I received a card in the mail inviting me to spend a weekend in a nearby city. When I called I was given the impression that the weekend was being sponsored by the hotel in the off-season, and that they wanted some information about my travel habits.
I had recently been widowed, and hoped that this weekend would be a nice get-away. However, when it turned out that I would not have anyone to go with, I tried to cancel the reservation. I was told that I would "probably" have to pay for the room. So I decided to go alone. NEVER GO TO ANYTHING FREE ALONE!
After the sales pitch, I was approached by one, then two people who kept me at the table for over 45 min. pressuring me to buy into this offer of low travel cost. I was assured that they could provide me with the very lowest cost on airfare. When I called for prices on airfare for a trip I was planning, I was shocked to find that their "best" price was more than the first innernet discount airfare website I looked up.
When I told them about this they wanted to have me do all kinds of complicated stuff to "prove" this to them, in order for me to get the same price through them. I looked up several more airfare websites and found that they too were less than Grand Crowne. In fact, I didn't find one price on my search that was not less than Grand Crowne.
I knew in a couple of days after the purchase that I had made a very bad financial decision, however, after this experience, I knew that this truly was a fradulant company. I owed money to an interest-free Credit Card--not to Grand Crowne Travel Network. Having just been widowed I had no one to advise me on what to do. Eventually I paid off the credit card.
In January of the following year, I received my first membership fee billing. I had already decided to let the membership go. I had written them a very nice letter asking to be released from the contract, but was turned down in a manner that was both firm, and forthright in their determination to exercise their right to hold me to the contract. And they made no effort to further convince me of the advantages of the membership or offer of help on how to make it work for me. They had their $3,500. I assumed that by not paying the fee, I would be dropped from the membership.
However, that was not to be. A few weeks later while paying some bills I found that a charge of the exact amount of the membership fee had been charged on a different credit card (one I had obviously used as identification--you know the drill--"dirver's liscense, and two other forms of identification") to what looked like some kind of motel in Branson, Mo.
It took me a while to put the two things together, but my credit card co. took off the charges, and I let them know when I did figure out what happened about Grand Crowne. It is time for another membership fee bill--I wonder what fradulent way they will try to get this fee paid. So, yes, Grand Crowne could say that my membership is paid up right now. But don't let that fool you. So far as I know this is a violation of the law!
I do hope someone will take an interest in the activities of this company and do something to help me and others get at least some of our money back, and put these people out of business. They are predators who probably milked all they could out of those 80's and 90's time shares, and found a much easier and cheaper way to defraud people who want to be able to save a little money on travel and vacations.