Couple claim they were blindsided by vacation club fees – WFTV

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – A New Smyrna Beach couple claimed a vacation club promised a free plane ticket, then failed to deliver, and they were billed thousands of dollars more than they they thought they had to pay.

Cameron Setters said it started with a random sales call informing her of an offer the couple couldn’t ignore. “If you come to our seminar, you’ll get those two free plane tickets, plus two $50 Visa gift cards,” Setters said.

Setters and Kelsey Starns went to a seminar at Global Discovery Vacations in Ormond Beach. They claim they were told that the vacation club offers cruises, hotels and airline tickets at wholesale prices.

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“Basically, throwing it out there you can get this big thing for so little. Starns said the company has some great deals, including a five-day cruise for $169, a resort in Las Vegas for $23 a night, and an upscale hotel on International Drive for $78.

According to Setters, a salesperson told them they could pay a $5,000 membership fee that would be funded and that they also qualified for a new Mastercard that they could use for future vacation purchases.

“It was awful,” Setters said. Within days of signing up for the Travel Club, he and Starns discovered that Global Discovery had charged their new Mastercard $4,000 for membership on top of the $5,000 fee they had agreed to.

The couple said they tried to cancel the contract days after it was signed.

“What has been the company’s response so far?” Todd Ulrich asked.

“Nothing,” Starns replied.

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The couple contacted Action 9. Ulrich previously investigated Global Discovery Vacations, when consumers complained to its distributor in Orlando about its high-pressure sales and non-existent vacation deals.

Global Discovery Vacations, also known as Global Connections, had been in trouble with the state. Six years ago, the company agreed to a legal settlement with the Florida Attorney General’s office to end its unfair and deceptive trade investigation. Global Discovery Vacations has denied any wrongdoing, but has agreed to change the way it does business.

After Ulrich contacted the distributor in Ormond Beach, the company promised Setters and Starns that they would get a full refund and have their contract terminated. The Ormond Beach Company also said its vacation club fees and discounted travel options are fully disclosed before the contract is signed.

“They know how to talk nice,” Starns said.

In general, vacation clubs limit your travel dates and destinations, and the discounts may not be what you expect after paying hefty upfront fees.

The Ormond Beach Company also said vacation club fees and its discounted travel options are fully disclosed prior to contract signing.

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