Vacation Network — Bogus Promotion
This is a long explanation of the Presentation we experienced, but if you're considering wasting your time at one of their presentations, reading this will be well worth it.
We received a post card in the mail letting us know that we won a 7 night, 8 day trip to Hawaii, Carribean, Las Vegas or Florida (among a few others) - and if we call immediately, we'll receive a $100 Dining Gift Card. It was with VNI, Inc on Hwy 6 @ Memorial Dr in Houston. I made the appointment, did some research and saw that they had an F rating with the BBB ( at several locations that have been open long enough to have a rating) as well as an AG investigation. I also saw several issues and complaints through pissedconsumer and [redacted].
We went on 2/20/2010 with an open mind but loaded with the information. We'd like their side of the story as to why they have an F rating. After listening to the one-hour presentation which was condensed into 35-40 minutes, I asked (at the end of the session) "why do you have an F rating with the BBB?", the presenter immediately said "that must not be us", I then pulled out the Contact Us page that I printed from their website that had their address on it and said "The Sandy Spring Georgia address is what's listed on the webisite and with the BBB statement here". Instead of explaining what issues they had, he got very defensive and explained that everybody such as Sprint or AT&T has a negative report with BBB and/or [redacted]. I explained that they also have millions of customers - you have a state investigation pending with the Attorney General and an F rating. He then asked me why I came then; I explained that I wanted to see for myself what the deal was and of course for the free trip/Dining Card. He then called me a "Freeloader", the sales people immediately started pulling the clients into private rooms. He left momentarily then came back with our certificate and "Dining Card" and exclaimed "Get your *** out of here" - I replied that I feel everyone here should know what you guys are up to then he said "go on and get your Fat ### out of here, Freeloader". We simply walked out arguing with the guy all the way out the door. After further review, we know why he got so defensive.
The $100 Dining Gift Card - it's a Restaurant.com Discount Card to limited restaurants. Basically, if you spend $200 total, you get $100 off excluding alcohol.
The Vacation: Not Free - You have to send in a regstration card with $19.95, wait for the response then send in $398 for the travel certificates to cover fees. All fees must be paid by Money Order or Cashiers Check. When you send in the $398 there is no guarantee of where you will go or if your dates will be available (you have to submit 3 sets of dates not within 7 days of a national holiday). When your dates are accepted then you are sent your tickets and confirmation - btw, you have to pay $25 per night to cover Taxes, Gratuities and Surcharges. Total is almost $600 (not bad for 2 with airfare & 7 nights) but I don't know if I'm willing to send a money order or cashiers check to find out I'm scammed.
Now, here's the deal with Vacation Network, they say you will have access to Time Shares and Resorts around the world without buying one. Anyone can always buy membership for $9, 995 one time membership fee and $295 Registration Fee. After That it's $299 per year plus $499 per week for one bedroom accommodations and $699 per week for 2 bedroom accommodations. For the $9, 995, you are allowed 3 weeks per year and unlimited "excess inventory" weeks ($399 per week). If you signed up at the presentation, you get 5 weeks for your $9, 995 and 3 weeks for $7, 995 (plus the weekly rates and annual fees). You don't have to pay for your weeks if you don't use them. It would take a lot of of weeks to get your $9, 995 investment back even at $499 per week.
Good luck everyone, I'd love to hear if anyone actually went on the "free" trip.
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