As of Monday Sept 26th Zenith Travel has closed its doors. According to Ms. Kim of the Korean Tourist Organization, “The Seocho police have suspended their business license.” When asked about the alleged fraudster Wystan Kang, Ms. Park replied, “He is missing in action.” 3WM contacted Ms. Jin Young of the Korea Times and asked why that newspaper was taking advertising from Zenith. Her reply, “About two weeks ago we heard they had so many problems and we stopped taking the money.” In regards to all of the customers that Wystan Kang defrauded, Ms. Kim suggests to go to the Seoul Global Center for legal advice. As cheated customers seek reimbursement 3WM will update those results. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s note: Below is a run of emails to 3WM about Wystan Kang and Zenith Travel. We will continue to update readers about what appears to be an ongoing scam of getting foreigners to make deposits for air tickets. We have tried to contact Wystan Kang directly and he has not returned our phone calls. We invite The Korea Times to clear up the discrepancy of why and if they are taking money from Zenith Travel while at the same time receiving complaints about Wystan Kang ripping off foreigners.
To 3wm from Nick:
I booked in June for flight at the start of August and cancelled it on July 13th. I last talked to him maybe 2 weeks ago on his cell.
So is this the same guy who had a bad rep for selling bank details or had some Nigerian scam going on when he was in Itaewon maybe 4 years ago?
So when I researched Zenith I was told this.
1) They’ve been around for almost 20 years? This may or may not be true.
2) They’re affiliated to Red Cap Tour, the 3rd largest travel agency in Korea, so I am assured of refunds and know the company won’t go bust. Again this is worth checking out.
3) Wystan Kang, the guy that runs the company, used to a major player in Lotte Travel, the 2nd largest travel agency in Korea, so he has a lot of pull. Maybe?
4) He is 58 years old. He sounded old?
I hope this is of some use.
Just a quick note to say they are based in Gangnam exit 6 and not in Itaewon. He had some adverts in the Korean Herald but they were not running this weekend. I had contacted the Herald about Zenith a few weeks ago.
I experienced a similar problem but I was lucky and I got a refund although it seems I am one of the very few that did. I had problems from the start, he sent me a ticket which I instantly knew was not a ticket but a booking/reservation. When I asked him about it he lied to me so I sent the email to the Seoul reservations office for Thai airways and CC’ed him on it. It was only then that he actually ticketed my flight. The alarm bells were still ringing as the flight I was ticketed for cost 400k more than I had actually paid him. I was worried.
I then did some more research in July and found that he had a habit of cancelling customer’s flights at the last minute. This made me decide to cancel my August flight and get a refund. It would only cost 30,000 to cancel the flight and the total cost was 825,000. It wasn’t the end of the world. This I did by mail and he said it would take 3+ weeks, which is normal.
After 5 weeks I attempted to contact Zenith to chase up my refund. No response. I then mailed the airline who contacted Zenith on my behalf which seemed to produce some results. However, he then mailed me and told me the company was having financial difficulties and he couldn’t refund my 800,000 won. I wasn’t happy.
He ignored my calls and emails until I started to again CC the airline with the threat of police action in the heading. I then started calling his cell phone as late and as early as possible and for maybe 30-45 minutes at a time.
In summary he eventually called me back when I was at work. I told him we were not friends and it wasn’t his money to keep and demanded my money. I then told him that if I didn’t see a refund in the next 24 hours I would sit in his office for the next 2 weeks and wait for him. I made it clear that it wouldn’t be a fun meeting when we did eventually meet. He then gave me back 400,000k that day and the balance a couple of days later after some more calls and text messages. He sounded drunk when I talked to him, it was probably 11.00am. This was maybe 3 weeks ago.
I know many people are still owed money, best of luck getting it back.
My Time Line of complaints on Zenith Travel.
March 16, 2011 I contacted Zenith and asked for a reservation r/t to MCI from Seoul with a June 18, 2011 departure and an August 18 return with flexible dates.
Same day Winston Kang replied with a reservation and instructions to pay by March 18, which I did.
March 18, I followed Kang’s instructions and deposited the full amount in his account, and I have the bank receipt to prove it.
I did not receive a confirmation email until I had made several emails and phone calls to Kang. The warning bells should have been going off right then, but it was a new semester, and I was involved in an intense theater production on base, so I wasn’t focusing on it too much
March 29, 2011 I received an itinerary email that had a confirmation number on it.
June 13, 2011, when checking in to select a seat assignment, I discovered my confirmation number was not valid. I called Delta and was told the reservation was cancelled by Kang.
Same day sent emails and made phone calls to Zenith office.
June 14 Kang sent me an email that said he could not get me a ticket and would have to give me a full refund
Same day Kang deposited 1,000,000 won in my account, leaving me with a promise to pay the remaining 649,000 won later
August 18 2011 After returning from US I repeatedly tried to contact Zenith. Kang did not respond to emails or calls, but I did talk to another victim sitting in Kang’s office. This is when I started to compile.
