Sun International Travel invited us via mail and confirmation via phone to a 1-hour presentation at a hotel in Greensboro, NC. My wife and I attended the presentation and were impressed with the incredible discounts and vacation packages.
These vacations came with a price. We had to pay $5,000 up front and also an annual fee of $300. After we joined the membership (and they discounted us $500 because we paid with a check instead of a credit card) we found that we could get the same pricing by booking online directly without their help.
Every time we would try to book a vacation it took hours or even days to get a quote to us and when they got back to us the savings were the same at what we could find online with any travel booking site - travelocity, expedia, etc. In fact, we could even find cheaper quotes directly from the cruise line when we wanted to take a cruise.
We wanted to go to Hawaii and there was no availability in Hawaii for a condo (which they said they always had availability) so instead, they offered to book us at a hotel that they quoted us a $475 hotel price which we found on expedia for $149 for the same style room.
We tried to get out of the membership and was told that there was no right to cancel though the state of North Carolina has a 3 day right to cancel and then after doing our research, Florida also has a 3 day right to cancel. Rebecca Basso was very matter of fact and tried to tell us how she was trying to help us but could not release us of our committment because we signed a contract. To by frank, she was quite rude and spoke down to us like we uneducated and simple - very offensive.
So we decided to give it another try and was given to an agent by the name of Michael who was going to book a cruise for us. Of course, messages were left for Michael and Rebecca and neither would return our calls in a timely fashion.
By the time they called us back, we had booked our cruise directly with the cruiseline. We didn't tell them we had booked the cruise and took the pricing that they quoted us. We had booked the cruise for a better rate then they quoted us and the cruise line included additional discounts with our reservation to use on the ship (when asked if they could get any on-cruise discounts, they could not).
Sun International Travel then tried to win back our business by telling us they would give us a discount that still did not beat the price the cruise line gave us directly.
Then we found online someone who purchased the same membership with the same number of vacation weeks for $2995. This really upset myself and my wife.
We are reviewing our options with a lawyer but want everyone to know this travel club membership is a ripoff and a scam and they lie about the discounts. Do not buy into this hoax. All you will get is a lot of disappointment and lose your money. The service is horrible and the pricing they show in the presentation is "never available and always sold out".
And in these tough financial times, their discounts sound great but are pure lies. Do not do business with this company - they will cheat you.
Greensboro, North Carolina