Yesterday I received a letter in the mail form Ramada Plaza resorts. The letter included a "one thousand six hundred dollar travel voucher" for the purchase of a "spectacular Florida/Tropical Caribbean Cruise". I was a bit skeptical since the letter stated I received the voucher because of my responsible financial history, but the letter was sent to my mailing address and not my billing address, so who could the letter be from? However, the Ramada and Carnival names on the letter seemed to reassure me a bit, so I called the number given to see what this was all about.
When I called, a very pleasant and enthusiastic woman named Marcy answered the phone. She stated that I received the voucher because It was shown that I was a person who likes to travel - which is true, so I figured I must have filled something out on a vacation somewhere. She then went on to explain that this was a special offer from Ramada Plaza Resorts to get people to experience their new hotel in Orlando and their cruise line (Imperial Majesty) which very few people knew about. All they asked in return was for me to tell all my friends what a wonderful time I had.
She then stated all the details of the trip - I would spend 3 days and 2 nights in their Ft. Lauderdale hotel and only have to pay the hotel tax. All I would have to do was go on a "tour of the vacation village" during my stay. From Ft Lauderdale I would then go on to a 3 night/2 night cruise to Nassau/Bahamas where all I would have to pay is $99/person in port fees. After the cruise I would stay in Orlando at their newest Hotel. The trip was a total of seven days and I would be given an Alamo rental car for my stay (all I had to pay was taxes on the car).
The sales rep went on and on about what a great opportunity this was and how much of a good time I was going to have. She even went as far as giving me her home number (at least she said it was her home number) to call her when I got to Florida, so she can tell me sights to visit. All this seemed to good to be true, then she told me that there was a small catch - The trip cost $399/per person for two people for a total of $798. This sounded reasonable to me, so I decided to make a down payment of $199 and pay six monthly fees of $99.83.
After going through the verification process, I still felt a bit unsure about my purchase so I decided to do some research. I should have done the research first. I typed in "Ramada trip scam" on google and I immediately saw "Ramada" and "Rip off" in the same sentence - my jaw dropped. I was mortified reading all the complaints against the company. I immediately tried to call back to cancel my trip, but I was told I would have to contact customer service and of course, they were closed.
I called customer service this morning and I told the woman who answered the phone that I would be unable to make the monthly payments so I would like to cancel my trip. She then transferred me to a manager by the name of Tiffany. I gave her the same information and was told that the monthly payments would be cancelled and I could pay the remaining balance on my trip at a later time. I told her I did not want to do that and wanted to cancel the entire trip. She told me that the down payment could not be canceled because I was given the trip at a special promotional price. I then went on to tell her that I would dispute this charge with my credit card company and they would have to deal with them (advice given from another consumer who fell victim to their scam). Immediately she told me "let me see what I can do".
After a brief pause she came back on the line, told me my deposit would be refunded within 7 to 10 business days and gave me a cancellation number. Right now I am waiting on my refund.
Thanks to ripoffreport.com and all the consumers who filed complaints, for saving me from losing a whole lot of money. I learned a very valuable lesson here - If it's to good to be true, it is and never make a decision without researching first. I feel for those who have been scammed for way more money then I have and are still struggling to get their money back. This company needs to be stopped.
San Diego, California
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Ramada