I just received a call from the Florida Sellers of Travel. Here are the statistics they gave to me:
First of all, more people contacted the Florida Attorney General's Office - 150 complaints. They have no jurisdiction. The proper Jurisdiction is the Florida Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services, FDAC, which oversees the Florida Sellers of Travel.
The Florida Sellers of Travel office called me today to tell me that they received 28 complaints about Windjammer in 2008, 18 of which were resolved with a letter telling the complainer the company was out of business. No security bond was required to be put up by WJ because of the number of years they operated the company without complaints.
The security bond would only have been $30,000 max anyway. That would have cover maybe three complaints as many people were bilked out of over $10,000 per family.
Windjammer did apply for renewal of their Seller of Travel status on November 21, 2007. But there application was sent back, unrewarded, due to what the office described as "application deficiencies". As of January 8, 2008, the seller of travel status was denied due to no response from the company to rectify the problems on the application.
This brings us to the complaints filed with FDAC in 2007. 35 complaints were files in 2007 against WJ. Of those, 14 were finalized with the status of "mediation unsuccessful" - the reason it was unsuccessful was because WJ did not respond to the complaints.
They did not respond. In much the same way they have not responded to requests for refunds sent directly to their offices.
I asked the FDAC if they were doing any investigation into this case. I was advised that any investigations they undertake are not public until they are completed.
The Burkes have gone essentially underground. They have not made a public statement since December 2007. Even though they now know they are officially out of business they have not said a word to anyone.