The Vacation Scammers

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
My husband and I recently received a letter stating that we were eligible to receive two round trip airline tickets for the Continental United States and also two nights in a Marriott Hotel.  Hubby calls the phone number provided to see what the catch was.  Not surprisingly, it was one of those deals where you have to listen to the pitch for you to buy a vacation club.  We've been to these type high-pressure pitches before, and have usually come away with our prize, so we thought we would give it a go.  

We were told to go to a Clarion Hotel in East Ridge.  When we arrived, we discovered this was a hotel that was not even was being renovated.  They still had a meeting room secured though, but anyone who had not brought their credit card would not be admitted.  (That sounded sketchy to me.)

The meeting pretty well went as we expected...uncomfortable pressure for a product we didn't need.  They tried to get information from us that they could use to "reason" with us.  We decided in advance that no matter what the offer or how much they pressured us, we were not going to buy their product (this is not for the weak-willed).  We didn't give in even though they tried to have a prepared answer for any reason we might give in turning down their offer.  They marked down the offer several times to make it more "affordable," but still we refused.  They passed us to another sales person who was stronger at applying pressure, but still we refused.  This woman practically screamed that we weren't making any sense.  Finally, they relented and decided to give us our gift.

When I got home I read the fine print.  I wasn't really surprised at what I read, but I thought I'd warn others...Yes, we received what was promised, but we had to use our "gifts" on three different trips, not seven days before or after any major holidays.  We had to arrive on a Monday or Tuesday and had to space the trips out 45 days being careful to use them all within a year.  We had to send in a card with these three trips already spelled out in 60 days in advance of the first trip and had to send them a $50 money order to go with it.  If we missed any of the trips, we forfeited the money.  

We're not planning to send them any money or take their trips, and I'm so glad we didn't buy their vacation package plan.  I haven't investigated any further, but I'm pretty confident that these folks are shady to pull the stunts they have already pulled.  I hope this post prevents anyone else from wasting a perfectly good Saturday, or worse, a bunch of money.

Joyce Hague

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