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Outdoor Adventures warned by attorney general to end 'unlawful' business practices

The state said the most "troubling element" they found was the "brazenly unconscionable approach Outdoor Adventures takes to cancellation attempts."
Credit: AP
In this June 4, 2019, photo, Dana Nessel, Attorney General of Michigan, listens to a question from reporters in Detroit. Hundreds of boxes. Millions of records. From Texas to Michigan this month, attorneys general are sifting through "secret" files, nondisclosure agreements between the church and families, heart wrenching letters from parents begging for action, priests' own psychiatric evaluations. They're looking to prosecute, and not just priests. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

LANSING, Mich. — Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a notice to Outdoor Adventures to cease and desist "unlawful business practices" before the state files a lawsuit against the company. 

Outdoor Adventures is a camping resort business with eight campgrounds in Michigan: Davison, Grand Haven, Kalamazoo, Mt. Pleasant, Omer, Standish, Sterling and West Branch. 

The attorney general's office said the company is using "aggressive and misleading sales tactics." The notice sent to Outdoor Adventures said some consumers are confused by the cost and financing of the program, others were unaware of being signed up for a credit card, some report being misled about monthly payments, interest rates and ongoing fees, and some consumers said cancellation of a reservation is "extremely expensive" or impossible.

On Saturday, Deanna Campbell, a representative for Outdoor Adventures, said they are aware of the Attorney General's statement and "look forward to collaborating with our members and the Attorney General's office to work through any confusion concerning our membership."

"Outdoor Adventures' mission is to provide the best experience for families to enjoy the great outdoors and create lasting memories together," Campbell said. "We will continue to fulfill this mission with our approximately 19,000 satisfied members throughout Michigan."

Campbell added that Outdoor Adventures will have a conversation with the Attorney General’s office into their allegations and look forward to defending their business practices.

The state said the most "troubling element" they found was the "brazenly unconscionable approach Outdoor Adventures takes to cancellation attempts." They said the company offers no refunds after three business days. 

Another complaint the state included in their notice was "consumers who do not adhere to Outdoor Adventures' demands end up being pursued by a third-party collection agency with negative credit reporting." 

The Attorney General said they received nearly 30 complaints against Outdoor Adventures since 2016, and ten of those since Jan. 2019. 

“I take my role as Michigan’s Chief Consumer Advocate very seriously,” said Nessel.  “Outdoor Adventures appears to have taken egregious advantage of dozens of Michigan residents, taking their money under false pretenses and then refusing refunds and cancellations.  We cannot and will not allow any company to mislead people into spending thousands of dollars of their hard-earned money.” 

13 ON YOUR SIDE reached out to Outdoor Adventures for comment. 

The state's notice of intended action can be seen here

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