DALLAS, TEXAS -- We were contacted by a postcard with a promise of a free 5 day cruise for attending a "presentation" in several places it said NOT A TIMESHARE... well it wasn't, it was a larger scam. AT first we arrived to the tall office building by the Galeria in Dallas. They are located on the 10th floor... The ONLY floor locked off by the elevator. You need a personal escort to get to the 10th floor (IMMEDIATELY this set off red flags). When I inquired as to why I was told they have offices with money in them and it is for security.
There is a BANK on the first floor and JP MORGAN Securities is on the 9th floor with no "special security needed." Guess who knew the travel industry was so "top secret". Anyway they started their "presentation" which was to take a total of 90 minutes 30 minutes late... We were there 2.5 hours and listened to a presentation which sounded GREAT. Their program was $8995, which dropped to $7995 before they even asked us to purchase, then the first 2 couples (out of 6 present) were offered another $1000 discount up front.
I asked the manager to bring in a computer and show me their BBB report. He showed me a Dallas BBB report with ONE complaint. However I asked if they had any other report, I was told no. I typed in bbb.org and looked up the company who also had addresses in Frisco and Grapevine.
The manager denied knowing who Beachcomber in Grapevine was, but to his surprise (yeah right) it was owned by the same person.... the ONE grapevine office had over 7 complaints in the past 12 months, and all sales related. Perhaps this is the reason for the special security to get to their floor. Still giving them the benefit of the doubt, I explored further. During our presentation Jerry told us of great deals like Vegas for 3 nights at the Bellagio for only $319 each all inclusive. When I looked at his sheet it was NOT the Bellagio it was Excalibur and heck I can get that deal anytime.
We were also told of hotels such as Ritz Carlton and Hyatt and Hilton in fantastic travel packages, however his sheet (from their internet site) had Holiday Inn, Howard Johnsons and Best Western. I am not a snob, but heck if I am being told Ritz Carlton and then booked at Howard Johnsons I would say that is fraud.... wouldn't you?
I am just happy I didn't pay $8995, or $7995, or $6995.... or the final offer of $4995 for this scam... and they dropped their price $5000 in 2 hours. I feel sorry for any sucker who paid the $8995. As it is clear their service has no value when they can drop the price this way. Now we get to the good part... that free cruise turned into a 2 night hotel stay and 2 airline tickets anywhere in the US. OK, not so bad right???
But the fine print reads you must mail $100 (us postal money order only) to some company in Florida (land of scams), and they will mail you a reservation form where you are to pick 3 destinations and 3 different times you wish to travel at least 60 days from that date. The 3 dates must be 30 days apart, and they cannot be within 7 days of ANY HOLIDAY, including Presidents Day, Columbus day etc. And travel must take place on Tuesday. Well get out your calendars folks and you will see there are about 5 Tuesdays that will meet these criteria and you better hope you turn in the form at the right time, because the offer is only valid for 60 days.
This is all too much work, for 2 nights anywhere... Even if it is Hawaii. But my best guess is, that if I followed through on this whole thing, that destinations like Billings Montana, or Des Moines Iowa would be the only available destinations, and there's a pretty good chance the lodging would be Motel 6. (Hey at least you won't be in the dark anymore.) Steer clear of Beachcomber and Castaway Vacations... unless of course you have a free Saturday afternoon where you are bored silly and need a good laugh, as these folks are a joke!
DALLAS, TEXAS -- I give the following report to help other consumers beware of this company. Any negative statements about them they claim is disgruntled ex-employees. I am not an ex-employee. I am a hard working single woman who listened, said no, and felt the need to say yes to get out of there. It is not a time share but it is a costly vacation swindle that won't save you money. This is a well practiced technique against those who really don't have the money to spend. Getting out after them you hear their pitch is expensive so just say NO!!!!!
I was contacted by a marketing company with the promise that if I arrived by a certain time I would receive either a two round-trip airfares or a 7 day car rental or $200 gas voucher. I followed the directions, went to the very orchestrated pitch, and when I said “NO” the real pitch started. The cost was lowered, they change up the people making the pitch at you, and the promises keep coming. I kept saying NO but the pitch kept coming. No was not an answer they were willing to take.
Within an hour of leaving their location I called back to cancel. I offered to come back to return the materials but they refused to accept the materials back. They gave me instructions for a letter of cancellation and the address to send the materials back to. This was not a Dallas location. That night I called my credit card company and they in spite of my description honored the charge.
I followed the cancellation instructions and met their deadlines. Their refund is less than the full charge to my credit card. Their refund policy is excessive when cancellation is within the three day right of recession. Since I called the same day they did not have to spend any time on my activation and therefore reclaiming that cost of $299.00 is corrupt. Be careful with this type of pitch. It is an expensive learning experience and I hope others can avoid it by hearing my report.
FRISCO, TEXAS -- My wife and I recently attended a high-pressure sales pitch by a company called Beachcombers representing Castaway Cays Vacation Club. After wearing us down w/ multiple offers, we finally gave in and signed a contract after we asked about the cancellation policy. I was told that there was no legal obligation to offer a 72 hour cancellation policy, but was offered as 'goodwill' by the company.
During the review of our documents, my wife and I were given documents to review separately. Turns out the documents were related (1 legal contract w/ non-specific amounts to cancel and another I was given to review w/ some related dollar amounts on a 'worksheet' that was labeled 'Not a contract. Subject to execution of final contract paperwork and lending documents.') When we subsequently cancelled based on some further research w/ the BBB and online, we were told that Beachcombers needed to keep $790 of our original money we paid for 'restocking, processing and administration fees'.
We're disputing the $790 w/ the credit card company after no resolution w/ Beachcombers to date. If they treat us like this for trying to get out, I can't imagine how we'd be treated if we hadn't cancelled in time and they had all our money! Buyer beware on these guys!