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Sundance Vacations, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Complaints & Reviews - Free Cruise and Sales Pitch

Sundance Vacations Contacts & Informations

Sundance Vacations

Posted:    NickJames716

Free Cruise and Sales Pitch

Complaint Rating:  99 % with 178 votes
Contact information:
Sundance Vacations
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
United States
In December, 2008, during the neverending annual Christmas shopping at Southridge mall, my fiance, Jody, and I came accross a "sweepstakes" to win a mercedes automobile. We happily entered while "ooing and ahhing" over the vehicle. We left the mall and thought nothing further of putting our names and phone numbers into this sweepstakes. This would mark the beginning of an unforgettably painful experience the both of us would endure.

At the beginning of January, 2009, a month after entering in this sweepstakes, I received a call on my cell phone from a woman by the name of Brenda. Brenda seemed very friendly on my voice mail, stating that I won a cruise to the Bahamas from entering in a sweepstakes at Southridge mall. Being the naive 21 year old that I am, I was ecstatic about my luck and happily commited to taking whatever steps necessary to claim my "prize." I emphatically called the number left on my voice mail and asked to speak with Brenda. Brenda was gone for the day (it was five minutes after this supposed BRENDA had contacted me) but Lisa would be happy to help me. Lisa asked for my phone number and sure enough verified that I was the lucky recipient of a 3 night cruise to the Bahamas. I simply had to sit through a one hour seminar in Brookfield, WI at a Sundance vacation office. It started at 7pm on a Friday night. Lisa assured me that this would be "quick" and I would be on my way home with my voucher for the free cruise "within an hour." I thought "how easy is this? I am the luckiest guy ever!" I agreed to attend the seminar and was instructed to bring my significant other.

Friday rolled around and my fiance and I headed to the Sundance Vacations office ten minutes prior to our seminar. We filled out the necessary information sheets, had a seat with the 30 other people in the waiting area, and awaited the seminar. A very healthy looking man named Rick called us into the "Presentation Room" for our seminar. My first impression of Rick was that he was a very personable, honest and charismatic person...a likeable guy. He ratteled off one of the most enjoyable pieces of speech I had seen in a long time in person. I remember thinking "I like this guy, I want to work with him and Sundance." Little did I know, everyone in that seminar was being buttered up to be fed to the sharks in the adjacent room. When the seminar concluded, after a good 45 minutes, we were instructed to follow the person who called our name. I remember thinking "Rick is going to have his hands full calling each of us up individually" but before I could finish that thought, the door we used to enter the Presentation Room flew open followed by an army of SUNDANCE soldiers each armed with a file for each couple in the room. This is where I thought "uh oh, my Rick loving days are over."

Rita, an italian immigrant with a marvelous accent, was assigned to Jody and I, who both still had a belly of false optimism and excitement for our cruise. Rita sat us down at a table in a cafeteria style room with blairing music. I thought nothing of the music, I just recognized that it was really loud, and I wondered how I would here the instructions for our free cruise.

Once Jody and I sat down with Rita, Rita began pitching an offer of 30 vacations for $12, 000. We let her ramble for a while, then like an idiot, I engaged. I told Rita, "we really only take one or two vacations per year so we would have no use for a package like this, do you have anything smaller?" She said "you know what? I think we might, let me bring my director over." A man, who I swear was the twin brother of Steven A Smith from ESPNs 'Quite Frankly, ' shook my hand and sat at our table. He confirmed his understanding that we would not use 30 vacations in one year and said he was prepared to give us a great deal of 10 vacations for $4500. We simply needed to pay a $900 down payment and $339 for taxes and surcharges by March 15th. My fiance was very quick to accept the offer, I requested that both sales people leave our table so that my fiance and I could talk. Jody really believed this was a great deal (we are both impulsive buyers) and she had me convinced, when the sales people came back, we said we were in! Steven A Smith requested a check for $900 from us, I made him aware that I was uncomfortable handing over this amount of money right after the holidays, I then proceeded to say "You know what, I really dont think this is a good idea right now, just not a good time." He and Rita looked at me like I was insane! Steven A Smith told me that he would be able to hang on to the $900 check for a few weeks, if I needed that time. After much hesitance, Jody mentioned that this would be a good idea and we shouldnt pass it up. Because of my resistance to the whole thing, the salesman noticed that Jody and I had listed that Hawaii was our dream vacation destination. He offered to throw in one "extra trip" to hawaii for free with buy one get one free airfair if we would sign up, this would give us 11 vacations for that price. Jody gave me the look that we should accept. I did.

Rita and the director proceeded to have the contract written and the application for credit filled out. Once the application for credit (which would be for the $4500) was filled out, the director came over and filled out his section. I noticed him writing a 12.9% APR. When I questioned it, he simply said "you dont have to worry about that, your payments will only be $80 and most people double pay each month, it will be paid down in no time." I began feeling pressured at this point and in turn became pompous. They left for a moment and came back with a binding contract this time, I felt even more backed into a corner than before. I told Rita that I was going to read through the entire contract. Jody had already written the check for $900 and had given the information to have the $80 automatically deducted from her checking account. I came to a point in the contract that stated "there is no right of recission and no right to cancel at any time." Once I read this, I told Rita, "Rita, I'm sorry but the answer is no!" She was angry and made clear that they did a lot of work to get this done for us and that this is important as young people as we would have these vacations for life. I said that I understood and it seems like a good deal, however, I was not comfortable committing to putting ourselves $4500 in obligated debt without having time to think about it, I asked for a week to go home, then make her aware of my decision. She said that no one gets invited to these seminars and opportunities and I would never see a deal like this again. I said so be it. She ripped up our application, got Jody's check back to her and then walked us to a small waiting area.

