Ramada Plaza Resorts ripoff FT Lauderdale Florida
2419 E Commercial Blvd
Ft Lauderdale, FL 33308
Re: Ramada Plaza Resorts Complaints Department,
I am writing in reference to Reference Number PM100303-001TK on behalf of we. On September 29, 2003 Jerry received a phone call from Carol Gardener from Ramada Plaza Resorts at 1-800-635-8523. Jerry was told that the it was for discounted hotel rates at Ramada Plaza Resorts and that in paying the fee over the phone he would receive 3 nights stay at various locations around the U.S. and also be receiving a set of Bonus Vacations including a cruise to the Bahamas. During this phone call, Carol Gardener mislead and misrepresented your company by stating that if $500 was paid during the call that the vacation packages were his to use as long as he made the reservations through Ramada Plaza Resorts Customer Service. Jerry specifically asked if there were any additional charges and was told no by Carol. Carol also offered to extend the length of time that we had to use the vacations because we were expecting our first child and knew we wouldn't be able to travel much over the next year. Thinking that this was a great deal, Jerry paid the $500 on his debit card and Carol mailed the packet to him. After receiving the packet we looked through the vacations listed and prepared for the birth of our child.
It was on a phone call in January that I made to book a vacation to Ft. Lauderdale that I was informed of the additional $500 that was due before we were able to use any of the vacations. I spoke to Jerry about this and he re-confirmed that he was told that there were NO additional charges due other than the initial $500 that had already cleared his bank account. I was told that the $500 was non-refundable, however it was transferable. The Ramada Plaza Resorts rep suggested that I stop into a local travel agent and see if they would be interested in purchasing the package from Jerry and paying the additional $500. By the time you pay the $500 and receive the packet, it is too late to be refunded or even question what you have purchased. At this point I knew I was being scammed and I was not willing to approach a travel agent to purchase this package. I asked to speak with a manager and was told that a manager was not available and repeatedly told that the package was non-refundable. I asked to be refunded the $500 and also wanted to know what else was required of us while taking these trips and I was told that nothing else was required and that this was a great deal on vacations. I was assured that these were discounted rates at Ramada Resorts.
After weighing the pro's and con's of already paying $500 to this company, reluctantly we decided that instead of losing the $500, we would pay the additional $500 in order to use all of the vacations and attempt to get compensated. We felt that getting the rental car for one week and 3 nights stay would be equivalent to the amount that we would have lost, had we not paid the additional $500. Therefore, I made the additional $500 payment over the phone and was able to book the Ft. Lauderdale vacation. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale on March 1, 2004 and were told in advance that we needed to go to the South Florida Welcome Center, which we were lead to believe was located in our hotel lobby.
Once arriving at the South Florida Welcome Center we received a voucher for one night and were told that we would be staying at the Paradise Beach Resort. In addition, that we were required to attend a seminar the next day on March 2, 2004 at 12pm in order to get the credit voucher for the next 2 nights stay. We were outraged that none of this was disclosed to us by Carol Gardner or the numerous customer service representatives that we had spoken to.
On March 2, 2004 at 10am, I called Ramada Plaza Resorts customer service at 1-800-635-8523 and spoke to John. I repeatedly asked for a manager and was told that there was not a manager available. I asked why we were not told that this was a timeshare scam. I explained to him that were we not interested in purchasing a timeshare and had we been informed of this we would have never paid the initial $500, nor would we have paid the additional $500 to book the vacation. I explained to him that in order for me to be inconvenienced on my vacation I should not be paying them, they should be paying me! I asked with whom I could speak in attempt to get refunded and excused from the timeshare presentation that we were scheduled to attend in less than an hour from that time. John said that I would need to speak directly to the South Florida Welcome Center and I told him not to transfer me to the Welcome Center because we had paid our money to Ramada Plaza Resorts, not the South Florida Welcome Center. The customer service rep suggested that I write into the complaints department and resolve my issues this way. I also asked for the CEO or CFO of Ramada in order to attempt to contact him/her along with the complaints department to get a refund. Every employee that I spoke to told me that they did not know who their CEO was nor was anyone willing to let me speak to a manager. When calling in to the Ramada Plaza Resorts the recording states that all calls are being recorded, so I asked to listen to the tape of the initial conversation, along with every other conversation because I hope all of my calls were being documented on our account, therefore they new the date and time and could easily pull the tape. Once again, all reps that I spoke with were unwilling to process this request.
After a lengthy dispute he placed me on hold and blindly transferred me to Albert at the South Florida Welcome Center. I then had to explain the entire situation to Albert and told him that we did not want to attend the timeshare presentation and were scammed into this whole vacation package. On top of it all, I explained that the Paradise Beach Resort hotel that we were staying at was disgusting. The shower did not drain, the ice machines were broken on every floor and we were told by the staff to go to the store and purchase our own ice if we wanted it. Also, the elevator only stopped on the 2nd floor, which made it very difficult to get to the room with a 2 month old baby and our luggage. The air conditioning in the room was either on or off, no in between setting and there was no parking in the lot so we were forced to park across the street and cross A1A to get to the hotel room. Albert then informed me that the location of the presentation was over an hour away. I told him it would be impossible for us to make it on time and in addition we were traveling with a 2 month old child. I told him that after all of this there was absolutely no way I would ever purchase anything bearing the Ramada name and that I would make the presentation miserable for everyone in attendance. He asked for my number at the hotel and said he would try to get us moved to another hotel and move the location of the timeshare presentation closer to us. We packed up our belongings, got the baby in his car-seat and were ready to pack the car when he called back. He was able to get us moved to the Qualilty Inn and after voicing my opinions about Ramada Plaza Resorts, him being associated with this company and how our entire vacation and day was revolving around what he decided in the next few moments, Albert eventually waived our attendance at the presentation and faxed the voucher to the Quality Inn.
This experience ruined a portion of our vacation in Florida due to being so irate from being lied to repeatedly and scammed by such a large reputable company. After returning home and researching the name Ramada Plaza Resorts on the internet, we have found that many people have been scammed by Ramada Plaza Resorts and class action law suits have been filed and settled in numerous states.
For the rest of my life I will educate every person I know about this scam and I will boycott, and persuade others to boycott, any entity bearing the Ramada name. Along with any company associated with or doing business in conjunction with Ramada.
I am requesting a full refund of $1,000, the amount that Jerry and I have paid to Ramada Plaza Resorts. It is unfathomable that a company would jeopardize their reputation by blatantly lying to consumers. I hope every person who has been scammed makes a huge scene at these timeshare presentations and eventually Ramada is forced to stop these unethical selling practices.
I have contacted the Ohio Attorney General and will continue to contact attorneys, organizations and Ramada affiliates until this scam is stopped.
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