My partner got caught by Summer Bay Resorts last week (he's normally very sensible but they got him at a low moment and the salesman was very charming... :o ) When I got home from work and found out I went mad!
I NEVER buy anything from anyone who cold calls over the phone: my belief is that any reputable company will always be happy to send you promotional literature to read before asking you to part with your money - that's just basic consumer rights.
My other problem with this phone sale call was this: what is 'FREE' about a holiday accomodation package that costs $500+ ???? If that's not a scam, it's certainly a very dishonest description of what's on offer. If someone rings you saying you've 'won
' a holiday you don't anticipate being charged hundreds of $s for the privilege! This IS a scam, no matter what people say, because that is lying, it isn't straight up dealing - it's sharp practice from the outset, as far as I'm concerned. And I'm not prepared to trust a company that operates like that.
My partner was assured by the salesman who rang that he would be sent a confirmation email WITHIN 24 HOURS of him taking payment. This NEVER SHOWED UP. The salesman told him to wait for the email, which would give all the information on what to do next. He also gave a 'customer services' phone number ...Guess what? When we rang this number all we got was a message saying that the number is not in use! (we tried both UK and US dialling codes, just to make sure.)
The salesman also DID NOT once mention any cancellation period which, since he then went on to charge more than $500 to our credit card immediately, isn't acceptable.
The 1994 Florida Statute 501.059 para 6a states that any company selling over the phone must either
offer a 7 day cancellation policy or
it isn't allowed to take credit card payment there and then over the phone. If there is no 7 day cancellation period then, by law, the company has to send a written contract, detailing exactly the goods and/or services the consumer is paying for, and wait until that contract has been signed and returned before they can legally take any of your money. (Go to www.leg.state.fl.us
and look up telephone solicitation, in consumer protection, under Title 33 (XXXIII) - REGULATION OF TRADE, COMMERCE, INVESTMENTS, AND SOLICITATIONS)
Anyway thanks to some internet research and mainly BADLADY's efforts, information and advice on this board, we just got our money refunded in full too! - Thank you so much. We are so grateful.
We followed her instructions and, even though we are in England and were running out of time because 7 days was nearly up, we faxed all the numbers she listed and paid for a same day courier to hand deliver to SBR a copy of our letter on our behalf. It worked and we got our money back the very next day.
BTW - Our credit card company said they are VERY aware of this company and that they have a lot of problems with them - including them charging wrong payments and all sorts. The credit card company was very interested in BADLADY's cancellation advice and the information on Florida statutes and said they will pass it all on to other unfortunates who contact them after being caught by a Summer Bay sales rep.
Good luck to everyone in their dealings with Summer Bay Resorts. Personally, I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole, but everyone is entitled to their opinions. (And by the way, Summer Bay, it's your loss because we are actually planning a holiday in Florida next year but certainly won't be buying a package from you! :p )