A man by the name of bill, a fat ugly car salesman type with a yellow beard and the ugliest face I have ever seen, stepped out of the hall and introduced himself. Outside of his office, he was very nice. That was about to change. Bill offered us a seat in his 6 by 6 box of an office. He said, "I'm the guy who gives you your free cruise." I thought the hard part was over, so I joked "that makes you our new best friend." He laughed. He explained how to make the reservation for our cruise and register online or by mail. After concluding the walkthrough, Bill said, " Now I dont know what happened in there, but (writing) I want to offer you this number that can only be offered by me." The number was $779 which would take the place of the $900 down payment. I said, "No thanks." He countered by saying, "Actually, I was going to cut that in half, $400 today? How does that sound?" I said that I did not want to, that "no" is final. He asked "why?" I explained that it is not the right time, but I really liked Sundance and wanted to work with them in the future at some point. He said "well you wont get this in the future, can I ask why its not the right time? Do you realize how much a trip to Hawaii is? It doesnt make any sense to pass this up." I said that I did not want to do this, there is no right to cancel and I do not want to make a decision like this right at the spur of the moment. He said, " well you are already making your decision by saying no, you wont get this again. Wow, Ive never encountered a person who wants to spend more for less down the road, theres no logic to it." I then, a little frustrated with this fat pile of trash, said "with do respect, what is ilogical is to pin any couple or individual down in an effort to get them to make a decision that would increase their debt without allowing them time to evaluate their situation. That is a bit ilogical if you ask me. The ansewr is no and thats it." He then conceded defeat, offered us our voucher and sarcastically said "enjoy your free trip then..."

We will see how the trip goes, if there is one, but I would not recommend that you go into something like this unprepared. I am glad I did only because I really learned from this and developed a backbone. If you are passive and can be easily persuaded, this is not for you. These people do not care about how this obligation to them will effect your day to day lifestyle, so you really have to be outspoken and take control immediately. I let it get way too far! luckily we are not out any money and we have the voucher that we came in for!

I hope this article helps those of you looking into this, e-mail me with questions at nrobinson@wi.rr.com.

Nick
Comments United States Travel & Vacations
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 12th of Jan, 2009 by   Sundance Vacations 0 Votes
Nick,
I’m Amanda the corporate communicator for Sundance Vacations. I read your post. I totally agree with your assessment of Rick. He is a personable, honest and charismatic guy. He really loves the company and our product and his enthusiasm shows in his presentation. You mention, “I want to work for him and Sundance.” You would not be the first client to come to work for us. If you are serious about a career with Sundance someday you can send a resume to pr@vacmail.com.

I will forward your comment about the music being too loud. I guess we fell victim to the same scientific studies that cause Hollister and other retailers to play upbeat music. Your point is well taken and we’ll make sure the music is upbeat but not too loud for customers in the future.

As a company it makes sense to offer a discount or a special in order to earn your business now rather than later. It wasn’t clear in your post if you understood that you can purchase a package from Sundance Vacations at any time. The only change is the special pricing. We have over 75, 000 clients and it wouldn’t be truthful to all of those people who purchased during their visit if we let you or other people have the special pricing later. I hope you can understand that logic. Sundance Vacations offers a great value even at the regular price.

If you need anything further or have questions about making arrangements for your cruise, do not hesitate to call our customer service office at 888-257-8400.

Happy Travels,

Amanda
Sundance Vacations

P.S. My only criticism of your post is your personal description of the physical features of Bill. Remember, that Bill is someone’s son, dad, husband.
 12th of Jan, 2009 by   NickJames716 0 Votes
Amanda,

I was not asking for a position with your disgraceful company. As a fellow
employee in the service industry, I would highly urge you to reevaluate putting
people like Bill in the position he is in. He shares the same predatory type
sales techniques that put our country in the position it is in. I was disgusted
with the tactics used and the unwillingness of your sales representatives to
allow time for people to evaluate their financial situation prior to signing a
binding "no cancel" contract.

Your e-mail, though professional, appears to ignore totally the core of my
description of what happened. Your company backs people into corners and forces
itself upon them...we call that "rape, " where I'm from. Your tactic for playing
blairing music is known to be intended to wipe out the possibility of your
"victims" overhearing the surrounding conversations, don't play ignorant.

Your comment about Bill being "...a father, son" blah blah blah, Bill forces
your services on "fathers and sons" who cannot afford them. And should they say
"no" Bill talks to them as if they are completely idiotic.

It is apparent why you have 75, 000 clients (which for a national company really
isnt that much). You force passive people into making decisions on debt
obligation without providing them an opportunity to think about how it will
effect them. You are ruining the service industry and should get out
completely. I have friends in publications and local media and do not wish to
be contacted by you again.

