Universal Adventure USAHorrible service

1 Review updated:

I already posted a reply to the other complaint that was filed here concerning that company. However, I feel it's a good idea to file another one.

I can't tell what it is to travel with them. I never did. It is possible that some customers really end up in fun places to have a good time. But I can't vouch for them.

Day 1 of the transaction: I'm being called at home and told that I have won a free vacation. (I had been looking for some stuff online during that time, such as Disney World promotions, so I thought yeah maybe I also came across on their ad somewhere and clicked on it for participation.) Then I'm being explained about the details and how fun the travel would be. I was very hesitant when they asked for my credit card number (I'm a full-time student and prefer to think things through before buying anything). The details of this event are hazy, I can't remember if I gave the whole number or only my expiration date. (I buy some things on the internet once in a while, so it's possible they got my number somewhere too.) When I was told I was being charged 500$ my breathing and heartbeat stopped altogether. Then I told them I wasn't ready for this, and was transferred to a manager to "handle the issue". This person was borderline rude but calmed me down with sentences that would reassure me. Also when I said that I didn't know when I could travel, she said that I could extend the package for another year, no problem. She never mentioned additional fees or whatnot.

In April I figured out I couldn't travel this year so I sent an email to know the details about the extension. The auto-reply from the email says that they contact people within 24 business hours. That didn't happen. After a week of waiting I sent another email. After that someone called me back home (another manager of some sort) and left a message on my machine that basically told me "call back the company for the extension". When I finally did, I was told the extension was going to cost me 99$ for another year. I was surprised because nobody told me this before. The agent on the phone told me "err well I don't know why they didn't tell you, but that's like an open plane ticket. If you want an extension there's a fee." When I asked if there was a deadline I had to think about for the extension, the agent said "oh no rush, you can call us on the expiration date (July 12th) if you want!" I was in the search of a buyer to transfer the name of the package (so that someone else could profit from it this year) and got all the information concerning the name transfer, but I didn't pay for the extension then. I wasn't ready.

I couldn't find a buyer for the package and the expiration date was coming fast. I remembered the agent's sentence "you can call back on the 12th if you want" and looked at their office contact info. The 12th is a Sunday (yesterday) and their office is open from Mon-Fri 9am-6pm.See Top 10 Worst Companies in Brunswick, GAA good thing I didn't call on the 12th... the agent didn't even check her schedule to tell me "oh that's a Sunday so call a few days before" or something. So I called on Friday the 10th (since apparently there was no reason to rush) only to find an answering machine waiting for my call. I left 2 messages that afternoon, and I stated in each that my problem was urgent and that they should call me that day as the package would expire during the weekend. Not only nobody called me back, but after 5h30pm I wasn't even able to leave another message on their machine. After roughly 10 rings all I could hear was a series of beeps or a "please call again" message. It felt to me like the office was closed before time. I sent an email then, thinking they will read it only on Monday but I took my chance.
I called back today, Monday, to figure out if my issue was being handled. Nobody answered and no machine was ready to take my message. I just got the "please call again" message or the series of beeps. There's no reply in my email inbox from them. I wanted to renew the package to have a chance to sell it soon, but now I have the impression that my 500$ just went down the drain and the company doesn't care about not giving me any service and just taking the money. I filed a complaint with the BBB in the Georgia area last Friday because I was angry about the bad customer service, and sent another email to the BBB today saying it's probably a scam and much worse than a bad customer service problem.
I made an internet search today to see if there were other people who had a bad experience with them and I found this site, as well as questions and concerns posted elsewhere. There are a few posts here and there saying "I went to Vegas with them it was nice" or "this is a great deal", but all in all I found a lot more complaints than positive feedback. The complaints are given in details but the positive feedback is short and not giving much information. I really have the impression that it's just a big scam. Like I said earlier, it's very possible that some people ended up traveling with them (that might help the company to keep a good image), but I have the impression that there's a lot more unhappy customers that have been charged when they were not ready for it (and this is how the company makes the money) than happy customers having a good time.
Also, why would a company change names every once in a while, if not to protect themselves from the BBB and customers complaints like seen on this board here? Last year when I searched the name Universal Adventure USA on the BBB site, it was listed. Today, the same address and phone number is listed as the AAA Promotions Inc. company. There are other people who talk about Universal Fun Pass or Universal something else. It seems to me it's the same bunch but changing name for a "clean slate". I wonder what the BBB can really do against them, but I have a feeling that there's a lot of fraud going on at this address in Georgia.

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  • Kr
      Aug 15, 2011

    I did use a portion of the vacation package but it ended up being such a headache! I was assured I could bring whoever I wanted on the trip and so I brought a girlfriend with me because my boyfriend (now husband) was just starting a new job and could't get time off. We drove from Toronto Ontario to Florida, got to Daytona, checked into the hotel and got out timeshare presentation time (which I knew about so that was fine) for the next day. Over we went that next morning only to be told that because we were two young females, we couldn't do the timeshare tour and therefore forfitted the trip. I told the people there that I met all the requirements they'd asked for on the phone! I made far more than they asked for on my own, owned my own house and I was living on my own but my then boyfriend was just about to move in while I was on vacation- stupid mistake on my part! Suddenly, I was common law and couldn't make any decisions on my own without him (even though he hadn't actually moved in yet!) I begged and pleaded since we'd already driven down, I was willing to do the tour etc but they refused. We got back to the hotel only to find out we'd been KICKED OUT of our room! the company had called and cancelled our room because of the timeshare problem.
    I got on the internet and found the Florida Atterney General and gave them a call. I then cancelled all but one of my credit cards that I knew Universal did not have access to to ensure no extra fees were placed on the cards and then called Universal and threatened lawsuit if they didn't let us back in. We then had to spend the day driving around finding a head company and the man there was very nice and worked everything out finally but it cost us an entire day of our trip and a whole lot of tears.
    This all happened back in March 2008 and the reason I'm bringing it up now is that just today, Universal Adventure just called today asking why I hadn't finished the rest of my trip and I still had $500 credit (Bahamas cruise) and if I wanted to pay an extra $199 they would give me another year and the package (including Florida again) all over. I declined and told the lady that it was the worst trip I'd ever taken and instead of doing what a normal travel person SHOULD do and ask, "I'm so sorry to hear, what made it terrible?" she just said, "Oh so you're willing to give up $500?" and I said yes, so apparently my name has been deleated.
    I've learned my lesson; be VERY careful to get explicit rules before doing anything. I'd kept every email transaction and contract I'd had with them thankfully and brought them to Florida; I'm glad I had or I could have been in worse problems. The hotel was beautiful and right on the beach and other than that one day, my friend and I did get to enjoy Daytona and Orlando for a week.
    Overall though, customer service is awful and beyond pushy and I will never purchase from them again.

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