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Magical Dream EscapesMisleading Sales Practices

My mother was contacted by a representative for Magical Dream Escapes who told her she had won a once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation package, including vacations to Orlando (with theme park tickets included), Ft. Lauderdale, Daytona Beach, Las Vegas, a cruise to the Bahamas, a trip to Cancun or Puerto Vallarta, and a trip to the Dominican Republic.

My mother called me and I listened in on the phone conversation and asked questions as he presented the details of her "win." The rep told her that the vacation packages were fully transferable, that any combination of up to 4 people could attend (3 adults, one child/ 4 adults/ 2 adults, 2 children) and that all the vacationer had to do was attend one 2-hour tour of a resort. The rep also said the vacations were valid for up to 3 years and told her she had also won a $1000 online shopping spree with her vacation package.

We asked many detailed questions, presented several scenarios of our family members traveling through this package, and asked about fees.

The Magical Dream Escapes rep told us that all we had to pay was hotel tax fees, approximately $13 per person per night, and assured us repeatedly that any combination of family or friends could attend.

My mother received her package in the mail and my husband and I set about booking our first trip through the package. We read the fine print and were totally dismayed.

First of all, the vacation packages place age and gender and other demographic restrictions that the rep did not mention. For example, each and every vacation requires that a married or cohabiting couple with $50, 000 or more in annual household income attend and be present together for a Resort Inspection Tour. All vacations come with age restrictions (23-70 or 35-70) for the adults who must be married or cohabiting. The cruises are invalid unless combined with another part of the vacation package, and worst of all, the fees range from $18 per person per night for U.S. locations to upwards of $125 per person per night for the cruises plus fuel and port surcharges.

Some vacations must be booked 90 days in advance, though the rep assured us that the booking time was 30 days for all domestic and 60 days for all international vacations.

My mother paid $498 for this "win", which the rep assured her was part of her fees.

After receiving the package and reading the fine print, I did additional research on the company and found many complaints on other consumer watchdog sites, most of which include the mention that Magical Dream Escapes does not offer refunds, not even for a vacation package that was seriously misrepresented by its representative.

This company clearly takes advantage of others. Even the literature accompanying the package was poorly printed and wasn't worth a tenth of what my mother paid for that booklet full of restrictions, fees, qualifications, and scam.

Someone needs to file a class action. Immediately.

Responses

  • Ti
    tiffany centeno Nov 19, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Bought a 500 doller vacation package and im now single mother and cant use what am i suppose to do

    0 Votes
  • Dr
    dream chas3r Sep 28, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I got sucked into this scam too. I payed$198 for my package. I just got the book in the mail and now im pissed.i called the number and had to leave a message and now i cant even find thier website. I was told it all the vacations i won was for 4 adualts or a family of 5. Including tickets to the theame parks and then the packet says i only get 2 tickets. I just got scamed and i am sooooooooooooooo mad.

    0 Votes
  • Jo
    John0458 Nov 26, 2010

    Tried to represent to us it was a promotion for Disney's 50th anniversary. However nothing of Disney is currently celebrating this. I asked about this and then spoke to a supervisor that tried to say that they started builting 50 years ago. I refused package and they continue to call. Had adepartment promotional execiutive call today and tried to offer at half price. So much for only one call. Thank goodness we did not buy into this scam.

    0 Votes
  • Dj
    djkw Jan 26, 2011

    Won this in a prizegiveaway. Just looking up details. Also won free cruise seperately with another company. People complaining about something that is in total around 1k to 2k cause the rep was misleading about only having to pay 400 is silly. Also, the giveaway i entered clearly stated that you would get 2 free tickets, but could add more people to come.. never said anything about more tickets.

    0 Votes
  • Be
    Bertlyn Jan 31, 2011

    Thank you guys so much for your comments they tried to get me this am and I told them I needed to wait for my husband so they are calling back later I now know what my answer will be Thanks Again

    0 Votes
  • Fr
    fraudulentFL May 12, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I attended a local festival, whereby I entered a drawing for a "dream vacation". On 5.11.2011 I received a call around 7pm where a Gene Addis told me that I had been chose from the sweepstake. He told me that I would receive a free trip to Orlando, Coco Beach, and Key West, Florida. He told me that I was the one person who was chosen. Later, however, he told me that they chose 50 people for this promotion. He talked for about an hour. Toward the wrap-up of his sales speech, he told me that over 40, 000 people have taken this promotion in the last five years. Lastly, he told me that I would only have to pay $349 per person for this promotion- a total of 21 days of vacation. After I declined payment, he told me that he could do the promotion for $398 per person but that I would need to give them my credit card. He then handed me over to "Kim", his director.

