First of all, I want to thank whoever takes the time to read our complaint. HOPEFULLY THIS WILL HELP OTHERS! We feel very cheated by this company, and have demanded a full refund and were rejected. It all started when I received a letter in the mail on February 12, 2009 saying I won a FREE BAHAMAS CRUISE FOR TWO! So I read the small print before calling the toll free number, that way we wouldn't be suckered into paying money for something that was supposed to be FREE. Plus, it was only one call per notification, so I had to make my one phone call worth while. My fiancee was really skiddish about all of it, but agreed to call and ask "whats the catch"? When we called, the lady that answered, (Lucy Ruffin), sounded really excited that I had called, she asked for my confirmation number, which was inside the envelope, and I gave it to her without question. Lucy, (if thats even her name), told me we had won a FREE CRUISE to the bahamas! As she went through her ridiculous, obviously scripted, long speech on why this was such a great offer, she asked if we were interested. Well, of course we would be interested in something that sounded so luxurious and not to mention a great honeymoon! Lucy gave us their website, WWW.FLORIDA333.COM, and said we would get a DVD and brochures in the mail within 7 to 10 business days about our trip. She also said she would throw in two free passes to Universal Studios and free food wherever we stayed. Lucy went ON AND ON about how great this offer was and just kept repeating herself anytime we asked a question. The people that work for this poor excuse for a company are obviously like trained monkeys that are only allowed to say what is on the script. She eventually had to transfer me to her "supervisor", Frank Hartman, because we had so many questions that she wasn't allowed to answer. When Frank got on the phone, he acted like this was the most legit company out there! I was completely blunt with him, telling him we did NOT want to be scammed because we are young and getting married soon. Money is tight for us, so taking $400 out of our pockets for a cruise we don't even NEED, was HUGE for us. He ensured my fiancee and I that we would not be disappointed and we were in for a huge treat. After we agreed, he transferred us back to Lucy, who then put us on three way with the "verification" department, where a woman named Marilyn got on the phone. However, my gut told me this was too good to be true, but I ignored it because I was so excited about being able to afford a honeymoon. I could hear alot of people talking and laughing in the background, they even had to ask me to hold on so they could all sing happy birthday to someone. (Doesn't seem very professional to me, but I once again ignored that gut feeling and persisted into the deal). I wrote everything down that I possibly could that Lucy and Marilyn said. They kept me on the phone for an hour and a half for petes sake. She NEVER said anything about attending several timeshare meetings, which obviously were the "free tours" she kept talking about. Which I found out by researching the website they gave us (FLORIDA333.COM) which led us right here!! We read on and on about the horror stories that these people went through. Which tells us about how nasty the motel is, how gross, old, and small the boat is, the parking fees, the cabin fees, the persistant salesmen aboard the ship, and how awful the stay was. So of course we call them to get our money back! I thought about what I was going to say before I called them, hoping that being organized, polite, and good with my words would help us.
The man that answered the phone sounded young, asked me for my confirmation number, and transferred me to his supervisor, Frank again, after he realized that I had already made charges to our credit card. So this plays back to the first phone call when we were assured that everything was free other than the docking taxes for international waters, $99 per person. So all in all, they gave us 75% off of a cruise that they said was worth $3,000. After all the things I've read, this trip wouldn't be worth one penny! I mean, you only get to stay in the Bahamas for one day anyway. The other days you are staying at motels in Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando. (And the Universal Studios tickets they offered are only given if you go to ANOTHER timeshare meeting.) They fail to mention that the RAMADA RESORT thats supposed to be so luxurious is nothing more than a stinky, old, dirty motel. The boat is the Regal Empress,(we researched that too) which is 50 years old and smells of urine, and upon boarding the ship, they put you on a guilt trip by enforcing everyone to tip the ships staff very well considering they make hourly wages of $8 an hour, and that our tips are feeding their families. They also added that they would record our conversation so that everything would be stated plain and clear, (still nothing about timeshares).
