My wife and I just came back from the Global Vacation Network (GVN) presentation in Orlando (4/30/2011). We were there 120 minutes total, not 90 minutes as advertised and you must bring a credit card with you
(Danger Will Robinson, danger!).
Their vacation service is presented as one of two options. The first option offers very little and is about the same cost as the second option. The idea was for everyone to go for the second option. The enrollment fee was around $13, 000 to $14, 000 for their services.
When we sat one-on-one with the salesperson (which lasted about 2 hours), and declined to purchase their service, suddenly there were more options available. These options were not mentioned in the original presentation and I doubt that I would have learned about them or been offered any of them if I had not declined their original sales pitch and original price. [continued below]....
..... It was just a matter of time that "the manager" was sent over to chat with us and to make offers that only he could. He
offered the original service for around $6, 000. Imagine that, the cost was cut in half and they're still making a profit. We said no thanks.
Then a modified service was offered for around $3, 000. I should mention that there is also a $400 (approximately) yearly service fee on top of the enrollment fee.
By the way, I was expecting the sales tactic of "the first one to speak loses" and sure enough, I got it. I did not speak first and there was an awkward silence for about ten seconds. After declining all the offers put before us, we were told that we would be left alone for a few minutes to think it over (I guess they thought that we needed time to come to our senses). Did I mention that prior to our arrival we were told several times that there would be no pressure for us to buy anything? Right! At least they were not rude.
I should also mention that the free, promotional cruise we were offered just for attending the presentation was for "any" cruise line. And by free, they mean that it's free after I pay a $50, refundable fee, payable only with a money order or bank check (that should tell you something right there). In other words, give them cash, and don't hold your breath if you request a refund.
We told the marketing company rep.(the company with all the freebies) that if the free cruise was with Carnival Cruise Lines, we were not interested in attending GVN's presentation. They assured us that we had our choice of cruise lines. Want to guess which cruise line was on our voucher at the end of the presentation? That's right, Carnival Cruise Lines - the one Cruise Line we will never use due to a bad experience we had with them last summer. We called the marketing company to follow up
on this and we were assured that once we sent in our $50, we would get paperwork that would give us other cruise line options. I was told that no one has ever complained about a lack of options. To me, this is a $50 gamble. I would love to know if anyone has pursued this free offer and what their experience was.
The other free promotion was for a Magnavox Blue Ray DVD Disc Player. The voucher we received at the end of the promotion was for a Phillips brand (probably the cheapest brand available). Guess what, I just now read the voucher and it says that to get the free DVD player I have to visit their claims center, pay them a $25 non-refundable activation fee and an additional $60 non-refundable fee for shipping and handling.
Again, they only accept bank checks or money orders. It also says that all sales are final and they do not accept returns. So, if you receive a broken DVD player, you're out $85. It also states that you may receive a model other than Phillips (although the advertisement was for Magnavox) and now, who knows what they might ship. My wife just went online and told me that the Phillips Blue Ray DVD player sells for around $85. Oh brother!
I sat through the presentation thinking I would get something for my trouble. I see that I am wrong.
If this is how Global Vacation Network does business with me before becoming a customer, why on earth would I enter into a contract with them? And I do not accept the excuse that the marketing company is a different entity from Global Vacation Network and that they have no control over how "they" do business. Clearly, GVN is choosing to do
business with them and a person (or business) is judged by who you choose to keep company with, are they not? Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
At least I was with my wife and she's cool to hang with.