Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Congratulations, Pack Your Bag Cruise Scam
LABELLE, FL. -- The latest "free" travel opportunity scam comes in the form of a postcard offering a "Complimentary 8 Day Cruise," in what is described as a limited time offer, "one cruise per household."
Personalized, the offer says "Congratulations, Pack Your Bags!" with the recipient's first name inserted.
(photo: back of the "Complimentary Cruise" postcard. Note the photo-shopped "Caribbean Dream" on the ship's bow!)
The postcard says if you "call within 48 hours you will also be eligible to receive" 2 roundtrip airline tickets plus a $100 dining certificate.
The small print says "call for complete details of rebate participation." Also, it notes customer will be responsible for "minor taxes and processing fees."
You can be sure the fees and requirement to apply for a rebate will not make this "complimentary" offer much of a good deal, let alone a free deal.
This cruise offer in past years came from a Sarasota company called License to Travel LLC. They went out of business in September 2009. The owner Donna J. Doyle later moved from Arizona to Florida and started Focus Ten of Tampa, Inc. and Focus Ten of Florida, Inc operating four Arby's restaurants in the Tampa area. The four stores filed for bankruptcy in 2010.
The postcard shown above is mailed from Tampa, Florida, permit #78.
Calling the toll free number (855)-878-4054 one will find you will be required to make a reservation to view a presentation at a local hotel. Expect to sit through a high pressure sales pitch to buy into a travel "Club." The "Club"will cost you several thousands of dollars.
If you ask the person on the phone about who exactly the company is, expect an incomplete or no answer, and some reports says the salesperson will even hang up on you.
After the travel presentation at the hotel, you will be presented with a complimentary "certificate" for which you mail in with a check for "fees" to theoretically get the "free" cruise.
Although there is no company name whatsoever mentioned, or address on the postcard, for several years this type of "travel club" operated out of Sarasota, FL, owned by Donna J. Doyle of Scottsdale, AZ. Doyle now shows a Tampa area address of 28705 Bennington Dr., Wesley Chapel, FL 33544