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  • Scam stories

    Been contacted by a seemingly shady company offering free airfare or hotel stays? Have tips or tricks for avoiding travel scams? Share your thoughts on our brand new Travel Scams board, and you may see your story in an upcoming edition of Traveler's Ed!

    [This message was edited by Up4Travel on 02-13-04 at 05:50 PM.]

  • #2
    Re: Scam stories


    I always believe in that old adage...if it sounds to good to be true...it probably is!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Scam stories

      Beware of Efier travel. Their web site states that they are members of all the major travel associations and when I contacted several of them, they said they never heard of the company

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Scam stories

        I was contacted via telephone by a marketing company last week offering me and
        my husband free RT airfare and hotel for a 3 day 2 night trip to either Orlando
        or Vegas if we were to listen to a one hour "pitch" in the office of a travel
        company who is new to the Cleveland market. No obligation to purchase anything.
        The name of the company is Discount Global Travel located at 4807 Rockside
        Road, Ste 100 in Independence. Like a train wreck, I had to look.

        Long story short...it is a high pressure sell that won't let you off the hook
        until you commit to purchase. The price starts out ridiculously high ($9000 for
        a lifetime membership that you can pass along to your children...what a
        legacy!!!) and suspiciously reduces in price ($1500 for a 3 year membership)
        the more you bulk.

        I've spent the past week investigating their website and trying to figure out
        the angle because I knew it had to be too good to be true, and it was....

        The "premium" discount I have been quoted on airfare to London with a STOP
        (Cleveland to DC to London) was only $55 cheaper than the DIRECT flight I found
        out of Cleveland on the same dates with Travelocity....and remember, I bought a
        membership to guarantee me the lowest fares...so now I am only breaking even
        and being inconvenienced with a layover. Also, I am told I am not permitted to
        hear about my greatly discounted accomodations until I purchase the airline
        tickets.


        I am a pretty saavy, educated consumer with a BS degree in Consumer Affairs. I
        knew it sounded risky but figured for $1500 total over 3 years if I could get a
        pretty good deal on even two vacations or some airfare to Europe, it would pay
        for itself. However when it comes to accomodations, you can not book what you
        want, where you want, when you want...you are totally up to the few dates and
        times they have worked out and only in the limited places where they have
        arrangements....and they all seem to be second rate accomodations at a price
        you would expect to pay for second rate accomodations...no discounted luxury!
        It's a total joke.

        There is even more to tell about promises they make of allowing you to book for
        friends in turn receiving a small commission or perk for sending them business
        that is also not true, but I could go on forever...

        I called back and threatened them with legal action and have filed a complaint
        with the Ohio Atty General. The man who sold me last Saturday named Dave K
        (didn't seem to want to commit his last name in writing) has promised me a
        total refund of my $150 deposit and to cancel my automatic monthly payments. I
        shall see in the next few days.

        To me, if I lose $150, even $1500 over it, I am not going to suffer much except
        internally. But I worry about the dozen or so folks I saw being scammed that
        day, perhaps for the $9000 deal...folks who did not look as if they can afford
        to invest in such a scam...and the dozens more they are scamming each night and
        each Saturday in their "seminars".

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Scam stories

          Back in 2003 I took the Discount Global Travel bait, "hook, line, & sinker". They have a branch in Royal Oak, Michigan. My girlfriend & I sat through the presentation and initially said "no" to the offer -- I think the starting price was $6,000 for the lifetime membership, transferable to the next generation. The salesperson, Adam, went back to his manager 3 times, eventuallly chipping the price down to $4,000. We figured that eventually we'd be taking a honeymoon trip to Hawaii which would wind up costing around $6,000. Adam showed some premium Hawaii vacation packages for around $2,000. We did the math & decided that this appeared to be a reasonable deal, considering that we'd have the vacation privileges for a lifetime (and another generation), in addition to the Hawaii trip.

          Well, we haven't quite gotten to that Hawaii trip yet, but we did attempt to purchase airline tickets to San Francisco, which wound up being around $5.00 cheaper than Travelocity, but the hassle in getting them to beat the Travelocity price was ridiculous. Our salesperson said that he'd be available for any and all travel arrangements. He said he'd take care of everything. We wound up making 6 phone calls, dealing with 3 different travel reps who all "beat around the bush" and had different priced tickets. Simply purchasing airline tickets was terribly burdensome.

