• Report: #1079862
Complaint Review:

United Reservation Services

  • Submitted: Wed, August 28, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, June 30, 2014

  • Reported By: Mark — Holly Springs North Carolina
United Reservation Services
13601 Preston Rd Dallas, Texas USA

United Reservation Services Free Airfare for Attending Seminar is a Scam Dallas Texas

*Author of original report: scam: a dishonest scheme; a fraud


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My wife and I were invited to attend a United Reservations Services presentation with the promise that we would receive 2 free roundtrip tickets plus hotel stay just for attending. We attended the presentation, received our vouchers, and mailed them in the next day. They were returned from "Amart Travel and Incentives" over a month later, having been "declined", with the following reasons:

- NC: Was not received via certified mail.
- NO$: Failure to send in the required deposit.

Of course, we were never informed we needed to send them via certified mail, nor were we told a deposit was required (which is interesting considering it is for free travel).

I contacted URS via phone, and I was told I needed to contact the regional sales manager responsible for our seminar, which I did - a Mr. Brandon S. Vidal, Director of Owner Services and Customer Relations, United Reservation Services, LLC, 1.800.994.0539 Office Direct, 214.850.8262 Cell, bvidal@unitedres.com. The conversation I had with him was quite interesting, as he first tried to somehow connect his service in the United States Marines with these free vouchers that we never received, I guess because he felt the fact that he was a former Marine would somehow soften the blow that I did not get my free travel as promised, which had no relevance at all to the converasation or problem at hand. I did get him to finally admit that the "Smart Travel and Incentives" company was not a reliable business, whereupon he promised to email me a new place to apply for the free travel.

The email I received directed me to another travel deal provider called "Extreme Travel Deals" out of 23219 Stringtown Road # 223 Clarksburg, Maryland 20871. This deal required we send in a $69 deposit per person to "activate" our travel, after which time we would be asked to send in another additional $99 per person to cover "fees and taxes". That didn't seem like "free travel" to me. After doing a quick internet search and discovering they were being investigated by the Better Business Bureau for deceptive business practices, I decided not to send them any money, but instead replied to Mr. Vidal from URS asking for alternatives. I receieved no responses.

My advice would be to avoid any seminars from URS promising free travel, as they will not honor their word.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/28/2013 12:56 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/united-reservation-services/dallas-texas-75240/united-reservation-services-free-airfare-for-attending-seminar-is-a-scam-dallas-texas-1079862. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

scam: a dishonest scheme; a fraud

AUTHOR: Mark - ()

While I appreciate your response, I still stand by my comments. Unfortunately you were not so ready to respond to my email communications I sent you. I'm not sure if you filtered my email or just decided not to respond to it, but that is why I turned to this site.

For those questioning my original post, the voucher we received stated this: "Round Trip Airfare for 2: Travelers enjoy 2 bonus round trip tickets from any major US airport to any major US airport ( CONTINENTAL US )." While I agree the voucher does not say free, and I also agree that normal taxes and fees would apply, I disagree that the voucher does not state we would be given two round trip tickets. It also implies most directly that those tickets were included, i.e. at no cost (excluding taxes and fees).

Let's look at these taxes and fees. According to the US Department of State, "Airport Taxes and Fees" website, the following taxes and fees apply:

- 7.5% US Domestic Transportaiton Tax

- $3 Federal Flight Segment Tax

- up to $4.50 Passenger Facilities Charges (PFCs)

- up to $5 Federal Security Segment Tax

The overhead for any given segement above the 7.5% tax is $12.50. Let's assume worst case that for some odd reason we had to take flights that had 3 segments each way (6 total for round trip). Using just the per-segment fees, that would bring the total to $75. As stated earlier, I was being asked to pay $168 per passenger to claim my round trip airfare. That means $93 of this would be for the 7.5% tax. Doing the reverse math, that means my ticket would be approximately $1240 - quite an expensive ticket by any standard. Many airlines offer round-trip tickets for as low as $138 these days. Why I would pay $168 for taxes and fees when I could arrange my own travel for $138 is beyond me.

This deal is much like someone offering to give you a free flat screen TV, less shipping and handling charges - only to find out the shipping and handling charges are more than the cost of the TV itself. In my opinion, and the opinion of just about anyone with an ounce of integrity, such an offer would be considered a scam. As listed in the dictionary, a scam is a dishonest scheme; a fraud; a swindle. Asking someone to pay $168 for something they could find elsewhere for $138 most definitely meets that definition.

Please note that I was not questioning URS' travel services, only the ploy of getting people to attend their sales seminars on false pretenses. Since I did not buy into their offerings, I have no idea what kind of services or discounts they provide other than the information I was given at the seminar. However, given the fraudulent practices by which they get people to come to their seminars, I would find it hard to do business with them on any level. Your mileage may vary, I only wish to warn you.

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#2 REBUTTAL Individual responds


AUTHOR: Brandon - ()

I am Brandon Vidal.  I take this job very seriously and the only reason I mentioned that I am a Marine was to maybe show you that my only intention is to do the "next right thing" at any time.  I find it a little odd that you come here and write that we are a scam, a scam is when someone takes your money with the intent of defrauding you of the service that was promised.  You were NEVER told that any of the trips would be FREE, and nowhere in our paperwork does anything say FREE.  You are told, implicitly, that you are resonsible for fees and taxes.  As a matter of fact, YOU SIGNED  document before leaving and before receiving the voucher stating the rules and regulations of the usage of the voucher and AGREED to the terms!  You, sir, not ME, not URS, signed the document and took receipt of the voucher.  The rules were clearly stated on the back of the voucher from Smart Travel.  On another note, I did not "reveal" to you that Smart Travel was an "unreliable" company or anything of that nature, sir.  I simply told you that I found a better option out there for my customers and chose to offer you the new voucher, which I sent to you swiftly. 

You come here and slander our name because you aren't happy about the gift you received, a gift YOU signed for saying that you understood the terms and conditions. I am not responsible for making you read the rules before you send something off.  If you did not fill it out correctly or include the payment for the fees, I can't help you and I certainly can't be held responsible for YOU not following directions. That is something that I learned in the Corps, following directives and being thorough.  If you want to talk further with me about this or if there is something else I can help you or assist you with, you obviously have my number, but just in case you don't have it anymore, you can call my cell directly at 214.850.8262.  I don't work all hours of the day every day to have you  come around and tell people that I am a scam or that we do anythin but try to help people save money on travel.  I will prove to you and ANYONE else intersted in knowing more, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that our prices can't be beaten and our service is impeccable.  I don't care who it is, Armani, Nike, Coke, Banana Republic or Oprah Winfrey, there are complaints out there about ANYONE and EVERYONE, and you don't stop buying their product or watching their shows or buying their books.  We do everything we can, within our power, to make a WRONG a RIGHT, and we're in the habit of NOT saying no.  If you dig hard and deep enough, you'll even find a customer or two or three whom we've reimbursed even AFTER their rescission date because, after investigation, we determined that it was the fair thing to do, even though wer weren't legally held to doing it.  If you have a problem with our service or the gift you received, CALL ME.  I will help.  Mark, I'm not sure if you are the Mark I think you are, but should you have the intestinal fortitude to speak to me directly instead of coming on the internet and making negative remarks about me, my company OR my Marine Corps, you can reach me anytime.


Brandon S. Vidal

Director of Owner Services and Customer Relations

United Reservation Services, LLC


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