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Great Time Vacations / Non-refund Issues

1 525 Ronald Reagan Blvd , Suite 109Longwood, FL, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 8004308353

This company sent an unsolicited fax to my job on the morning of 10/01/2008. They advertised a vacation package for $99 a person (plus port fees). It sounded like a great deal, so I booked one. I ended up having to pay almost $550 for the package (not including what the others that I planned to invite would have to pay). I almost immediately demanded my money back, but they told me that I would have to wait until the vacation paperwork arrived and to send it back for a refund. I did so (they received it on October 27, 2008 at 08:31) and to this day, I have not heard word from them or got my money back!

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Comments

  • Sa
      23rd of Jan, 2009
    -1 Votes

    I purchased a vacation back in August of 2008 took my family to Cancun and Florida and was very impressed with not only the resorts, But also with the customer service when booking my travel dates. They planned very thing for my family and booked flights for me as well. I paid nothing more than what was told to me when buying the package. And i plan to go on the remaining portions this March break. I would recommend them to any one looking to take a great vacation at a reduced rate. After reading the complaint with the person that purchased for 99.00 and took a cruise any and all cruises have port and service fees to pay. And the reservation fees.

  • Je
      1st of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes
    Great Time Vacations - no accomadations
    absolute reservations
    United States
    Phone: 800-430-8353

    On march 27, 2009 i booked travel to daytona with great time vacations also known as absolute reservations for the 29th - 30th, they charged me a 75 dollar fee to travel before a 15 day notice which was okay but On the 28th no confirmation was sent threw my email address and i had booked 600 dollars in airfare to travel two people, i called again the that night and no answer and they are closed on weekends . On monday i talked to three people, a guy named mike who was very rude and told me that they were also going to charge me a 100 no show fee on top of my losses so i hung up and called bc on the 31st. The second lady crystal told me that the managers reviewed the situation and they usually always send confirmation threw spam account and that is why people dont get confirmation and we should always check for it under customer service, i told her that i checked and nothing and she said well before she could book me for another trip i would have to pay the no show fee on top of my losses, the third time i called my original coordinator christina was trying to be courteous but with no results, so i called better business agency, contacted my credit card company and wrote a letter to the chairman of the company address is 2700 westhall ln, #110 maitland, florida 32751 usa i doubt if it gets through but this place is a rip offf!!!

  • Tw
      8th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I too booked a vacation with Great Time Vacations for a Bahama Cruise and stay. My arrangements were made 2 months prior to my scheduled vacation. I made several arrangements to take this vacation including scheduling time off from work and driving 18 hours(round trip) to get my brother who agreed to come and stay with my children so that my husband and I could enjoy our first anniversary in the Bahamas. On the evening of April 7, 2009 at 6:38 pm I received a call from an Ophelia stating that unfortunately the cruise ship had broke down and I would be unable to go on the trip that I had arranged.( I was scheduled to leave for Florida the following night April 8, 2009) She offered other accomodations but they were not feasible for me and they refused to refund me the total that I paid stating I had cancelled and forfeited my refund. THIS PLACE IS A RIP OFF. SAVE YOURSELF A HEADACHE AND STAY AWAY FROM GREAT TIME VACATIONS AND THEIR AFFILIATES. ALSO THEY RECEIVED A "F" FROM THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU

  • Tt
      9th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    We along with friends booked a trip with them also and were told that it included every thing but ened up paying more then we were suppose to plus we had a trip on the package that included a Bahama Cruise, we asked several times if we needed a passport sense the laws were changing as of June 1, 2009 and they said no all we needed was a D.L and birth certificate which we all had, that didn't work we didn't get to go on our cruise. The other messed up thing is the people at CALYPSO CAY RESROT were rude and they would NOT give us SOAP, TOWELS OR WASH CLOTHES they told us it was on a first come first serve bas. We had to go out and purchase our own towels, wash clothes and soap. We also met a couple who had a handy cap child and there room had the same complaint we had so they stayed one night and then left. So we would NEVER RECOMMEND GREAT TIMES VACATION TO ANYONE because they don't provide you with the correct informaion needed for a wonderful trip! THANKS FOR RUINING OUR VACTION!!!

  • Co
      24th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    I really wished I had researched before committing/sending my monies to this company. I have this very erie feeling of this vacation I have booked to begin August 16-21 for the FortLauderdale/Bahama Cruise. I have already kind of paid approx. US$700 so far, and according to them now, I still have my incidentals to pay for, which I am find with, except this should have been told to me upfront. I will let everyone know how this trip went. As of today, I have been tring to get hold of these individuals at the 407-660-9995 number, but to no avail, its been busy for the longest while, but I will keep trying ... JJ

  • An
      30th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    I too bought a package and recently got a call saying it was expiring!!! so to keep it I had to pay another $99 on top of the $899. Now I can' reach anyone on the 800 #...I will report them to the attorney generals office and suggest everyone do the same to somehow STOP these SCAMS!!!

