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Royal Palm Travel / Customer Service Issues

1 13355 Noel Rd. Ste 1850Dallas, TX, United States Review updated:

I have never been treated SO terribly when I didnt deserve it. I called on this mailer I received saying get two plane tickets to anywhere in the continental USA by going to this travel presentation - so I called the number listed and signed up for 8/13/08 to visit. When I got there after taking off work 2 hours early, which is not okay in my busniess, a guy with a Mullet hair cut named "Ron" asked me to fill out a clip board and asked for my ID and credit card. I had been told they just needed an ID so I asked why a credit card. He said its because you cant come to my presentation if you dont have one. He then asked if I had a significant other. I said yes, my boyfriend - who I dont live with or share bills with. He said just fill this out. When I handed it back to him he asked me to step outside and said you cannot stay I am giving you a GC for your time and you need to leave. I asked why are you kicking me out? I didnt do anything! He said you told me you had a significant other and he isnt here so you need to leave. I said he is my boyfriend! We arent even engaged or sharing bills - I dont understand why you wont listen to me! He said it doesnt matter you need to get out or I am calling security. Once he asked that I tried to go back to get my personal information and he slammed the door shut and said you cannot go in there. I told him to screw off I dont want his GC and I just want to understand what I did wrong! He said just leave. So I did and I called the people who set me up to report it. I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND YOU EVER WORK WITH THIS COMPANY If they hire and condone such behavior from their agents. I am still trying to figure out what the heck just happened in there b/c even the lady who worked there said she didnt get it. I have filed them with the BBB and I hope you all know DO NOT WORK WITH THIS COMPANY in Dallas, TX! There are plenty other places you can buy your timeshares from - dont buy with them.

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  14th of Aug, 2008
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Sorry to hear about your ordeal. Be glad though that you didn't waste 3 more hours listening to their speal and even worse buying into their membership scam. These snakes are bad news and must be stopped but the bad part is when the heat is on them they just fold up shop and pop up under a different rock. By the way, their free gifts are worthless scams too.

  14th of Aug, 2008
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  14th of Aug, 2008
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Shauna, They did you a huge favor. You should be reading all the posts on this company. You would probably have never gotten your airline tickets anyway. The company that usually handles their promotions is Certs. Check them out on this complaint board. Or check with the attorney general in FL who is investigating RPV .
Also, one of the other people that got screwed by this company has a web site,

take a look at what he has uncovered and gone thru.
I have been getting emails for the past few months from people all over the country and not one of them is happy and all have either gotten their money back or are working with an attorney or their credit card company to get out of the contract and from under the monthly payments.
It's your money, do with it what you please, but I wouldn't go near them.
Jesica, good luck, wait until you have to jump thru the hoops to try and get your "free" trip. You would be better of on one of the internet sites like priceline or
If you bought into this package you should have 3 days to cancel the contract - check with the Attorney General in your state.
Mike is 110% right on. The whole thing is a big scam.

  15th of Aug, 2008
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hahaha.. I am so sorry for my previous comment, wasn't able to check it before clicking submit. I was in a hurry. The bottom line there is that they will not pressure you guys. I'm pretty sure you will enjoy the presentation as well as the vacation trip just like we did.

Don, i am sorry but i totally disagree with you, even if i will pay something for it that would not be a problem. It's just a matter of enjoying the moment together with your partner. Money and the likes are just superficial. As for me, I enjoyed everything and I have no regrets.

^__^ -- jesse

  15th of Aug, 2008
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This company technically is not Royal Palm Vacations of Florida, they go by Royal Palm Travel in Dallas. They may be related to the Florida company but I have no proof of that. I can prove though that this company is run by the same group that also run/ran Phoenix Vacations and Beachcomber Vacations. All of these companies were registered under the management of Adrian Miller. I suspect but have no proof yet that William (Bill) Bailey could be behind the scenes. Check out all the complaints on these other businesses. Royal Palm is their latest front to pull their scam.

The membership club used to be Castaways Vacation Club but now they use a relatively newly created membership club called SeaLand Travel.

