One month before the planned departure, my father suffered a heart attack. My mother canceled the trip and requested a refund. However, Vantage Travel responded by sending my parents vouchers for credit for future travel with Vantage. Apparently, in one of the many mailings there was fine print indicating that the “refund” would be in the form of credit.
Full letter and Haggler's response: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/28/your-money/28haggler.html
Here's my reply:
This seems like a good case of "caveat emptor," and a good reason to ask questions before you buy. Not all "protection" is a scam. My friends and I who've rented a beach house on the Outer Banks a couple of times have done well with the travel insurance we've been offered. Evacuated inland due to approaching hurricanes both times, we were able to get reimbursed for our inland hotel rooms, and received a prorated portion of our week's rent back. Not only wouldn't I visit a hurricane zone without such coverage in future, I'd consider offering my own "travel protection" services. "Hey, North Carolina? For a fee, I'll stay away!"