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3 On Your Side

Valley woman claims passport service overcharged, bungled travel plans

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Sarah Carballo and her husband, Mario, say Mexico, no doubt, holds a special place in their hearts.

"Yeah, we met in Mexico. We've been married for 17 years now. He travels frequently. Once, sometimes twice a year to Mexico to visit with his friends and family."

But while preparing for another trip to Mexico, the couple realized that Mario Carballo's passport was going to expire soon.

So, Sarah Carballo says she turned to the Internet to see what could be done to get it renewed in a timely manner.

"Because we're both very busy, we both work full-time jobs, for us it was easiest to just do it online.

That's when she says she came across an online company called Travisa Passport and Delivery Service.

The reason she chose Travisa is because of the quick turnaround the company claimed to have.

“I thought this was going to be taken care of in 48 hours, like it stated on their website," Sarah Carballo said.

She filled out the online forms and expected to pay around $170, which is what she saw on Travisa's website.

However, she says the charge ballooned to $340 when Travisa added on fees and service charges.

And charges kept being added on until Travisa charged Sarah Carballo's credit card $520, a lot more than she thought it was going to be.

Some of the extra fees were because Travisa claimed the photo she submitted of her husband was not usable and she had to pay to submit another picture.

And even though she paid it, she says the original picture wound up being used anyway.

"As they kept on kind of tacking more and more charges for the littlest things, I just felt that there was really no interest in what was going on or trying to get our passport to us on time," she said.

And to complicate matters, Sarah Carballo says her husband's renewed passport didn't arrive within 48 hours, an additional fee she paid for.

Instead, the passport came a full 10 days later, forcing her to reschedule her husband's flight.

“Basically, my concern is that if anyone else goes onto this website and selected 48-hour service, there's no way possible that they can get a passport back to you in 48 hours," she said.

In an email to 3 On Your Side, Travisa wrote that its fees are competitive and said, "Surely she couldn't reasonably think we were doing this for free."

As for missing the 48-hour turnaround time, Travisa said it meets that "if you have all of the requirements in order and the government does not reject your application due to the passport photograph submitted."

Sarah Carballo says the whole ordeal was pricey and aggravating, and she says she would have just done the process herself it she knew it would cost her so much time and money.

"It was crazy. Very stressful. We were just hoping and praying the passport would arrive on time," she said.

Travisa has agreed to shave off $170, but Sarah Carballo says the ordeal was a nightmare and she's disputing the entire amount with her credit card company.

If there's an update, 3 On Your Side will report on it.

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