(KGTV) -- A North San Diego County couple said they were promised plane tickets for an extremely low price, but when they paid up, they were left with nothing.
Robert, who declined to use his last name, loves to travel with his fiancé. In October, he said they got an invitation in the mail to listen to a timeshare presentation.
“If you [go], you’re offered one of several gifts—a cruise, a TV, an iPad, and so forth,” Robert said.
They decided to check it out, although they knew they just wanted the gift. He said after the presentation, the couple declined the timeshare, but they were entered into a raffle in which they received the cruise with two airline tickets.
Robert was only interested in the plane tickets, so they filled out the required paperwork and paid the fee attached to the prize.
“It’ll charge you $98 for the both of you, for both of your tickets,” he said.
Robert mailed the money with the forms and waited. Instead of receiving tickets, Robert said he instead got more paperwork to enter another program.
“You have to sign up [on] a website and then you have to pay to get discounted tickets,” Robert said. “We’re like, what’s going on? These are not free tickets.”
The return address on the envelope he received came from “My Ultimate Getaway.” According to the pamphlet, it said: “In order to keep your promotional vacation reserved for a full year, you must register and submit your vacation request for online.” It also asked for a “booking fee of $29.95.”
Robert told Team 10 there was no mention of signing up for a program to get these plane tickets and said “100 percent” they were told it was free.
The couple felt misled. They complained to the Better Business Bureau out of Virginia where My Ultimate Getaway has a listed address.
Team 10 spoke to another woman from Kansas who said she also gave money with the promise of plane tickets.
“We wrote the check for $98 to this Getaway place September the 14th,” said Kathy, who did not want to use her last name. Instead of plane tickets, she “finally got something in the mail. They wanted more money.”
BBB records show the man behind My Ultimate Getaway and another similar business called Hot Promotional Vacations out of Maryland is Charles Colvin, also known as Charles Colvin Lemley.
A search of state records found Charles Lemley listed as president of My Ultimate Getaway and owner of Hot Promotional Vacations.
Robert said he emailed Colvin and showed Team 10 an email where he responded “he would be refunded as soon as possible.” That was mid-January.
“We’ve been patient,” Robert said.
When Team 10 questioned Colvin regarding My Ultimate Getaway, he responded via email: “We provide gift incentives to companies to market their products or services, nothing more.” He blamed the companies for giving “a false impression that these gifts are free.”
When pressed on who the companies are and why he is doing business with them if they are giving a “false impression” to customers, he did not answer that question.
Colvin told Team 10 in an email on February 20th that he processed the refund and the couple would “receive it in a couple of days.”
After Team 10 got involved, Robert said they received their refund Feb. 26.
Robert regrets opening that first piece of mail and hopes to stop others from making his mistake.
“If you promise something, please give the customer what they want,” he said. “They get nothing in return except headaches.”
The Better Business Bureau suggests when dealing with vacation or travel: