ED Magedson – Founder
Global Discovery Vacations5360 College Blvd., Suite 200 Overland Park, , Kansas USA
Global Discovery Vacations Deceptive Sales Pitch - BEWARE Overland Park, Kansas
Global Discovery Vacations (GDV) is a travel company, or club, that offers a variety of services. To join, you have to attend a 90-minute presentation (and receive a number of incentives) and pay a fee. I believe their starting price was $10K or more, but by the time we negotiated on a lesser package, it was $3,500.
For this you can book a week-long vacation in a timeshare at many locations around the country. There's an annual fee of $389, and then you pay $149 for the week. They also have heavily discounted weeks available in off-season for a lot less, like $69 a week.
We have attended timeshare presentations that were hi-pressure, and this one was not bad. What sold us on it was the fact that they showed tons of condo complexes where you could stay for not much money. In truth, when it came time to book, there were very few, if any, units available anywhere near where we wanted to stay (East Coast Florida) any time in the months we were willing to travel. When trying to book a December trip, they told us that we had to book a year in advance. I'm just not sure how many people can afford to do that.
Just to see if I had misjudged them, I went to their site to see what was available in a sample week in August on the East Coast of Florida -- hurricane and humidity season. The answer? Only two condos on all of the East Coast. We checked other areas and found that in many cases, the same result applied. Not always: If you often go to Orlando, say, I'll bet you can book there almost any time.
The fatal flaw in this, from the consumer point of view, is that you cannot know where they will have openings until you know you want to travel. They absolutely tell you that everything is subject to availability, but you look at their map of places in Florida and think, "There's always be somewhere that I can stay." In fact, their salespeople encourage this line of thinking. But is is often not true.
We booked one vacation through them. We stayed several weeks earlier than we wanted and in a twn that was a distance from our ideal spot. The condo/timeshare was small and arranged strangely -- almost no place where the two of us could sit down and eat lunch. The furnishings were average at best (the bed, especially), and whoever cleaned he place last had left a coating of some kind of slippery polish on the tile floor, which caused my wife a mild injury as she slipped across it. Well, we paid a cheap price and we got a cheap place, but that is not what GDV promises.
We've decided not to pay the $389 this year (All that means is we cannot use their services for 12 months.) Here's why. We're thinking about a week in Florida. If we use them we pay $389 plus $149 to maybe get a place that is 100-200 miles away from where we really want to be. For that we have the use of a small condo in which we will not eat more than a couple of meals. And don't forget, we paid $3,500 for the ability to do this, so we have to add in a prorated $350 or so a year to cover the entrance fee."
Instead, we can book a motel room where we want to be when we want to be there at a discounted $70 a night, or $490. They provide a breakfast and the same amenities, except no full kitchen. This seems like a better deal for us.
For the record, you also can book vacations of all kinds, and cruises as well, both at what GDV claims is a discount. They tell you outright that you can book flights through them, but you won't get any discount.
As for the incentives -- the free air fare to anywhere and the free week vacation -- FORGET IT. They are difficult if not impossibkle to qualify for. You will only give yourself heartburn trying.
So, to sum up: No reason to attend the presentation because the incentives are worthless. After 90+ minutes you can buy a membership that may or may not get you discounted lodging where or when you want to go, If you have a family of four (and actually need a small apartment instead of a motel room), can plan one or more years ahead, or don't care where you stay, this might make sense. But for the two of us. it was a waste. My advice would be to stay away from it. I cannot think of a way this will pay off for us.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/14/2014 06:46 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Global-Discovery-Vacations/Overland-Park-Kansas-66211/Global-Discovery-Vacations-Deceptive-Sales-Pitch-BEWARE-Overland-Park-Kansas-1162003. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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