MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Colorado-based travel company has agreed to refund $636,500 to more than 300 Wisconsin high school music students and their adult chaperones after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of their European tour last year.
Officials with the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said Tuesday that Voyageurs International, Ltd., canceled the trip on March 17.
The company withheld a $1,900 cancellation fee from each student and adult chaperone who had prepaid. The company said it withheld the fee due to non-refundable payments it had made to third-party vendors and general operating costs.
An investigation determined the company did receive substantial refunds from those vendors but didn't pass those recouped fees on to its customers. DATCP Division of Trade and Consumer Protection Administrator Lara Sutherlin said in a statement that business can't misrepresent their fees in the event of a cancellation.
The department said 355 Wisconsin customers will be eligible for the refunds.
Voyageurs International agreed last month to refund more than $650,000 to Minnesota music students after it canceled their European tour due to the pandemic. Authorities in that state said the company refused to refund cancellation fees for the trip.