Monday, October 26, 2015

Thinking About A Vacation Club? READ THIS

Day in and day out I receive e-mails from consumers who either are thinking that a vacation club is a great alternative to a timeshare, or have spent thousands of dollars on a vacation club and now that they are faced with the truth, want my help in getting their money back.

Sorry no can do.

Before you even think of spending a dime on a vacation club, READ THIS taken directly from our friends at Inside The Gate:

Global Vacation Ventures has entered into an agreement with the Florida Attorney General’s Office following accusations of fraud. An Assurance of Voluntary Compliance for Global Connections Inc. also known as Global Discovery Vacations, Premium Destinations, LLC, GVV, Florida Inc. doing business Global Vacation Network and Global Vacation Ventures was filed earlier this month.

Through 2013 the AG’s office received at least 51 complaints, most of them from people over 55, citing high pressure sales tactics and bait-and-switch, among other things. For instance, one couple booked a cruise through Global, but found their promised ocean view room turned out to be a view of a lifeboat. Others reported they could not reach the company within the three days required when they tried to cancel their membership.

Global Vacations is a distributorship/sales agent for Kansas-based Global Connections, Inc., the company that fulfills the travel club members’ vacation requests. Global has agreed to pay $5,000 towards attorneys’ and investigative fees and agreed to comply with a number of requirements, such as not using the word “free” in offering incentives to consumers to attend its sales presentations.

And of course Global denies it engaged in any wrongful or unlawful conduct and contends that its business practices were and are consistent with industry best practices and that fair and adequate disclosures were and are made to consumers. But just to resolve the complaints, the company agreed to the following requirements, among others:

• It cannot distribute any advertisements or offerings to the public using the following words: free, awarded, prize, absolutely without charge, free of charge, and words or groups of words of similar intent which reasonably lead consumers to believe they may receive something of value without payment, unless the item or a portion of it is free.

• It cannot make any statements to the public which offer items as free with conditions such as having to travel to a pickup location unless that is clearly and conspicuously disclosed.

• It must make an effort to ensure that at least 90 percent of all consumers who are offered and accept a marketing incentive for attending a sales presentation utilize it within one year. For example if 100 consumers are offered a free cruise, attend a presentation and seek to attend the free cruise within one year, at least 90 of those consumers must be able to book the cruise within a year.

• It must not make any misrepresentations to consumers with respect to the identity of the company selling the vacation club and travel services products, the identity of the company which is the actual fulfillment center for the products, which company’s Better Business Bureau ratings are being displayed or provided, the number of consumers served or a particular period of time and the length of time Global has been in the business of selling the product.

• It must provide consumers attending sales presentations with access to view a date-specific list of destination -based properties currently available for reservations through the travel club program during the succeeding 12 months via a web page or print-out hard copy of the webpage.

• It must not make false or misleading statements of fact concerning the reasons for, existence of, or amounts of price reductions as it relates to the sales of vacation club and travel services products.

• During sales presentations, it must accurately present the vacation club and travel services products and membership uses and benefits and fully describe the membership’s pricing and options.

Aw rats! A vacation/travel club distributor forced to sell a clean product in a clean manner? What’s next? Politicians forced to tell the truth?


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