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Vacation Scams are Back!

©02 The Media Desk

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        You have to wonder about an outfit that refuses to do business with either credit card companies or the US Mail. The entire transaction will be conducted over the phone, through fax machines, and email.
        They wouldn't be leery of having the Postal Inspectors looking through their garbage now would they???

        The Desk got an Unsolicited phone call from something promising a Disney Vacation for less than a Hundred Dollars per person. This sounded way too good to be true, but since it was a toll free call to check it out, the Desk called them.
        The vacation is ninety nine dollars per person for the first two people and free for two more guests over that. You are to stay at a Ramada in Orlando for a couple of nights, then have another day or two in Fort Lauderdale.
        And oh yes, there is a thirty dollar registration fee for the two paying guests. Still, that's not a bad deal...
        It sounds nice. Very nice. For just a spot over three hundred dollars (including tax), it sounds...
                        Too Good To Be True.

        The bottom line is they are trying to sell time-shares and using the cover of discount vacations to do it. They offer an impressive array of amenities and free tickets to Universal or Disney (not both) and when you go see their time share offerings they promise to feed you breakfast or lunch and you'll receive a free gift as well.
        But still. If you actually GET the vacation for next to nothing, it's well worth sitting through a sales pitch isn't it?
        If you actually get something for your money. Yes.
        Corporate Travel Inc claims to be licensed bonded and insured to do business in Florida. Well fine, so is Amway and Dennis Lee's outfit. This proves nothing. You can post your own bond (usually five hundred dollars for an individual), buy some sort of insurance, and pony up a hundred bucks for a business license and hang up a shingle. It sounds nice, but it really isn't all that impressive. At one time, the Desk was a licensed bonded and insured Insurance Agent. So it really doesn't PROVE anything as far as that goes. They can be licensed bonded and insured, and still steal the fillings out of your teeth when you're not looking.
        If they do not send anything through the US Mail, they do not commit Mail Fraud, if they do not accept credit cards, You the Consumer have little leverage against them to get your money back. Which makes the whole thing even shakier than it seems on the surface.
        Unfortunately the Better Business Bureau seems to agree with the Desk.
        Various travel rackets are listed on the site at Grand Rapids BBB and several are variations of Corporate Travel Inc. It seems they change their name every time they make a fresh pot of coffee.
        This is the same type of 'travel booking service' that bombards the Desk's night job fax machine with cruise deals and Free Tickets to various attractions.

        Sorry folks. It is a SCAM!

        For more information see the FTC Advisory or scam alert.

        If they call, Hang up. If you get their fax, Throw It Away. If you get their email, Delete it.

NOTE: As of 8/13 they have changed their name again. The SCAMMERS are now calling themselves Orlando Vacations and some variations thereof.

        The Ramada listed in the ad said they take bookings through many different agents who are engaged in several different promotions. Although if Corporate Travel was found to be engaged in fraud no further bookings would be accepted from them, the contact at Ramada declined further comment and referred the matter to Ramada's legal office.
        After the Desk wrote this article it called Corporate Travel's customer service number and left a message requesting a statement on the BBB and the FTC reports. The Desk's call was not returned.

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