ORLANDO, Fla. - Millennium Travel and Promotions, a New Smyrna Beach company, is under investigation by the Florida Attorney General's Office over allegations of unfair and deceptive trade practices.
Millennium redeems travel prizes for companies like Global Vacation Network (GVN), a vacation travel club that offers consumers free travel and gifts for attending sales presentations. Dozens of consumers have complained Millennium does not honor the vouchers for the free flights and vacations.
Local 6 has been investigating the relationship between GVN, Millennium Travel and Promotions, and US Airlines (a non-airline marketing the Global's sales presentations).
Dethra Thomas and her husband attended a presentation a few months ago. She says the experience was stressful, and the salesmen aggressive.
"Pushy, very pushy, like a car salesman," she describes. "First, he said ‘this is going to be $12,000.' Then he went down to $6,000. He went down to $4,000. Another guy comes in and says, ‘We have a package for $3000.' Then he was, like, ‘how about $2,000?'"
Thomas says she and her husband had no idea that the US Airlines invitation would land them at a sales presentation until almost 11 o'clock at night.
"The lights are off. These two people are in here. We don't know them," she explains.
Afraid she and her husband would be there all night, she finally agreed to a $2,000 package. They're stuck with it, regretting every cent they paid. The package includes two vacation weeks at GVN resorts around the world; members must also pay $159 per week they take, plus a $379 annual fee.
GVN managers claim their product is not a time-share, because property is not deeded.
That's news to Dethra and her husband.
"I encourage anyone to do research before you do anything," she says.
The research is not hard to find. A simple Google search finds complaints across the country about GVN, US Airlines, and Millennium. Local 6 conducted an undercover investigation into Millennium in 2005, and documented blackout dates the company was imposing on consumers. Of 365 days on the calendar, Millennium blacked out 343, leaving only 22 departure days for consumers to choose from.
The Florida Attorney General's website describes its investigation into Millennium. The AG says its probe has been ongoing since 2009.
Millennium's office is located in an unmarked building in New Smyrna Beach. When managers there were asked about the Attorney General's investigation, Local 6 was asked to leave.
"You can ask me nothing," a manager who refused to identify himself said. "Call my attorney…Goodbye. Get out of my face."
Consumers who have complaints about travel companies like GVN or Millennium should file those complaints with the AG's office.
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