Spirit Incentives - Blatantly misleading
Spirit Incentives deposited/cashed my registration deposit check and I attempted to make a reservation at the destination of my choice. In frustration I sent the following email:
"You deposited my (Jane Olivier) check no. 311 for the $100 deposit on 27 August 2012. No acknowledgement of receipt was sent to me and if I hadn't been checking my bank account, I would not have realised the check had been deposited. Your email dated August 16 stated "Once we have processed your Reservation Deposit you will be contacted via mail or email (if registered online) and advise you on how to proceed with travel arrangements." This is also Point 3. on the back of the certificate (attached). You did not do so.
I attempted to make a booking today using the website www.mystpage.com, entering my certificate number and was taken to a page that gave me "Step 1: Select your destination and date" with a drop down screen of 29 destinations (printscreen attached).
I found this concerning as the Spirit Incentives Vacation Certificate No. 458860400 I was issued by Bluegreen Corp, states on the cover "Anytime Anywhere Vacation Certificate ..... You can choose to vacation in any city in the United States or Canada. Package Includes: Accommodations at hotels such as ...... within the continental United States, Canada or Rocky Point, MX."
There is nothing on the back in all the fine print to state that there will only be a choice from 29 destinations. (Copy attached)
I also checked the original confirmation email sent to us by Bluegreen. It states: "Anytime Anywhere vacation package for 8 days and 7 night's accommodations at hotels..... Includes $100 Visa card plus $100 in cash rebates with each vacation taken." (see attached email scan) Note again - "Anytime Anywhere ..." Also note $100 Visa card plus $100 cash rebates.
Nowhere in your document does it state anything about the $100 Visa card or the $100 cash rebate. In a telephone conversation with Nick Trianna of Bluegreen, on 2nd August, 2012 I was told that the Visa Card could be used to cover the extra taxes, thus it would cost us nothing. You only mention a $100 Gift Card that must be "redeemed according to the directions and terms of participation provided." This is a lot different to a $100 Visa Card.
If the said $100 Visa Card is to be used to pay taxes, why do you require a $100 reservation deposit?
I looked at Spirit Incentives website -http://www.spirit-incentives.com/travel-benefit-products/hotel-packages and found the following:
"Features for You:
National and regional destinations to meet your marketing geographics and demographics
Over 9,000 branded hotel locations to increase response
Stays from one to four nights "
"Over 9,000 branded hotel locations.." and we are given a choice of 29 for our "Anytime Anywhere Vacation Certificate?" This does not make sense and was never discussed, nor is it printed anywhere.
I do not want to go to any of the drop-down destinations on your website; but as you have another 8,971 hotel locations, could you please advise what you have in San Francisco, Halifax, Vancouver, Lake Louise, Montreal and Alaska.
Await your soonest response."
I eventually called today and managed to speak to "Isaac." I was advised that I had to follow the procedure of booking at one of the 29 destinations - one close to where I wanted to go. Only then would a reservation agent call me.
I told him none of the documentation sent said anything about only a choice of 29 destinations. I was told that "This is something you wouldn't know, but we changed our website about a year ago to make it easier for people to use. We found they were having difficulty entering the destination so the website was changed to give them a choice of the 29 most popular destinations."
Flabbergasted I asked him if Spirit Incentives thought the public were a bunch of idiots. How difficult could it be to type in "San Francisco"? I had no intention of booking for Nevada if I want to go to San Francisco and pointed out that all the documentation was then "downright fraud." I was told there was no need to use bad language. I had to inform Isaac of the meaning of "downright" and the meaning of "fraud" and that neither of these terms was "bad language."
I asked how I could speak to a manager. You can't. I asked to speak to Jermain Clifford, "he isn't available at this time." I asked to speak to a reservation agent - "you can only speak to one after you have made your reservation." I asked to speak to a supervisor – "cannot tell you anything more than I already have, but I will put your through." After 10 minutes of holding, I hung up.
I called the number to cancel the certificate and get a refund. I was on hold for 9 minutes before hanging up.
I called again the next day and was kept on hold for 10 minutes before at last being able to speak to someone. I asked which hotels they used and was told they couldn't say as hotels were constantly changing –"like medical practitioners with an insurance company." After giving me the same spiel, I was advised that my deposit would be refunded and it would take approximately 14 business days.
I am going to take this further. My introduction to business practices in the US has been anything but pleasant.