In July I received a brochure in the mail stating I had been credited $1600 dollars towards a Carnival and Ramada vacation package and to call for more details. When I called, I was told the package actually cost around $3500 or so and that I would need to pay the remaining amount. I declined because my husband and I were not able to spare that much money. I was pressured and pressured and no matter how many times I tried to end the call, they kept asking me to wait so they could transfer me to another and another person.
They also told me that if I didn't buy the package right then and there (because I asked if I could speak first with my husband and then call back) that I would have no further opportunities. "Imagine how your husband would feel if he found out you could have bought this great package and you didn't!" I didn't realize at the time that according to the Florida Statutes 559.9335 they are not allowed to tell you that the time of the call is the only time the vacation can be bought.
Finally, I was transferred to a manager who reduced the price to $798 and told me I could look over all the materials with my husband (who was not home at the time of the call) and then we could decide together if this was right for us. She guaranteed me over the recorded line that if we decided this was not right for us, we could return everything for a full refund.
After we received the package in the mail (two weeks into August) we looked everything over. There was a paper in the envelope that said if we watched the video about the package we would be given a special code to write down and mail in for a chance to win free airline tickets. We watched the video, wrote the code down, and mailed it in. Then we continued talking about the vacation and decided it wasn't right for us. So, on August 21, I called to find out what steps I needed to take to cancel the vacation.
I was then told that I could not return the vacation because we had entered into the airline sweepstakes. There is nothing in the contract stating that once the sweepstakes is entered you can no longer return the vacation. I explained this to the gentleman I spoke with, George, and he basically didn't care. He told me the vacation was non-refundable and that there was nothing I could do because we had sent in the sweepstakes. I asked to be withdrawn from it so that we could cancel like I was told on the phone and he would not hear of it.
After a grueling conversation, I thought we would just have to be stuck with it. I tried to sell the vacation myself, because it is fully transferable, but no one would buy it. I thought perhaps it wasn't the season for buying vacations so I kept trying up until March.
At that time, I spoke with someone who mentioned to me that I should try calling again because I should have been able to return the vacation. She even offered to help because she used to work with vacation ownership and hotels. When she called (on my birthday, no less), she spoke with LaMercie who said she would try to assist me. The call was disconnected somehow and when I called back, Eugenal answered and said LaMercie was no longer there. She then proceeded to tell me that there was no way I could return the vacation package because the 30 day period had already closed.
This was the first I had heard of the 30 day period because at the time I was not familiar with Florida State Statute 559.933. I tried to inform her that I had originally called within the 30 day period but was denied a refund for a different reason the sweepstakes. She told me the sweepstakes had nothing to do with it but because it was now March, there was nothing she could do. I was transferred several times after that to Tiffany and then to Geofrey (or George, he wasn't speaking clearly) and was told by one that there was no 30 days and by another that there was. Apparently, no one had their story straight.
Because I was at my birthday dinner during these calls, I finally hung up and decided to try again another day. When I called the next time, no one would answer the phone. When it was finally answered, I was transferred and then again ignored. This happened repeatedly.
Once I was finally able to get through, on April 29, I spoke first with a supervisor, Shauntel, who told me I was never able to return the package, not even within 30 days or before the sweepstakes. She said no one would have told me I could return the package because it is sold as non-refundable. I asked her about the tape since they record and monitor their calls, but she refused to even try to find it to hear what I had been promised. I debated that with her and then asked to be transferred to her manager. Lovell answered and listened politely only to tell me basically the same thing. He was sorry I had been lied to but there was nothing they can do because there is no 30 day refund there are no refunds. He also said that the tape containing the recorded message of the manager telling me I could return it had been disposed of, because they don't store information for that long. He refused to refund my money and told me I would never have been able to or will be able to return the package.
I am incredibly upset that I have been lied to so many times, especially since there is a State Statute that protects me! I wish I had known about that in August when I was denied a refund the first time within the 30 day window mandated by Florida. I feel that I should be refunded even now because I was lied to and when I called to fulfill my right to a refund, I was wrongly denied it.