Educational Consumer Tips
The Better Business Bureau receives large numbers of inquiries each year from individuals who have been advised by post card, telephone call, or in some other manner that they have received a vacation. BBB files indicate that some vacation promotions result in confusion and complaints when consumers are not provided with complete information regarding cost, restrictions, and other requirements. Vacation certificates are usually sold for a specified fee by a promotional company in conjunction with another firm which is engaged in the sale of land, timeshare resorts, condominiums, etc. The purpose of many vacation promotions is to sell memberships, merchandise, services, property, etc., and participants are often required or encouraged to attend a sales presentation. Those who respond to vacation certificate promotion offers will usually be required to pay a fee before they will receive complete information regarding the offer. The firm may ask for your credit card number. BBB urges consumers not to give their credit card number or any other personal information to unknown firms or individuals. Many promotors will immediately assess a charge on your credit card, and then the information will be mailed to you. Many vacation offers include only lodging; the consumer will in most cases be responsibile for transportation, meals, etc. Be sure to ask if the company has a refund policy, and if so, what you must do in order to cancel the offer. Also, ask for the name of the hotel where you will be staying and personally confirm the reservations. BBB's have received hundreds of complaints concerning many vacation certificate offers. These complaints have alleged non-receipt of the certificate, misrepresentation of the vacation offer, problems in the receipt of refunds, etc. Be sure to take time to obtain complete information about the offer, including all costs and any conditions or restrictions which may apply, before assuming the obligation to pay.