Nick
 31st of Jan, 2009 by   Katie 0 Votes
Nick,
Thanks so much for your post. I was about to go to one of these sessions at the Sundance Brookfield office, but have now decided to not. My fiance lives on the east coast and when I told her that he wouldn't be able to come to the session, she said that I should just bring another person who has his first name and "she wouldn't tell anyone." They wouldn't let me just go alone. Did they make you sign anything to redeem the cruise? I'm leery of putting my name on anything.

I have a very strong will and wouldn't sign up for anything, but I would still be leery of what would happen on the actual cruise. I hope it works out for you, but know that I truly appreciate your comments here! Post again after the cruise so we know how it went!

Katie
 20th of Feb, 2009 by   mags 0 Votes
Dear Nick,

We had the same experience. We went to the office in Chicago. It was really creepy. We caught them lying to us so many times. They kept saying "I actually started out as a client before I became an employee" or "I asked the very same question when I was a potential customer". My husband asked the sales rep how many vacations he's been on (since he's also a member of Sundance). He said he's been on 6 in one year. My husband asked him how he could possibly get that much time off work. He was perplexed.

The manager at the end was really strange. It seemed like everyone there was stuck in the 70s. It was like they were part of some scary cult. The manager at the end told us he had a special offer for us for 1, 695. He said it was a special promotion that the company was testing out and that he could only offer it to a few people. I was very non-confrontational and kept saying "maybe in a couple years..." My husband however kept questioning them and asking why we couldn't try one single vacation before paying for 25 at once! We also felt "raped" at the end and the manager begrudgingly gave us the voucher. Now we don't know what to do. Should we go on the cruise. It's weird to take a freeby from someone you don't trust. I'm afraid I'll end up ship-wrecked. This is what my husband says "What transpired there is reminiscent of a late night tv commercial . It was like a well directed interactive theater in las vegas with the purpose of scamming you and putting you into debt...and the rape thing." On the cruise the deals will probably get even more creative.

Anyway, has anyone heard of anyone actually going on the cruise?????
 2nd of Mar, 2009 by   JohnM 0 Votes
A few minutes ago, I got off the telephone with someone from Sundance Vacations wanting me and my significant other to make an appointment to go to a 45 minute presentation to redeem my "free" 3 day cruise and "free" airline tickets. I started searching and found this thread. It goes against everything I was told on the phone: "No high pressure sales" and "if you do not want to purchase anything, you just say no and still get to go on a free vacation."

My father was always deliberate with saying "you get nothing for nothing" and I actually feel stupid for listening to the telephone pitch. I did not make an appointment but I am certain that I will get more phone calls. In this economy, they appear to really be pushing the limits with these sales tactics.

I, too, would love to hear from anyone who actually went on the "free" vacation.
 4th of Mar, 2009 by   Mika 0 Votes
Hi Nick,

I just went to one of their "presentations" last night with my bf. We were offered the same deal of purchasing 30 vacations for 12, 000 (later changed to 12 vacations for 4, 000 with buy one get one free airfare deal by the sales manager). I almost got convinced, but when my bf raised the question of a detail procedure to exit membership, the sales manager dodged the question by stating how hard they work to retain the membership, and quote-to-quote, "we will work things out, " so my bf was skeptical about the deal. In addition, the sales manager constantly pushed us to pay the lump sum of 15, 000 immediately saying that this is the "right thing to do."

My bf also noticed that when the sales rep and sales manager tried to sell us the deal, they both wrote down the numbers all over the place on a piece of paper (and for some reason, that piece of paper had to be kept in that folder we got), and it was another pressure tactics to get us confused to think about discounts only.

After saying "no" a numerous times, we finally were escorted to the exit to meet with one more person (let's call him Manager #2 as I already forget his name) who would "validate" the voucher for us. As we walking into Manager #2's room, I saw there was a pile of brochures on the table so I just took one to flip through the pages. Manager #2 started by asking how our experience with them was that night, and asked if we would reconsider the deal if he would waive this 30 dollar fee (I'm not sure whether it's for membership, tax, service charge or something else) PERMANENTLY for us. Once again, my bf declined the offer (he had become annoyed by their persistence at the time), and Manager #2 finally opened his door to let us leave. While walking towards the exit (my freedom!), I asked Manager #2 if I could keep the brochure to learn more about the deal and the whole company, but Manager #2 said, "No. This is for people for signed up with us only. It costs 30 dollars to print it."

Isn't it kind of abnormal? A company so willing to give out free cruise deals just to promote their business suddenly became so stingy about a 30 dollar brochure?? Plus, isn't it natrual to give potential customers more information about your business if you wish them to come back in the future??

Anyway, I found this article written by Spencer Sterling (on 11/15/2007) about his free trip with Sundance Vacations: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/445761/how_my_free_trip_with_sundance_vacations.html?cat=16
I hope this will shed some light to those who also got the free deal but were skeptical about the whole thing.

Please do let us know how your trip turn out, Nick. My bf and I still haven't decided whether we should take the free trip, but if we do, we will also keep you posted.

- Mika
 29th of Mar, 2009 by   smj +1 Votes
Hello,
I found these posts very informative. My mother fell prey to the scam. Hers was reduced quite substantially, but as soon as she got home and did her due diligence by researching sundance, she is having buyers remorse. She is semi retired and is, now thinking it through (after the high pressure sales tactics) realizes she is not capable of committing to this. she alerted her credit card and they made the notation. Sundance is not there on Sundays, but she left a message. Also, the credit card company advised her that if Sundance gave her any problem, they are to call them directly. I will be happy to let you know how this sorts itself out. Every contract can be voided.

