the best of us” example, and a real vibe shifter for me!

    Ease and flow…

    Julie Masters

  2. Anita on March 20, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Visiting Macchu Picchu on our own (without the company of Greg or Mike)is a good option too!

    Jeannette – I remember in one of your blog articles you mentioned that you dislike traveling – so it could be thats how or why you manifested this!!!! Its not just about the money you lost – its about the end result you manifested- which was the original “intention”.

  3. Anita on March 20, 2012 at 10:15 am

    The Universe is responding to whatever intentions YOU have in your consciousness. Its rearranging the outer circumstances according to your “real” intentions.

    I’m finding for myself that if I don’t pay attention to the “not good feeling” stuff when its small, when I get the small twinges of discomfort, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger and feels horrible and blows up eventually :-))

  4. Jesann on March 20, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Manifestation aside, here’s another way to work through the revenge level of feeling: Contact the Federal Trade Commission and the state attorney general of the state in which Power Places Tours is located.

    Mua ha ha.

  5. Shannon on March 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    “ Revenge and anger aren’t pretty, but sometimes it’s the step you have to take to get relief!”

    I guess I find it interesting that your post was sent with the anger and revenge “intention” – because what I read or got out of it was your “intention” to inform and educate above all else. I was grateful for the information and knowledge of what to look for in the “small print” of these types of trips. I look to these posts to learn and I always do!!!

  6. AffirmingSpirit on March 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Jeannette, the moment that I started reading this post I remembered Gregg Braden talking about a series of people who individually took advantage of him financially and a bad business deal. He immediately realized how it was a reflection of him, and began doing his own work, as you have done here.

    I am also thinking that by choosing this travel company, Gregg is also co-creating this experience with you and others who signed up. How wonderful that you all have a chance to peel back the onion!

    Many blessings,

  7. Jackie on March 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Wow! Big juice in this post. With all the anger and revenge, you have also provided a service to other travelers who will now avoid this company and will look closely at the fine print.

  8. Janette on March 20, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Great post!!! I’m hugely appreciating so many things, as a result of your (short-lived) visit into anger and revenge.

    First of all, yay for being able to express the anger in such a clear and educative way. You didn’t simply bag Gregg or the travel company or the experience – you laid bare your experience and you took responsibility at every opportunity. Kudos for showing how to express anger in a positive way (this is the same kind of anger that fuels good social change, IMHO!).

    I love that you now get to rant about all the positive experiences you’ve had with companies!!! And I’m having my own mini-rampage of appreciation about the many companies that I deal with who are nothing but brilliant!

    Even Apple iTunes recently agreed to refund me for a purchase which went haywire, despite a strict “no refund” policy. Woohoo!!!!!

    And also – I agree with Jackie. When we do attract dodgy businesses into our lives, we’ve been granted an opportunity to help others avoid the same experience. Yes, it was a lot of money for you – and for someone else it might have represented their entire life savings. And maybe now you’ve saved them from losing it all. How good does that feel??


  9. Power Places Tours on March 20, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Jeannette, This is Power Places Tours here to set the record straight. Re the fuel surcharges and supposed “fine print” of languaging: The size of the print about the fuel surcharges is the same as in the rest of the description. It is a 12 font size, and therefore does not fit the definition of fine print in any way! Re: fuel surcharges—It is no surprise that gas and fuel prices are skyrocketing. As explained by the person you spoke to in the office, Power Places Tours passes on the fuel surcharge charged to us by the airlines, and nothing is added to that fuel surcharge. Also explained to you is that at the time the group tickets are purchased the fuel surcharge could go down, in which case everyone on the trip would be refunded the difference. The tour conditions clearly state in regular size print that fuel surcharges are NOT included in the price of the trip. You received the itinerary and tour conditions, and sent a document signed by you saying that you understand and agree to the tour conditions.
    Also, you were offered a “land only” option and declined it, even though that option would take care of the fuel surcharges with the Power Places Tours’ airline ticket. (This option is normally for international participants or those wishing to use their Frequent Flyer Miles. Everything else in the travel package is included except air and airport transfers.)
    Cancellation policy: the tour conditions and cancellation and deposit policy are clear. They are also in the same regular 12 point font size, and some of it in bold face! The parameters for cancellation and deposits policies are clear, fair, and are within the common and acceptable norms in the travel industry.

  10. Michael on March 20, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing this, and for showing how to throw proper punches, LOA style. This helps you, helps us, and hopefully helps Gregg team up with better biz partners.

