My experience is best explained by the following comments which is EXACTLY what the voucher says. Because it's only a voucher it must first be registered, but all the restrictions, blackouts and other discouraging conditions renders it, in my opinion, not worth the hassle. You can also register your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at its toll-free hotline: 1-888-382-1222. Since I am on the "Do Not Call" list Sundance Vacations should not have called me in the first instance. That sweepstakes entry form does not waive my privacy rights to be free from invasive telemarketing as explained at Sundance Vacations Sweepstakes Vs Do Not Call!
This company is a FRAUD. I also got suckered into going down to pick up the free cruise I had been given as a "gift." Now, the customer service agent was correct in that they never use the word "won". It’s just a matter of wording to keep their scams on the border-line of legal. And I understood that I had to sit through an hour of a sales pitch. which I was fine with. What I was not fine with were the LIES that they had told me in advance about this free cruise.
LIE #1: I could go on the cruise at ANYTIME during the year. I was told repeatedly by the woman on the phone about how I could basically go whenever dates I wanted to, anytime during the next year. Well, that is a lie. When I received my vacation voucher, I looked at the fine print on the back page. You CANNOT use this cruise during the months of June, July, August, or any week of which there is a holiday.
LIE #2: If I didn't use the cruise, I could do with it whatever I wished. I could give it as a gift or sell it. The fact is, you CANNOT. It clearly states that the name of the trip is non-transferable and cannot be sold.
LIE #3: I was told airfare was included and that I could fly from my local airport. which is a major international airport. That isn't true. They tell you where to fly out of. For example, they mentioned Newark, New Jersey as a possibility. Plus, the fine print says it only includes "base" airfare. I'm not even sure what the fine print is on base airfare.
LIE #4: I was told I would simply have to pay minor taxes on a trip which values at about 1, 200 dollars. Well, the taxes start at $225 dollars per person (35 percent tax???????) Plus, there are all kind of registration and booking fees on top of that.
LIE #5: I was specifically told on the phone I would even receive free gift cards to Applebee’s, Red Lobster, and Olive Garden if I came to the 5pm presentation. When I inquired about them, the girl gave me a funny look and told me that "they didn't give them out anymore because people don't use them." What??? I was told only the DAY BEFORE I would be getting them. So, they gave me this piece of paper and said to go eat somewhere (anywhere), attach the receipt to the paper, send a self addressed stamped envelope, and I could get up to 15 dollars for my meal. I'm not holding my breath. Bottom line, this company is a fraud. They told me out and out lies about the cruise just to get me in. They are very shrewd. They have people designed to search these very blogs just to tell you how wonderful they are. There is an old saying. "Me thinks thou protests too much." If someone has to over and over again tell you about all the awards they won and how great they are...makes you wonder why...doesn't it?????
The following links will offer you substantial information about Sundance Vacations and their sweepstakes giveaways used to induce the consumer to attend a $15,000 high pressure sales pitch for a vacation club membership:
Sorry that happened to you. I hope you contact the Better Business Bureau for the state from which they operate. Also contact that state's Attorney General's Office. Heck, even contact a local news channel and their consumer reporter. You are the consumer and have a right not to be led astray down a non existant path
posted: Jan. 15, 2010 @ 7:05p
Thank you for the suggestion. However, I discovered the below quoted post about the Better Business Bureaus (BBB) and it makes perfect sense to me, as the link below clearly substantiates. I believe the best response is to contact the FTC at 1-888-382-1222; or just file your complaint on the FTC's website, since Sundance Vacations should not have called me in the first place because I am on the "Do Not Call" list! That sweepstakes entry form does NOT constitute permission to call as best explained at Sundance Vacations Vs Do Not Call.
"Sundance Vacations is always boasting about their membership in the Better Business Bureau. Consequently, the consumer should be aware of the myth of the Better Business Bureaus (BBB). The BBB is totally supported by business organizations that subscribe to their service such as Sundance Vacations. The consumers’ contribute absolutely nothing to the BBB. Consequently, when a dispute arises the BBB has the choice of supporting the consumer, or biting the hand that feeds them by opposing the business organizations that are the life-blood of their very existence! The BBB is one of the biggest fallacies’ in America. They have no enforcement powers what-so-ever; they are nothing more than a paper tiger totally supported by the business world to offer the unwary consumer a false sense of security. Buyer Better Beware.
OP I would suggest changing your thread title as it is deceiving.. it sounds like you have info for people to GET a free cruise, not tell us about your bad experience. Please update.
posted: Jan. 17, 2010 @ 4:38a
Come on, if you play with fire you are going to get burned!!!
Big red flag, I was told on the phone, ( Old law school saying, My eyes have problems hearing you.)
Anything said on the phone, not backed up in writing, never happened.
Vacation scams have been around over 40 years or more, if you dont know how they work, stay away.
Some smart people know how they work, and get a great free vacation.
Have a friend 20 years ago printed up some fake checks, he used with a scam vacation that was running in mexico. They thought they had the bigest sucker ever, but they the one running the scam, rented him 2 cars, brought him all kinds of things. When it was all over, they had handfull of fake checks, he took their rented cars, left them 150 miles away, still running at the airport. He called them a week later and told them the bank put the wrong account number on his checks, he talk them into sending him 4 firstclass airline tickets back down to mexico, to fix the problem, he went to the airport traded the tickets for 4 to canada and went on another vacation on their dime. He knew how to play the dumb sucker, but he is the one who got them.
posted: Jan. 19, 2010 @ 3:36p
Why didn't you google this place before you committed the time to attend the sessions?
posted: Jan. 20, 2010 @ 10:14p
rule#1 --- dishonest people always look and sound honest rule#2 --- there is always a catch
posted: Feb. 5, 2010 @ 9:21a
Hi, I went for the sunvacations time share near Princeton, NJ and I did not end up with the timeshare, but got the sunvacations (good for 2 cruise certificate.) That I had to book within a certain date and put down a $100 deposit. I booked, gave the deposit, however, the only (what I would untruthful thing so far, has been that the flyer provided by sunvacations mentioned that we could leave from Bayonne, NJ to the Carribbean. When I did get my travel itinerary (each person needs to select 3 possible dates of travel), the Carribben Cruise departs from Tampa, FL or Miami, FL and not Bayonne, NJ.
FYI: I did request for my applebees, red lobster card...and was told that I was there too, late. I was furious because it was very dishonest that they did not say you had to be at the sunvacations time share before a certain time to get the applebeses, red lobster gift card and requested to speak with the manager. Only after I did this, was I given the same sheet of paper, where I could purchase a meal (of my choice at any restaurant and send the receipt and self addressed stamp for refund. I did get the $15.00 refund. So that holds true.)
At the end I had to cancel my trip, I called the Spirit Incentives Customer Service Dept. at 954 -525-1777 (9 am - 6 pm EST weekdays only) to cancel my vacation and am currently waitng for my $100 refund (which should be sent within 1--14 business days.)
As one blogger astutely commented: "After all is said and done, when the BBB revokes a paying members' business accreditation that's a very unusual course of action so there must have been a series of misrepresentations!"
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