Mini Vacations (410 Ware Blvd., 9th Floor, Tampa, FL 33619) aka or associated with the Integra Marketing Group, Inc (7020 East Professional Parkway, Suite A, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34240) appears to be a fraudulent business that scams consumers. My experience with Mini Vacations/Integra Marketing Group is as follows:
A while back I received a vacation certificate (I believe it was after sitting in on some sort of presentation). The certificate is from "Mini Vacations" and is titled "It's Your Getaway" and stated, "This offer entitles you and a companion to enjoy 3 funfilled days and 2 exciting evenings of hotel accommodations at one of the beautiful destinations offered in this certificate." Those destinations included various places within the U.S. and some international locations (i.e. Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Mexico, Caribbean). The certificate further stated, "To validate this vacation offer, simply read the entire certificate and then follow the steps below: Step 1: For activation of this vacation offer, you must contact our automated activation center which can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at: www.mailmethekit.com or by calling 1-877-377-0030." The certificate listed a "certificate code," a "certificate number," and an expiration date of 05/31/06. I put the certificate in a drawer and there it sat for quite some time.
Toward the end of 2005, I realized I still had this certificate and that it was due to expire in May of 2006. So, I decided to take advantage of my "Getaway" by following "the steps" to activate my vacation offer. I followed Step 1, by logging on to www.mailmethekit.com and following the prompts. I entered my certifacte number and certificate code and a "vacation planning form" popped up on the screen. The instructions said to complete the form, submit the original certificate with the form and a $50 "refundable room guarantee deposit." The form required that I list three separate vacation destinations "due to changing availability," a vacation date that was at least 30 days away, and mail it to: Integra Marketing Group, Inc. 7020 East Professional Parkway Suite A, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34240. So, that's exactly what I did on March 5, 2006.
In late March of 2006, I received a letter from "Integra Marketing Group" with the same address as mentioned above, but "Sarasota" was listed as the city instead of "Lakewood Ranch" (I am from California so I have no idea if these cities neighbor each other or what). The envelope stated, "Your Vacation Documents Enclosed." But, what I found inside was a letter dated March 17, 2006 that stated, "The destination that you selected is not available, as are [sic] allotments are full." The letter was from the Integra Marketing Group "Reservations Department." The little things like the change in city, the grammar mistake, the lack of contact information (i.e. no name of a representative listed, no phone number) made me suspicious. I attempted to call the number listed on the mini vacations certificate 1-877-377-0030, but the line was constantly busy. I attempted to access information from the website, but when I entered my certificate code and number it stated that they had already been used and would not allow me to log in. So, I filled out another "Vacation Planning Form" (luckily I made photocopies of the originals I sent in) and, not only listed three destination choices, but also listed three departure dates (all in May of 2006). I also enclosed a letter expressing my concern, regarding the fact that I had listed three destination choices in the past, as required, but was being told that "the destination" I selected was not available (I stopped short of saying I smell scam).
That letter, along with a new vacation planning form was mailed (priority mail) on March 27, 2006. In the letter I stated that I expected the expiration date to be officially extended beyond May 31, 2006, should my request again be declined based on availability. I further stated that I wanted a letter from a supervisor and a contact number should my request be declined.
It is now April 13, 2006 and I have not received a response to my request/letter. I decided to google "mini vacations" and came across the Rip-off Report website, where I was able to read other complaints about mini vacations. Whether it be Mini Vacations or Integra Marketing Group, it has fraud written all over it. I tried calling the 1-877-377-0030 number again today, but go figure...it's a busy, busy, busy signal. I called information and asked for Mini Vacations in Tampa, the following number was listed: 813-621-1111, but guess what? Yep, a busy, busy, busy signal. So, I called information and asked for the "Integra Marketing Group" in Sarasota and the following number was listed: 941-907-6722. I called this number and a woman answered stating "Integra Marketing" and identified herself as "Pat." She transferred me to the "Reservations Department" so that I could follow up on my vacation planning form. The "Reservations Department" told me that my form was in the "Booking Department" and that they should know by next week whether or not my request has been approved. I asked to speak to the person in charge and she indicated that person is "Kim Brown" at ext. 121. She further stated that Kim was gone for that day and out of town, but would be back next week. She also indicated that "Mini Vacations" had gone out of business. She transferred me to Ms. Brown's ext. and I left a voice message asking her to call me, as I was inquiring about my vacation request and concerned that it had not been processed and my departure dates were quickly approaching.
Well, that's it for now. I will log back in next week with an update.
South San Francisco, California
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on MVI Marketing Mini Vacations