  11. Power Places Tours on March 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Jeannette- Power Places Tours here. We all know how communications can get confused when there are multiple people involved each interpreting the communication their own way. It sounds like the office was speaking with another person in your party, not you, though I am surprised that you are making the complaint without first speaking with anyone directly. When we created this program it was last year. The fuel surcharges go up and down all the time with costs of oil. Tour Conditions clearly indicate that the fuel surcharges are not included. We hope it goes down by the time we actually ticket! We thought the Land Only package was a good solution and it seems you feel that way as well. Perhaps if we can get over the current ill-will based on the misunderstanding, which we would love to do, maybe something can be workable.

  12. Sue on March 22, 2012 at 3:46 am

    Quite a post! Just want to thank you for sharing your weeding through this experience. I recently went through something similar ( which pretty much feels like a slap in the face ) and came through just fine.

    I’m beginning to appreciate the sitting back and watching it unfold part of these “unfair” experiences, mine and those other deliberate creators around me.

    My dealings with a well advertised anxiety solution program for my daughter went from sweet “keep the program longer” to pay up or we’ll ruin your credit, very quickly
    Interestingly, at the same time this was ordered,
    my bank card was being utilized by some unknown (thank you Webster Bank for being so quick on seeing it!) which made it impossible for them to get their money ……ahhh the Universe at work.
    I went from being hurt and horrified, dealing with a suddenly heartless company to watching it shift in my favor
    The company had turned it all over to a collection agency, which closed the case once they received a letter from the bank stating the issue. (oddly enough I still have the product, because they wouldn’t let me send it back)

    Who would have thought that having someone mess with your bank card could be a blessing?

    Also, I run 2 businesses and this just reminds me how important it is to keep your heart in your business, and not just make it about the so called fine print.

    Thanks Jeanette for wearing your heart on your sleeve ~. Sue

  13. Sue on March 22, 2012 at 3:47 am


    Quite a post! Just want to thank you for sharing your weeding through this experience. I recently went through something similar ( which pretty much feels like a slap in the face ) and came through just fine.

    I’m beginning to appreciate the sitting back and watching it unfold part of these “unfair” experiences, mine and those other deliberate creators around me.

    My dealings with a well advertised anxiety solution program for my daughter went from sweet “keep the program longer” to pay up or we’ll ruin your credit, very quickly
    Interestingly, at the same time this was ordered,
    my bank card was being utilized by some unknown (thank you Webster Bank for being so quick on seeing it!) which made it impossible for them to get their money ……ahhh the Universe at work.
    I went from being hurt and horrified, dealing with a suddenly heartless company to watching it shift in my favor
    The company had turned it all over to a collection agency, which closed the case once they received a letter from the bank stating the issue. (oddly enough I still have the product, because they wouldn’t let me send it back)

    Who would have thought that having someone mess with your bank card could be a blessing?

    Also, I run 2 businesses and this just reminds me how important it is to keep your heart in your business, and not just make it about the so called fine print.

    Thanks Jeanette for wearing your heart on your sleeve ~. Sue

  14. Sue on March 22, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Sorry! Hey 3:47 in the morning causes one to double post…….oops. Must need more sleep ~

  15. Stella on March 22, 2012 at 6:37 am

    As someone who has travelled a lot over the years and done a heap of tours and the like, I have never heard of a surprise fuel charge! No matter what rationale you (Power Place Tours) give, this sort of practice does not feel or sound right at all.

  16. Power Places Tours on March 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Power Places Tours here in response to aunt: We understand that you were purchasing three of the trips, gifting two family members of your family, and that you had been planning on something special like this for awhile. Nowadays with rising fuel prices, covering three fuel surcharges is hefty on international tickets. For clarification U.S. regulations require that taxes and fees such as fuel surcharges be included when booking and purchasing airline tickets. Purchasing a travel package that includes hotel, siteseeing, transfers, porterage and air is not buying an airline ticket. The fuel surcharges decided upon by the airlines are constantly changing, and could go higher and lower at any given time. As a tour company we have contracts with the airlines for specific dates and numbers of passengers, however the tickets are not purchased until around 60 days before the trip departure. At the time of purchasing the ticket, same as when one is on-line for example to buy the ticket, is the fuel surcharge exact. Due to the fluctuation of these fuel surcharges we can only know the approximate amount of the fuel surcharge in advance which is why we give an approximate on the invoice. (This is not a “surprise” fuel surcharge. The exact wording of the Tour Conditions under “What is Included” and “What is not Included” eg fuel surcharges, were posted here in its exact wording ) Re: the deposit/refund policy—it is stated very clearly. A company puts down respective deposit and refunds policies for travel programs. This is why we have our Traveler’s Information document that clients sign that they have read, understand, and agree to the tour conditions, and we received that document back from you. Jeannette pointed out in her blog that she could not find any negative publicity re Power Places Tours and deceptive business practices, as there are none. Re the cash discount price vs credit card price, that is a person’s choice to use the convenience of a credit card if they prefer. It is just a choice that we offer, it is up to the client, and many clients do decide to use their card for this convenience. Also, in looking for an alternative you were offered the Land Only option so that you could take care of your own air and thus the fuel surcharge when ticketing through us would not apply. However, I understand you declined.