I am sure that the positive testimonials on this board are falsified by company reps. They lie here just like they do with their high pressure and misleading sales tactics performed at their presentation to get you to buy into their inferior travel membership. Beware of these guys!

  16th of Aug, 2008
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mike, i am just expressing my experience with the club, is it wrong to have a positive comment about it? i bet all of us are entitled to our opinions and i am not a sicko to give out false informations.

if i were to asked you, where did you get all those informations you have? perhaps you are just trying to pull their business down, aren't you?

anyways, tata for now, havta sleep.. (-.-)zzZzZZz

  18th of Aug, 2008
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I just want my money back for the fraud that was committed against me and my wife! I have been searching various State business registries with their Secretary of State or Department of State websites. I have learned a lot about how this company moves around and keeps changing company names to make it harder to pin them down Nevertheless, I have finally found evidence that William Bailey is actually working behind the scenes. In 2003, the BBB fined Bailey and some of his employees for committing fraud. He filed bankrupcy during the BBB trial and since then he has been using other people's names to register businesses to still carry out his fraudulent activities because his own name has absolutely no credibility in the travel industry.

Here is a link to Bailey's fraudulent activity against the BBB and consumers:

  18th of Aug, 2008
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These people are a total scam and a-holes.

  20th of Aug, 2008
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You got lucky you didn't go. I bought in to it and now I am out over $900.00. They are scam artist. They promis you trips like $650.00 round trip including air and hotel to London and say they can book it that night for the price. I used to work for an Airline so I wanted the benfits of travel for cheap prices and thought it would be great. After we got the price down from 8000.00 to 4000.00 including processing and annual dues we bought it. They do give you 3 days to get your money back however they charge you a 15% restocking fee and 399.00 for processing. What are they restocking? On the way home I came to my sences and thought this is to good to be true. I found a trip on travelocity and had them quote me the same trip the next day. What I found was cheaper than what they could book it for. They do not save you any money. They also promis you a password to get on a website to see prices and book travel for less, however you don't get this for seven days. This would ensure that your three days to get your money (part of your money) back has passed. They are scam artist in my eyes. I have filed a complaint with the BBB. I have also found on other sites that there are other like us and are looking to file a class action lawsuite. I would like to get in on that if there is one going on. They are giving false information and you are not getting what you are promised

  9th of Sep, 2008
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I am so glad I came to check this out. my appointment is set for thes Saturday the 13 of sept, 08.
I ask why I had to bring a MAJOR credit card if it was free they said it was just for verification. So I ask why wouldnt my debit card work, or anything else for that matter. She gave no answer.
Thanks for sharing about them, sorry you had such a bad time of it.

  10th of Sep, 2008
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I wish I would have spent 5 minutes on the internet researching the company before I waisted 90 minutes at their presentation. I knew it would be some-type of sales pitch, but I figured they would at least live up to their end of the deal and provide the free trip. I asked the guy on the phone if we had to pay any taxes or service fees for the trip or place any money up front, and was told "no." Of course after the presentation they hand me the package and it says we need to send in a $50.00 per person cashier's check or money order for a security deposit. It then states that after your vacation you can "request" a refund of your security deposit. Yeah right...I may have been dumb enough to attend their presentation, but I'm definetly not sending anyone a $100.00 cashier's check for a supposedly "free" vacation. Another aspect of the fine print that they don't tell you over the phone: If you want to go to any of the destinations outside the U.S. plan on paying a $169.00 per person surcharge.
This is a warning for all those who think they can get something free in exchange for spending a couple of hours at a sales presentation. Don't waste your valuable time, you're not getting anything for free.

  18th of Sep, 2008
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I wish we had done some homework too since not only were we stupid enough to waste the time in their presentation-we got carried away and signed up for a membership. Now, we are in the process of trying to get a full refund and have put the charge into dispute on our credit card.

If anyone has any information about the legal names of the principals of this operation and/or contact information for them I would appreciate it if you could share it with me. We may find we have to file a claim in court and need that info in order to do that.

