I stayed at a Ramada hotel and I filled out a survey about how satisfied I was with the service. Not too long afterward, I received a letter in the mail with a $1600 travel voucher from Ramada Plaza resort. I thought this was a legitimate thing. I called the number and made a $117 down payment on the vacation sometime back in 2005 when I lived in Arkansas. I had always wanted to go on a cruise and I bought this as a graduation gift for my boyfriend and me. My boyfriend is scheduled to graduate in 2009 and I graduated May 2008. The offer of locking in the price for a trip in the future was what got me sold since graduation plans don't always go as smoothly as one would hope.
So months passed and I almost forgot about the vacation when I got a phone call from Ramada. This was now December 2007. They stated that my account was delinquent and I needed to pay the balance I owed on the $698 cruise. I asked to cancel the vacation and was denied.
Instead of a cancellation, I was offered a better deal that would reinstate my account. This vacation would include extra days in Florida and also give me an extension on booking the travel date to May 31st 2009. This special package cost $898. Since I really wanted a vacation and didn't want the matter to reach to a collection agency, I foolishly put the $898 on my credit card.
Recently, I began getting calls to pay $298 port taxes in order to get a 6 month extension on my vacation that expires in January 2009. Otherwise, I would have to pay $87 for a six month extension in addition to the port taxes if I didn't travel by January. I told the sales person that I would think about it. The next day or two, I received another call. This time the salesperson said that he would give me all these tickets and vouchers and a 12 month extension if I paid the $298 port taxes. When I asked him about the January expiration, he said that the salesperson must have been subtracting the days since I have 60 days advance booking. When I told him that January to May was more than 60 days and started questioning how he came up with the amount for the taxes he became a bit annoyed and said, can I write this up for you. I thought that he meant that he was sending me something in the mail about what the offer was. He was in fact getting ready to charge my credit card. I told him that I am not paying anything right now.
It just so happened that this same night, I saw a special on tv about American greed and the kind of scams that target otherwise intelligent people. The story between the salespeople was inconsistent. They refused to send me anything in writing until I made a payment. So, I started looking up this vacation on the internet and realize to my embarrassment that I had been had. Why didn't I look this up before! There was no luxury about this overpriced vacation. And of course the timeshare trap/nightmare was never mentioned to me.
Now I am terrified to go on this vacation but I don't want my $1015 to go down the drain. It has been a long time, way way more than 30 days, since I made the payment so I anticipate that a refund will be next to impossible. However, I am willing to try. Is there any way I can salvage some of what I already spent? What steps can I take? Please, can anyone help me?
Rochester, New York