  17. Power Places Tours on March 25, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Chris, Power Places Tours here. Hidden costs would mean that the item of extra cost is not pointed out. People see the “What is not included” and will frequently check to get specifics. There is nothing “hidden,” it is clear some items are NOT included in the price. Generally the cost of items in the “What is not included” varies, which is why they are not included. Also, taxes and surcharges can be imposed or changed by a government or the airline after the trip has been planned. While it is true that the fuel surcharge is high on this trip, which is usually not the case, you are misinformed when you state that fuel surcharge is not publicly available information. When booking only an airline ticket on-line, it states the price of that airline ticket is such and such, taxes and fees. You click on the taxes and fees and it states there is a 7.5% U.S. government excise tax and a carrier imposed surcharge. In calling the airline directly to follow up on specifics one is told there is a fuel surcharge for long domestic flight, and international flights, easily obtainable information by anyone wishing details when purchasing an airline ticket. You and Jeannette accuse Power Places Tours of deceptive business practices including “sticking” you with hidden costs. You could easily checked for this information, however to say you had to put down a deposit to get this information is simply slander.

  18. Stella on March 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Jeannette. As someone reading about this, I also can’t help but think that Greg Bradden’s integrity is also in question here. What’s he thinking/doing having these people treat his customers like this?!! And by most people’s standards I think it’s a substantial amount of money. I’m from Australia and we’re a travelling people, I certainly wouldn’t touch either Power Places of anything that Greg has to offer in light of the above. My feelings are not based on second hand information . . .it’s quite clear that the set-up is not customer focused by reading Power Place’s responses on this post.

    To Power Places, the few lazy thousand dollars you have made off these people for cancelling and refusing to refund, will end up costing you a lot more – guaranteed!

  19. Power Places Tours on March 26, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Jeannette: It is noted that thousands have traveled with Power Places Tours for decades, with many repeat customers. When facts are presented to answer concerns and accusations from you in this blog it does not seem possible for you to move forward…there is just re-hashing of the same old misinformation, inaccuracies and falsehoods. (Don’t you read the news about high oil prices, increasing prices of fuel to very high levels.) As a trained life coach “goodVibes” your opening theme, when you first sent the blog, you stated was revenge. You stated that you “felt better” because the blog was your revenge. As a life coach isn’t this hypocrisy? Let’s keep revenge for the “terrorists” in the world. Life coaching is meant to teach others how to deal with life’s traumas and issues that come our way, with a process that will provide an uplifted, enlightened and healing result.
    Deal with your family issues that you stated in your blog are causing you pain. That appears to be the trigger for your unsubstantiated attack and “revenge” on Power Places Tours. That takes courage, and you seem to have that. The projections can then cease, and you will truly be free.

  20. Alison Myer on March 26, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Power Place Tours. Your last post has the hallmarks of a typical perpetrator. Revenge is a form of justice that victims of foul play have the constitutional right to seek in any manner they choose (legal of course). Your attempts to minimize your behaviour and instead blame the victims as it were, are text book perp reactions. I second others who have posted regarding your lack of customer focus and I would add that your defensiveness and attempt to put this down to others’ projection is down right unprofessional. This is Jeanneatte’s blog and she can choose her blog topics as she sees fit. If you were a professional organization you would have taken this up with your unsatisfied customers with the contact details you would have been provided with rather than jump on here with your poor attitude and still no explanation as to why you will not refund their $.