Sept 12, sent letters of complaint to KTO. Contacted Korea Times and asked them why they run Zenith Travel’s ad. Ask them if they know that he is a crook.
No further contact with Kang from his side until:
Sept 14, 2011, Kang replies to my angry email in which I tell him that I am not some short time backpacker but I will try to get him shut down so he cannot cheat another person and prosecuted in court. He replies that he is not trying to cheat me but has had money problems and intends to pay me sometime.
Sept 15, received a reply from KTO to my Sept 12 email.
Sept 22, received another reply from KTO to my Sept 22 email, this time offering more help, including phone numbers and the proper place to make a complaint at the Seocho police station.
Same day, I sent another letter to the Editor of Korea Times blaming them for aiding Kang by running his advertisement
Sept 23, I went to Seocho police station after 4pm to make a complaint.
Sept 23, Today I sent another email to the Korea Tourism Org. and Mr. H J Kim responded…here is the email trail from that:
To H. J. Kim
Today I was shocked to see that the Korea Times is again running the advertisement for Zenith Travel. I sent them an email letter to the Editor two weeks ago but they did not publish it. Can you do anything to stop this aiding and abetting of a criminal? Every day I am finding out that new victims are being ripped off by Kang Wystan of Zenith Travel. This is eventually going to be made public in major news outlets outside of Korea.
How can this kind of criminal activity continue to take place on a daily basis in this “OECD” country? If you recall, the police at Gangdong refused to take my complaint, which leads me to believe that they are somehow connected with this criminal.
From Ms. Kim of the Korea Tourist Organization: On Zenith Travel and their ad in the Korea Times:
I just got back to my office holding the Korea Times in my hand. It is not tolerable. It is definitely criminal activity.
To find a way to solve this problem, I just spoke with a police officer in the Seocho Police Office(Tel : 3483-9366), he said all victims should bring an accusation against Mr. Kang.
If you need any help while you are visiting police office, please feel free to contact me at 02-735-0101
I will do my best to solve this issue. Thank you Sincerely, H. J. Kim
We paid Wystan Kang W1,910,000 in May 2011 for two tickets to Hong Kong and a hotel for Sept 10-13.
He promised to issue the tickets on the 17, 26 and the 30 of August. Then I got an e-mail saying that my reservations for the flights to Hong Kong was cancelled and that I must pay another W857 000 per person to get us on flights with Korean Air.
Before Chuseok Zenith Travel could not/did not provide us with tickets, a hotel voucher or refund the money. To date Zenith Travel owes us W1,910,000.
Alien registration number: 70**16-6****99
Alien registration number: 78**09-6****90
Our contact number is 010 5825 —- (Cecilia).
I happened to find your posting online as I’ve been having major issues with this travel agency. Unfortunately I didn’t read all the negative reviews about this travel agency until it was too late!
I booked a trip for me and my sister with Mr. Kang from Seoul to Bankok for a flight on November 6th. He asked me to send him the money via bank transfer and didn’t think anything of it. I sent him the money on November 2nd. I started getting worried when I didn’t get a confirmation email from him. I then harassed him with emails and he finally sent me a confirmation email for an Air China flight (on September 7th) .
I called Air China the next day (September 8th) and they advised me that I was only reserved but no ticket was actually booked for me. I was very upset and tried calling Mr. Kang but there was no answer so I sent him another email asking him what the issue was. No email response or phone call.
Due to Chuseok I was unable to proceed with my inquiry. I tried calling Air China again last Friday, September 16th (or my Korean co-teacher did because they didn’t speak English) and she said that I wasn’t even on the list to fly to Bangkok on November 6th!
I then tried calling the two phone numbers I found 02-508-5781 and 02-594-2445 and left messages for Mr. Kang to call me back. I still haven’t’ heard back from him.
I sent him an email yesterday and tried calling numerous times today to no avail. I am really stressed and don’t know what else to do here! I sent Mr. Kang 718,000w for two tickets and I would feel terrible if I was unable to get any of my money back!
Can you offer any advice or any steps I can take at this point? Unfortunately I live in Masan and work at a public school. Going to Seoul to harass him in person will be quite difficult for me.
Any advice would be appreciated.
We are also trying to get Zenith travel to refund our two tickets and hotel booking money for the Chuseok vacation that never happened! We paid 1,910 won on the 17th of May and also received an E-ticket reservation, but when we wanted to confirm our flights he just told us it got cancelled and we need to pay again!!
We found your email address on the various sites telling their stories and warning future clients! Can you please forward contact details of Itaewon’s Special Investigation (SI) branch?
We are also prepared to join a civil action case against the agency! It’s a shame that he is still in business!!!!!!
Hope to hear for you soon.
Update: Action Needed:
Tourist Complaint Center
Korea Tourism Organization
Tel : 02-735-0101(Mon.~Fri. 9a.m.~6p.m.)
Fax : 02-777-0102
40, Cheonggyecheonno,Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea
E-mail : email@example.com