Never give out your credit card info or any other information to a company selling vacation package deals at a discount!
I recently made the mistake of answering a phone call that put me through to a representative for a vacation deal company entitled Sun Beach International. They claimed that for a reduced fee starting around $1100US one can have a 5 nights six day 5 star vacation for two adults and two children under 12. Your choice from a myriad of 5 star resorts in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Bali, Orlando Florida plus a bonus 5 day cruise vacation.
They are slick, smooth and enticing, but what they offer begins to sound more outrageous as time goes on and one resists giving them credit card info.
They gave me the entire spiel about what all was included, asking me to get a pen and paper to write it all down, which I did. It sounded magnificent. At first I thought they were offering the package for free as a promotion and I’d probably have to walk through a tour of the resort I chose and then give a review on it, which I wouldn’t mind doing for everything I was getting.
I checked their website while I was talking and seemed OK although I should have checked to see if it was secure. It was not.
I got my wife to call their number and after waiting a minute on the automated operator an actual person came on to assist with questions. So it “seemed” normal enough.
Then the price tag came, which sounded incredible for everything offered. They wanted a total of $699 us for two adults and two children, plus a $99 one-time fee at booking fee. They started by saying my wife and I would have 2 years to book my trip and a “bonus” cruise that they threw in. When I resisted, stating that I needed time to think, they tweaked the trip more to make it more enticing.
Then they said that we needed only to pay a down payment of $298.00 US. That is were I flinched.
Eventually, the caller put me on the phone with another person, the “verifier” in the verifications dept as he had described. Here is were they failed to meet they’re presented deal. They original promotion rep told me that some of the 5 star resorts that were included were The Dreams Resort and the Secrets Resort, both in Mexico. The verifications rep stated that those two were not part of the package that I agreed to. So I was out my down payment because I did make the horrible mistake of giving my Card number to them. Do not make this mistake! They will also send you info via email about sending your driver’s licence with everything but your name and photo blocked out as a means for them to verify your credit card. Do not do this! There is no reason for it according to any law in North America including Mexico.
When I attempted to retrieve my down payment I light of the fact that they misrepresented the deal in regards to the two resorts I listed the verifications rep stated that the deal was none refundable and didn’t care what I threatened to do– even call the police! — there was no way they were returning my money.
I’m not saying you wouldn’t possibly get a trip out this process but I am certain it will not go according to the way they state it will happen — perhaps 3 star accommodations during hurricane season or a cruise on a gambling vessel were you end losing even more money.
I will be fighting out it now my bank to retrieve the money but there is even more time wasted.
Live and learn! Even the most discerning can be roped into something on an off day. My advice, don’t answer the phone unless your call display is from someone you know.
And remember, “if it’s too good… well, you know the rest.