  21. Monica on March 27, 2012 at 9:06 am

    OMG, I apologize in advance, because I know this post will not help anyone but me. I am not at all surprised, and I don’t know why I seem to be the only person whose alarm bells go off every time Gregg Braden opens his mouth, but by God, they do! And I am pretty sure I told you so!

    LOL. I know it’s not a pretty side of me, but thank you for the chance to release a toleration that’s been irritating me for a long time!

  22. Robin on March 27, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Just thought I would throw this into the mix: I love dealing with companies who are crystal clear in their explanations of products, services, benefits and costs. I love when they are unfailingly gracious to customers, even ones who appear to be confused, mistaken, or just plain wrong. I also really appreciate when they consider goodwill more important than rigid adherence to “policy”.

  23. Susann on March 27, 2012 at 11:49 am

    I’m late to this party — just now read the post — and want to pop in to say that Jeannette runs HER business with the integrity of angels: when she talks about great customer service, she’s not just talking through her hat. A long time ago, Jeannette, I bought one of your products (so long ago I honestly can’t recall which one). I have only slow dial-up internet service where I live (yes, we do still exist!)& couldn’t download the files. I e’d you, not knowing if there was anything you could do. I got a reply within minutes, telling me you were going out & didn’t have time to “fix” it just then but would when you got back. You took the time to TELL me that! A few hours later, you sent another email telling me you’d broken the file into smaller chunks, and to try the download again. I did, and it worked and I was — and still am — utterly blown away by your incredible professionalism and the effort you made for one customer. Just awesome. With that kind of energy behind you, you’re sure to get a good resolution to this.

    Thanks, too, for reminder that stuffing our feelings down because we’re afraid to rock the LOA boat might NOT be the best option. I have a situation going on that I’ve decided might well benefit from a little cathartic venting on my part. Sure can’t do any harm anyway!

  24. Kimberly on March 28, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Thank you for sharing this link with me; whenever I get behind on my blog reading, I clear the Reader and start fresh which mean I potentially miss great reads like this one.

    What a great example of sharing an unfortunate situation, but not in a way that is completely negative.

    I love that you’re sharing what you experienced and learned so that we can apply it to our own experience.


  25. helen on March 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Just been reading this and it seems that the issue is more around money than actual customer service.
    I have been to the web site in question and I did find that they explained things as they stated.
    However because of the huge outlay which you were obviously up to speed with, to then be hit with an extra charge which is quite substancial I can see how it could escalate to the point where you feel like you were a bit conned.
    Business policies aside there is obviously (well to me) that there are some money buttons being pushed here I have found myself in similar places before where i was arguing backwards and forewards with a company about their business practices and then it hit me that it was actually the money I felt I’d wasted doing business with them ………once I dealt with that issue …i got a partial refund which I took gratefully and they just quietly slipped out of my life. It did get ugly for a minute but I have since realised that it was more about the money than their seemingly dodgey business policies.
    Good luck with it all though.

  26. Ramona on March 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Jeanette, I used to work at PPT many years ago. The “surcharge” has always been a standard there. It has nothing to do with any fuel surcharge at all, it’s just bad management. The owners Toby & Teri Weiss are desperate for clients so they underquote in the hope of getting enough people on a tour. They need 10 people to sign up to give a free space to Gregg Braden or whomever the speaker is. If that number is not achieved then the cost passes on to you in the form of a surcharge. Another reason is that someone did not factor in all the costs correctly or the wife Terri decided to join the trip for free at your expense or they did not book the space when they should have and later when the costs went up they found that they did not make enough profit, there are myriad of reasons why they make up the surcharge. You would think that a couple who organized tours about mind, body and spirit would be a little evolved but they are very callous and there is nothing spiritual about them. It’s all about the money. They live and keep their money offshore in St Croix and just have someone in Denver act like an adminstrative asst. All their staff always hated them intensely and the speakers just tolerate them for the free trips.

