We initially responded to a postcard to attend a travel presentation. In return, one of the offers that we would receive would be two round-trip airline tickets. We had even asked when we were responding if there were any additional fees, and we were told that there were nottwo complimentary airline tickets with the typical black-out dates occurring around the major holidays. We were later sent these 'free' airline tickets about a month after the presentation and discovered that there was a $65 fee for each ticket, and they wanted the money up front and sent within a month. We thought it was not only suspicious, but extremely misleading. We were specifically told that these were complimentary. How is $65 plus any taxes, fees, transportation, airport facility charge, fuel surcharges, surcharges and security fees complimentary?
We attended the presentation and based on what we were told, we agreed to sign up for the service at a cost of $2544.00. In a letter dated June 7th, we were sent our Member number and password. We could not activate the website until we received that letter. We received the letter on Saturday, June 9th. Upon navigating the website, we were extremely disappointed to see that the travel deals we were told about in the presentation were not as 'plentiful' and 'inexpensive' as was mentioned and shown during the presentation. Also during the presentation, it was mentioned they had exclusive airfare deals that we could find on the website that the general public was not privy to. When we went to the website and entered airline travel dates, the search and prices were no different than going to a travel website such as Priceline, Travelocity, Expedia, etc.
Another example of how we were misled was their Member Rewards program. This is a part of the website where members could go to and get discounts on things such as restaurants. We specifically asked if Darden (parent company of Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Smokey Bones, etc) was one of the participants since we dine there frequently, and we were told it was on the site. Upon navigating when we finally received our password and username, we found that this 'members only/exclusive benefit' was nothing more than restaurant.com anybody can go to this website for free. We were lied to by the salespeople of Global Explorers and told only members with a paid membership can access this website with all the amazing discounts. You can imagine our disappointment for paying all of that money and then finding out on our own that we could have done that for free' and Darden is not even on there' another lie.
After reviewing the numerous inaccuracies on the website, I called Global Explorers on Monday, June 11th and asked for a person by the name of Don Stewart. This was the same gentleman that had sold us the product. I told him that I was unhappy with what I had called as being deceived and asked for a refund. He told me that he would get back with me within the hour and I have never heard from him since. The person that I have talked with the most since that point is a lady by the name of Janae Tew (phone #: 941-487-3668). I contacted her and mentioned that Don Stewart had never returned my call. I again asked for a refund and was told immediately that a refund was not possible.
During the month of June, I had called and talked with Janae Tew 3-4 times and each time had asked for a refund and was told each time that a refund was not possible. She then tried to set up a free week for our family on a beach near Clearwater, Florida since I was unhappy and kept asking for a refund. I told her that my wife and I were not trying to get a free vacation' we just wanted our money back since their company had been grossly misrepresented to us. A free vacation was certainly not worth the almost $2500 that we paid and how upset we were that we were lied to and made promises from a company that we had trusted. We do not pay out this kind of money unless we really think it is for something valuable. We were made promises from the salespeople of Global Explorers and they were not solidified. As consumers, my wife and I feel that we are entitled to our money back.
The bottom line is this: I am a consumer who purchased a product that I am unhappy with. I contacted the company within three days of receiving my username and password and told them I was unhappy and wanted to cancel the service for a refund and they declined numerous times. People at that place of business do not return my phone calls in a timely manner and they have put me on hold for over 30 minutes at a time until I finally have to hang up. Their 'exclusive' website is no more than any regular airfare search engine on the internet and their 'Rewards Program' is nothing more than any regular website that any person can log on to.
I am (as are others) trying to settle this dispute with my credit card company. I have not used the travel club at all and even declined the free vacation that they offered us to make us stop asking for our money back. All I want is my money back, and nothing more.