BOSTON (AP) — An online travel agency has agreed to pay more than $500,000 to hundreds of Massachusetts residents for allegedly continuing to collect payments for travel reservations despite knowing they had been or would be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and then failing provide refunds, the state attorney general’s office said Wednesday.
In a proposed consent judgment, Florida-based BookIt.com agreed to pay almost $552,000 to 539 Massachusetts consumers, according to Attorney General Maura Healey. Some conusmers will receive more than $8,000.
The state sued BookIt in June after dozens of Massachusetts residents complained to the attorney general’s office.
The state alleged that when BookIt suspended business operations in March, the company also stopped paying hotels and resorts for reservations, leaving many consumers with no choice but to pay their hotels a second time for their stay. BookIt also closed its call centers so consumers had no way to contact the company to seek a refund.
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen travel companies take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis by cheating consumers and pocketing payments for canceled trips,” Healey said in a statement.
No messages could be left at a listed number for BookIt.
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