    Because all of the facts were contradictory I decided to look into reviews of the company. I found that the their BBB rating is a D, with 34 complaints taken against them. Then I discovered that they have multiple websites under various names and addresses. Here are some that I found:

    1. My Dream Escape www.mydreamescape.net
    2. My Sunny Travel www.mysunnytravel.com AND www.mysunnytravels.biz
    3. Magical Dream Escapes www.magicaldreamescapes.com

    Today, 5.12.2011 I received a call from Gene Addis again. He put me on the line with his "director" who told me, upon my questioning, if this deal was available for others too. She answered "Yes, that's exactly what we want. We want people to get the same deal for the same price." This completely contradicted that Gene acted as if I was one of a handful of people who were chosen. This is false advertising and is fraudulent activity.

    On 5.12.2011 from 2:04PM-2:17 EST I called Kim and talked to her about my findings about the company. She told me that many companies there go by the same name. I told her that I had called the local Chamber of Commerce, Hallandale Beach Chamber, whereby the chamber did not have any information in their database regarding this company. She told me first that the company is My Dream Escape, not any of those other names. Then I told her that the mysunnytravels website matches that of the current website mydreamescape.net. Only then did she admit that the company goes by those three names. I also asked to have a copy of my original entry form, whereby her reply was a laugh. As I revealed more and more to her of my research of the company, she became irate and said that I obviously was not going to let her find a resolution and that she would pass this on. As I waited to hear from her manager or boss, the phone line went dead, meaning she had hung up on me.

    0 Votes
  • Ta
    tabbykat May 14, 2011

    just a little more info on this company they called and told my husband that we had won the vacation to and there was a lot of red flags for us to we didnt fall for it luckily but i wanted to give everyone else a little more info on them the other names they went by for us was donnie lyons at [protected] and he was the director and the sales person was mike checkect and they were with my dream escape

    0 Votes
  • Fr
    fraudulentFL May 16, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    These people are relentless!

    I got ANOTHER call from these people today. See my "very long" comment from above.

    I confronted another "director", Ron, that I would not be taking this promotion because I had read on the internet that after purchase, there are many fees associated with these deals. Ron assured me that all I had to pay was a little under $200. I asked for this in writing, and he hung up on me!!!

    0 Votes
  • Ca
    Candi Russell Jun 03, 2011

    I had the same problem and dealt with the same people. The restrictions and additional fee's were rediculous. I am going to file a class action suit against them. I just got out of the hospital with an enlarged ulcer and it was all over trying to book this trip. My health was not worth it. People, please be careful and stay away from this type of phone call, they are a rip off and a huge scam!!!

    0 Votes
  • Do
    doublegem Jul 22, 2011

    unfortunately, some of the reps mislead people in hopes that it will get them the sale because they are only paid commission on each sale. So therefore, it makes the company look bad. But consumers need to realize one thing. Nothing is really free. If you actually won, do you really think you would be responsible for all those out of pocket expenses that they mention before they get to the price? Winning or free is just what it says. nothing out of pocket. I won a contest and had to pay absolutely nothing but the taxes on it at the end of the year which really isnt worth winning if you have to pay taxes. So next time your at an event or online, read the fine print on the back of the form or on the website so you know what your getting yourself into.

    0 Votes
  • Th
    theatergirl2 Oct 26, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I was also just ripped off by these people for almost $700 - was anyone able to get their money back? My credit card is trying to help me in disputing the charge, but that's not a guarantee. Any advice would be great. Thank you

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    Ronbo S Nov 26, 2011

    When they called me they told me that it was $698. I balked so they put Donnie Lyons on and I foolishly agreed to his "special offer" of $349. Then my card started emailing me that I was over the limit parameters I had set. I checked it out and my card was actually charged $3459! I called MDE and Donnie returned my call and apologized profusely and offered my their cost of $198. I may be summer than most, but I said OK. Since my card still had the overbilling on it, he was going to call me back today, Saturday. The guy who called was not Donnie, and he badly mispronounced my last name. Here is where my personal principles kicked in: he DID NOT fulfill his word to me by calling me back, but had a subordinate do it. Big red flag with me. The Bible says that the vine is spoiled by little foxes. Since I thought that my card was still locked up, I told him he will need to call me back. Meanwhile, I was able to do research which led me to the local BBB in Hallandale Beach Fla. They do not have a D rating with 34 complaints. It has actually gotten worse. They have an F rating with 45 complaints, most of which are resolved, but some are not. Then, thank God, I came to this site. I won't be authorizing any more charges to these folks.

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    Ronbo S Nov 26, 2011

    By the way, the charge was reversed on my card, when I checked today. They are not totally corrupt.