          We then attempted to use our "free" vacation package to CanCun or Orlando. When we refused the $199 per person upgrade and said we simply wanted to schedule the "free" 3 day, 2 night package, they told us that we hadn't scheduled the trip withing 60 days of our GDT membership purchase, and that the "free" trip was no longer schedulable or valid. This was 73 days after our $4,000 purchase.

          Lastly, the membership contract states that there is a $99 per year renewal fee to keep membership privileges. It states that an invoice will be sent on an annual basis, as a reminder to pay the renewal fee. 2004 & 2005 passed with no invoice received. We therefore did not pay the $99 (would you send them another penny after the initial experiences?) We have not been in contact with Discount Global Travel for any vacation arrangements since, but I'm curious to know if my membership is still good. If not, then they scammed us out of $4,000. If that's the case I intend to recover some, if not all of my "membership fee". Please let me know if you've heard anything more about GDT, if you've been able to recover your "membership fee", if you've paid or failed to pay your "renewal fee" and how that affected your membership, or if you've had any good experiences with GDT. If a large enough group has been scammed by this company, maybe it would be worth organizing a class action lawsuit! Please respond.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Scam stories

            The client still has full benefits even though dues were not paid. We will waive them for the time frame and research address to correct possible wrong address in system for dues. Benefits clearly state in contract what client is purchasing. Resort properties are main focus and this client has apparently not used this benefit. Domestic airfare is not part of the service but merely booked as a courtesy if requested. Domestic airfare is guaranteed to be best rate at time of booking and clearly states so in contract.
            Client received a promotional certificate for travel that was paid for by DGT whether client used the certificate or not. If they failed to follow instructions on certificate the promotional company will void it and DGT is not liable for them not following directions. They should get a resort property in Hawaii as they stated the reason for purchase was. We have many excellent properties available and usually save the clients hundreds or over a thousand dollars on each property rental.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Scam stories

              I also succumbed to the hard sell of Discount Global Travel earlier this year. When I read the contract in detail I realized that none of the sales hype was included in the contract, except for the condo rental. Then I checked the BBB site and found DGT has an "F" rating as a company. I sent notice of cancellation by certified mail within the required three days, and a couple of weeks later a demand letter for refund. Neither letter resulted in a response from DGT. Fortunately I had paid with my American Express card and AMEX reversed the charge so I was not out any money. I decided to take advantage of the free incentive trip they offered through "Superior Promotions" of Allen Park, MI. (Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.) I complied with their requirements, including a "refundable" $200 deposit. I gave them my choice of trips and have not heard anthing more from them. They also do not respond to mail. I guess I finally learned a lesson here somewhere......

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Scam stories

                Surprise, surprise. A day after posting this I received a check from Superior Promotions as a deposit refund, with a note advising they couldn't arrange my requested trip. I didn't get my incentive trip but at least I got my money back!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Scam stories

                  We were met (accosted?!) at the airport in Cancun and offered discounted excursions. It was late and my wife & I were tired, and this guy's "tourism board" badge seemed genuine. I had not even relaised he said anything about a presentation (my wife told me later - I guess I really was tired)
                  Anyway, we turned up a few days later at Mayan Palance resorts to find a fairly polished sales presentation. We were served breakfast shortly after filling a few forms and then the tour started. The presentation lasted considerablly longer than 90 minutes, possibly because we didn't say yes straight away.
                  They simply could not comprehend I was not about to hand over ANY money simply based on what they said was a good idea. I would need to go home and check it out. This this didn't like and became rather aggressive suggesting I wasted their time. I countered it was their job to sell, and they can't seriously be suggesting they expect 100% sales rate and that in fact they should thank us as prospective buyers for giving them our valuable vacation time. I asked if they seriously believed that some silly-ass excusrions and (an adimttedly nice) breakfast would be enough to make me spend life's savings and they couldn't respond, just repeated the same moronic spiel about the good value, investment, quality etc etc. They brought out a succession of (supposedly) more and more senior sale managers o offer different combinations. At one point, the very same apartment went down from $62,000 to $28,000 because of some "promo" involving '04 prices and that because of the day (Friday) they had better inventory, blah blah. It staggers the mind they think this BS works
                  Needless to say, it took for us to literally walk away (while they were still rambling). I can't say I learned from the experience since I was never going to sign on the spot anyway, but it certainly openned my eyes how many people do get scammed.
                  Later I discovered http://www.mayanresorts.info/ and the horror stories and felt vindicated in not parting with a penny before checking them out for myself
                  Last edited by Hasski; 10-06-2006, 08:39 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Mayan Palace Scam stories

