ED Magedson – Founder
Great Escapes / Advantage Travel385 Inverness Pkwy Internet United States of America
First, just a simple statement of facts.
- according to their contract, you can't cancel.
- there is no refund. Can't cancel, can't get a refund. Not even if you never used the service.
- you will spend somewhere around $5000 for the membership, and about $250/yr for membership maintenance dues. If you wish to keep using the membership, you have to keep up to date on the yearly fee, regardless if you travel that year or not. If you're back dated on your dues, you have to catch up before being able to continue using the membership, WHICH YOU PAID FOR ALREADY.
- This is not timeshare. You get no deed, it is not real property. You're spending $4000 or so for a membership, not real property. The access you get is to THEIR timeshare properties. There are two weeks that are available to you to use (like a timeshare), but availability of the condos were very limited in our experience. They attempt to make it sound like it is like timeshare in the aspect that you can "will" it to your kids. This is purely at their convenience, and is not legal like a deed being part of your estate.
- the dues are supposed to be so that you can get travel without paying a commission. Just think about that statement for a minute, you're paying money so you don't pay a commission. So long as you're traveling enough to cover that initial $250, you then travel commission free. But remember, you ponied up $5000 for this privilege, so yo're going to have to also travel enough to recoup that in commissions and savings.
- any free travel you get for signing up (or attending) will be in the form of vouchers that you have to usually reserve with money (somewhere around $20 is what we spent for the one voucher we had). We provided every bit of information to the letter of what they required, and when they contacted us to tell us that the three dates we selected were (conveniently) unavailable, that's the last we heard of them after attempting to find other dates.
This is just a simple list. I've seen many reports where some "happy customer" pipes up and tries to say that it's just a matter of opinion and how you get out of it what you make of it. By listing these things, I'm trying to make it not a matter of opinion, but simply sticking to the facts.
Now for my experiences and opinions:
My main point is: remember they are asking you to part with upwards of $5000 and more of your hard earned cash, and for what? Keep asking yourself that. Is this really worth it? Can you get the same deals elsewhere? They will tell you that you must purchase right there right then, otherwise the deal will not be available. It will sound too good to be true, and in my experience, it is. We've had this membership for four years, and every time we tried to use it, all of the places we wanted to go were always booked.
After four years,never having actually used it, they would not allow me to cancel thecontract, and certainly will not give me a refund. I've beendissatisfied with their service since the very first time I tried tobook something, and haven't been able to get out of it since. Eventhrough the time when I was unemployed they hounded me for theirpayment, trying to get me to pay them before buying food for myfamily. Yes, they were that heartless.
To conclude: you pay $5000 or more, plus the yearly fee, just to getaccess to a travel agency. You can save your money and find betterdeals on the net, and not be tied to one agency just because you boughtinto their membership. You will have to travel an awful lot throughthem to recoup the $5000+ you spend on the membership. In my opinion, it's a scam. Not worth it
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/07/2011 11:06 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/great-escapes-advantage-travel/internet/great-escapes-advantage-travel-great-escapes-ask-yourself-if-its-worth-it-4000-f-680236. 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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