We and another couple had paid $500 each couple as a down payment towards a 'free' cruise that was awarded us for having sat through a time-share presentation. The majority of the fee is based on the upgraded cabins desired on the cruise (the standard 'bunk-beds' on the original free offer did not sound like a comfortable seven days at sea). We elected to have the payment done on my Discover card at the suggestion of the MVI rep to aid in ensuring we would have adjoining rooms, dining arrangements met, etc. We repeatedly attempted to speak to someone at MVI as I was not comfortable forwarding the balance of the fees without confirmation. We were told that the deadline to forward the balance of fees was 2/6/06. We had requested an email confirmation, which we never received. Carnival Cruise Lines had no record of us having a cabin reserved on the sail date we had been booked for, 5/6/06. After contacting BBB's website, I proceeded to call the other alternative phone numbers that were listed on the page with the following link:http://www.bbbwestflorida.org/commonreport.html?bid=12823
I finally spoke to a person at the 888-269-0182 phone number by the name of Francis on 2/6/06. I explained to Francis the situation. Francis claimed the number I had called was to 'Grand Getaways'. I explained that I had obtained this number from the BBB, that it was listed as an alternate number for MVI. Francis stated the MVI was no longer in business. I inquired 'since when'? He stated that MVI closed on Fri, 2/3/06. I asked if the company 'Grand Getaways' was affiliated with MVI. He said 'no'. I asked if Michael Burkes (President/CEO of MVI) was associated with them, he said 'no longer'. We have have not been able to contact anyone at MVI via telephone since Fri, 2/3/06. Apparently, the information received from Francis is accurate, that MVI has indeed closed their business.
There are two points that disturb me most: 1_ They had intentionally tried to get our money on the last day of their business being open. To me, that constitutes intentional fraud and I would expect that there should be some criminal charges that derive from this. Perhaps a class action law suit? 2_ Rip-Off Report nearly had me convinced that this was a business in good standing. If this owner/CEO is such a stand-up guy why haven't we heard from him? I would not base any decisions on Rip-Off Reports alone!
Saint Charles, Illinois