Vacation Certificates

November 25, 2013

The following information provides general information when enquiring about vacation certificates and timeshare promotions.

Travel Voucher Notice

Businesses often provide vacation certificates in large quantities believing that the attraction of a free vacation will draw customers to their sales site. The goal of the business is to sell a specific product or service.

To receive the vacation certificate, you may be required to make a purchase or attend a sales presentation, often at a timeshare resort, membership campground or other land sales promotion.

In addition, there may be other conditions for acceptance such as age or income requirements, or attendance with your spouse. You might also have to bring the notice you received from the company, and proof of your identity.

Companies may require a non-refundable processing and handling fee, or a refundable deposit from 50 to 100 dollars to reserve the vacation time request. Vacation certificates requiring a refundable deposit usually state that the deposit will be returned upon your arrival at the place of lodging or after you have used the vacation. Companies usually advise that written confirmation will be sent when the deposit is received.

General Advice On Vacation Certificates:

  1. Contact your BBB for a reliability report on both the vacation certificate company and any other company involved in the offer. Until you are certain you wish to use the offer, do not give the company any cash, cheque or credit card.
  2. Be sure to read the conditions of participation carefully. Do you meet the required conditions such as age and marital status?
  3. Determine all costs involved in using a vacation certificate. Do you pay for hotel, timeshare or other lodging, meals, and transportation to and from the airport and hotel. Are there any other additional fees for the peak tourist season and when is the peak season?
  4. Before traveling, confirm all arrangements directly with the airlines, hotel and timeshare resort. What happens if the hotel or other accommodations are completely booked?
  5. Find out what the company will do if it cannot match your requests with a specific vacation time. Can you get your money back?

In general BBB advises that you should consider attending a sales presentation ONLY if you are interested in what's for sale, not the prize alone.