    I suggest that you demand to see the letter from the airline they are using, that the fuel surcharge is this ridiculous amount of $795 in addition to the base fare and taxes. Then contact the Better Business Bureau & the office of the Attorney General in Colorado and file a consumer complaint about fraudulent surcharges. Also contact any travel ombudsmen who can act as a mediatior, the one at Costco comes to mind or Conde Nast Traveler. Find the name of the airline and call their head office and ask the sales manager what the fuel surcharge has been SINCE THE DATE YOU BOOKED. I guarantee you it cannot be more than $50-$100 per person if at all. There are only a limited number of airlines that fly to Lima out of Miami, so call all of them if you don’t know which airline. All airlines publish their fuel surcharge online in the form of press releases so it would not be difficult to find. No company can simply demand such a high fuel surcharge. In the business, we always receive a notification from the airline if the fuel surcharge goes up and we routinely send it out to our clients if asked and in all my years I have never seen it to be more than $50pp. You have every right to see this notification from the airline. Not only that, we are given fair warning of at least 5 days to issue all the outstanding tickets before the fuel surcharge is attached. They have already said that they don’t issue the tickets until 60 days before departure anyway so it is completely unacceptable that they get to keep your money. What they are doing is fraud plain and simple. If they cannot prove that the airline is charging this ridiculous amount then they need to give you a full refund. If not, your best option is to warn them that you will be writing your review on tripadvisor and yelp, two of the most read sites by serious travelers. Also they say: “The parameters for cancellation and deposits policies are clear, fair, and are within the common and acceptable norms in the travel industry.” Well what exactly are their cancellation policies because if it is so normal why is it not on their website for all the world to see? See if it compares with other well known tour companies, all of whom have their terms on their sites. I bet you will not find any companies that keep your entire deposit for a cancellation 5 months before departure. They should have simply charged you $450 cancellation fee,as has always been their policy but it seems greed got the better of them. It would be helpful if you posted your exact dates of deposit and cancellation. The trip departure date is 20 Aug and it seems you cancelled before 20 March, full 5 months prior. It simply is not the norm or fair or reasonable for them to keep your full deposit when you have cancelled so far in advance.
    Good luck and keep us posted!

  27. Chris on March 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Of course it’s about the money. We gave Power Places $5800 for our initial deposits. When we balked at additional fees of $725 per person, $2900 total, they cited their policy and refused to refund any portion of our deposit. I insisted on a breakdown of the $725. They replied: $111 taxes, $25 ticketing fees and $590 fuel surcharge. The airfare tax amount is readily available online, but fuel surcharges are NOT listed. Power Places suggests that I could have called the airline to determine that amount if I was concerned about it. Wow, that’s transparent! More like buyer beware. I wasn’t concerned about it because I never dreamed it would be almost $600. Even if I was concerned, I would not have known to call the airline to get this amount. But thanks to Power Places’ suggestion, I DID call LAN airlines today and they quoted me $25 PER PASSENGER AS THE FUEL SURCHARGE for flights on the same dates!

    As for their cancellation policy, I couldn’t find it on their web site, but they emailed the tour conditions and itinerary after my initial inquiry. It is cited below:
    IV. CANCELLATION & REFUNDS: Deposits are refundable, except for a $450 processing fee per person, if cancellation is received by January 17, 2011. Within seven months of trip departure, a cancellation fee of 25% of the total cost of the trip shall apply. Within four months of departure a 50% cancellation fee shall apply. No refunds within two months of departure. All cancellations must be in writing, and reach our office by the applicable cancellation date above. Since the cancellation terms must be strictly applied no matter the reason for cancellation, travel insurance/trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended; this insurance includes coverage for cancellation in case of illness or death in the family.

    Note the date, January 17, 2011! Even if that’s a mistake and it was supposed to be 2012, it still expired before we even made our deposits. According to their policy our deposits were NEVER refundable.

    I don’t care how Power Places tries to spin it, it’s not right or ethical for them to keep our money under these circumstances. I have already filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. If that doesn’t get us a refund, I’ll file one with the Attorney General and start posting on all of the travel sites.

  28. Stella on March 31, 2012 at 4:05 am

    Ramona that’s a great insight from the trenches – thanks so much for sharing! I agree with Jeannette . . . it feels like Toto has just pulled back the Wizard of Oz’ curtain!

    All the best Chris in getting your money back.

  29. AffirmingSpirit on April 2, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Jeannette, I was feeling more neutral on the subject until I started seeing Power Places Tours responses in this blog. Man, you weren’t kidding. Just their posts alone are enough to make us all question doing business with them.

    Don’t be surprised if this particular post becomes TEXT BOOK EXAMPLE OF WHAT NOT TO DO in leading Business Schools across the globe. Oh, yeah, PPT probably doesn’t realize you have a strong global following!

    I not only see you getting your money back, but I am seeing Gregg Braden finding a reputable company to do business with for future trips. It’s a total win-win, as I see it! ;-)

    Many blessings,

  30. Tom on April 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Jeannette, I am a big fan of Gregg Braden as well. In know what happened sucks but send Gregg love anyway !! He most likely does not realize what they are doing.