    0 Votes
  • Th
    theatergirl2 Nov 30, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I was also contacted by a Donnie Lyons. They agreed to give me back a portion of the money, but would not give me back the full amount. My credit card company is disputing it, which will hopefully resolve it or else I'm out quite a bit of money at the worst possible time of the year. My argument is if they can give back a portion, why in the world can they not refund all of it?

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    rosmiles Dec 02, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I was also contacted by this company last night after signing up at a music festival a year and a half ago. I agreed to pay $398 for up to four people for an extensive vacation package. I paid the first installment right away, because I was told that if I didn't, I would lose the deal (red flag!). After reading reviews and checking with the Better Business Bureau website (they give this company an F rating), I decided to see if I could cancel my purchase. I received an email exactly like they told me I would, so I emailed back, and then left a voicemail. They had called late, so it was after hours when I made my decision. I received a voicemail right away this morning from a representative, and called back. I was able to talk to someone who agreed right away to suspend my later payments. He did try to convince me to let them keep my initial payment and they would send me a voucher for an Orlando trip, but I insisted on a refund. He became very short with me, but did agree to the refund. I spoke with Mike Grinnell last night and Donnie Lyons this morning.

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    rosmiles Dec 03, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Also, FYI, this company was presented to me as MDE Vacations, which doesn't show up on any searches. The only reason I found all the reviews was because I was told what name would be on the charge. Definitely a major red flag that a company has to continually change its name. Website was mdevacations.com, which ended up being the same as some of those listed above.

    0 Votes
  • Mg
    mgrinnell Dec 07, 2011

    Just because badnews travels faster than good news doesn't mean anything. Talk to a few of the people that have takin the trip then you'll see who really saves money. U going on a promition or paying full price at disney. Mike g

    0 Votes
  • Mg
    mgrinnell Dec 07, 2011

    Because it was somone not decribing the package for the face value of what it was and we are all human and if the person that was presenting the package to ur mother wasn't put through the proper training then its not his fault.its the managers fault for not covering the details fully to u and for that we are sorry. But just like u found complaints y not find people who have takin the trip and talk to them instead of a bunch of people who havent?

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    Ronbo S Dec 14, 2011

    I was promised a call back by the rep that called me on November 26th by the middle of the week. They did not call back until a week later when Donnie Lyons called me. told him I was no longer interested in the deal. He apparently already knew that, and proceeded with the real reason for his call, which was to rip me for my post above. He said he was a God fearing man and I should be ashamed of myself for writing such things. I would have told him it was the truth that I wrote based on the facts that I reported. Also that he had not kept his word to me to return the call personally. But he did not call to converse with me, but rather to vent on me, because he had, after all, refunded the $3459 to my card, which he said he would do. I guess he has no time to return his calls until the frustration with this company's business practices build up to the point that he has to vent on someone. I returned here to make sure that I had reported that they refunded the $3459, which was an honest mistake, I believe. As you can see above, I did report it, so I have not misrepresented anything. I wanted to be sure I was telling the truth.

    By the way, Mike Grinnell (i assume you are an employe of MDE, because you are criticizing its detractors), with the way you have to market your product, the people who have posted had no way to contact any of the satisfied people you refer to, as they were under pressure to "decide now, " and had no list of people to call. It also seems that they can spell a lot better than you as well. Since you were writing like this is a text message forum, "lol"

    0 Votes
  • Ex
    ex employee of MDE Feb 17, 2012

    They are a complete scam from top to bottom!! They change there name again to Mega Destination Vacation. I used to work for them and now im spilling the beans. They buy your name and number from multiple leads brokers every week and call you everyday until you pick up or change your number. When they hire you they tell you that your going to make a lot of money but in fact you dont make any money because the owner tell your deals canceled when they really did'nt thats when i quit. They train you for about 2 hours on how to scam people and put you on the phone. I realize pretty quick that this was your typical boiler room and they were all in fact scamming everyone. Only the owner Judy Porter really makes money everybody that works there are a complete disgrace to world. They are all a bunch of drug addicts and thieves the guy Mike G their talking in the other post is the biggest drug addict of all I seen him shooting Heroin in his car everyday there is also a manager named Jason Cude who also shoots Heroin and Crack Cocaine everyday and walks around the office bragging about being so high. It was very sickening working there and i hope they get shut down soon before more people get scammed.

