I asked my girlfriend to marry me on January 16, 2007. We had heard about our local Bass Pro Shop selling good deals on "vacation" packages so we went down there to inquire about one for our honeymoon. Upon arrival we were told of all the nice destination we could travel to. Orlando being somewhere we both wanted to see, we bought a 4 day / 3 night travel package for $59.00. WOW, what a deal. After signing us up and taking our my credit card, the lady THEN told us that we it was an offer through Bluegreen Vacations and we would have to attend a 90 minute preview of their resort. I thought this might be tacky for a honeymoon, but we decided that for the GOOD deal we received we could endure a 90 minute presentation. The lady assured us there WOULD be no pressure to buy, and that in addition, we receive two tickets to the Arabian Nights.. perfect, even better deal.
To sweeten the deal, someone called later to confirm our travel dates, August 26 - 29, and offered us a rental car for the trip for only $105. This deal really seemed good to us. We were told that we would check in at the Tourist Center and be given vouchers to our hotel. The hotel was to be the Hampton Inn, which is usually nice so we were impressed.
Upon arriving at the tourist center, the lady told how to get to the Fountains resort. I asked how to get to our motel and she explained we would be staying at the resort itself. Ok, cool!
We got to the resort and it was BEAUTIFUL, I mean really amazing. We were in a 2 bedroom Villa with a fully furnished kitchen, living room, patio, and the best yet - A jacuzzi in our bedroom (not bathroom). This was too good to be true.
We were scheduled for our 90 minute presentation at 7 am Monday morning. We arrived on time and the sales person name was Chris, she was an attractive Brazilian lady who was very well dressed and loved to chat. The presentation lasted 5 and a half HOURS! She talked about everything from her family to her jobs, to her own membership in Bluegreen. She made us look at her vacation photos of her and her family at all these resorts. Our actual tour did not last long, as we had already seen the place, since we were staying there, which her and her boss seemed confused over and is obviously not standard practice for a preview guest to be in the resort. We felt pampered by the resort and all its amenities. They were in the process of building their OWN waterpark there. It was amazing.
Anyway, when she finally got to the point, I could not believe my ears! The prices for these memberships were astonishing. We travel ONE week a year, and usually at a cost of about $1000 - 3000, so the deal didn't seem right for us, which she acknowledged, and offered us something smaller, I declined. Her boss came over and told her to offer us this NEW, UNHEARD of deal - a sampler program. Well that was lie, it is ofered to EVERYONE who declines.
The sampler was $895 and all I had to do was put $150 down and pay $100 a month to use the points within the next year. Seemed fair at the time.
Then the boss began pressuring us when we wanted to think about it. He and the sales girl kept pushing this paper in front of us that had a disclaimer at he bottom for us to sign stating something like "I realize all offers made to me as part of this travel package were an offer to sell me a membership, and if choose not to buy all offers will be rescinded." I thought they were gonna ask us to sign it, but they kept putting that part of those papers right in front of me and then theyd write stuff on it, as if it was only scratch paper, but believe me, they wanted me to see and read that little part. They then began to talk like we would be forced to leave the resort if we did not make a purchase. I wanted to get on with my honeymoon and get to Cocoa Beach, so I gave them 150 and then had a sinking feeling. My wife thought we had gotten a good deal until we read the program:
What we were not told, and was not in our contract was that we could ONLY use them in Sept - May and not on holidays. GREAT! Totally useless to me since i get 1 week vacation a year in June through August.
So I left there feeling bitter and disappointed about the whole experience, but we enjoyed the rest of our time and LOVED the resort. If we colud travel all the time it would seem that we would love a membership in Bluegreen. My main complaint is the way they get you in this deal and make u feel trapped. If we had not stayed at the resort, I would not have felt threatened.
I sent in a written notice to cancel within the prescribed 10 day period (registered and certified for proof) so I anxiously await what will happen. If they send my refund as promised with no hassle, I guess I will have nothing against them, except they know people are there only for the freebies and should not try to trap them. Everywhere you go in Orlando, every corner, every attraction, even every gas station offers free or discounted tickets through all these resorts out there. One guy offered me $100 cash to tour another resort.
Brad in louisiana
Bossier City, Louisiana