Consumer reviews and reports on scam companies, bad products and services
CTA Vacations Gave Every Appearance of Running Unethical, Sham Travel Club in Tampa, Florida
19th of Nov, 2011 by User327601
We were contacted by mail with a letter stating that we had been offered a special gift, namely two roundtrip airline tickets valid anywhere in the continental United States, in exchange for our time attending an open house and a brief presentation on the services offered by a full-service travel agency. Neither the letter, nor the accompanying email, included the name of the "full-service travel agency" in question, and in retrospect, we now understand why the name was not included. We arrived at the 2002 North Lois Avenue, Westwood Ctr. location as scheduled to attend the presentation, and receive our two airline tickets, only to discover a business that gave every appearance of being a store-front operation: rental-like furniture, none of the employees with any apparent business to do, no business cards, no pamphlets, no sense of permanence. We were given an approximately 60-minute presentation on the company, CTA Vacations, and the "benefits" that this travel membership club offered. After the presentation, each couple invited was hived off into a separate room, each with a personal "agent" to then make the hard sell. Frightening as it now seems, we were actually initially somewhat piqued and interested by the presentation, and asked some follow-up questions during the one-on-one session following the general presentation. As the evening wore on, we watched in utter amazement as the life-long membership price, which was originally quoted at $6995.00 was reduced over the course of approximately 30 minutes to $3000.00! The "life-long" membership price was literally shaved off in $1000 increments, without our having to do anything, other than sit there and continue to look mildly interested, but not yet committed. At that point, we began to get suspicious of the whole affair. We asked the agent what sort of guarantee the company would give of price stability in the discounted lodging prices that we were reportedly being offered in exchange for our membership, and the agent had no details. In fact, this is typical of the whole presentation: absolutely nothing in writing, not even a business card to hand out, no pamphlet, no company website, no way of researching this company. In retrospect, this explains why we did not learn the name of this company until we reached the presentation, and then it was too late to do any research beforehand. In addition to the fact that the membership price just continued to be reduced in free-fall fashion, the other extremely suspicious tactic of CTA Vacations was to absolutely insist that we buy the ever-falling membership THAT very day. We requested time to research the company and consider the offer, and were told that this was an offer limited to that day only and the agent refused to provide a contact number for himself, a business card, a company website (turns out there isn't one), or a pamphlet of information. In all fairness, this company may indeed be legitimate, but if they are, then they have a LONG way to go to shuck the appearance of a scam artist. By the way, we decided not to even pursue registering for the two "free" airline tickets; the restrictions were so onerous, and the upfront registration fee of $50 dollars per ticket so steep, that we decided getting the tickets was not worth the effort or the money.

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