ARBOR, Mich. -- It
was about a year ago when AmericaJR.com 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.
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.
average price of a Lincoln Navigator is between $40,000 and $60,000.
How can a vacation club be giving away one for free?
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.
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."
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.
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
victims share their experience with the Global Vacation Network
Chicago was promised a one-week vacation at a ski resort, but only
received an Apple iPod instead.
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.
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
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
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.
what happened to Nichole from Columbus, Ohio, who is single.
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.
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.
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."
Greeley, Colo. actually joined the G.V.N. and learned he could get
better cruise rates by just calling Carnival directly.
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.
a website that I go to. I think it's called Global Discovery Vacation
or GlobalVacationDiscovery.com. 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."
best advice is don't join G.V.N. to win an expensive prize
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.
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
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."
Note: Victims' last names have been removed to protect their identity.
here to visit Global Vacation Network's official website to
read the terms and conditions of the telemarketing program.