Wow-we are comforted somewhat to know we aren't alone and at the same time disgusted that these people are still getting away with stealing thousands of dollars every time someone signs a contract.
Our story is not much different from others-we were lured in by the enticement of a "free trip" only to fall for the high pressure sales tactics and the promise of the thousands we could save on travel. Of course, we had to sign up that day to receive our free trip, sign contracts, agree on a tape recorder that we weren't coerced by high pressure sales tactics (which should have been our first red flag) and so we fell hard and handed over our credit card. A month later I attempted to 1: book a bereavement fare and 2: schedule our free trip. The best fare they could give me was hundreds more than my Mom ended up getting through her travel agent. So much for the promise that they have access to cheaper airfare than the general public. The free trip was a nightmare combined with a sick joke. Just a clue-it isn't free if you have to send reservation money, and good luck using the free roundtrip ticket voucher with Certs, Inc. There are so many loopholes with them, they wouldn't honor our request because our 3rd choice for a travel date didn't meet with their criteria. They sent a nasty letter back to us stating we had no chance for rebuttal, the case was closed and there was no way we could contest. After calling great escapes, they wouldn't help at all, stating they were not affiliated with them. By the way, it took Great Escapes over a month to find us a condo for our free trip, and we had to let them know right away if we wanted it or we would have to forfeit it. My husband and I were both working and due to the time zone issue, we couldn't ever get a hold of a live person during their business hours, so they let it go the next day! My last attempt to book a hotel for a trip in Chicago revealed that the price they offered was no better than what I could get myself. I had finally had it, and filed a complaint and request for a chargeback to my credit card. My husband even went to the Englewood office to speak to them and they wouldn't open the door-he had called repeatedly to try to sent up an appointment, no one would call back. He even slid a note under the door when he saw people walking around inside--no luck. Here's the best part--when GE found out we wanted our money back-THEY SUSPENDED OUR MEMBERSHIP!! We called the Florida office several times, finally spoke with a very personable girl named Jennifer whom was very well versed in dealing with complaints and assured me she would contact our credit card company on our behalf--total BS--it never happened. She did go to the trouble though of reinstating our membership. My credit card company as it turns out could not issue us a refund, after a great deal of hassle and months of trying. We feel like idiots-I HATE THESE PEOPLE!! If I could I would picket their office and would love to know what we all can do to get some recourse. I have heard there is no luck in going through the BBB. How about a class action suit?