                    We wish we had been as savvy as you were Hasski. We got scammed by the Mayan Palace almost two years ago. We also found http://www.mayanresorts.info/ to be very helpful as they showed us how to connect with others and now we are initiating legal action. It's about time those crooks were held accountable for their lies.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Scam stories

                      Originally posted by mike6725 View Post
                      Surprise, surprise. A day after posting this I received a check from Superior Promotions as a deposit refund, with a note advising they couldn't arrange my requested trip. I didn't get my incentive trip but at least I got my money back!

                      Well better not take such big risks again . Seems they were just hoarding money for investments . I have had a tough luck with these type of people too . Especially travel agents that charge much more then normal for nominal services .

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Scam stories

                        Help, I just yesterday joined GLOBAL TOURS and thought I was buying a decent travel club to get inexpensive hotel stays $159. per week !
                        But now on this site I am reading others posts that this co. is a scam and the reduced rates for airfare are a big hassle and only $5. cheaper then travelocity.
                        CAN I GET OUT OF MY CONTRACT, THAT I TOTALLY REGRET I SIGNED?
                        DOES ANYONE ELSE HAVE A WAY TO GET OUT OF IT.
                        I AM GOING TO TRY TO CANCEL MY CREDIT CARD TOMORROW SO THAT THIS CAN ALL END ASAP.
                        THANK YOU ANYONE FOR RESPONDING TO MY POST HERE.

                        SINCERELY,
                        VANESSA

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Scam stories

                          Sam Fischer~
                          I wonder if you were able to get your $4,000. back? I surely hope so.
                          Why doesn't our government close shady operations like this ?
                          I am hoping that If I cancel my credit card tomorrow morning that this first step will be the end of this horrible experience.
                          EVERYONE BE FOREWARNED THAT YOU CANNOT ATTEND TRAVEL PROMOS LIKE GLOBAL TRAVEL AND EXPECT AN HONEST CO. SCAM CITY!!!
                          DO NOT SIGN UP OR EVEN ATTEND THE HIGH PRESSURE MEETING.
                          THEY SAID WHEN I AGREED TO CHECK IT OUT OVER THE PHONE THAT THERE WAS NO HIGH PRESSURE TO BUY, AND THAT YOU WERE WITH A GROUP OF 30 PEOPLE.
                          THATS TRUE FOR THE BAIT SHOW, BUT THEN YOU ARE CALLED ONE BY ONE TO BE WITH A SALESMAN OR WOMAN AND THEY THEN TRY VERY HARD TO GET YOUR MONEY!!
                          SLICK OPERATION. LIES LIES LIES, AS YOU CAN SEE FROM OTHERS THAT POSTED HERE
                          THEY DON'T HAVE ANYTHING GREAT FOR US FOR ALL THE MONEY WEVE GIVEN THEM FOR THIS TRAVEL ADVANTAGE.
                          BEWARE, PLAN YOUR TRIP PERSONALLY AND HAVE A GREAT TIME WITH OUT BEING EATEN BY THESE SHARK CO. LIKE GLOBAL TRAVEL.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Scam stories

                            "GLOBAL TRAVEL SCAM" Our family too fell to this scam! We "upgraded" the vacation promised to one of global travels "resort weeks". Well in order to "upgrade" we had to pay $159 which is what a member would pay. So wanting to take my 4 children to disney world we upgraded. We told the people that we had 4 kids and they sold us on how great it would be to stay in a condo vs hotel with a big family. Now trying to use the upgrade we are told that we have to upgrade to a bigger unit for another $295 and that we may not get to travel when we wanted to and we now have to fight for our money back! The office misinformed us on using the voucher and we have waited a month to find out we may not get a room!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Scam stories

                              Most of these companies have a cancel time frame where they wont charge you a bunch of fees...if that time passed you have to sell it..

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