© 2010
All Rights Reserved.

Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer and Privacy Policy.


Email Login
New users
sign up!

Detroit's Only FREE E-mail Provider

Find a Job
Job category:





<< News >>

Local / National News

Saturday, 3 March, 2012 4:29 PM

EXCLUSIVE: Global Vacation Network Continues to Promise Expensive Gifts Without Delivering


Lincoln Navigators, like this one, are being promised as free gifts for those who attend a vacation club meeting. However, chances are the closest you will ever get to seeing one is at a dealership.

by Jason Rzucidlo



ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- It was about a year ago when broke the story and alerted you about the Lincoln Navigator scandal from the Global Vacation Network (G.V.N.). As of today, the company is still promising expensive gifts such as free vacations, a lump sum of cash and sport utility vehicles. They say the only requirement is for you to show up at a vacation club meeting. However, it takes much more than that.

There are many ways that an individual could be contacted about this promotion. The first is by receiving a message on your answering machine telling you to show up at the meeting to pick up your prize. Another way to find out about the promotion is by receiving a postcard that says you won a prize and to call the phone number to pick it up. The third way is by filling out an entry form to win a prize at a trade show or a shopping center.

The average price of a Lincoln Navigator is between $40,000 and $60,000. How can a vacation club be giving away one for free?

Annie Shanklin is the sales director for the Ann Arbor office of Global Vacation Network. She declined an interview when I stopped by the headquarters at the end of last month. However, she did answer some questions when I first visited the office last May.

"It is a promotion that this company is running, where people are contacting through the internet to enter this promotion," Shanklin explained. "Basically, when we do our telemarketers, we keep up with everything that they say. A lot of people hear what it is they want to hear. They're given a chance to win a Navigator, they're not being told they won a Navigator."

Vacation club meetings are usually held in the evening on weeknights at around 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. About a dozen couples will attend each meeting and then they will be split up individually to talk to with sales people. The company is set up similar to a timeshare system. However, it is supposed to save you money on flights, rental cars and hotels/resorts.

"They said they received my name out of a drawing at Briarwood Mall," said Michelle, a resident of Ypsilanti, Mich. who showed up for one of the meetings. "They told me I won a trip and come in an claim the prize. They had about 90-minute presentation, weren't trying to sell me anything. Don't feel forced to sell me anything or anything like that. It was a value of $1,400 that's what they told me. Now, I'm really interested to see what goes on when I go in here."

BONUS CONTENT: View the documents that you are required to sign if you join the Global Vacation Network (PDF)

Three victims share their experience with the Global Vacation Network

Robert from Chicago was promised a one-week vacation at a ski resort, but only received an Apple iPod instead.

"We got a phone call from a marketing person that left a message on our answering machine saying 'Congratulations, You've won the Grand Prize, a week-long stay at a condominium for four people at either Park City or Breckenridge,'" he said. "Considering we went to a ski show, we thought, wow, that's great. We've won a whole week this year. It will be fantastic. So we tried calling this one back several times.

"We played telephone tag and then, uh, finally connected. My wife spoke to her and got some of the details. Being suspicious as we are with these types of calls anyways, I called back with my wife and we asked very specific questions. We won this? 'Yes, you did.' Is it Breckenridge or Park City? 'Yes, that's correct.' So what strings are attached? 'Oh, there's no strings attached. You just have to show up at the G.V.N. office and you have to sit through a 90-minute presentation.

"Because, we would obviously like to sell you our product.' Later discovered, that not only was the whole award a scam, G.V.N. didn't even have properties in Breckenridge or Park City to give us. I spoke to her, I spoke to, supposedly, a couple of her managers to explain the situation. They said, 'Oh, we would like to make it up to you. What can we do?' I said, well you can give me what your people promised. 'Well, I'm sorry, we can't do that.' I said, well then you can't do anything."

It appears that the G.V.N. is only targeting married couples. If you are single, chances are you will not be asked to attend a presentation and you will not be eligible to win a free vacation, a Lincoln Navigator or a lump sum of cash.

That's exactly what happened to Nichole from Columbus, Ohio, who is single.

"My mom called saying that someone called her saying that I won some kind of contest and to call them right away," she said. "The e-mail address that they provided her was an older e-mail address. I thought that was kinda weird. That was an e-mail address I haven't used in five years. So I called them back after looking up the number to see if it was legit and I kinda knew what to expect if that was kind of like a scam.

"But I thought, you know, what the heck. I'll call them back just in case there is some legitimacy to it. So I called them back and it was kinda weird cause you know, they had me leave a message. So I left a message. They called me back. They went through some stuff saying they don't want my money yet. We're not going to ask for money. But this is one of the things you could win.

"They started asking me some questions. The first question they asked was, what was the name of my A. spouse, B. boyfriend and they said it like that. And I was like single. And they said , 'oh.' And they said they had to change the information. They put me on hold. And then when they returned, they said they couldn't change it and they would have the president of the sweepstakes change that. And they would call me back. They never really, as far as I know, they never called me back."

Adam from Greeley, Colo. actually joined the G.V.N. and learned he could get better cruise rates by just calling Carnival directly.

"The cruses, I'll be honest, they aren't, if you use a star on a cruise, it's actually a terrible deal. It costs more than just going through you know, say Princess Cruises or whatever some of the other cruise, Carnival Cruise or something like that. Because you use your stars and you also pay, you know, the same rate that anyone else pays.

"There's a website that I go to. I think it's called Global Discovery Vacation or It looks very similar to the website that I do have access to. Not quite as glossy. Not quite as professional. But all the same very similar with the member ID and login. But I can't login to that website. I've gone there by mistake. Now the other one I can login to. That's where I can do all of my travel stuff. So to me, that's a little bit suspicious."

The best advice is don't join G.V.N. to win an expensive prize

Tim Burns is the public affairs director for the Detroit office of the Better Business Bureau. He said his office has received 15 new complaints about G.V.N. since I broke the story last May.

"Whenever you get a phone call, especially if it's an unsolicited phone call that says you've won some sort of prize or trip, first of all, you should ask yourself, how did they get my name or address," Burns said in an interview last May. "Did I actually submit a form or apply for a contest? If you don't remember doing that, you should probably just hang up or not pay any attention to the calls. It's probably some sort of scam or someone trying to sell you something.

"The next issue is if you get a pitch to come to a presentation and the main hook is that you're going to receive some sort of prize, you should really take a step back and go, am I interested in the product or service they are trying to sell me? If I'm not, is it really worth my time? You're normally going to be disappointed when it comes to getting the prize and you're normally going to expect a high-pressured sales pitch. In these situations, it's better to just walk away."

Editor's Note: Victims' last names have been removed to protect their identity.

Related Story: EXCLUSIVE: Beware of the Lincoln Navigator Telemarketing Scandal from the Global Vacation Network



Global Vacation Network has offices all over the country. This is the location at 5400 Data Court in Ann Arbor, Mich.



The sign in the parking lot of the Global Vacation Network office in Ann Arbor.






  Your Ad Here


>> Bookmark This Site Now! << - free web hosting. Free hosting with no banners.



Copyright © 2010 All Rights Reserved.
Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.