  • Go
      12th of Aug, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Great Time Vacations has a long history w/ the Better Business Bureau. They may also be listed under different names, as they've had at least THREE names in the past 4yrs since I've known them: Wholesale Connection Company in 2004, Absolute Reservations in 2006, and now Great Time Vacations since 2008. After my shady dealings w/ them and reading about other people's complaints, it's no surprise to me why the company would have to change their name so regularly.

    My experience with them is that that they lack professionalism, and will only accept responsibility for service/refund issues after being threatened w/ legal action or a report of their behavior to the Better Business Bureau.

    When I first booked w/ them, I redeemed a "Disney" vacation w/ them that included a resort located 2miles away from Disneyworld in FL. I got written confirmation for my hotel stay. However, I took a plane from NJ to my "pre-selected" FL hotel to learn that the hotel was FULL and that someone failed to reserve a room for me! It was a holiday wkend and every other hotel I called in the area was booked, so I was momentarily stranded in essence. I was lucky to find one nearby (unlisted) hotel w/ an available room; wound up paying out of pocket for my stay (an expense that was supposed to be covered from my initial payments to Great Time Vacations, then known as Absolute Reservations). During this process, all of the managers I corresponded with in person at the hotel and at Great Time Vacations tried their best to avoid me and refused to accept responsibility for the incident and my due refund. I eventually located and wrote the president of the company, threatening legal action and a report of their behavior to the BBB before I received my due refund w/ a letter of apology, a process that took about 6 months.

    If you feel strongly about your experiences w/ Great Time Vacations, it would be wise to look them up on and report them to the BBB (visit: bbb.com). The BBB site will list their corporate headquarters, so you don't have to deal w/ their every-changing staff or their tendencies to pass the buck (meaning give you endless referrals to the "next person") on you.

    Here's a direct link to their profile under BBB:
    http://centralflorida.bbb.org/codbrep.html?wlcl=y&id=222411824

    If that doesn't work, try looking them up under: Great Time Vacations, zip code 32752.

    OR

    Look under one of their previous names: Wholesale Connection Company or Absolute Reservations. You'll find their history and corporate contact information as well.

    From what I've seen, they have a high number of complaints, w/ the majority of them unresolved.

  • Go
      12th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    Below is an informative note of advice regarding from The Better Business Bureau regarding Great Time Vacations and similar "solicitors" for vacation packages.

    "Vacation certificates offer a trip to one or more popular vacation sites at very low prices, which usually include accommodations but not transportation. The certificate may be good for a maximum of 18 months under Florida law.

    Companies offering vacation certificates do so through various means. The company might contact you directly by mail or telephone. You might be persuaded by newspaper advertisements, internet pop-ups or a notice received in the mail to initiate the contact by calling the company.

    In many cases, when the company contacts you, it will tell you that you've been "selected to receive" a vacation. However, you will be required to pay taxes and/or port charges. Certain "black out" days may not be available and a registration fee may also be required. The company may not disclose this information to you initially.

    The company will want you to charge the fee to your credit card immediately, or will ask you for your checking account number so they can debit your account. Typically, the business will request payment at the point of sale. The BBB advises consumers to be wary of any seller of travel who tells you that you must make up you mind about purchasing during the call.

    Once you agree to the "purchase, " you will have a period of time to use the vacation, subject to availability. Sometimes though, when you call to arrange your trip, the dates you desire will not be available, and the company will offer to �upgrade� you to a more expensive vacation that is available.

    In some cases, travelers have found the accommodations and facilities provided through these certificates to be below standard and unacceptable.

    30-day Cancellation Period - Vacation Certificates ONLY

    Florida law gives the consumer some protection in the matter of cancellations, by providing that a contract for a vacation certificate may be canceled in writing within 30 days of purchase or receipt of the vacation certificate. The consumer may also cancel if the accommodations and facilities are not available as provided in the contract.

    (It a travel package is not a vacation certificate the consumer is required to choose a date for travel, at the time of purchase and the consumer must be informed that it is non-refundable before making any payment or signing a contract. This type of travel package is considered �date certain, � therefore, is not subject to the 30-day (vacation certificate) cancellation policy and is generally non-refundable.

    Keep in mind with regard to cancellations: the entire amount involved is refundable. Unethical sellers of travel may offer to refund all but a certain amount, but they are required to refund the full amount paid to the seller of travel, if the consumer cancels the vacation package, in writing and returns the vacation package, within 30 days of purchase or receipt of the vacation package.