For anyone checking out this company, here is the information I have gleaned from several hours of Internet searching plus personal experience:
- A password is required to access the company’s travel website, which is supposed to show specifics of the travel savings available. However, the password is not provided to buyers until after the legally required 3 day cancellation period has expired
- The sales arm of the operation appears to have changed names and locations at least twice in the last three months in the Dallas area according to past buyers who say Royal Palm was previously operating as Phoenix Travel in a different Galleria Tower location
- Numerous complaints have been lodged on the Internet by previous buyers against both Royal Palm and Phoenix and some are pursuing filings with the State of Texas Attorney General’s office and the Better Business Bureau. Several are looking to join a class action law suit against one of the two enterprises.
- According to a quick Internet search, this firm or its affiliates appear to have operated under many names and in many locations over the past few years, including: Royal Palms Travel, Bon Voyage, Sea Land, Phoenix, Beachcombers, Via Vacations and Castaways. There does not seem to be any public record that has actually existed as that entity for the number of years claimed in the sales presentation.
- While a 3 day “cooling off period” is required by law, Royal Palm Travel tries to assess cancellation penalties that can run higher than $1000 based on a $399 “processing fee” and 15% of the purchase price as a “restocking fee”

Lastly, if you really want to go ahead and buy, be aware they are completely negotiable - so don't pay even close to their asking price. I have seen postings where people have purchased for one tenth of the $8995 starting price!

  25th of Sep, 2008
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Just to let you folks know the "POSTIVE" comments being left about this company are all FALSE !! Those comments are posted by Royal Palms Employees to make their company look good and legit. FOX 4 NEWS has been informed and will be investigating also The Attorney general is building a case against ROYAL PALMS TRAVEL !!! I ADVISE EVERYONE TO STAY AWAY ITS A SCAM and THEY ARE OUT TO GET YOUR MONEY . DONT BELIVE ANYONE that this is a LEGIT COMPANY !!! THEY ARE FALSO AND TAKE YOUR MONEY AND RUN !!!

  28th of Sep, 2008
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I have been with the club for over 5years and have had many memorable family vacations. It is a wonderful product if you know how to use it correctly. I have vacationed more than I have ever previously.

  28th of Sep, 2008
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My family and I have only had wonderful experiences from Royal Palms. We totally recommend this product to all our friends and family. Our next trip is planned and we cant wait.

  29th of Sep, 2008
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I find it interesting that the problems seem to stem from people who signed up for this Travel Club and then changed their mind and wanted a refund. When you signed your contract (as we did) it was very clearly stated that "Processing fees paid today and a restocking fee of 15% of the purchase is non-refundable." When we read our contract over, Jodi Cates underlined that part and made sure we understood. I remember commenting that that amount was a little "steep" for changing your mind but we were convinced this was for us.

After the presentation we started asking our rep lots of questions, he seemed very inexperienced and new and didn't seem to know the answers so Bill Cates came over and answered our questions and we looked at him and said, well this is a no brainer for us. You see we have 4 cruises booked between now and June, 2010. Each with two cabins and each traveling with two other sets of friends who each also have two cabins booked. We quickly did the math in our head of the minimum we would receive in Commission rebates based on all these cruise bookings we already had and realized it would not take us very long to recoup our investment with the Club and after that it would be gravy.

You see, the big draw for this Club to us was the rebate on travel agent commission and bonuses. We travel all the time and once my husband retires we will travel even more. Cruises and all-inclusive trips are our favorites and both are commission able. Since we also get rebates back for people traveling with us, we figured out that we were going to re-coup the cost of the travel club in just the cruises we have booked already, since we had not booked through a travel agent. (Although in our case we are going to give our friends their portion of the rebate.) Plus your benefits in the Club can be used by your kids, brothers and sisters and parents and they don't even have to travel with you to use it. You can also sell it at any time or freely transfer it to someone else (your kids for example).

They were very clear in the presentation that you shouldn't buy into the club for airline discount (not available) or even for hotel discounts (minimal, but as good as any other). The real money comes back to frequent travelers who spend a lot on commission able travel on a yearly basis, WE DO!