So when the man put me on the phone with the supervisor, Frank, I tried to lie to the man, (hoping he wouldn't hang up on me and take all of our money), and told him that we just made the decision too quickly without thinking about our financial status. He immediately assured me that they do NOT give refunds, BUT I read in the fine print on the letter they sent me, it says REFUNDS SUBJECT TO LAW OF STATE IN WHICH CONSUMER RESIDES. So I asked him why in the world would a free cruise be given to me of all people? He said well, people are chosen due to their age, credit history, place they live in, occupation, and travel patterns. HAHA! I'm young, not much credit history, live in Arkansas, "decent" paying job, and never ever travel! He obviously underestimated us, thinking he was going to steal our money. I stayed calm and responded by saying okay, asked for RAMADA RESORTS number and corporates number, and he gave them to me. Let me add that Frank was RUDE and raised his voice at me several times throughout our conversation. I had to ask him to lower his voice, considering he was the one getting our money in the first place. HOW UNPROFFESIONAL!!! When I got off the phone with him I said, "Well sir, Thanks so much for all your help." I immediately researched Ramada Inn Resorts actual website before calling the number he gave me. The numbers matched. So I thought, "okay, maybe its not a scam and I'm freaking out." I called the Hotel and the lady that answered the phone was monotone and rude. I asked her if I could speak to the supervisor and she said, "Well that would be me." OH COME ONE LADY! How often do SUPERVISORS of HOTELS answer the phone? Seriously? Shouldn't they be traveling around to different hotels and have the front desk answer the phone? BULLCRAP she was the supervisor, I do not believe that for a second. So I asked her to send me to whoever was above her and she transferred me to a voicemail. I left a message, that was a week ago, and still no reply on my message.
The $400 we spent was supposed to be our "DOWN PAYMENT" for our $800 cruise that is supposed to be free. But hey, we understand that taxes are taxes, so we didn't argue. They even had the NERVE to ask if we wanted to donate $1 to sick children, which of course we did. I'll be darned if we don't get our dollar back! We were also assured that our RAMADA RESORT was only 15 minutes from the beach, which it is an hour (again, we found here on this website). They also don't mention that half the things they try to sell you, like great shopping malls and the beach, doesn't matter , because your doing timeshares all the time. When I was on the phone with Mr. Hartman, he told me that I could listen to my copy of the recorded conversation if I called corporate on Monday (which was Presidents Day). The stupid number they gave me doesn't even work. I am absolutely insulted by this matter and I want a refund of our hard earned money. We are about to get married, and are out of $400 because of some low life scammers. How do they live with themselves everyday? I would rather work at McDonalds than screw people over every day. So we called our credit card company, asked them to cancel the payment, contacted the attorney general of our state, and we do intend on getting our money back. I will definately update as soon as I get it. LET ME ADD THAT A 4 DAY 3 NIGHT CRUISE ON THE CARIBBEAN IS CHEAPER THAN THIS CRAP! AND YOU DONT HAVE TO STAY IN A CRAPPY HOTEL/MOTEL, EAT CRAPPY FOOD, OR STAY IN A POS SHIP!
SO FOR YOU PEOPLE OUT THERE ASKING FOR HELP, DO THE FOLLOWING!
1. Call your credit card company and ask for the payment to be cancelled if it hasn't went through already. DO THIS ASAP!
2. Research your state laws that protect you against scams.
3. Call the low lives that took your money and ask for a full refund, but be POLITE. You don't want anyone hanging up on you or stalking you on private number.
AND I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU "IMPERIAL MAJESTY" WANNABES! LOOK AT WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO PEOPLE. SCREWING ELDERLY WOMEN OUT OF THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY MONEY. SCREWING NEWLYWEDS OUT OF THEIR HONEYMOON. YOUR PATHETIC. AND DONT USE THE "OH I CANT FIND A JOB" EXCUSE, BECAUSE MCDONALDS IS HIRING!
P.S. These people aren't even accredited by the Better Business Bureau.