• Report: #290323

Complaint Review: Suncoast Vacations, Suncoast Incentives, Travel Services USA

  • Submitted: Mon, December 10, 2007
  • Updated: Sun, September 28, 2008

  • Reported By:Portland Oregon
Suncoast Vacations, Suncoast Incentives, Travel Services USA
2655 Ulmerton Road #188 Clearwater, Florida U.S.A.

Suncoast Vacations, Suncoast Incentives, Travel Services USA, United Vacation Network Deceptive practices and marketing by Suncoast Vacations - Beware!!! Clearwater Florida

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: bs

*Consumer Comment: Suncoast Travel World Vacations gives false addresses to empty building here is their reel address

*Author of original report: What to do? I'm not sure...

*Consumer Comment: What can we do?

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My partner and I made the mistake of attending a "Suncoast Vacations presentation during September 2007 in Oregon and signed a contract that turned out too good to be true. Suncoast Vacations is a (licensed) fictious name for Suncoast Incentives, which also operates under the same name as Travel Services USA, as well as United Vacation Network. We also have evidence linking World Vacations (Mc Donough GA), the company Suncoast uses to provide free vacation offers to seminar attendees, with Travel Services USA.

Suncoast claims to be able to send members to resort destinations anywhere they want to go for $499 per week for life. The only catch was that the membership was destination based, not resort specific. Upon review of their website , I discovered that they instruct members to refer to the "destination guide" (which was provided several weeks later) when selecting their resort locations.

Suncoast represented that they had been in business for 18 years claiming approximately 18,000 members. They did not provide their business license number, or other information that could assist a buyer in confirming their identity and validity. After much effort, we identified "Suncoast Vacations" as fictitious name registered on 7/10/07 for "Suncoast Incentives LLC" (filed 09/26/05). Suncoast Vacations therefore was NOT the company they represented themselves to be, and does not have the years of experience they claim.

Suncoast represented verbally and through a series of powerpoint presentation slides that they hold an exemplary rating by various organizations such as the Better Business Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce. The BBB first recognized "Suncoast Incentives, LLC" in September 2007, too recent to have any record on the company. The date also suggests that Suncoast Incentives, LLC, which was founded in 2005, may not have become active until September 2007.

Before we suspected fraud, we decided to try out the great benefits boasted by our Suncoast membership by submitting (via mail) a request for our first resort week 5 months in advance of our desired travel date. More than a week later, we still had not received a call acknowledging receipt of our request (which is supposed to occur within 72 hours of receipt). A phone call to Suncoast revealed that they had received the request, but had not opened or processed it yet. Under pressure to perform, our request of benefits from SUNCOAST was responded to with an email from UNITED VACATION NETWORK, with an offer two hours away from our requested resort destination.

While we realized this was a "destination based" vacation package when we purchased it, we did not expect that the destination we would be provide may be several hours away from the area we sought accommodations in. We declined the accommodation.

We found it especially disturbing that the request we made of Suncoast was responded to by United Vacation Network, a company that not only has many complaints filed against it and a poor business rating, but also had an inactive license at the time the offer was made. Our suspicions raised, we started looking a little more closely at this company we had purchased a membership with.

The contract stated that the agreement is legally binding under Oregon State Law, but also indicates that any disputes shall be resolved through binding arbitration in FLORIDA. This appears to be a conflict of interest that makes attaining legal representation unfeasible. There was no statement about our right to cancel the contract on the document.

We started reading reports suggesting that Suncoast Vacations was formerly known as United Vacation Network, which has a verifiable poor business rating. When we called Suncoast, Ms. Christy Daniel acknowledged that there are some misleading reports on Ripoff.com suggesting the companies are the same, but insisted that while they share the same building, they are NOT the same company.

Further investigation suggests otherwise. Not only do both companies share the same building, but they share the same phone number, have nearly identical websites with identical testimonials from satisfied clients.

The Florida Department of State Division of Corporations suggests that United Vacation Network's status is "inactive", and the company voluntarily filed for dissolution July 13th, 2007 to be effective October 13th, 2007. Suncoast Vacations filed their fictitious name on July 10th, 2007. Ms. Christy Daniel is not only the customer contact for Suncoast, but was also listed as the Better Business Bureau's customer contact for United Vacation Network. While these two companies may have different names and operating licenses, as far as we can tell they are one and the same.

ABC Action News in Florida ran a series of stories on Suncoast Incentives during November (including ex-employee interviews) that can be found on Utube and are very alarming.

We requested cancelation of our membership with Suncoast, which was declined. We also filed a fraud complaint with Visa, which resulted in a full refund of our membership fees.

Save yourself the headache and money don't bite at the free vacation postcard; it really wasn't worth it.

Portland, Oregon

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/10/2007 12:55 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Suncoast-Vacations-Suncoast-Incentives-Travel-Services-USA/Clearwater-Florida-33762/Suncoast-Vacations-Suncoast-Incentives-Travel-Services-USA-United-Vacation-Network-Dece-290323. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds


AUTHOR: Big Jon - (U.S.A.)

look, it sounds like you got your mony back and your satisfied. no one can be 100%.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Suncoast Travel World Vacations gives false addresses to empty building here is their reel address

AUTHOR: Sk - (U.S.A.)

Suncoast Travel World Vacations gives false addresses to empty building here is their reel address 17757 Us Highway 19 North, suite 600 Clearwater, FL 33764.
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#3 Author of original report

What to do? I'm not sure...

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (U.S.A.)

When we discovered we had been scammed, we made several phone calls and spent time digging online for any information that might be useful. We were told that the Division of Agriculture governs sellers of Travel in Florida, and when we called them were told that they would likely be the ones to represent us if the dispute went to binding arbitration. We were also referred to the Attorney General's office, but never took any action with either organization.

Since we paid for the package using a credit card, we decided to file a dispute through the credit company first, and let that run it's course. If you financed it some other way, you may not have that option. I suspect that stopping payment may undermine your credit rating.

As far as I can tell, United Vacation Network has been named in several lawsuits, some of which appear to have resulted in at least a partial refund. Now that the company is defunct, I'm not sure if there is any recourse. A good lawyer may be able to tell you more, but that is costly too.

I am hoping that if enough people complain to the Attorney General's Office and Division of Agriculture, maybe someone will find a way to shut these people down before they exploit other innocent people.

Good luck!
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#4 Consumer Comment

What can we do?

AUTHOR: Princess - (U.S.A.)

I have filed with the Att. Gen of Florida but feel we are talking to the wind. If this company has gone out of business ( and I am sure started up under a different name) why do we have to keep paying our monthly payment? Should we stop?
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