    0 Votes
  • Lo
    Lora Jane 624 May 24, 2012

    I'm a single mom of 5, and I am very upset about their scam. They too, made this offer to me, stating that I could take any combination of my family members. However the paperwork clearly states different. I am going to make this brief. I would like to file a class action law suit against them for false advertisement. I would request legal fees to be paid; money paid for our distress and grief over trying to deal with them on these issues; and reimbursement of money paid. We can continue to gripe about it, but if we do nothing to stop it then our complaining doesn't do a bit of good. They will continue to scam until someone stops them. If you are interested please contact me. My email is [protected]@gmail.com. I will notify them of our plan of action should they not refund our money ASAP. Lora Jane

    0 Votes
  • Jo
    Jody Graff Aug 09, 2012

    I also have been dealing with Donnie Lyons and my so called "win". I did an electronic check for the 498 for same pkgs and thought it would be a good deal...However, once I got off the phone and did some more research and reviewed the email confirmation of the pkg, it was not as described to me...completely misleading!!! Then the next night I get a phone call from another company stating that I "won" a pkg very similar to this one. So this got me thinking and I called my bank to put a stop pmt on the electronic check. Still working on this one, as I will now have to monitor my acct to watch for any pending pmts to go through. they were even sly enough to change the amount to 497.99...I'm pissed to say the least!!!

    0 Votes
  • As
    asloffer Sep 16, 2012

    i also was scammed. I wanted to take 6 of my kids to disneyland and now there is no way we are going to be able to go due to the fine print of being an adult. They got me for $698 and i am still trying to get it back

    0 Votes
  • Ja
    Jacque P Oct 16, 2012

    I wanted to use my certificate, read the fine print, and have tried to find their date of the certificate being issued and also what "the minimum fare requirement schedule" is. In the fine print it says that it was published online at www.airfaresavingsforyou.com. I have tried contacting numerous entities, but to no avail. The phone number is just a recording to go online and there is no info that is helpful there. I didn't want to pay another $25 to send in the certificate just to have them tell me that I couldn't use it. Is there anyone at all that have ever actually been able to use these? I just wanted to use the companion airfare certificates that I received. I'm sure it's all a scam, but I would love to know if anyone out there has ever been able to use any of what they offered. If they have, I would sure like to know. If there really is no service ever provided, then this is not only a scam, but criminal. I agree that there should be a criminal lawsuit, as well. I actually thought that I was doing well by telling them I needed to talk to my husband and then checking on BBB site. The rating was low, but at that point there were only a few complaints and when I told them that, they said that the complaints were being resolved. Should have trusted my gut instinct that you never get something for nothing, but in this case, you don't even get something when you pay a few hundred dollars. And that is totally fraudulent and criminal! Wish I had found this site back then.

    0 Votes
  • Bu
    burnedemnployee Oct 25, 2012

    I used to work there and I can tell you they are scam artists and thieves. Most of the employees are ex-cons and drug addicts and opay is commission only at 20% of whatever you sell.Judy the owner pays some employees in drugs and Donnie is an ex addict himself. The employees are not bad people just broke people like myself tryinhg to make some money to put food on the table. The y ruipped off the employees just as much as the customers by claiming most $698 sales were declined and spreading the sales over four months hoping the employee would not be there to collect commissions. They also recycle old leads by cutting off the section that said NI for not interested and photocopying them and handing them out as new leads.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Madsinglemom21 Apr 14, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I paid for a service on Nov. 7th of 2014 and I was told I had 3 years to use my vacation package... I have never been provided the service I paid for.
    On Nov. 7th 2014, Angie and Luke sold me a vacation package for $537. I paid using my credit card. I am now trying to use my vacation package and have been told that I really only have 18 months to use it and not 3 years by Joyce. I am also not able to use this package I was sold by myself. I was told over and over again on the phone that if I can't find someone that meets the specific qualifications to use the package that is unfortunate but they can't do anything to help me. I was 21 at the time this vacation was sold to me, to be able to use the package you have to be 25-68 years old, married, or a single women over 30 with 50+ grand yearly income. I am none of those things. I originally called them on Thursday, March 31, 2016 to get a recent copy of their offered vacation. I was told that they cannot email me anything, Joyce also couldn't find my ever purchasing anything from them at first, I had to call back at 20 minutes on the phone with her with a contract number (28135). Luke told me that he would help me fill out my forms but I would have to go to a different reservation company to get new forms. I had my mother (Wanda) call to see what she could do. Joyce spoke illy of me. Joyce also said "anything can happen that can kick a form back... You can put single women and list your husband as your brother." Saying something about how men aren't generally interested in these vacation things... I told Joyce I would like to speak with her boss, she told me she is a supervisor and I don't really want to deal with her corporate office. I told her again that I wanted to speak with them and she kept insisting I had to deal with her. I called the number I had listed for Luke and left a voicemail about how unhappy I was with they way Joyce was treating me and I have yet to receive a call back. They are not providing me with the service I was promised on Nov. 7th 2014 nor was I treated with respect on March 31st 2016.

    0 Votes
  • Na
    Nansak May 30, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have a $495 dollar plastic cover of useless vouchers, I was hard sold, with put DONNIE LYONS...asked for a refund, it's a no...please someone start a class action lawsuit. [protected]@aol.com

    0 Votes

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