If anyone has had a similiar situation, I would be curious to hear.

sj
wilkes barre Pa
 1st of Apr, 2009 by   get -1 Votes
We sent our confirmation in Jan. and still haven't heard anything about the "so called free cruise" they were supposed to send us our registration papers in 7-14 days, it's 3 mos. later. I certainly wouldn't trust Sundance if you can't trust the associates they deal with. What a joke!!!
 30th of Apr, 2009 by   Jo---- 0 Votes
To All of you who posted to this Thread

All I can say..is Thank You, thank you, Thank You.

About 3-4 weeks ago I recieved a call about winning a free cruise from Sundance Vacations. Apparently my husband had put our name in a drawing at a local boat show. I knew nothing about this, so i informed the salesperson that called that they would have to speak to my husband directly. Needless to say being parents of 3 athletic children who are involved in everything, Last night they called for about the 15th time and were finally able to get in touch with my husband. They wanted to set up an appointment for us to come in and see the presentation. They started out by giving my husband days and appt times, my husband would relay that to me..and I would say...No, not good, got a softball game, next offer for appt, no, that is not good either kids have karate and this went on for about 20 mins. Finally my husband gives me the phone to talk directly with this "appt setter". I point blank told her, that my life is too busy and I had no intentions of cancelling my kids activities to drive 1 hour away, to sit for 1 hour, and not to mention the fact that i would need a babysitter since children were NOT allowed at the presentation. I told her i might be able to fit it in next week at such and such time on such and such a day...Her reply was "well this special we are having stops on Saturday afternoon and we need to get you in before Sat at 2pm. I said, Well I might be able to make it on Saturday at 2:30pm. She says, "that would be great, my last appt happens to be at 2:30 and it is wide open. I will schedule you in for that time and please make sure your husband comes, with 2 forms of ID. Please hold for my manager to verify the appt, and we look forward to meeting with you.

Well after they worked so hard..and for so long in trying to get an appt set, i thought about it...why are they so desperate to get my husband and I in there. So I decided to call my best friend. Her sister had worked for a Travel Agency for several years, so i call her to ask her if she had ever heard of Sundance Vacations, she had never heard of them, so she suggested i either look them up on the internet or call the BBB (Better Business Bureau), and this is where it led me...Needless to say, I will not be keeping that appt on Saturday at 2:30, although it would be great to go on a cruise for a few days without the children, I think it would irritate them more by my cancellation...and refusal to set up another.

P.S. hmmmm I wonder if that salesperson/appt setter gets a commission for setting up the appt.

Thanks Again...

Jo
 16th of May, 2009 by   whitleybree -1 Votes
Well, everyone’s first mistake seems to be thinking this is something they have "won." We, here at Sundance Vacations make it vary clear that this promotional item is NOT something you have won. So you did not in fact win it, we offer it to everyone who fills out an entry form, equal opportunity; everyone has a chance to take it. You are simply asked to visit one of our local offices for 60 minutes, no longer, this is because we have presentations every hour, on the hour between 4pm and 8pm on weekdays and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays and if we were to keep you longer, it would conflict with our next showing. This is not a free item. At this time, May of 2009, we are offering a 4 day, 3 night cruise on Royal Caribbean Cruise lines to the Bahamas for two passengers leaving from Port Canaveral or Miami, Florida, your choice. This is a $1200 package that my company, Sundance Vacations, is paying for, what you are asked to pay is simply the port charges, taxes and security fees, which totals $189 in the off season and $225 in the peak season. The only thing we ask of you is the 60 minutes I mentioned earlier, if you are physically capable of sitting in a chair and listening for 60 minutes, you will leave with the 2 travel vouchers. You don't have to buy anything to receive the cruise either. You aren't even required to have anything on you to purchase anything with; you don't have to have cash, check or plastic on your person when you come in. We are also offering 2 round trip airfares, these are absolutely free, simply because we purchased overstock of them and they work with our promotional item quite well.

My second item of discussion is the fact that if you don't want to be called by us, you simply pick up the phone and say "Please, don't call me again." Ignoring the phone calls won't do anything unless you want us to call you back tomorrow or later on that day. We have a 'DO NOT CALL' list and you will be placed on it immediately. Of course we're persistent; of course our first response will be something along the lines of "Are you sure?", or "This is a wonderful offer!” something to get you to change your mind, but that is because that is what we are paid to do. Do you understand that in our job, yes, we are paid hourly, however that doesn't pay much, we make our money by booking you and you showing up. We NEED you to come into the office because if you come and sit for the 60 minutes, we get paid for it. That's a pretty small price to pay to help someone out, don't you think. You sit, view a presentation, are informed about our company, receive a cruise and I get paid for it. You know, to become a part of this company I had to sit through the presentation too, and all I got out of it was a ham sandwich, you get a cruise.

My third item for you is something you should think about. Now-a-days, everyone has or had or will be a victim of fraud, therefore we should all be wary of where we write our names, our numbers, our addresses, and any other confidential information we don't want others to have. When you see a contest or a give-away, you already know they are going to want your contact information, to contact you should you win the grand prize, right? You are also aware that on the back of the card you fill out there is tiny print that you should read, tiny print that is legible and is written there because you were meant to read it. If we wanted to hide it from you, it would not be on there. READ IT. In there it says that in putting your contact information on this card you are giving us the right to contact you for any reason, not only if you win the prize, but for advertising purposes as well. Hence the phone call you just received.

