Consumers should use caution before doing business with Atlanta-based Broad Horizons Travel, according to a warning issued Wednesday by the Better Business Bureau Serving Metro Atlanta, Athens & Northeast Georgia.
Broad Horizons Travel has an "F" rating with BBB for failing to obtain the necessary license from the Georgia Real Estate Commission for offering timeshare sales and rentals. BBB said the online travel agency, which promotes cruises and hotels on its website, has a business relationship with Oregon-based Gillian County Title, which was the subject of a cease-and-desist order in Oregon for attempting to sell title insurance without a license.
Earlier this month, the BBB office in Oregon got a report that Gillian County Title, in a partnership with Broad Horizons Travel, was contacting consumers and offering to purchase timeshare units at prices that were above the actual value.
"Although the real estate agent claims there will be no advanced fees, the escrow company then claims there are required taxes owed to be paid to the escrow company in advance," BBB said in its warning. "Broad Horizons Travel, Inc. operates as the real estate company and Gilliam County Title, Inc. is brought into the agreement as the escrow and title company."
Broad Horizons did not immediately respond on Wednesday to a call from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution seeking comment.
BBB said it opened a file on Broad Horizons last June and during a 36-month reporting period the BBB has had 1,763 inquiries about the company.
Corporate records filed with the Georgia Secretary of State's Office show that Broad Horizons was administratively dissolved in December 2015, but that it was reinstated in April of 2017. BBB said it had confirmed, however, that the notary stamp on the company's filing with the Secretary of State is fraudulent.
"We can’t tell people not to do business with a company but if they have an F rating and we're telling you they do not have the necessary license to do business in the state of Georgia, we're hoping that is enough for them to make an informed decision, or possibly just choose another company," said Dottie Callina, spokeswoman for the Better Business Bureau Serving Metro Atlanta, Athens & Northeast Georgia.
On a website where consumers report telemarketing calls, the AJC found postings from timeshare owners saying that they had received calls from the travel agency's phone number making offers on their timeshare properties that did not seem legitimate.
Broad Horizons Travel, Inc. is located at 1000 Parkwood Circle, SE, Atlanta, Georgia 30339, according to the BBB alert.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.