  31. Julie on April 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Wow… what stinkers Jeannette! I didn’t read all of the responses, but wanted to respond to your initial post. THANK YOU – YOU DID A SERVICE by informing others out “here” of potential rip off. A big alert! And man, that is a chunk of change that they kept (‘mo-fo’s!) ;). Thanks for sharing your experience and hopefully Gregg will become informed and make the right decision.


  32. Marquina on April 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    WOW!!! My has dropped and hit the floor SO many times while reading these comments… And the fact that someone representing the company decided to respond the way they did (which was badly) ON YOUR BLOG!!! I mean, who does that?! Seriously! And they kept trying to make you look bad. On YOUR turf! Ok, that was a bad strategy if they ever had one. LOL!!!

    I was going to say, originally (before I read the comments), that you feel how you feel and sometimes saying how you truly feel out loud helps you to feel better sooner, and I appreciate you saying how you felt – it made me feel good.

    But now…Wow…after what Ramona said…Goodness! This may not quite be over. I mean, $725 FUEL surcharge, PER PERSON??? I’m sending you much love and strength to deal with this if you’re not done yet. Sounds like wrongs need to be righted. But, then again, maybe you’ve already done what you needed to do by publishing this post…Hmmm?

    Big Hugs,

  33. Gina on May 19, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Well — reading this rather after the fact, all I can say is that if Jeannette’s story hadn’t already convinced me, the utterly lacking in grace responses from the tour company in question has convinced me I’ll never be doing business with them.

    For that matter I doubt I’ll ever buy a Gregg Braden book, although he was on my reading list.

  34. Kathryn on May 21, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Jeannette, I read through all these posts and just wanted to say thank you, as I was considering this very trip with Gregg!! Now, of course, I won’t be going. The writing on the wall for me was PPT responses–personal attacks on you, publicly?? I really am shocked at the unprofessionalism, not to mention downright meanness. My guess is that you are a major part of helping an unsavoury company fall… Never can tell what will happen when we speak our truth with heartfelt intention! Way to go :)
    (And I DO hope you get your money back. All of it.)

  35. Margaret on July 6, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Hi Jeannette,
    I have just finished reading this miasma of posts and hope hope hope that what with all the intentions and examinations to see what you manifested, that you did in fact contact the BBB and the Office of the Attorney General as the post from Ramona advises. I feel strongly that as women and as consumers that this be taken to the appropriate level which is beyond a blog post.
    You’ve done a great service and acted in integrity, but when there is an injustice (hello? civil rights movement…women’s rights) voices need to be raised. If the response is to turn it around and internalize (i.e., excusing bad behavior with self blame like “i created this”) i feel this solopistic viewpoint is yet another way people allow illegal and simply bad behavior to continue. We as a society do need regulations – case in point; your experience here.
    And while this is NOT Rosa Parks refusing to sit at the back of the bus… can you imagine where we’d be if Rosa had said to herself, “i created this and i must simply endure…” what would we be as a society? I’m not even going to start on women’s issues because we’d be here all night!
    THe gist of this: take action.
    Its your right, and Power Places should be regulated and fined. Oh, and you should get ALL of your money returned.
    Good luck, m