Lastly, I’m just going to put in my two cents (the rest has been factual information I think you should know). Why be rude? If you get a call from me, I’m very pleasant when you pick up, why don’t you do the same. This is my job. I did not come to work today with the attitude, “well, I wonder how
I can piss the next person off.” I came in with the same attitude we all have when we go to work… “I need to make money today.” Make my job easier, pick up the phone when it rings, listen to me talk for just a few minutes (we have this thing called ‘talk time’ and you being on the phone for an extra two or three minutes adds up as the night progresses), and tell me if you’re interested or not, consider that you spending that hour of time with us will earn you a cruise and me my dinner, my bill payments, my kids clothes and my home.

My name is Whitley Bailey and my extension at Sundance Vacations is 112.
 21st of May, 2009 by   Rachel 0 Votes
Actually, Miss Bailey is not wrong because of the one major difference between Sundance Telemarketers, and the ones in the previously mentioned lawsuit.

"The All In One Vacation Club defendants also [b]sold timeshare and vacation packages through the company’s telemarketing unit[/b], "

(I attempted to bold the above quote, if it doesn't work just ignore the B's :P)

Here is the difference between Sundance Vacations and the companies in the aforementioned lawsuit, (taken right from the excerpt you so readily provided for us). Sundance telemarketers do not sell anything over the phone, nor do they have the means to. They can't take and run credit cards or checking accounts and they never once offer to sell you a vacation package over the phone, (they don't even know the details of how the program works, pricing, etc). Nor do they tell you that you have to bring one with you when you come into the office, (that hasn't been a requirement for almost 3 years). 2 forms of ID can be whatever you want it to be.

Companies all over the world use outbound marketing appointment setting as a way to garner future business, (setting up one on one sales presentations in people's homes is just one example of this). Miss Bailey is in fact not wrong, and from looking at their website, it would appear that upper management for this company is very well known by the attorney general. In fact, when I used to work there I was constantly being told we had to follow the script because everything in it is approved by the attorney general for use. That is also the reason they have to stick with the now or never policy in sales. Their sales practices have to be run by the attorney general as well, (also the BBB) and when I went back after leaving the company, there was a "secret shopper" from the attorney generals office in the presentation with us making sure that the sales people followed the guidelines that the owners set out for them, (really nice guy who introduced himself when we were leaving).

Now I haven't worked for this company for over a year, however, I was so impressed with the vacations I took while I worked for them that when I left, I intentionally signed up so I could go back and buy into the program, (as employees we were automatically clients with the same discounts as someone who bought into the program). I couldn't be happier with it. This company makes it easy and painless for me and my family to travel and I am grateful for it.

Also, I see some of you throwing the word rape around and I am extremely offended. Being an actual rape victim myself, (which you are obviously not since you can throw the word around like that) you have no idea what it is actually like to be raped by someone and the fact that you are so quickly diminishing the value of that word by applying it here shows a gross lack of respect for the people who have actually been violated that way. The presentation I went to was nothing like the one you are describing. Mine was fun and informative and the sales people were very helpful in finding the package that would suit our needs and our budgets.

My advice to anyone who reads this site is this, truth is based on perception. There are just as many people out there who have had good experiences as there are those who had bad, (you just don't see a lot of it on here because people don't use the internet for anything other than advertising and complaining). Sundance brings in an average of 50, 000 people per year for these presentations and they have been in business for 18 years, that's over a million people who have come into one of their offices, (myself being one of them). To judge a company that has seen soo many people by the complaints of a few is doing yourself a great disservice. Honestly, I would never judge a company, a person, a product, based on someone else's perception of it because for all I know, they didn't even know how to use the product, they are an ex employee who was angry for getting fired, or they were just a bitter angry person who hates the world and everything in it. I will always make my own judgements about things because I realize that the only person whose perception of the world is accurate for me is my own.

Sincerely,

Rachel
 1st of Jun, 2009 by   interested -1 Votes
has anyone actually gone on a free cruise from these people?
 4th of Jun, 2009 by   Dolores 0 Votes
To Rachel/Rachell:

My name is Dolores Naskiewicz. I am a media consultant, a proud parent of two wonderful children and a resident of South Jersey.

I respond to you because I am the author of the blog in question, in conjunction with your implication that the person who identifies their self as “Deserie” may be me; it is not! Furthermore, I resent the implication that I am somehow uncomfortable with using my own name, albeit I admittedly applaud “Deserie” and the crusade that she/he is conducting for whatever the reasons may be! This is America, and the right to dissent is categorically inalienable!

I choose my words carefully so I will not practice ad hominem dialogue because I consider it undignified. Nonetheless I take this opportunity to address some of your conclusions, or opinions, whatever your characterization of same.

Being a media consultant I am very familiar with political gamesmanship. Consequently, I take exception to your comment as relates to the Pennsylvania Attorney General, or any other politician for that matter. You state, and I quote: “The AG doesn't just look at something once and decide, hmmm I like November, feels like a good time to sue Bluegreen. There are months if not years of investigations before a case this large is brought before a judge, let alone goes to trial.”

