Beachcombers / Castaways Travel Complaint - Scam
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" GEZ 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. Thier 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 benifit of the doubt, I explored further... during our presentation Jerry told us of great deals like Vegas for 3 nights at the Belligo for only $319 each all inclusive, when I looked at his sheet it was NOT the Belligo it was Excalubur 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 desitnations and 3 different times you wish to travel atleast 60 days from that date, the 3 dates must be 30 days appart, and they can not be within 7 days of ANY HOLIDAY , including Presidents Day, Columbus day etc and travel must take place on Tuesday.... well get out your calanders folks and you will see there are about 5 Tuesdays that will meet this 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 it 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 theres a pretty good chance the lodging would be Motel 6.... (hey atleast you won't be in the dark anymore....)
Stear 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!