Hi everyone. I hope by sharing my story it will help some of you. And please know that no matter what they tell you, YOU CAN STILL GET YOUR MONEY BACK.
In 2008 I received a travel voucher in the mail from Ramada Plaza Resorts for $1,600. It said something about being a credit card reward. My fiance and I had been planning our honeymoon with a very low budget, so we decided that he would call and listen to the timeshare spiel, just to check it out. After a 15-minute, high-pressure sales pitch, they asked him to pay $498 for a cruise. We didn't have the funds and my fiance is really wise about scam offers, so they instead accepted a $100 non-refundable deposit with a 3-day cancellation period. (They said it was a one-phone call per voucher offer.) We immediately researched the company and found that it lacked integrity, so he called the very next day on 4/5/08 and cancelled the vacation package. He got a cancellation number, they kept the $100 non-refundable deposit, and we thought our business with them had ended.
Fast-forward 18 months: After we had married and I was home alone on 11/12/09, a supervisor from "Imperial Majesty" called me and rudely asked, "Did you forget about your vacation package?" I informed her that my husband had handled these matters and that neither of us had purchased a package; in fact, I was sure he had cancelled it. She claimed that yes, we had purchased a $498 cruise, and she was looking at my credit card information we gave them to authorize the charge. I felt extremely pressured and, knowing I was not as smart about these schemes as my husband, I told her that I would call him to ask him about it and that he would call her back. She said, "Ma'am, I am not authorized to speak with anyone other than the primary account holder for security reasons, and furthermore I am going to charge the $498 package you owe us immediately if you hang up the phone."
Then the sales rep said I could extend the expiration date and--look, she was even going to throw in a few more bonus trips if I authorized her to charge the "remaining" amount that we had left to pay. I legitimately, however naive I was, thought we had to pay up, so she asked me which credit card to process the $898 charge on, I gave her my card info and authoized the charges with voice recording.
I called my husband and he said that he had cancelled it and he told me to just act quickly and close that credit card account. I called my credit card, and the charge had already been made (Capital One's fraud protection is not as good as other cards, btw), so I told them I wanted to dispute the charge on the basis of malinformation. I didn't have internet service at our house since we were about to move, so I didn't look up Imperial Majesty's number to cancel immediately. I wish I had.
After weeks of receiving no paperwork to fill out from Capital One and not receiving a vacation packet from Imperial Majesty, I called Capital One back and asked why nothing had been sent. Shantell from Imperial Majesty also called me on 12/8/09 and said that they had mailed the package, but it had been sent back (wrong address). I was busy and only wanted my husband to speak to them from here on, so I told Shantell to call my husband and gave her his number. She never called him.
At this point, after waiting for the package and credit card paperwork, it had been just over 30 days since I authorized the charges. We got Internet service and I started researching how to get my money back and found all of the complaints here on Ripoff Report.
Today, 12/16/09, I called Ramada Plaza Resorts' number 1-800-203-9783 and asked to speak to a customer care specialist. I was transferred to Lauren. I told her that I still had not received my package and that I wanted to cancel anyway. She offensively said that it was my fault for having moved and not received the travel package. When she asked why I wanted to cancel, I told her about the negative reports I had read on this website. She then tried to tell me that RipoffReport.com was currently in a lawsuit because this was "a fraudulent website." I politely told her that hundreds of complaints from people were not fraudulent and I still was entitled to my full refund of $898. She started yelling at me, telling me I had no right to cancel, and then I asked to speak to her supervisor.
I was transferred to Pam, the floor supervisor. I was completely polite to her. She said she understood that they had tried to send it to me, so she updated my mailing address. Then I asked, "Pam, would you tell me what information other than the travel vouchers is in the package? Is there information about cancelling within 3 days? I'm going to cancel as soon as I receive it due to a lack of funds and would like a full refund." She offered to reduce the price by half, and I jokingly said "No thank you, my husband would shoot me if I took you up on that because we need the money!" So she said there was no point in mailing us the packet and wasting their postage money, so she initiated the cancellation right then and I MADE SURE I GOT A CANCELLATION NUMBER. The money will be refunded to my credit card soon. Victory!!
If you've had the packet for more than 3 days, I hear it's a little more difficult to get a refund, but you can. Know your rights, especially regarding the Florida State Sellers of Travel Act, which says you have 30 days to receive a refund (not 3) from purchase or receipt of goods, whichever is later. File complaints with the Florida Attorney General's Office, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, and the Better Business Bureau. And if you haven't done business with this disreputable company and are thinking about calling them to get a good deal, DON'T!!