  36. KC Xanadu on August 8, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I’m glad I found this website. Altho I couldn’t read all of it because I couldn’t deal with the passive aggressive drama of it all. It was too much. I just finished coming back from China on a two week group tour. They seemed to have a similar set up. A low initial price and then sell optional tours that are basically mandatory if you need someone to guide you and speaks the language. But they’re pretty clear on that. Plus all the tipping of guides and drivers. But I live in NYC so that was normal for me anyway.
    Now I do admit that the $700 fuel charge sends me a red flag. I expect additional fees and expect to have to purchase additional programs just because I’m well traveled and I know the game. I worked on cruise ships for 15 years and tours were part of my life.
    The other red flag for me was that Power Tours actually responded to this in a public way. This means the words here concerned them. If they were truly confident in their service then this page would have been ignored or handled privately.
    Responding to your complaint in this forum doesn’t make them a good business or make them look professional, simply because they have associated themselves with it. Now you may think that the pot is calling the kettle black because I myself am associating with it but I look for these pages when booking tours because I can see the reality of it all. Not from the facts listed but from the back and fourth banter of he said she said. When I see this type of back and fourth banter I don’t even care who’s right or wrong. I just know that I don’t want to attract these feelings on a possible trip of a lifetime.
    Even tho Jeanette’s opinions on the company appear to be not well researched. Her concern with the fuel charge is excessively valid. I booked my ‘land only’ tour with Gate 1 six months in advance and chose to fly Air Korea instead. This was also booked 6 months in advance. No one said we may charge you a fuel charge later. Because once it’s booked, it’s booked. Done deal. The feeling I get from my work in the travel industry is that power tours didn’t book the flight when Jeanette booked the tour. Most likely they waited to see if the tour was going to meet their minimum requirements. Then when it did they booked the flights and the flight exceeded their flight guestimation and they billed her under the disguise of a fuel surcharge. It’s a valid cop out because it is TRUE that oil prices fluctuate. But my gas station doesn’t call me and ask me for more money in May for gas I bought in January. That’s just not my problem.
    The other possibility is your group didn’t meet the minimum capacity and they split the unsold positions between the booked group. Which could be why you couldn’t get the refund you thought you deserved because they needed that to keep the rest of the group together.
    My opinions are based on speculation of course but it’s a very educated speculation. Altho my use of grammar and punctuation may suggest other wise. :)
    So Jeanette, lesson learned. You seem like a perfectly lovely young lady who has been given a learning experience. I always recommend that you go to 3 or 4 different websites like yelp or trip adviser and read all the good and bad complaints and compliments. You’ll always identify with the good and the bad. You can always tell good complaints from bad complaints or when some people are just unhappy in general.
    You were correct in wanting to “unplug.” God only knows what else would have been coming after a 725 fuel surcharge. However, I’m surprised a judge ruled in your favor. If their contract is worded in the manner they claim it was worded then I wouldn’t have given you a refund either. Not because you’re not a good person but I would need to think about the group as opposed to an individual. That’s most likely why it’s worded that way. So they don’t have to cancel the entire group because of one person backing out. It’s a business. Any businesses first priority is usually making quota and everything revolves around that or they can’t survive.
    But you’ve got to over research your next trip and assume there’s a catch because there is always a catch.
    look at gate 1. I bought travel insurance for 250 which is a little scammy in my head but it gave me medical coverage in the foreign country and I could cancel my trip at any moment.
    You can have a spiritual trip without a spiritual guide. Guide yourself. You know you can’t buy a spiritual experience anyway.
    If you want, feel free to email me. I assume you have it since I had to enter it. I could recommend a wonderful international destination that’s SUPER cheap. I would like to try and give you back some positive vibes about travel. I’m going for 2 and a half weeks in December myself. I have a personal friendship with her from my tour desk cruise ship days. I just don’t want to post her personal info on here. If this seems shady in anyway then use my email address to find me on facebook. My page is public. You can most likely just look at all my stuff without me knowing anyway. Then decide whether to contact me or not from there. My China photos are there. That trip was amazing.
    I look forward to possibly hearing from you. If not, GOOD VIBES ANYWAY! :)

    Thanks for this thread. I just spoke with them today and after only seeing the fuel surcharge comment I immediately went…. uh oh…I’ll pass.

  37. Dana Boyle on August 10, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Wow, Jeannette. I’m late to this game and saw this today – but I am really surprised that someone at this outfit would debate with you over and over on your comments, clearly without the advice of a lawyer.

    Good for you for taking them to court and winning.

    As for their threat that you take this down or be sued, I was taught in law school that you should come to court with clean hands when you’re the one suing and asking for relief. I won’t say more as I don’t want to come off as giving any legal advice here.

    But bravo!

  38. ButterflyWoman on August 14, 2012 at 4:12 am

    So, I just read that they’re going to try to sue you for $1.5 million if you don’t remove this post? On what grounds? Unless you were deliberately lying (and the judge in the case seemed to think you were in the right), there seems to be no legal basis. Are they just trying to intimidate you? Or do they just want to dig themselves into a deeper hole with this kind of legal strongarm tactic?

  39. Lauren on August 16, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Incredible how Power Places Tours responded to this. As a marketing and PR professional, this person needs a lesson in how to respond appropriately to these situations. In case they ever do read this again, starting an argument on a blog with a disgruntled customer is not the way to resolve the situation.

    Honestly, they would have done better to ignore this and not respond at all. I am appalled as a consumer and amazed as a marketer that they would respond to you this way.

