June 13, 2019 11:19 pm
Updated: June 14, 2019 12:17 am

Bankrupt business out of B.C. causes vacation nightmare for Lethbridge family

WATCH ABOVE: A southern Alberta family is devastated after finding out that they aren't getting a penny back from money they spent on an upcoming vacation. The mother is speaking out, hoping that others don't find themselves in a similar situation.


A southern Alberta family is devastated to find out that they aren’t getting a penny back from money they spent on an upcoming vacation.

The mother is speaking out, hoping that others don’t find themselves in a similar situation.

“When we found out that we weren’t getting our money back, we were livid,” said Melissa Telfer, who lost her deposit when booking a vacation.

“It’s $750 that we could have spent on a different vacation [and] now it’s just gone.”

WATCH: (Aired June 12) B.C. houseboat company bankruptcy leaves customers in the lurch

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Just weeks ago, Telfer decided to book what she thought was going to be a dream vacation with Waterway Houseboat Vacations in Shuswap, B.C. But things didn’t exactly turn out like they were supposed to.

“So I went to pay my bill online — Tuesday I believe — and when I clicked the link, it said the invoice had been cancelled,” she said. “So I gave the company a call and they said, ‘Don’t worry about it, there is a glitch with the system.'”

Unfortunately for Telfer and her family, there was no glitch.

READ MORE: B.C. community’s economy hit hard by loss of popular Shuswap houseboat company

“Later that night, I was checking my email, and there was an email from the company saying that they were going into receivership, and they were sure that the receiver wasn’t going to be operating business,” she said.

Filled with confusion, she waited for the next update.

“Sure enough, the receiver emailed and said, ‘There is going to be no refund because they didn’t hold the money in trust,'” Telfer said, raising concerns about hers and other people’s deposits being gone.

READ MORE: Shuswap houseboat company slammed by 2012 flood predicts it will go into receivership

Fortunately, Telfer only paid the deposit portion. Had she paid the full amount, it would have been much higher.

“If I had paid it a day earlier, then I would have been out $2,300,” she said, adding that would be an amount of money that she and her family could not afford to lose.

“Two-thousand dollars would take us a long time to pay off, because we were having to use credit cards to pay for it,” Telfer said.

WATCH: (Aired June 12) Waterways receivership a blow to tourism in Canada’s houseboat capital

The company blames the start of its financial troubles on an area flood that took place in 2012, and the ensuing millions of dollars needed for renovations.

The company said it will not be returning any deposits or payments to customers.

Telfer said she will no longer pay any sort of early deposits and encourages others to pay close attention when booking vacations.

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