I got the pop-up ad on the net saying I won a free all-paid vacation, and it had a DirectTV logo on it. I was already thinking about DirectTV anyway...so I called. They give you the whole tourist trap rap - but never mentioned that it did NOT include airfare. You have to sign up for a year of DirectTV to get the free vacation, and you have to give up your credit card number, your email address (I'm already getting the junk email) and home address for satellite installation, before they will give you THEIR information. No time to check them out - you lose the free vacation if you don't agree over the phone immediately. So I thought DirectTV is credible and wouldn't DARE try to scam people and lose their good reputation. So I fell for it... for a day. I started looking at the website they give you to enter my confirmation numbers. There was no address on the website for this hotel or promotion company. There was no "contact us" link, and the "About Us" link went nowhere. This made me nervous. I did happen to print the purchase letter (contract) off the website, for which you have to find the only one link that works, and the purchase letter doesn't have an address either. You cannot get the website address or access the contract or even see what the prize really is until after they have your credit card numbers. The purchase letter says you can cancel everything within 7 days, but nobody answers the phone or acknowledges your cancellation. When I finally talked to someone after holding 30 minutes, they said someone would call me back, and THEY didn't have an address, either!! THAT told me everything I needed to know! You can't put your cancellation in WRITING and send it to them because you have no address to mail it. I called DirectTV and they said they have absolutely NO affiliation with Summer Bay Resort. The promotion's DirectTV pkg. was $5 more per month MORE than what I can get from DirectTV myself. So I wrote a nasty email to the resort using their "reservations" email on their site, and I sent my written notice of cancellation, and cc'd BBB. Surprisingly I got a call back the next day....after I saw these terrible reviews, to top it all off. The man from the Resort that called me was:
M. "Eddie" Avegno, Marketing Quality Assurance
Summer Bay Resorts
Office - 1.888.742.1100 Ext:7919
Fax - 352.242.2669
He tried to accuse me of slander, and then tried very hard to convince me that the resort was credible, and that he was responsible for making customers happy. I could tell he was very frustrated. He explained that his DirectTV partner, "Direct Activation" couldn't handle the swarm of installation appointments from the pop-up promotion, and lost its license to sell DirectTV because they made installation appointments they couldn't honor. So he said he had to find another installation company. I wonder how long he knew this, cuz they still charged me for the $29.99 to ship me the sattelite equipment. I said - "They probably lost their license due to charging too much for the satellite packages! You cannot buy a franchise (like McDonald's) and charge whatever you want for the burgers!" Needless to say - my refund is taken care of (I told him I had already cancelled thru my credit card company) -- and he never mentioned slander again.
NEVER trust anyone that will not let you check them out first, even when you hear credible names like DirectTV and Disneyworld. And those other reviews that praise the resort - some of them had complete lists of activities using hotel-given titles and list all the wonderful tourist attractions in the state of Florida - sounds a little too professional, like it was written by someone in advertising. The purchase letter says you have to give up a few hours of your vacation to attend their sales seminar (every day you are there) so they can try to sell you time-share properties. If you don't attend, you lose the entire discount and the full price of everything will be charged against your credit card. I guess they figure if they got you once, they can get you again! Those perfect reviews for this resort are probably written by time-share owners that are desperate to get something back on their investment.