You are correct in your assertion that it may take “months if not years of investigations” before litigation is instituted. But stating that, “The AG doesn't just look at something once and decide, ‘hmmm I like November, feels like a good time to sue Bluegreen’” is politically unsophisticated and naïve at best. I believe that is precisely what the AG did because it was less than three weeks before the general election and Mr. Corbett wanted to garner favorable publicity in his reelection bid, which is understandable, since his party (Republican) was the underdog. Furthermore, pursuit of violations of the DNC provisions is very popular with the electorate so it was the perfect time to institute the law suit that, granted, may have been the result of “months or years of investigations.” Therefore, it’s the timing of the indictment that belies your comment, not the validity of it! It was political gamesmanship, plain and simple.

As I stated in my blog, the 10 allegations that I referenced were taken VERBATIM from the AG’s lawsuit. Furthermore, I would not be so foolish as to flagrantly misquote the AG. You mentioned that your efforts to verify those 10 allegations have failed. Be that as it may the fact remains that those 10 allegations were excerpted from the lawsuit in question which, incidentally, should be quite easy to verify since all court filings are public records.

In one of those 10 allegations I quote the AG as saying, “Pennsylvania’s Telemarketing Act does not provide for a waiver of the Do Not Call provisions.” Your rebuttal was, “if what you (meaning “Deserie”) are stating is correct then Sundance would have been shut down by the AG a long time ago. He certainly would not be attending dinners and posing for pictures with its upper management staff. Either your interpretation of the lawsuit is wrong or the AG is sleeping with the devil. I'm going to go with, your interpretation is wrong.”

Let me make this perfectly clear. It is NOT my “interpretation, ” but rather the AG’s interpretation. Moreover, as relates to your defensive comment, “He (the AG) certainly would not be attending dinners and posing for pictures with its upper management staff.” Really? Why not since it was a political fund raiser and the AG probably posed with a dozen different people. Most particularly since Sundance Vacations was a political contributor. Have you ever witnessed two attorneys vehemently fighting like cats and dogs in a court room, but who are close personal friends outside the judicial forum? I have! As Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) said in “The Godfather”: “It’s not personal Sonny. It’s strictly business, ” or politics, depending on the circumstances. To suggest that Sundance Vacations is innocent of any wrong doing merely because the AG was “attending dinners and posing for pictures with its upper management” is, again, politically unsophisticated and naïve at best; most particularly when the AG has aspirations of becoming Governor! Those political fund raising event pictures don’t amount to a hill of beans, they’re a dime a dozen! I have a picture of myself with former President Clinton (just the two of us) and I can assure you he doesn’t know me from Adam. And if the former President saw that same picture today I’m reasonably certain he would not remember the specific occasion because those types of pictures are as common as Apples in Apple Pie!

You also write, “that you and your friend Dolores, (if you yourself are not in fact the infamous Dolores which I am starting to believe you are)…” But then you seem to belie your own stated belief by the following comment: “For all we know, you could be a member/owner of Blue green itself who is pissed that your company took a fall and others did not.” “For all WE know;” interesting choice of words and somewhat revealing.

You further write: “Also, I couldn't care less about Sundance as a company and I'm not defending them because I feel bad for them. Quite the contrary, I do this because I like to argue.” Let me get this straight! You said, “I'm not defending them because I feel bad for them. Quite the contrary, I do this because I like to argue.” So, according to your own words you ARE defending them, it’s your motive for that defense that you dispute! Read you own words because your posting was (consciously or unconsciously) as defensive as “Deseries’” was inimical!

I likewise question your assertions that “Deserie” harbors a “deep hatred” or a “vicious hated” for Sundance Vacations! Since you obviously never met the individual and do not know the writers’ motives, feelings, or experiences, how are you possibly qualified to characterize that individual with such psychoanalytical conclusions?

I am, however, very qualified to explain my own personal disdain for Sundance Vacations and I will because I have a philosophy that has served me well all my life. Being that if you hurt my dog, hide your cat. Furthermore, I am quite comfortable in my own skin so to speak.

My nephew, who has a learning disability, was exploited by some despicable mercenary sales person employed by Sundance Vacations. He’s certainly not retarded and a very congenial personality, but his mental deficiencies are obvious to anyone who spends more than 10 minutes talking to him. Naturally the contract was null and void, but I was curious as to how he came to be at a Sundance Vacations presentation in the first instance. He informed me that at an event he and his girlfriend attended he was “talked into” submitting a sweepstakes entry form and subsequently called and “talked into” attending the Sundance sales presentation. Consequently, I started researching Sundance Vacations and was astounded at all the similar and negative postings about their marketing and sales tactics, but I wanted to ascertain the sweepstakes procedure for myself, independent of all the postings that I perused. Therefore, as I indicated in my blog, I attended the Greater Philadelphia Home Show on February 20, 2009, at the Valley Forge (PA.) Convention Center. At that time I personally observed that the sweepstakes entrants were not, for the most part, voluntarily approaching the kiosk to enter their names in the sweepstakes but rather were being aggressively solicited to enter the sweepstakes. How anyone could equate an aggressive solicitation with a conscious intent to invite relentless telemarketing escapes my comprehension. As far as your comment about personal responsibility and reading the fine print is concerned. That all sounds nice and reasonable, but in the “real world” (using your words) the average American doesn’t read the fine print enclosures included with their life sustaining prescription drugs, let alone some hastily submitted sweepstakes entry form. Moreover, whether or not they should have read same is beside the point. The fact remains that they probably did not read it! Therefore, it stands to reason that they could not knowingly and intentionally authorize the subsequent relentless telemarketing calls and that’s the position of the FTC, whether you like it or not! But I wonder, why doesn’t the Sundance representatives just tell the sweepstakes entrants that they will be receiving a telemarketing call? If they profess to be so upfront, why not just tell the consumer to expect a telemarketing call? If Sundance Vacations told the consumer to expect a telemarketing call that would be an unassailable defense against any DNC violations! But they will not do that! You know why? Because it is my unalterable belief that if the Sundance representatives told the consumers that fact they would have far less sweepstakes entry forms submitted. It is also my unalterable belief that Sundance Vacations depends on the fact that the sweepstakes entrants will not read the fine print.

