Power Places Tours Staff Whistleblow on Bad Business Practices and Cheating Customers
Employees of Power Places Tours confirm cheating, ripping people off and dishonesty. Power Places Tours is operated by Toby and Theresa Weiss, and the internet is filled with reports of people losing money, being cheated, subjected to SLAPP suits and harassed to remove true reviews.
Significant proof is attached via screenshots.
They have confirmed that people do indeed get ripped off and are ripped off often through a fraudulent surcharge - here is some of the testimony which can also be found on the internet (as proof) without too much trouble.
I worked for Power Places Tours for a very short time and although the owner made me sign a contract that declared I was an "Independent Contractor, " she treated me and everyone else like employees, controlling a great deal of how we did our work, right down to what emails we wrote. Commission for selling a $5000 trip was about $15 dollars. It was ridiculous! She left her key employees frustrated, overworked, angry and in ill health. The turn over was terrible and I finally left in disgust over the way she treated both her contractors and her customers.
Profit was always the bottom line, and the fine print of her tour conditions allowed her to take people's money in very questionable ways. What travel company in there right mind would charge a person for tour package, have you pay in full, and then three months later, after it's too late for a refund, tell a traveler they now owe $500 more dollars due to the "rise in costs." Zilch! I had such high hopes for working there, hoping it would be a rewarding experience in helping others go on a spiritual "journey of a lifetime" but so many were very displeased with the service. To be fair, many were happy too. But the energy was so bad working there, I had to leave in a hurry.
(Source Google Review by Tammy Smith)
It's amazing how this company is still in business. I worked for Power Places Tours back in the early 90's. Holly James, Richard Rodgers and myself were always bullied by the owners, Toby and Terri Weiss. Very unethical practices going on back then. It was a nightmare working for these people. With the concept for which they market their tours one would think that they would operate their business with faithfulness and loyalty to their customers. I learned the hard way as an employee and I thank my higher power that I was only there for 1 year. If I didn't know better and I do now, I am certain that I was working for the Devil himself.
(Tim Sanchez - ex staff member)
Thanks for sending me this update. I checked your site again only yesterday to see if there was any news.
As shocking as this turn of events is, I cannot say that I am surprised. In fact, I will admit to doing some work for them, so I am in a strange position. I must say that the details of this incident, and the handling thereof give me pause and cause me to reconsider my limited association with PPT.
I have travelled with them four times, and have seen some behind the scenes scenarios that make me question the integrity of working for them at all in any context. I am not currently in a position to slip you any gory details, but let's just say that some aspects of "New Age" business are just as questionable as mainstream, if not heavier on the snake oil.
Sorry to hear about how this all turned out, and I tip my hat to your example of honesty and tenacity. If I can see any good coming from giving you more details, I will let you know. I am not in a position to be taken to court and fined these days, but at least I can choose who I associate with. I'm on your side...
(Richard Rodgers - Ex Staff Member)
I worked for PPT back in 2010. Let me tell you what the few weeks I worked there were the absolute worse weeks of my life. Teresa is extremely verbally abusive towards her employees and her business practices are completely disgraceful. Before this job I was in the mindset I am an employee I follow what my boss says; well let me tell you what I have never been so verbally abused and disrespected in my entire life. She was so cruel and just mean. She fired me because I got to the point where I'd have to hang up on her because she would not stop calling me names; ***, ***, ***, etc... When I was emptying my desk I came across a letter written by a maid of hers sent to the office (I know this sounds weird) but the maid explained that she wanted help for Teresa because Toby was abusive with her (Teresa). I don't know what the point of sharing this information is but I just want to reiterate to you (which I am sure you already know) these people are extremely unstable and if there is a devil on Earth it is definitely Teresa & Toby Weiss.
I worked for Power Places Tours for a very short time and although the owner made me sign a contract that declared I was an "Independent Contractor, " she treated me and everyone else like employees, controlling a great deal of how we did our work, right down to what emails we wrote. Commission for selling a $5000 trip was about $15 dollars. It was ridiculous! She left her key employees frustrated, overworked, angry and in ill health. The turn over was terrible and I finally left in disgust over the way she treated both her contractors and her customers. Profit was always the bottom line, and the fine print of her tour conditions allowed her to take people's money in very questionable ways. What travel company in there right mind would charge a person for tour package, have you pay in full, and then three months later, after it's too late for a refund, tell a traveler they now owe $500 more dollars due to the "rise in costs." Zilch! I had such high hopes for working there, hoping it would be a rewarding experience in helping others go on a spiritual "journey of a lifetime" but so many were very displeased with the service. To be fair, many were happy too. But the energy was so bad working there, I had to leave in a hurry.
(Name withheld for legal reasons)
Ramona who worked for them also confirmed that the surcharge is not what it seems.
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.
Caution is advised.
More Review Details
|Product or Service Quality|
|Diversity of Products or Services|
|Exchange, Refund and Cancellation Policy|
|Advertised vs Delivered|
|Value for money|
What I liked
What I disliked
- Widescale cheating of many customers
- Threatening people with prison
- Lies and dishonesty
- Reason of review:
- Large scale cheating of customers
- Preferred solution:
- Let the company propose a solution
- Monetary loss:
- Review category
Author wants to be contacted by the company. Learn more ›
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