BOSTON – Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today announced her office has secured more than $1.4 million in additional refunds for nearly 4,200 Massachusetts consumers whose trips were cancelled this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a settlement with a Cambridge-based educational travel company.
In an assurance of discontinuance filed in Suffolk Superior Court, EF Institute for Cultural Exchange Inc. and EF Explore America Inc. (EF) will offer additional cash refunds ranging from $100 to $435 to consumers who booked domestic and international travel through the company scheduled to depart between March 11 and May 14, 2020 that was ultimately cancelled due to the escalating public health emergency.
“Families shouldn’t have to worry about getting their money back for cancelled trips during a pandemic,” said AG Healey. “Our office received hundreds of complaints from people looking for refunds and took action. I’m pleased that we were able to work with EF to secure this additional relief.”
The AG’s Office began discussions with EF after receiving more than 600 complaints from consumers saying they were dissatisfied with the company’s response to trips cancelled as a result of the pandemic.
In March, the AG’s Consumer Protection Division reached out to the company to seek additional relief for Massachusetts consumers.
Under the terms of the settlement, EF will provide consumers who booked trips scheduled to depart between March 11through May 14, 2020 with an additional $435 for international travel, $300 for domestic travel by air, and $100 for domestic travel by bus.
Eligible consumers have until September 30, 2022 to connect with EF and to request a refund from the company. To request a refund, consumers who booked international trips through EF’s Educational Tours program should call 800-665-5364 to request a refund.
Consumers who booked domestic trips through the EF Explore America Tours program should call 888-333-9756 to request a refund.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Samantha Shusterman and Division Chief Max Weinstein of the AG’s Consumer Protection Division.
The AG’s Consumer Protection Division enforces Massachusetts’ consumer protection law and protects consumers from fraud, deception, and other unfair practices. For complaints or questions about the consumer protection law, consumers may file a complaint with the office or call 617-727-8400.