It is for those very same reasons that the FTC frowns upon those sweepstakes because their primary purpose is obviously to circumvent the DNC provisions. In other words, Sundance Vacations is seeking a method to violate the law; now what does that say about Sundance Vacations, or any company for that matter? Oh, by the way, the reason for the addendum at the end of my blog was to substantiate my writings relative to the FTC’s attitude towards sweepstakes in general as a means of circumventing the DNC provisions. It was not intended to equate Sundance Vacations with any company and I thought that was obvious, but I guess not according to your post.

I have often read that the Sundance Vacations telemarketers (euphemistically described as “appointment setters”) are not attempting to “sell” anything over the phone. Not true! The word “sell” also means “to persuade or influence to a course of action or to the acceptance of something, ” such as the acceptance of the promotional gift in exchange for a “course of action” by attending a sales presentation. All too often people interpret words according to their most common usage, but when dealing with the judicial world one must interpret the words according to their LEGAL definitions, not just their most common usage. In other words, to “sell” also means selling an idea or a concept, not just a product or service. In my view, the Sundance Vacations telemarketers are “selling” whether you accept that reality or not!

You also write that the consumer could stop the relentless telemarketing calls, “at any time by simply asking to be put on the company's DNC list.” Really? I incorporate a post that I read at the following website: http://tinyurl.com/qmvfsz, and I reprint it VERBATIM:

“I signed up for this ‘sweepstakes’ not knowing what i was going to get myself into. They call everyone who's number they collect non-stop. I had recieved 7 straight calls in 7 days, all left voicemails. I then called back to ask to have my number removed from their calling list. After a half hour of forwarding me around and endless arguing over how i am missing out on the greatest opportunity, they finally agree to remove my number. WRONG... i still recieve daily calls and voicemails. They refuse to remove me from their list and continue to call. I may have to change my phone number to get out of this. AVOID AT ALL COSTS. IF YOU SEE SUNDANCE SWEEPSTAKES, DONT SIGN UP”

Here’s another post, again reprinted VERBATIM, from yet another website: http://tinyurl.com/otwxhq

“What an annoying, crooked company. Don't be fooled. Stay away from Sundance even if you win a FREE trip. Yeah right. My husband won his Free trip (cruise and airfare) at a golf show. Now that they have our phone number they won't leave us alone-they won't mail us the info and insist we go to a 1 hour meeting in Downers Grove IL to be "elligible" for the trip we "won". I told them we'd call them back if we're interested! They still call every day!!! I just blocked their phone number so i'll never hear from them again. They should all go to jail. I haven't read one nice thing about them -just comsumer complaints and pending lawsuits- so beware!!! They are crooks and scammers calling from a telemarketing company. They aren't a real travel agency.
Caller ID: 1-800-309-7000
Caller: The Stupid Sundance Vacations Scammers”

That certainly doesn’t sound like the consumer could stop the telemarketing calls, “at any time by simply asking to be put on the company's DNC list.” Furthermore, the aforementioned are NOT isolated incidences, but rather representative of many, many complaints all over the Internet! But, according to the Sundance Vacations communications director, they’re all the same person! How utterly unreasonable can that be? And, of course, if they’re not all the same person the consumers are all lying because that’s the position that Sundance Vacations advocates; everybody’s lying but Sundance Vacations. Absolutely, Sundance is right; the world’s all wrong - and Elvis is alive! LOL!

I certainly have no intention to engage in verbal altercations with you because obviously our opinions greatly differ on the concept of what is – or what is not – a violation of the DNC provisions. However I suggest your opinion is from an emotional point of view, while my opinion is from an intellectual point of view. Furthermore, I intend to continue my endeavors of enlightening the consumer as relates to what I “perceive” (your word ironically) to be the total disregard for one of the most popular legislative acts in American history! It demands repeating, the DNC regulations is one of the most popular legislative acts in American history. As of February 2009, the United States has a total resident population of 306 million; and 172, 523, 062 of them are saying leave me alone and do not call me! I can assure you that the regulatory agencies remain cognizant of that fact!