So if you can't afford to pay outright for this Club, don't do it. If you don't travel much on commission able trips and don't plan to travel much, don't do it. If you have family that travels a certain amount and you plan to as well, maybe buy one membership and split the cost within the family. Same if you always travel with friends.

As far as the "free" gifts. What did you really expect? The Freebeegas cards work, just sign up online and send in your receipts each month. You will receive your $300 over a period of months, but you will get it. The free trip? Yeah, it is limited in scope but you can still do it. What did you expect, really?

Personally for us, if we had known about this Club five years ago we would have already been in the gravy years for some time now. But we travel all the time and spend a lot when we do. The rebates are the thing for us.

If you really think about it, what about all those people who book a cruise or an all inclusive trip with a travel agent and if they are lucky receive a bottle or two of wine and $100 on board credit (instead of 5-15%, or more cash back!)? In my opinion, those are the people getting ripped off. One cruise we took with our kids for two weeks to Europe back in 2005 would have netted us over $3, 500 with this rebate for that cruise alone. Instead we made the mistake of going through a national, well known travel agency and received Nothing! Now, if one wanted to, one could easily call that a scam!

Oh, and I am a stay at home Mom for over 22 years now and I don't work for anyone. This travel club IS NOT for everyone But for some of us it is great!

As far as Royal Palm being scam artists, is that really the case? Do they use various sales tactics to get you to buy? Probably, I don't know, we WANTED to buy into this Club. But anyone who signed the contract would have had to initial many, many times on the contract and would have had to acknowledge the part where the company retained certain amounts if you did indeed cancel. The fact that you signed the contract and later changed your mind has no bearing on this. You owe them the money because you agreed to their terms. Not the greatest terms in the world mind you, but certainly legal.

I do feel bad for anyone who feels ripped-off or cheated. In the long run you should have kept the Travel Club membership and over time you would have gotten your money if you and your family and friends cruised or took commission able trips over time.

Sorry to make this so long, but I think all these posts do is make people feel bad about joining the Club or make them cancel and loose money in the short term. If you bought into this club, USE IT! Have your family and friends use it. Make it worth your while and investment!

For those of you feeling unhappy or cheated, next time be careful what you sign.

  29th of Sep, 2008
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Yes, the cancellation terms are there but I like you believed their lies and did the math and figured it would pay itself back in no time so we had no intention of ever cancelling. In Bill's presentation, he claimed that you get 12-15% rebates with their program but after you get the literature packet, you see that it is really 0 to no more than 12% plus who is to say that they will even send it to you? The companies on the contract have no physical addresses other than boxes at UPS Stores so what recourse do you have if you don't get your commission? Also when researching into their business, I learned that they really did not have affiliations with those agencies that they said they did. They also claimed to have been in business for over 20 years but SeaLand Travel has no history to be found. It is a newly contrived fictitious business name. I am convinced SeaLand is a Bill Bailey business but it is not registered as a business anywhere to prove it. The business that has been around over 20 years is Bill Bailey's Castaways Vacation Club (also unregistered but there is history that can be found that he is behind it). Check out the history of Bill Bailey of Illinois. You will see his history of fraud and having been shut down by the BBB. He now uses other people to register and carry out his schemes. If they are so legitimate, why are they so secretive as to their location and ownership? The phone numbers you call will never answer as "SeaLand Travel". They will not tell you where they are located except "in the midwest". Royal Palm Travel will not accept certified mail at their Galleria Office but I know mail can be delivered there. The owner of the company, Adrian Miller, keeps changing office locations and business names. He used to run Beachcombers Vacations which came to Texas from Florida. Then he changed the name to Phoenix Vacations. Now it is Royal Palm(s) Travel. Why is he so shifty? I called Jody asking for a temporary login so I could check out their website before the three days was up. Jody strung me along saying she would get it for me the next day but she did not call me back with it. I then cancelled immediately to make sure I was in the three day window to at least get something back. I didn't want to take that chance because there is no way that I would get any refund if I waited the 7 to 10 days for my membership login to arrive. Also a reputable company would not charge such high cancellation fees that vary depending on how much they get out of you up front. Why are they justified to keep $1300 if you pay $6693 but if they got $3000 from you then you pay $850 for cancelling the same membership? I could understand something like a fixed $39 processing and handling fee but they are clearly about taking as much money from you as they can. I called them on the lies they made to get me to sign the contract. That should have been enough to get them to waive the cancellation fees in the interest of customer satisfaction especially that their product was based on misrepresentations. But they still kept $1300. Good luck with your membership! I hope it turns out to be all that you expected. Besides what choice do you have if it is past 3 days? You are stuck with it for better or worse. I have heard that the prices you get from them are no better than Travelocity or other online travel agencies. I believe you are a real customer instead of the fake ones that post their rebuttals on here so I look forward to you posting here later letting us know if the deals turn out to be as good as they claim and if you really do get the rebates that they promise.

