My girlfriend and I recieved a message from "Your Travel Headquarters" saying that we had won a free cruise and that we needed to call them back that day to redeem it.
To be brief, we did so and asked all the pertinent info about the trip, and how much it would cost and if there were any other fees, expenses etc. The rep explained that it was a "free" promotional trip and that the only thing we had to pay was a departure fee of $190.00 for the 2 of us and any expenses that we might incur to get to the cruise ships' port of departure in Miami, Fla. which was a Royal Carribean ship. I asked sternly and specifically, "and that is all, and nothing more, no other fees or charges will be applied or assesed, correct?" He replied, "Yes, those are the only expenses and no other charges would be applied" According to him, we had 18 months to use the trip, and we needed to pay the $190.00 immediately or forefit or "prize". We did so and last month decided to book a date only to later find out that there would be approximately another $550 dollars to book our trip. I told the rep that I wanted to cancel, and be issued a refund since we were misled/defrauded. He flat out refused a refund, saying "we have a no refunds policy" I was also reading other info and articles that said these government departure fees ARE refundable, especially if the person/s do/does not show up.
I have also filed a complaint with the BBB online and discovered that they have an "F" rating, however almost all the people with complains reached a settlement. I have also contacted Christopher Elliott - Elliott is National Geographic Traveler magazine’s reader advocate and writes the syndicated Travel Troubleshooter column, which appears in more than 50 U.S. newspapers and Web sites.
He produces a popular weekly commentary on MSNBC.com and writes the Navigator column in Sunday’s Washington Post.
He called the company on my behalf and told me to await a response. You can contact him at http://www.elliott.org/contact
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