My husband and I attended the exhausting high-pressured "travel seminar" today at Horizon Travel in Arlington. Thankfully, we escaped without purchasing (after first having to explain to Howard, then Abdul, then Jake, then Gavin why we didn't want to buy into their travel plan club.) Each guy kept giving us a better deal. After the seminar, we were given a certificate for our free cruise.
I was just about to mail in my $100 refundable "good faith" deposit with the certificate to VIP Travel Incentives to receive our free cruise as promised when I decided to go on the internet to get answers to questions I had about this crazy booking process.The Horizon office told me I could do the cruise during the summer, but not on the weeks of Memorial Day, 4th of July or Labor Day. Then I get home and read the back and it clearly says it's for selected dates during the months of September thru January.
Man, was that an eye-opener when I googled VIP Travel and Horizon Travel and up pops badbusinessbureau.com, ripoffreport.com all reporting the same bad stuff about Horizon Travel, Holiday Travel of America and VIP Travel.
We were also awarded an additional 3day/two night (land only)stay at Lake Texoma just for answering a travel survey when the lady from Horizon called to give us our confirmation number for the "travel seminar". The "travel survey" consisted of one question which was "Did we make over $50,000 a year?" This travel certificate is from Holiday Travel of America. I began questioning the written "Terms" when I read "refrain from all telephone inquiries until we have received your reservation request and tax deposit." Geez, then you can't get your money back! Horizon verbally told me on the phone and at their office that the trip was in Texoma, but the writen certificate names 9 different cities it could be in from Florida to Nevada. Also in the written terms is "Holiday Travel of America is not responsible for any verbal or written representations not contained in this certificate."
This all started when I entered a drawing for a Home Depot gift certificate at the Visions Expo at Market Hall. Then "Pam" called on the phone about the contest. I said "Did I Win the $500 gift certificate?" And she said no, but you did win a two night stay along with air fare. I said, "Yeah right to a time share presentation" She said No, It's not a time share. You just have to attend a 90 minute presentaion from Horizon Travel here in Arlington. There's no obligation to purchase anything, they are a full service travel agency and just hope you use them for your future travel needs. You'll receive a 3 day/2 night stay along with airfare to Orlando, Las Vegas or Cancun or a 5 night cruise from Galveston." I kept insisting to her that someone was selling something at this presentation and she got flustered and said to talk to her supervisor "Matt". Well, Matt confirmed that it wasn't a time share, but that it was a Travel Club, but again . . . there's no obligation to purchase anything. They'll just present you with money saving travel tips and hope you use their services in the future. He faxed me all of this in writing. It's on Horizon Travel letterhead, but faxed from National Reservations, Inc. They seemed so sincere - almost like they really don't know what's going on.
I became leary about sending in the $100 for the cruise when several things seemed fishy. Now, after reading all these awful stories, I'm glad I didn't. Also I now see bad reports from the Ft. Worth Better Business Bureau.
On the National Reservations Inc. website:
it says that Horizon Travel is a member in good standings with the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. I checked this out before the "seminar" and it appeared to be true, but now I see that this Horizon Travel has a different address in Arlington:
Horizons Unlimited Travel
2131 N. Collins, Ste 423
Arlington, TX 76011
Phone: (817) 861-0222
The faxed material also contained a letter from Jim Mayher, President of National Reservations Inc. reassuring me that "we would not risk our reputation by attempting to deceive you." and "If you have any questions, please call me personally at (817)285-7500" When you call that number you get a recorder saying "mailbox full".