CONSUMER ALERT: Free Airfare Offer Linked to Sales Presentation for Travel Club
May 24, 2012
Free Airfare Offer Linked to Sales Presentation for Travel Club (PDF)
Contact: Jerad Albracht, Communications Specialist, 608-224-5007 or
Jim Dick, Communications Director, 608-224-5020
“Congratulations! You have been selected to receive 2 Round Trip Airfares to Honolulu, Hawaii…”
It may be difficult to turn down a “deal” like that…but understand that this may be one deal that is too good to be true.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection heard from a number of Wisconsin consumers who recently received fliers in the mail informing them that they had been selected for a special offer: two round-trip tickets to most major international U.S. airports and a 3-day/2-night hotel stay.
The tickets come with a couple of catches, of course. Examples of important information that the postcard does not clearly explain include:
- The postcard is a promotion from Vacation Choices, a travel club that requires a paid membership.
- The participants are required to attend a 90-minute sales seminar for Vacation Choices in order to receive their tickets.
- A 90-minute sales presentation is mentioned in the small text at the bottom of the back of the postcard, but no mention is made of what will be sold during that time. The postcard only notes that this promotion does not involve a timeshare or land sale offer.
- Despite the prominent display of their logos on the postcard, AirTran, Hawaiian Airlines and US Airways are not affiliated with the company or the promotion – this is only noted in the small text on the bottom of the back of the card.
“Many travel clubs have substantial upfront fees and annual membership fees, and the deals are of questionable value,” said Sandy Chalmers, Administrator of Trade and Consumer Protection. “Our evidence shows that travel club pricing can be higher than prices found through an online search or by booking directly with providers.”
If you are planning to join Vacation Choices or any travel club, you should consider doing some research on the company before you proceed. There are plenty of resources and references online that address the risks of joining a travel club.
For more information or to file a consumer complaint, visit the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection website at datcp.wi.gov, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free at 1-800-422-7128.