I received an “Award Notification” from an unknown source which had “US Airlines” printed at the top. It promised “2 round trip airline tickets to anywhere in the continental US from any major international US airport.” When I called the rep, she told me it was “Universal Travel Vacations” in Tinley Park, IL and to claim this award I would have to bring my spouse to a sales presentation to explain their services, but we were under no obligation to buy anything, there would be no high pressure sales tactics, and we would only have to pay taxes for the 2 tickets.
So my wife and I went to the presentation which lasted over 90 minutes. We found out that they were selling something similar to time shares (discounts on travel lodging in their condos). However, after the presentation the sales pitch turned ugly. There was an exhaustive repeat of the details by another rep, followed by 2 other reps that were brought in, and a final rep who also tried to sell an alternative travel package. We said we were not interested. Finally, she gave us a sheet of paper that needed to be mailed into “Global Vacation Network.” It had 7 choices of vacations, each of which would cost even more money because of other costs related to the travel or “refundable deposits” which we didn’t want to give them up front. All we wanted was the airline tickets, not a complete weeklong vacation.
We went to their website which was also confusing and deceptive with their charges. So I called and got the “customer service” number. I machine answered and I left a message, but no one returned the call. We sensed that they had misrepresented their original claim for giving us the airline tickets and we, therefore, did not send in the list of choices, nor did we send any money. I suppose it’s possible that their discounts make a frequent traveler save some money. But they should not be offering free airline tickets if they will not give out those tickets without other stipulations. Our purpose in exposing them is to make sure no one else falls for this misleading offer.