In 2006 Sundance Vacations exploited the wrong person, as they did with my nephew, and that person filed a fraudulent misrepresentation lawsuit against Sundance Vacations. (Bailey v. Sundance Vacations et al., Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County, docket number L8256-06) Likewise, it’s only a matter of time before Sundance Vacations calls the wrong person one too many times and possibly trigger a massive class action lawsuit for the invasion of privacy. Do you realize what a private class action would do to ANY company who calls hundreds of thousands of consumers a year that are listed with the DNC registry? It will virtually wipe them out if for no other reason than the legal fees alone! Furthermore, of the 172, 523, 062 consumers on the DNC lists, how many juries do you think would NOT be on the list?

Surprisingly, your final comment to “Deserie” was: “In any case, I'll leave you with a link that I think best describes how I feel about you :)” How do you have any “feelings” about someone you know absolutely nothing about, merely because of their postings about a company that you allege you “couldn't care less about?” Something’s wrong with that picture!

In conclusion, I will read any response that you may you submit, since reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. And, if you don’t respond; well, no answer at all IS an answer!
 7th of Jun, 2009 by   Dolores +1 Votes
Rachel:

I will not respond to undignified ad hominem writing.

Consequently, I say goodby and good health to you and yours while reciprocating with a "very famous quote”:

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

Dolores
 20th of Jun, 2009 by   Nrobinson071687 0 Votes
TO ALL:

This is Nick, who originally posted the first complaint on this page. I have not been able to go on any free cruise and would have lost my $100 "good-faith" deposit had I not placed a stop payment on it. No one from Spirit Incentives contacted me as promised. You will NOT be getting a free cruise no matter what anyone says.

Nick
 28th of Jun, 2009 by   lancaste 0 Votes
I actually went on the "free cruise" that Sundance offered about 3 weeks ago. Before I went to the Sundance Sales Pitch last year, I prepared myself for exactly what they were going to say, offer me, and do by researching their company on websites like this one. I happen to be very good at getting vacations and trips cheaply, and so before I went I memorized how much money I spent on my last 5 vacations. I went in and listened to their presentation and when we went into the breakout room, I was prepared. I politely listened to the man explain the deal and then I countered with the vacations I have taken. I basically asked if they could match or beat the prices I paid. The guy quickly realized he was not going to be able to sell me any vacations, so we ended up chatting about cool trips we have taken, rather than continuing the sales pitch. He also made me a nice cup of tea. When his "supervisor" came out as was their routine, she tried her schpeal and I did the same thing. She actually said "Well I guess this really isn't for you, you are doing pretty well with vacations already. Why did you even come here today?" To which I very quickly and happily replied "Because you offered me a free cruise!" I actually had a lot of fun throughout most of my visit to Sundance Vacations.

And 3 weeks ago, I ACTUALLY WENT on the cruise. No, of course it isn't really free. But I can tell you that I paid about $300 for the "port charges and fees" on cruise and airline tickets for 2 people from Philly to Florida. The airline tickets alone should have been a little less than that. Yes there was a bit of hassle with letting them pick the dates, and filling out forms, and calling them to set things up. You can read all about those hassles in other peoples posts. I knew about all of this already from researching their company online. We actually did spend more money on the trip than the $300, but the nice thing is that we spent most of that money on excursions: parasailing, submarine, and things we wanted to do while the ship was docked in the Bahamas. If I had paid for this cruise at normal price, we never would have been able to do half the things that we did! It was an AWESOME trip!
 28th of Jun, 2009 by   lancaste 0 Votes
Oh, one thing I should add to my previous post. In Nick's post, the one above mine, he mentioned that after the $100 deposit, he didn't get contacted. After I sent in my $100 deposit, I noted the date. When I didn't get contacted within the specified time frame ( I don't remember now what that was), I called Spirit Incentives and the lady quickly emailed me the letter that was supposed to come by mail. I think this must be what happened to Nick too, when he didn't get contacted.
 31st of Jul, 2009 by   G. Smith 0 Votes
Nick,

Thanks so much for your posts. My husband and I were supposed to attend a Sundance seminar tonight. Thanks to your post and several others that reveal Sundance's disgraceful tactics, we're not going. I applaud you for speaking out and helping other consumers.

G. Smith
 31st of Jul, 2009 by   kiki1110 +1 Votes
rachel
sigh. are you the daughter of the owner or something? are they paying you to waste your time defending the company tooth and nail? i hope they are. otherwise we'd all agree that you're a very silly lady with a lot of time on your hands. maybe get out from behind your computer and go work on being a better "english teacher's aide" you'll have a much more promising career doing that. a scam is a scam rachel, lets face it.
whitley-
its not our job to pay your bills/put food on your table. if you have to annoy the you know what out of unsuspecting broke twenty-somethings that ONLY filled out the form because they were eager to enter the concert/sporting event/whatever and get the annoying high school kid shoving them in our face away from us- then you need to reconsider your career choice. you'd make a more honest living and put more clothing on your children's backs if you were a cashier at walgreen's...
just sayin'
best,
kiki


“The smaller the understanding of the situation, the more pretentious the form of expression.”- John Romano
 13th of Aug, 2009 by   Scam exposed +1 Votes
Nick, Thank you for your post. I almost got ripped off of $11, 00 through Sundance vacations. Consumers..check your local Attorney General website as well as the FTC. Several years ago there was a sweep of vacation scams. Google "operation trip trap" as well as "operation travel unravel". It seems their at it again. I urge you to investigate this before making a financial commitment. If you have already committed with a signed contract.. I urge you to get out of it! Omission and misrepresentation in a contract makes it null and void!

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