  30th of Sep, 2008
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Hi Mike,
Yes, I am a real customer. No the travel specialists do not work for or answer as SeaLand Travel . They are a completely separate entity who service travel for different companies. They do not know how much each individual customer paid for their membership or from which company they purchased such membership. Nor do they care. They are servicing you as their customer now. They do not work on Commission but on salary. Good customer service seems to be their objective.

Royal Palm Travel in Dallas sold us the membership in the SeaLand Travel Company. SeaLand than contracts with the Travel Services Company to service your travel. I have found the people that I have dealt with at Travel Services to be knowledgeable, thorough, friendly and responsive. I get to keep all of my cruise bookings in my possession until just before final payment, then I transfer the booking to Travel Services. They then go through a travel agency to take over the booking with the cruise line. I receive most (if not all) of the commission and any bonus involved. On my next cruise during the Holidays this December, the cash back is around 10% of the actual cruise fare and this particular sailing included a large bonus, which is being rebated to me. The total for me will be a check mailed to me for $2, 243.00 between 30-90 days after my cruise. I have this in writing. I also have, in writing, the minimum rebate amounts that I will be receiving on my next three cruises I already have booked. Yet, I still retain ownership of these bookings and do not have to turn them over to an agency yet.

I like the idea that I can keep my own booking until just before final payment, giving me the freedom to make changes, etc. on my own. I guess the thing that shocked me the most, was how much commission the cruise lines are paying to travel agencies and how very little, if anything, the customer of these travel agencies ever sees. That is the rip-off in my opinion!

As far as prices, the cruise lines generally do not discount anymore and the only incentive for customers to use a travel agent is for what the travel agent can give them in the way of on board credits or gifts. Believe me, 5-12% back is a lot of money when you spend as much as we do on cruising!!! But like I said, it can often be more than that due to incentives and bonuses the cruise lines pay to get agencies to book customers on certain sailings and in certain level cabins. As I said the rebate I will get on my upcoming cruise will be @ 18% because of the added bonus. We are paying for 8 people, so we are spending a lot, but we are now getting money back which we never did before.

Believe me, if it turned out I was being scammed, they would be in big trouble as my husband has been an attorney for over 28 years and the Cates knew this when we signed the contract. Jodi called travel services the night we signed the contract and had a travel specialist working on our cruise booking the next day.

As far as the website, yes, it works, but you need your Travel Club ID # and password. I prefer to call and/or use e-mail to work with Travel Services, but the website offers ideas.

If I have any problems with anything, I will let you all know. Just wanted to throw my 2 cents in this this Club Member ship is not for everyone but for some of us it is great!

  1st of Oct, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Personally I found too many red flags and things that didn't add up for my comfort so this club is not right for me. I truly hope they continue to meet your expectations. Please keep us posted on how things work out. Best of luck to you!

  6th of Nov, 2008
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royal palm travel is legitimate!!! i heard alot of positive comments with this company. find out with yourself before you jump into conclusions. NO COST VACATION PACKAGE IS FOR REAL!!! it's not a scam!! and absolutely you'll get your vacation package gift aftter the obligation to buy or sign anything...sure.

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