Before I wrote this I attempted to contact the president of MVI through the email listed here on Rip-Off Report. I got no response. Don't waste your time too! Minivacations/MVI is a marketing scam not a travel agency! Here is the story of how I almost got shafted for Valentine's Day 2006:
My fianc and I booked a cruise through MVI Minivacations last October (10-2005) after receiving a certificate during the purchase of our Mazda pickup. We followed all the instructions provided to us in the certificate and through subsequent conversations with the Minivacations cruise department. This booking process was tortuous, with long periods on hold, being disconnected and/or shuffled to voicemail, no callbacks, and generally poor customer service. This should have been a clue. Also the price for the "free" cruise was $1400. FYI, you can book the same cabin, on the same ship, on the same cruise, for the same price through the cruise line's website, but my fianc really wanted to go badly.
But the story continues, after booking we paid via credit card in two payments according to instructions from the agent. One was paid in October with the follow on final payment in November (2005). Afterward we never received not so much as a thank you email - no receipts, no confirmation information, NOTHING!
During the first week of January, as the date of the cruise (we though) we had booked approached, we again went through the hold (1-1.5 hours), shuffle to voicemail/disconnect, no-callback routine in an attempt to acquire our reservation number and square away our travel documents with the cruise line. Once we made finally made contact the agent informed us that they didn't have the reservation number available yet, but it should be included in a packet that should have been mailed or would be mailed to us shortly. In other words all we have received for our money was hours on the phone, "It's in the mail", and two charges to our account totaling $1400+.
We waited another week for the "packet". It never came. Now the cruise is leaving in two weeks and we have nothing, so once more we call back. After one and a half hours on hold this time we are told there was a "booking error", and our trip had never been reserved. Let me say that again - after almost 90 days with the money in their hands they NEVER BOOKED THE CRUISE.
But it gets even better! Rather than offer to refund our money, offer us another accommodation, or do anything at all to resolve the situation, Minivacations says we have to go through our credit company and institute a charge-back to recover our money. In other words we have to do all the work and they get to keep the interest on the money we paid. If it wasn't for that I could chalk this all up to bad customer service, however since they get to keep the interest on my money I think it really approaches fraud and is definitely a rip-off.
I'll be looking into that in both Texas and Florida, and complaining to the company that presented us the certificate right after we get back from the cruise I booked online in about 10 minutes - for the same price, on the same ship, sailing the same day. Save your time, throw away the MVI certificate and go to Expedia or Orbitz. Tell whoever gave you the certificate what a load of crap it is and that it means nothing to you. In other words MVI is a rip-off!
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on MVI Marketing Mini Vacations