Congratulations! You've just received an email offering you a fabulous Florida & Bahamas Fantasy Cruise Vacation for FREE. A Luxury CRUISE to the Bahamas! 3 nights in a Luxury hotel in Freeport! 4 nights in a Luxury hotel in Orlando! 2 nights in a Luxury hotel in Ft. Lauderdale! A vacation of a lifetime! And, it's only going to cost you a puny promotional fee! You can't believe it! Unfortunately, too many of you DO believe it.
I have received many letters over the years asking me about just such a "deal" which someone received in the mail. NOW they're coming by EMAIL. *I* have gotten two such emails in the past month alone. And then the following headline hit the news services on May 27, 1998:
More from the press release appears at the end of this article, but first. . .
Hurry! Call Now or You'll Miss Out!
You only have a day or two or a few hours to call an 800 number to reserve your fantasy cruise vacation. When you call, you will once again be given all the hype about what a fabulous dream vacation this is and how lucky you are to be among the "chosen few." You must give them your credit card RIGHT NOW - no call backs, no time to think about it or to talk to your spouse about it. Credit card NOW or you will be added to the long list of "losers" who missed out on this great opportunity.
Don't do it. Don't you dare grab for your wallet or credit card holder. Who ARE these people anyway? The very fact that they have the nerve to ask for a credit card number NOW with no time to think about it should have your ears perked up and your whiskers twitching like the proverbial stalking cat.
Fantasy Cruise Vacation Facts
In the end, just what have you won? You have just shelled out approximately $1200 for the two of you to take a fantasy cruise vacation any time you want to take it within the next year. In a matter of days, you'll receive in the mail your "certificate" needed to redeem your prize. What's that? You don't live in Florida? You'll have to FLY to Florida? Well, don't buy those non-refundable airline tickets just yet because, when you try to cash in your certificate, you will have to be flexible with your dates as space is limited and on a space available basis.
What you have won is a piece of paper which might as well be written with disappearing ink. And you paid $1200 for it.
Oh yes. And, it's NON-REFUNDABLE. What a deal!
More From the May 27, 1998 Press Release
Pennsylvania Attorney General Mike Fisher today announced that his Bureau of Consumer Protection has filed a lawsuit against three Pennsylvania discount travel companies and five Florida-based telemarketing firms, all of which allegedly engaged in an elaborate "free vacation" travel scheme involving thousands of consumers throughout the U.S., Canada and abroad.
According to the suit, the discount travel companies from 1992 to 1998 directly or through their telemarketers notified consumers that they had won a free Florida/Bahamas vacation costing only "promotional fees" of $398, $498 or $598.
According to the lawsuit, vacation certificates mailed to consumers falsely claimed that they would receive a "fantasy cruise holiday" vacation, depicting a "luxury" cruise ship and the names of various hotel chains and cruise lines, if they called an 800 telephone number for more information.
Fisher said the suit further claims that consumers were falsely told:
"It was not until the vacation package arrived in the mail that consumers realized the `luxury cruise' was actually a five-to-six-hour ferry ride from Florida to the Bahamas," Fisher said. "In addition, there were numerous hidden costs on top of what consumers already paid to take a vacation they supposedly had won," Fisher said.
Those additional costs included round trip transportation to Florida, a $198 to $316 "port service reservation processing fee" and miscellaneous taxes.
Please folks, don't fall for this. You know the old sayings "If it's too good to be true, it is" and "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck & quacks like a duck. . ." then it must be a
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please