    If you decide to keep the certificate and take the trip, don't leave home without confirming all your hotel accomodations personally.
    As a matter of policy, the BBB does not endorse any product, service or business.
    BBB Reliability Reports are provided solely to assist you in exercising your own best judgment. Information in this BBB Reliability Report is believed reliable, but not guaranteed as to accuracy.
    BBB Reliability Reports generally cover a three-year reporting period. BBB Reliability Reports are subject to change at any time.
    If you choose to do business with this business, please let the business know that you contacted the BBB for a BBB Reliability Report.
    ID: 222411824
    Report as of: 8/12/2009 7:32 PM
    © 2009 BBB of Central Florida, Inc."

  • Ps
      28th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    They rip me off $457.00 for a vacation. I tried calling the 1 800 #, however it disconnected.

  • Di
      4th of Jan, 2010
    +2 Votes

    My Wife and I took a trip with "great Times Vacations back in May of 2009. The accommodation's at The Calypso Cay Resort Were less than acceptable. They wanted us to pay for maid service and would not supply towels unless we got them at the front desk ourselves. When we arrived we had to give them a credit card impression. which they used to hold us hostage for the tour which we had promised to take. then after wasting our day on the tour which went from 90 minutes to 2.5 hours. They sprung on us another meeting which we had to attend for an hour. which turned into 2 hrs. which they used our credit card impression to also hold us hostage. now they wasted two days of our trip for there sales meetings. which we were honest with them about when we told them we had no intention of buying anything. Well the sales associates were extremely rude from then on and tried desperately to demean our character during the presentation.

    Well back to the hotel. It was filthy to say the least. If the health inspector in Florida were to make a surprise visit. they just might shut the place down. in the breakfast area the ceilings had very large webs hanging over the food service area. Our refrigerator in our room had an exploded can of coke in it so they had obviously never cleaned the room before we checked in. My wife and i had to use an entire bottle of Lysol which we paid for to clean the bathroom because of the mess in there. I could go on and on about how bad the hotel was. But space here is limited.

    As for the trip. I got it much the way another responder did. from a fax to my workplace. said $99 per person ended up over $600. it promised a second trip to Honolulu,
    Hawaii with air fare included. when i asked at the resort they said I had to deal with reservations for that and they didnt know anything about it. So when i returned home they said i had to get the tour people to sign the sheet that said i took the tour. but if i sent them a copy of the tour ticket with the dates on them with a check for $78 more for (shipping and handling) they would send me my packet for the trip. which would take 4 to 8 weeks to deliver so i waited and waited and... oh well you know were this is going. My check was cashed on Aug 24th and still no packet. so i called the 800 number and spoke to a person who identified herself as Jenna in the Fly Away Dept. and i was told it would be shipped next week. (a lie) Then i called a week later when the package did not arrive i was told by another person (lier) named Cynthia that it missed the shipping deadline for the week and would be shipped that week. (another lie) and i have been fighting with them ever since. it is now Jan. 2010 and the latest lie of many is a tracking number they said was for the USPS kept coming up that there is no record for that number. then she was in meetings and she was off and the hours changed. and so on and so on so many excuses so many lies. I still have no package and I'm out $78 on top of the money i spent to earn the trip to Honolulu. And now after reading all these horror stories of you folks i wish i had looked them up before i called cause i never would have done it. You know they say once bitten well i sure will be shy the next time i see a fax about a trip. and the shame of it is there not all like this. At this point i would just like some of my money back. (pipe dream) but i wont rest till i hear that great time vacations is in deep doodoo id like to see them up on mail fraud charges since they used USPS tracking as part of there lies. i also contacted the Florida attorney generals office and they referred me to the Florida dept. of agriculture and land management. At this point I'm not sure what to do but i will be filing a complaint with the Florida BBB. I would like to get the word to any and all potential victims of these wonderful people. I may be contacting our local TV News people that deal with this kind of thing on air so i can get the word out at least locally .

  • Ip
      26th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    This is my story from last year April 2009 - I had a very bad experience with Absolute vacations which is now called Great Time Vacations. One morning there was a paper on my fax machine w/ a splendid deal to Orlando just 99/p and also attached with it was a so called free Bahama Cruise. When I called customer service to book after adding up all expenses I ended up paying $2000.00.
    After finishing the Orlando trip we drove down to Ft. lauderdale from where we were supposed to take the cruise. To my disappointment the cruise was cancelled and nobody even called me. I tried calling for 4 days to reach somebody and atleast figure out something but no luck. We moved to a cheaper hotel since we were stranded in Ft. lauderdale for a week, every expense was from our pocket. At last when we could reach a manager, after so much harrassment and distress she offered to extend the validity of the trip for one extra year and also she offered a free trip to Costa Rica.
    Great Time Vacation had the odacity to call me in August 2009 to tell me that if I don't travel by same year October I lose my full deposit I had for Bahama Trip. This was a full 1 week fight with them, lot of stress for me and the worst part was they were lying about everything. To my disappointment they had never apologised what had happened in ft. lauderdale. Nobody offered even to reimburse my expenses when I was stranded in Ft. lauderdale. And afterwerds they had the guts to call me and tell my trip was expiring and I would lose money. i wish I had enough money to sue this agency and get thjem bankrupt. I have so much bad feelings towards this agency I cannot describe in words.

