I received a mailing from Perfect Select Rewards in the fall, went to the presentation and received the promotional "gift certificate" that stated we had been "awarded" a 7-day cruise with airfare for 2 adults. I sent in the requested amount, $598, which was "to be applied towards taxes and fees." We made our date and cruise selections and waited to hear back.
Our first date selection we were told was unavailable, so we finally received word from them via email that our second date was available. The following is the email I received from IIG regarding the cruise:
Thank you for your interest and participation in our promotional travel offer. It is our goal to provide you with quality customer service and provide you with travel arrangements that are best matched to your preferred travel dates. This "Tentative Online Itinerary" serves only as a price guide as all prices are subject to availability and prevailing rates at the time of Confirmation & Payment. Due to high call volume, for your convenience the best method of communication with me is through email. On the event you have chosen a travel date that is considered a holiday, peak season, or heavy traveled time frame, as a courtesy we have quoted additional fees if they apply, rather than send you a another Travel Request Form to select new dates. You will need to reply to by February 22nd whether you are accepting this offer, otherwise your certificate will be automatically put on hold. (Please be advised these travel quotes are time sensitive and are on a first come first serve basis) Required information to accept this offer must be faxed back by due date above. 1. See Attached Credit Card Authorization Form Per an earlier conversation & the terms and conditions of your certificate the following are the details of your requested trip. You are responsible for any Agency service fee, port fees / government fees & taxes above and beyond your deposit that might apply. Fees not covered in the terms and conditions of the certificate may or may not include a peak season fees, cabin upgrade, ship / itinerary upgrade, extra guests, travel insurance, gratuities & holiday fees. (Holiday is defined as one full week before, during, and after any major holiday) Please be advised this trip does include airfare from Denver International Airport. Voyage Information Ship: CARNIVAL CONQUEST Destination: WESTERN CARIBBEAN Departure Port: NEW ORLEANS Transportation Mode: CRUISEDayPort of CallArrival TimeDepart TimeSunNew Orleans, LA 4:00 PMMonFun Day At Sea TueFun Day At Sea WedMontego Bay, Jamaica9:00 AM6:00 PMThuGrand Cayman, Cayman Islands7:00 AM4:00 PMFriCozumel, Mexico10:00 AM5:00 PMSatFun Day At Sea SunNew Orleans, LA8:00 AM Itineraries are subject to change at any time without notice. Inside Stateroom (1A) Upper/Lower Berth is NOT AVAILABLE *Fee Status below includes: Upgrades, Holiday, Peak Time Frame and all taxes & service fees.* OPTION 1: Sail Date: 06/17/2012 Inside Stateroom - Total cost less $598 Deposit applied,balance due to book reservation is: $2250*Fee Status below includes: Upgrades, Travel Insurance, Holiday, Peak Time Frame and all taxes & service fees.* OPTION 2: Sail Date:06/17/2012 Inside Stateroom - Total cost less $598 Deposit applied,balance due to book reservation is: $2460 *Fee Status below includes: Upgrades, Travel Insurance, Gratuities, Holiday, Peak Time Frame and all taxes & service fees* OPTION 3: Sail Date 06/17/2012 Inside Stateroom - Total cost less $598 Deposit applied,balance due to book reservation is: $2625 (All staterooms are based on availability at time of booking) This is a quote only until attached form is received. Price is not guaranteed till booked and subject to change. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Payment must be by credit card, automatic check withdrawal or you can overnight a money order or cashiers check. Once your Credit Card Authorization form is received we will arrange your reservations and send you a confirmation letter letting you know everything is complete and your travel documents will be forwarded to you shortly after that. (approximately 2- 3 weeks prior to your departure) ************************************************************************* Please submit passenger\'s names as they appear on your drivers\' license or passport. Once booked there is no cancellation or refunds! Reservations Department Jodi Infinity Incentive Group, Inc P.O. Box 3479 Lake Havasu City, AZ 86405 Customer Service 866-510-1137 FAX: 866-334-3664
I replied to Jodi that this was a completely outlandish amount of money to pay for a "promotional cruise offer." Granted, we did request to upgrade from the Inside stateroom upper/lower berth to an inside stateroom with adjoining beds, but the total cost that IIG wants me to pay is more than I would pay if I went on Carnival's website and booked the exact same cruise, same ship, same dates, same cabin type, and booked airfare through Frontier Airlines!
I requested from Jodi a breakdown of the fees being charged, but she replied, " I do not get an itemized breakdown for contractual reason with the cruise line." She continued to argue with me through a series of emails, stating "I guarantee I can save you money by booking it through me then you can get for the same exact cruise." When I asked her what exactly she meant by "guarantee", she replied, "I mean I will save you money versus you booking the exact same cruise on Carnival how much all depends on what I have available to me. You have a promotional certificate I can save you as little as a few dollars to more but I can save you money." I asked again for the breakdown of fees, she repeated that she does not have access to that. Then I ended the interaction by replying, "My point exactly! Scam!! You are completely disingenuous, have not offered to address my concerns in any tangible way, other than to say you can "guarantee" that you can save me money through your certificate, but yet you cannot illustrate the savings (because there are none, obviously!). This conversation is over, unless you bump this up to your supervisor or someone who has the capacity to make decisions at your firm." She did place a phone call to me, but I did not return it.
There is absolutely no way I will book this cruise through IIG. Clearly this is a rip-off, and I will be requesting my money back through the clause on the certificate that states: "You may also cancel this contract if accommodations or facilities are not available pursuant to a request for use as provided in the contract." Since the above email states that an inside stateroom upper/lower berth is not available, then we should have no trouble receiving a refund of the $598 we have sent via money order.
I am suspicious that they will hold onto our money and try to book us on the 3rd cruise date that we had requested, but I also suspect that the accommodations included on the certificate are never actually available and that an upgrade is always necessary. That's how they make money; there is clearly no discount for me in this whole scam.