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Cruise Line International Association Complaint - My Experience With A Rude Senior Travel Coordinator

Review by Arlana on 2010-12-18
Its about noon on December 18th (a Saturday) and I get a phone call from one of my magazine subscribtion agents saying that I won a free cruise trip for two to the Bahamas. I accept the free gift and I get put on the phone with a very rude man named Douglas from the Cruise Line International Association. He first starts to explain to me all that I won meanwhile, in the background I can hear people screaming and laughing extremely loudly. So then Douglas tells me to hold on because hes having a Christmas party (with his co-workers I assume) and they are "getting excited because its Christmas time and everybodys drinking and having a good time." After being on hold for about five seconds Douglas comes back on the line (with the same amount of noise in the background might I add) and says that my "FREE cruise to the Bahamas" will only cost me "about $118.00 or so" he says. After hearing that I originally won this trip for two I was going to give it as a gift to my mom and dad but now that its costing "about $118.00 or so" I'm feeling I should probably ask them first because I don't want to pay a hundred bucks for something that they don't want or won't be able to use. So I tell Douglas before I give him my credit card, I want to go over this with my mom at least and make sure its something she wants. So I ask is there a number I can use to call him back in a few hours so I can make sure that its something my parents are interested in, and he gets fustrated with me and rudely tells me to hold on. So I hold for about a minute and a man comes on the phone and starts saying something that I can't understand because his speech is slurred so I ask him to repeat what he said aand he starts yelling and goes "YOU WON A TRIP TO THE BAHAMAS. ARE YOU EXCITED?" So I said, "is this Douglas?" and he says "um no" this time with not only slurred speech, but a very fake (sounded fake to me) southern accent. Most of my family are from all parts of the south, so I know what a true southern accent sounds like. So I ask this drunk man what his name was and he says its "TAZA" laughingly. So I explained to "Taza" what I had told Douglas about getting a number because I wanted to give this cruise as a gift to my parents and I didn't want to just waste a hundred bucks around Christmas time on something that nobody was going to use. Taza's response to me was "well its just a hundred bucks" slurring the words again. So I said again that I don't want to waste that money when I can buy an extra gift for my mom with that hundred dollars so can I just call you back? Then Taza says "well fine then bye!" and hangs up in my face. After that phone call I was so upset with everything that happened I just had to do something about it. So I tried to call the Cruise Line International Association so I could report this incident and file a complaint against "Douglas and Taza" but they were closed. So right now I'm at a complete loss as of what to do with this but I do know that what they said and did was wrong and completely unacceptable for a legatimate business in my eyes and I feel it needs to be reported. I just don't know who to report it too. If anyone has any ideas about who to report this to I would really appreciate it! Thanks
Comments:5 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-12-18
Posted by danny54 on 2010-12-18:
Sounds like this company is one you probably wouldn't want to do business with anyway, so you probably got lucky that it ended without your being on the hook for anything. I'd give them a call back on Monday to report the incident. Also, you might want to let the magazine subscription company know what happened. They may not want to be associated with an organization like this.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-12-18:
All those "you won a free cruise!" calls are pretty bogus. It normally comes with so many loopholes, you cant use it, or its a timeshare thing where you have to go sit somewhere for 3 hours. Just be thankful you didnt give them your card info. Sounds like a bunch of unprofessional idiots. If you truely "won" anything, then why would you have to pay for it? If it sounds too good to be true, then 99.999 percent of the time, its not.
Posted by Ben There on 2010-12-18:
Thankfully you didn't give them your credit card number! I am positive that you were called by a fraudster.

I just did a little Googling, and Cruise Line International Association is a lobbyist and regulatory agency of cruise lines, not a travel agency (http://www.cruising.org/).

Never give your credit card number out to anyone who calls on the phone! Lots of scammers call with very realistic sounding reasons for getting a CC number, and they are often for a low amount. Maybe it is "UPS", and they have a package for you but the shipping cost was messed up and you need to pay just $4 to get your package, or they will have to send it back to the sender for resending. Or, you won a free whatever, but you have to pay taxes.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-12-18:
"You won a free _______" is almost always a scam. I entertain the timeshare offers only and will only consider those if it is someone I meet in person. They used to hang out in the malls around Williamsburg, we would look "touristy" and they would come for us every time.
Posted by Ben There on 2010-12-18:
Lucky for Arlana these fraudsters were rude, because this scam sounds pretty legit. If you have ever won anything expensive or received a big ticket item for free, you know that by law you still have to pay the taxes. The taxes on cruises I have taken are normally $100-$150, so if you ever do win a legitimate cruise, you can very well expect to pay $120... Just ask all the people that got the free cars from Oprah.

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