  • Pr
      30th of Jan, 2010
    +1 Votes

    ((To sammys girl) -- Probably A Great Time Vacations Employee..

    I am completely aware that there are port charges on every cruise.. I have taken at least 4 myself WITHOUT Great Time Vacations. And no, the cruise WASN'T only $99.. that's what I said the flyer advertised. If you were reading correctly, you would have seen that the cruise turned out to be much more because of several other fees that Great Time Vacations themselves tacked on. And you are incorrect.. there are NO "reservation fees" when you book a cruise. And if you are paying them, it is you that is being duped. Carnival does not charge them. Period. I am an experienced cruiser with them, I would know. So before you go judging other people's experiences (I am actually waiting for you to fall on your face with them) do some better research. Don't you think it's odd that YOU'RE the only one that has nice things to say about them? Yeah...

  • Ti
      30th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    Why would you book a trip from an unsolicited fax? Unsolicited advertising faxes are illegal, so you know right away you're dealing with ###.

  • Pi
      30th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    This company refunded what i payed when I cancelled my plans. I really never had the chance to see what accomodation they give you for the price you payed but I am satisfied they refunded me. They did not even insist the no-refund issue nor did they offer anything else. DOn't even have to follow up with them. I just trusted what they told me though I also checked my credit card everyday. it took them about a week and a half to process the refund. Just to be fair to them is the reason why i posted this comment.

  • So
      16th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    A total rip off .. total jerk customer service. Each time I call they have something more to add on.
    First time booking fee - $99
    Holiday surcharge (though holiday is 8 days away) - $100
    cancellation - $75
    early booking - $75
    one time fee + port fees etc for Bahamas is worst .. unimagineable
    they count children as adults .. if its 4 adults & 1 child .. its extra money @ of an extra adult.
    extra nites are total rip off
    upgrades are ridiculous.. it like "hello if this is upgrade .. what my actual hotel like??"
    1-800# is total bs .. never answers .. call back is undependable
    All reps are very rude so far
    you call booking company and they say "we are not the original company who sold you this package !!
    Oh btw and if you call booking company ... they cannot make any changes to your package w/o our approval "...wtf .. does that make ne sense .. why dont u just tell me if I can change the package or not then!!
    They like to go in circles
    All reps on the phone are only trained in talking fast .. so that person doesnt understand ne of the fine prints there ..
    I feel trapped.
    Planning a Orlando & Daytona trip for May .. so far its been nightmare .. as they will not get in touch with me to give them the dates!!
    Lets pray .. this goes well .. as I am taking my in-laws along with .. and wud hate if they have a bad exp with this trip .. as they are really looking fwd for this.

  • Le
      16th of Feb, 2011
    0 Votes

    They are a total rip off!! I do not recommend them. Booked a cruise with them, the cruise was cancelled and I was not notified. They refuse to refund the money.

  • An
      1st of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    I booked a Florida vacation thru great time vacation and I totally agree it is a HUGE RIP OFF. It was a nightmare after another. I totalled all my expenses and it was much higher than me booking it thru a regular travel agency & staying in a 5 or 4 star hotel. So much for SAVINGS. You can't pick the hotel to stay and they put you in dumpy place. All kinds of hidden cost and not to mention our half day was gone because you have to attend a siminar (people selling condos). Their representative talks so fast so you really can't catch up what you are getting into. Please do yourself a favor, don't make the same mistake I made. If you don't want to ruin your vacation, stay aways from GREAT TIME VACATION or should I say NOT Great Time Vacation.

  • Em
      7th of Jul, 2011
    0 Votes
    Discount Vacation - False Advertisements
    Great Times Vacation
    Florida
    United States

    I had the same experience as the post 2010-01-04 by diguntled in PA.

  • Ex
      3rd of Apr, 2013
    0 Votes

    So I booked a trip to the Bahamas with this agency for 6 ppl and ended up paying almost $2000. The company called me 4 days before my trip to advice that the cruise was cancelled. They can reschedule me for another date. My airline tickets were already booked and I was out of $2000 as it will be used as a credit towards another trip. After a lot of back and forth they refunded me $1045 for the port fees and I used $200 towards my stay in Fort Lauderdale. The resort in Fort Lauderdale was nice but I was stuck on a never ending sales meeting for 4 hrs. Which was promised to only be 2 hrs. I am now trying to contact this place and of course no response and they are holding $625.00 of my money! Anyone knows how I can retrieve this?

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