Is YTB Travel Business a Scam?

Your Travel Business (YTB) is a company that has sent shock waves throughout the travel industry and far beyond. The company’s newest offering is cash back shopping online in over 700 department stores. However, in this article our focus will be on the integrity and legitimacy of their travel business alone. We will answer the question, “Is YTB a scam or ponzi scheme or is it a solid travel business that is totally above board?”

Lawsuits have been filed against YTB and settled in several states. In fact, Judge G. Patrick Murphy of Illinois has once again thrown out a complaint filed against YTB by former referring travel agents of the company. Murphy called their 39-page filing an “ungainly monster,” and declared that it was totally unresponsive to a previous ruling.

What many people do not know is that YTB is a well established travel company (founded in 2001), it is publicly traded on the New York stock exchange, it is a respected member of DSA (Direct Selling Association), and out of hundreds of companies, it now ranks 26th in overall North American travel sales. Let’s look closer at what DSA requires before it legitimizes a company.

First, it reviews all company materials to ensure compliance with the DSA code of ethics. Included in the examination are a 90% buyback policy, reasonable startup costs, and no inventory loading or other prohibited practices. DSA then makes exhaustive inquiries about the company to law enforcement and consumer agencies such as the Better Business Bureau. Then there is a long waiting period totaling a year to see if any unethical practices come to light. DSA approval is a very big deal.

 What about Better Business Bureau complaints? During a recent 36 month period Orbitz received 1670 complaints, Priceline received 1649, and Expedia received 1169. During the same time period, YTB received only 105. That’s what you call a clean record.

 YTB has also been featured in Success Magazine, the Saturday Evening Post, Travel Weekly, and Success From Home. It is also voluntarily endorsed by several well respected marketing authors. Lysaght and Cauvier, authors of The ABC’s of Making Money, write: “After reviewing and analyzing thousands of business opportunities, we have found only two companies that score 15 out of 15 on our scale. Since making this recommendation, we have been inundated by companies touting their wealth building ideas. Unfortunately, none has measured up on our scale. We are now able to recommend a second, and, in our opinion, even better opportunity: YTB, a solidly based eight-year-old company…” Robert Shemin, best selling Wall Street author of How Come That Idiot’s Rich and I’m Not? adds another personal endorsement. After thoroughly checking out YTB, he states, “I decided to sign up to be a travel agent. It was as easy as filling out a form and joining an organization. Now I get major discounts and commissions…”

Not only that, but YTB has been crowned with various awards for outstanding service. Princess Cruises awarded YTB its top agency sales producer for 2007 and Carnival Cruises has bestowed its Pinnacle Award on YTB for the last four years in a row. In 2008, Apple Vacations awarded YTB with their coveted Platinum Apple award. How’s that for a travel business that was a scrawny David among Goliaths merely a few years ago?

YTB founder, Scott Tomer, expresses the company’s ethical gold standard with a home spun aphorism: “If it ain’t true don’t say it; if it ain’t right, don’t do it!” And that will continue to be the standard to which YTB aspires as long as the company exists.