ED Magedson – Founder
Global Vacation Network:"Spirit Incentives"- Grand Rapids, MI And Orlando, FL3949 Sparks Dr. SE, Suite 200 Grand Rapids, Michigan United States of America
Buyer beware. My husband & I attended a presentation given by Global Vacation Network this evening and I can honestly say our experience was very similar to those of others on this site.
We were taken into a large office after the presentation & sat down with a sales rep who tried very hard to sell us on this vacation club. The initial price was $8,900. Well, I don't care what you are selling but I don't even buy a car right on the spot without first taking a day or two to think about it and discuss it with my husband - in private - not in front of a complete stranger. I was told if we didn't buy at that moment the price would go up to $12,900.
I still wasn't going to buy right then & there and told the sales person such as I didn't want to waste not only my time but hers as well. I explained that we simply don't spend that kind of money without taking some time to think it over. Her demeanor instantly changed from being very nice to very rude and angry. She flat out told us that if we didn't buy tonight we wouldn't come back and buy at all. (later, driving home my husband told me that after her attitude changed, she lost him. Even if we could go back & buy into the club for a lower price he wouldn't due to her behavior).
She then took us into an office (initially you are in a large room with several tables where couples are placed with a sales person), so she could speak with us "privately". She tried to get us to join immediately by bringing the price down and again, I told her I couldn't do that tonight. She flat out asked me why I even came down if I wasn't interested. I told her that although I had the name of the company I didn't know what exactly was going to be sold and at what price. They don't tell you any of this over the phone or in their email.
I was really, really thrown by how upset she was with us. I just wanted to get the heck out of there - we had already been there over 2 hours. She gave us our vouchers for the "free" incentives for just attending and after getting home I immediately went online to find out what the conditions of acceptance were.
You really need to read the conditions very carefully. First of all, the email sent to us to confirm our reservation is VERY misleading. It states (and I am typing this Exactly as it is on the email)
"This is a written guarantee that you will receive your choice of the following gifts simply for attending."
3 Days and 2 nights accommodations and round trip airfare from any major internationsl airport in the continental U.S. to any major airport in the continental U.S.
A 4 day and 3 night cruise, for two, to the Bahamas and round trip airfare to and from their port of departure.
8 days and 7 nights in a condominium. For a bonus gift, you will receive a one week car rental.
Please note: Along with your choice of vacation, you will also receive a special bonus gift of a $300.00 rebate certificate to be used on purchased made at your choice of WalMart, KMart, Target or Sears.
I always thought a "gift" given to me meant "free". Guess I was wrong!
I write this word for word because it is important to note that once you receive your GVN Premium Incentive List the true facts are different than promised. And once you go onto the web site to obtain more information about each incentive you find that nothing is free. At first I figured "that is all very fine. Even if we have to spend $200 it is still a great deal." I mean, both of us can't fly round trip anywhere for that kind of money.
Regardless of which incentive you choose, you have to send in a deposit of $100 for the ones with air fare included and $50 for the condominimum stay only Before they send you the paperwork to make a reservation. It states that if they don't use this depost to cover any taxes or fees, the balance would be returned to you. Hmm, now I am getting suspicious.
Reading the conditions for the "free" round trip airfare for 2, it states that we are responsible for any govt taxes, airline fees, etc. Ok, that sounded reasonable until I read these fees range from $189.00 to $225.00 per person. Huh? Figuring the cost of airfare should be around $300 or so per person if I bought it myself, that sounded high.
So, to check if airlines really do charge that kind of money for taxes and fees I went onto a couple of airline web sites to see what we would have to pay for a round trip ticked from Detroit to Miami. Out of the total fare, the taxes and fees only came to roughly $45.00 per ticket!
My husband & I opted not to try to obtain our "free" gift because of our fear that we would be charged not only the $100 deposit and never see that again, but that we would be charged the full $225 per person (total of $450.00) for the airfare. So in reality the "free" trip would cost us $550.00. Not to mention the fact that you have to secure the payment of the "taxes & fees" with a credit card. I was afraid that once they had my credit card information other "fees" would be tacked on.
Another point I would like to make: the special bonus gifts are not really "gifts". For the $300 rebate, you first have to spend $300 and then you would receive a rebate in the amount of $25. You are only allowed 1 $25 rebate per month. Also--and you have to read the fine print - you have to fill out and return a W-9 to redeem these rebates. So they can report it to the IRS. I have no problem paying taxes, but don't call something a free gift when it isn't. If you tax me it isn't a gift. This also applies to the incentive trips as well. They will determine what the value of this trip is and then report to the IRS, regardless of whether or not that value is a fair value or not I am guessing.
I am very glad I checked this out before I spent any money. One poster defending Global Vacation Network said we shouldn't blame GVN but the marketing company who puts out these emails. In my opinion, GVN IS most definately responsible for the behavior of the marketing company THEY hired. GVN is the one who hires the marketing company to distribute these emails and post cards to entice people to come to their presentations (a fact the speaker at the presentation pointed out. He admitted that if they didn't provide these incentives people probably wouldn't come)and GVN most certainly tells the marketing company how to do this. They are responsible.
If there are people who have had positive experiences with GVN, good for you. But please do not bash the posters who had negative experiences. When I read rebutals bashing the nay sayers, I immediately believe these are coming from GVN employees trying to make these people look bad.
You do not have to be some poor, ignorant fool to be taken in. These companies are very slick and know how to get people sucked in. I almost did myself and consider myself to be fairly intelligent.
As my husband & I said once we got all this information, the old addage is so true - "If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is". Let's face it folks, nothing is for free in this life, so please be careful before buying into anything.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/09/2010 10:16 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/global-vacation-networkspirit-incentives-grand-rapids-mi-and-orlando-fl/grand-rapids-michigan-49546/travel-agenciesglobal-vacation-netwglobal-vacation-network-spiri-ae747htm-591598. 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.
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