COLUMBUS, OH (WOIO) - The Ohio Attorney General's Office says more than 450 consumers have filed complaints with their office regarding the now-bankrupt Discovery Tours.
Cleveland 19 News obtained a copy of the 450 complaints filed against Discovery Tours. We've found consumers from 19 Ohio counties have filed complaints for a total disputed amount of $466,772.
The embattled Mayfield tour company filed for bankruptcy Monday, according to Northern District of Ohio court records.
The Attorney General's Office says the number of complaints continues to grow as complaints are still being submitted and processed as of Monday afternoon.
The travel agency allegedly collected funds from various school districts around Ohio and in some cases, didn't pay for hotels and bus services.
Dozens of school districts are now forced to find assistance from other group travel agencies to get their tours back up and running or reschedule altogether.
Last week, Mentor's Memorial Middle School 8th graders were scheduled to depart for Washington D.C. and found out the night before that they didn't have any hotels for their stay.
The travel agency Discovery Tours cited hotel reservation issues to blame, the hotel said they hadn't received payments.
As days passed, more and more school districts with upcoming travel booked through Discovery Tours grew concerned after their calls to the company weren't returned.
Friday evening, Discovery Tours owner Alfred Cipolletti sent an email to schools with upcoming trips stating, "We regret to inform you that Discovery Tours Inc. has suspended its operations, effective immediately. All future trips are canceled. Further information will be provided when available"
"Like many schools and families, we are very concerned about what's happening with Discovery Tours and we want answers. As we gather information, I want Ohioans to know that this is a priority for my office, and we will do everything we can to assist. We want to hear from Ohioans who have used this company" says Attorney General Mike DeWine.
Attorney General DeWine's Consumer Protection Section is reaching out to potentially affected school districts and gathering information from consumers. Affected consumers are encouraged to file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
Complaints may be filed online on the Ohio Attorney General's website or by calling the Attorney General's Help Center between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 800-282-0515. The office also has created a special complaint form that schools and individuals may use; however, using the special form is not required, and those who have already filed complaints do not need to file again.
Cleveland 19 News has reached out to Discovery Tours on various occasions. Our calls and emails have not been returned.