From: Brigitte West
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 08:47 AM
Subject: Thank you!
Thank you so very much for being so brave about taking on a person (and an industry) that is apparently completely unregulated.
My husband left our family 18 months ago and to say the least our life has been hell. He is completely consumed with himself, and has not thought of thinking of others unless he is getting some benefit out of it.
My children and I have worked very hard to recover from his lies, broken promises, financial bankruptcy, and broken heartedness. We are coming up on our second year of trying to relieve ourselves of this devastation so I decided this year I would (like last year) find some fun family adventures to share with the children.
Recently a friend paid for tickets for me to take my children and myself on a hot air balloon ride. You guessed it, the pilot to take us was Steven C. Sprauge.
After looking up the name of his company (in general) on the internet and finding nothing, I had a small red flag go up. I wanted to surprise my children soon so I started calling his number on the tickets and I never got a person (no matter when I called), just a machine. I talked to someone about him who said he worked at the airport and was hard to get a hold of. I continued to have red flags. Today I decided to get on the internet and dig a little deeper, looking for all kinds of combinations to find out anything about his company and I found your web site by adding, SAN ANTONIO, TX to the search.
I could not believe my eyes, when I saw your pictures, read your story and started looking up other information about this man…..and to think I was about to put my two precious angels in a balloon with him as the pilot…well you can understand I was horrified!
My precious children mean the most to me and I would give up anything for their continued health, safety, and emotional well-being. If you had not created this web site I would have booked the trip and risked all that I have.
There is no way to truly express my gratefulness to you and to God for saving me and my children a potential disaster.
I pray you continue to heal in all ways, and again, thank you for being so brave.
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 5:15 PM
Subject: hot air balloon scam
This guy Steven took $425 of my money. I wanted to take my son and he took my money and never followed through. He should be punished. Is there anything I can do????
Thanks ! :)
Samantha Jo Parker
Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2007 11:25 AM
Subject: Complaint vs. Incredible Journeys/Steve Sprauge
Dear Frank and Marcie,
Thanks very much for your help today regarding this matter, Frank. And I look forward to hearing from you, Marcie. Thanks in advance.
Following is the information I have re: my case...
I contacted Incredible Journeys' owner Steve Sprague regarding setting up a balloon ride as a gift for my girlfriend for just before Thanksgiving last year and met with him (he drove down in his van w/ his current wife) to give him a check for the total amount as he said that's the only way he works. I was reluctant but didn't see a choice and hadn't gotten any response from the few others who do this in the area. So the bank sent me a statement showing he cashed that check on Nov. 8, 2006, now almost 3 months ago.
We scheduled at least 12-15 times to meet to do the balloon ride in the Seguin area and it was always something, bad weather (even on the nicest days) for flying or overbooked 'flights'; whatever. And I was trying to make it a surprise for her and she has been great about it but it just became less than enjoyable. I know most people (including us) have problems far worse than this but its still not right to be cheated like this, for anyone.
So, I have his info, but no physical address, just a mail drop, the cancelled check copy from my bank (B of A), his cards and tickets for the ride, plus info from the website, email and phone/fax numbers.
Please let me know if there's anything you can do and anything I should be doing. I don't know what recourse we have but this is just not right and I'd hate for anyone else to go through this. The police were of course no help, and having been through small claims court before, we also know that hasnt worked (not to be negative but that's been my experience).
Thank you very much for your time and help.
210.414.3695 - 210.824.4194