    Quick lesson for the person from Power Places Tours: look at the situation from the customer’s perspective, not the company’s. It is not your job to argue with the customer(s). You can assert your position in a friendly, polite, and kind way without attempting to make the customer feel worse. They already feel that you manipulated them, and this type of response solidifies and intensifies that feeling in their mind.

    Next time, here’s what you should say, Power Places Tours, “I sincerely apologize that you are unhappy with X problem. Please contact X representative and we will do everything within our power to ensure that you are satisfied with your travel experience with Power Places Tours.”

    Do not engage publicly beyond that or you just do yourself more damage.

    Sorry Jeanette, I felt compelled to give them advice on this matter. I see why they would like you to remove this post. It probably has less to do with what you said and more to do with the way that their representative completely mishandled the situation in the comments section.

  40. Lauren on August 16, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Jeannette, I apologize for misspelling your name in my last post! I love reading your blog. I find it so refreshing. I’ve been following your story with Power Places Tours, but hadn’t read the comments until you posted the article about the lawsuit. They are completely out of hand.

    On an aside, I went back to read some of the last posts written by Power Places Tours, and their response is more damaging than I had previously thought. Insinuating that the customer is willfully making false statements (lying) and making rude and snarky remarks to Jeannette and her aunt like “have you not been watching the news about high oil prices?” This is absolutely unheard of in the PR world. I am literally stunned that anyone would think it is appropriate to address a customer this way.

    If Power Places Tours wanted to convince people that they are an ethical company, they have done exactly the opposite. Perhaps they should hire a PR company so that this type of misstep doesn’t happen again.

  41. Lauren on August 17, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Wow Jeannette. The problem goes well beyond their utter incomprehension of how to handle this situation. How do they expect to get away with lying to you in writing? Their business needs a makeover from the ground up. Good PR can’t even save them if they are so unethical that they have their representatives lying to prospective customers on the first phone call.

    All of us have missed a little sign here or there because we’re so focused on being happy about other things! Since you were probably so excited to be booking that trip, that guy lying about his name wouldn’t have made a big impression until all the pieces started coming together. We live and learn. :) From what you’ve said though, you’re having fun manifesting this too since you get to spend more time with your cute lawyer! You’ll win the case if it goes to trial, and all they’re manifesting is more bad press.

    I’d like to write about this situation on our marketing blog, something like a do’s and dont’s when handling customer complaints online. Is it okay if I mention your blog in my post?

  42. […] – it will always show you the way.   Extracted from Paths to the Shendo by Stephen KaneEvery moment, there is a perfect opportunity to be of service – to cultivate your 'happiness qi' – t… are many – were given the same mantra to be recited the same number of times. The reason Jan made […]

  43. Jeneth on September 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I just have to say … WOW!!!!! What an amazing contribution you are to expand the awareness around this issue!!!!!!!

    Love ya!


  44. Heather C. on September 16, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Dishonest business practices need to be exposed. On behalf of the cause for truth and justice, thank you for not letting them bully you into silence. I admire you for not backing down.

  45. Kc Xanadu on September 17, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Hey Jeanette!

    On the lighter side, I wanted to say I am so excited when I open my gmail account and see that there’s an update on this blog. It’s like a non fiction shock blog. I’m sorry that you’re having to go thru this. It’s so ludicrous. But I LOVE reading about it. I’m on this end going…..she said whuuuuuu? and then they did wha????!?

    If I could recommend this blog on GoodReads I would because this is a Good Read!! very informative. I sent it to a few friends in the travel industry and they were mortified. They said, the name is Power Places? The name alone sounds tragic.

  46. julie masters on September 17, 2012 at 7:57 pm


    I, for one, am waiting with bated breath! I feel a little like Kc Xanadu when she says she looks forward to opening her gmail and seeing that something new has posted on this blog! If I watched soap operas this would be my favorite!!

    I also have to say, I see you playing a great role in a wonderfully entertaining play, that it holds NO THREAT for you whatsoever! So I get to just enjoy your powerful acting abilities!!!

    And WOW, the part “Power Places”??? is playing is from the “Dumb and Dumber” movie! LOL

    Love you amazing woman!

    Ease and flow,

    Julie Masters

  47. How to Resolve Customer Service Complaints on September 30, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    […] The name of the blogger mentioned in this story is not directly disclosed for privacy reasons. If readers of this article would like to examine the blog post and comments section in question and judge for themselves as to the course of events described there, they may visit: […]

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