Phoenix couple wants refund for cancelled vacation

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

A Phoenix couple says it was a simple telemarketing call they wish they would have never answered, now they just want their money back for something they say they just can't use.

"Wow, that would have been so cool. Yeah, it's beautiful it's right next to the beach."

For Holly and Peter Roberts, a vacation they were looking forward to was about to become a reality.

"I always wanted to go to Costa Rica. I love wildlife and birds in particular."

Thoughts of traveling to Costa Rica started a year ago when Holly got an unexpected call. On the other end of that call was a representative from a company called Universal Vacation Resorts.

"He talked about you get these two trips and threw out Costa Rica and he threw out another place in Mexico, and I just felt like OK, I'll take a risk on it."

According to the sales pitch, Holly says she had to pay to become a member of Universal Vacation Resorts in order to take advantage of their discounted rates.

So, in March of 2017 she shelled out $435 to join the resort. Holly and Peter didn't decide to take a vacation though until earlier this year when they decided to use Universal Vacation Resorts to book a trip to Costa Rica.

The couple was thrilled and on top of the $435 they already paid join the resort, they also agreed to pay an additional $619 for the trip. However, just a month before they were to take off, Peter fell ill.

"My heart's working at like between 15 to 20 percent efficiency."

Unfortunately, Peter was diagnosed with heart failure and will soon undergo surgery. But until that life-saving procedure is performed, Peter says his doctor has ordered him not to travel.

Holly goes on to say, "This is an emergency, this is something that's happening, he can't get on a plane, he has less than 20 percent heart capacity. This is an emergency. This is a life situation that's not planned."

Holly contacted the airline they were supposed to fly and after explaining her husband's medical condition, the airline issued an immediate refund.

However, when Holly contacted Universal Vacation Resorts, the company said, "no refunds," and referred Holly to the terms and conditions that she agreed to when she booked the trip.

According to those terms, it clearly states, "No refunds are awarded for any reservation cancellation." Holly was not happy.

"It made me very angry."

Angry, because Holly says her invoice says something kind of different about refunds.

It states, “A refund request may be granted at the sole discretion of the seller on a case by case basis.."

To Holly, that sounded promising.

"I would like to think businesses would occasionally understand that and be helpful and this company was not."

3 On Your Side got involved and we asked Universal Vacation Resorts about the two apparent different refund policies and we asked if they would consider giving Holly and Peter their money back.

In response, the company simply referred us to their "terms and conditions," that claims no refunds and they never did address their other policy citing refunds "may be granted." 

However, Universal Vacation Resorts says the couple does have until March of 2020 to use their vacation.

But for Holly, she says that's just not good customer service.

"I'd like for all of my money back. I don't want to do business with them, I won't book a vacation with them and I would like to for them to say hey I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

The company has an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau, and four consumer complaints have been filed in the last four months with the Florida Attorney General's Office where the company is based.

                               Below are the Terms & Conditions sent to 3 On Your Side from Universal Vacation Resorts:


100 % transferable & Open Destination: No blackout dates!

Customer understands that this is not a contest, lottery, or drawing.

Customer cannot split days in different destinations and cannot use vacation packages back to back in the same destinations.

All air, ground transportation, USA resort fees and taxes are the responsibility of the traveler. Taxes range from $10 to $20 per day. International Resorts taxes apply for Villa Del Palmar, Krystal, all Grand Oasis, Oasis, and Bel-Air properties. Other Resort fees may apply to other locations depending on resort and travel dates. See details on bullet 6 of this form.

We are not responsible for any delays or cancellations due to nature, strikes, mechanical problems or Acts of God. Sorry no pets are allowed to accompany travelers in any of the accommodations provided.

Upgrades may be purchased through our Reservations Department. You are required to take a VIP Tour of the Resort (If you do not tour in the required locations you will be charged the retail rate of your stay).  Upon check-in two forms of ID will be required such as: a valid Driver’s License, major credit card, passport or birth certificate with original seal.                                                                                                                                          

The customer has to give a minimum of 60 days advance booking notice for any other time except for major holidays such as: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve/Day, Spring Break, Easter week, and government observed holidays; which require a minimum of 90 days advance notice. (Extra fees apply per resort during holiday seasons; this also includes international holidays for international travels; although a 90 day minimum advance booking notice is not required for international holiday bookings.). If booking under the 60 days advance notice or the 90 days advance notice fees may apply. If the customer decides to change or cancel their travel dates without 20 days advance notice charges will apply. Changes to your reservation, which include changes to itinerary, date change, change in number of travelers, etc. may result in price increase. A new contract may be issued to accommodate changes. I understand that all payments are non-refundable.

Please understand booking may take up to 10 business days; depending on the resort and information needed to reserve dates. No refunds are awarded for any reservation cancellation.

You must be married or co-habituating to qualify for all locations of this promotion.

Single men are only allowed to travel to Villa Del Palmar in Cancun, Cabo, Islands of Loreto, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Sunset Marina Resort & Yacht Club, Sunset Royal Beach Resort, and Laguna Suites in Cancun, Mexico, Robert’s Grove in Belize, Holiday Inn in Orlando, FL, Vacation Villas in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Golden Nugget & Stratosphere, in Las Vegas, NV, Forest Suites in Lake Tahoe, CA, Palm Mountain Resort in Palm Springs, CA, Wyndham Bush Gardens in Williamsburg, VA, and Clarion Resort in Branson, MO.

Single women can travel anywhere except for any Sandos or Grand Sirenis properties.

All United States Properties have a maximum of four guest per room unless receiving condo accommodations; In International Resorts the room accommodations allow 2 Adults and 2 Children under the age of 12, Except: Europe, Thailand, Bali, Cayman Islands, in which allow 2 Adults 2 Children under the age of 18. All Inclusive locations are: Mexico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Bahamas.

Belize is Breakfast only, and all others are accommodations only.

Please keep in mind when adding additional travelers they will be at discounted rate per night (rates depend on location). Hotel/Resorts are subject to change.

By signing the invoice on Docusign you agree to the terms and conditions of the Resort and our company, and understand that you have already been charged for the above vacations. Any false information provided will be treated as fraud. Buyer is over the age of 28 years of age and understands that his/her credit card has been charged following and will appear on your next billing statement as “VIP Concierge” for the non-refundable purchase, and all the above information is correct. I have read and understand the entire terms and conditions as listed. Any questions or concerns regarding terms & conditions please call customer support (888)999-4020.


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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Warren TrentWarren Trent is currently employed by KTVK/KPHO-TV in Phoenix, Arizona as an investigative and consumer producer for 3 On Your Side, a unit that earned a 2013 Rocky Mountain Emmy nomination for a report on expired tires and a 2015 an Emmy nomination for a report called "Mattress Madness."

Click to learn more about Warren.

Warren Trent
3 On Your Side

Warren previously did on-air reporting for the KTVK/KPHO-TV “Varsity Zone” sports show. Warren’s versatility continues to shine as he has worked on the assignment desk, as a news writer and as a field producer.

Warren is a seasoned television journalist whose progressive TV career began at 6ABC-TV in Philadelphia with "Action News," a favorite choice for millions of viewers for decades. While at 6ABC, Warren advanced through the ranks in unprecedented success as a sound technician, an assignment editor, a video editor, a sports producer, a bureau chief, a public affairs specialist and ultimately as programming producer. In his final role at 6ABC, Warren produced a top-rated, award-winning television news magazine show and also lead producer for the "High School Huddle" sports show. Warren has also been assigned to cover both global and national news stories.

In addition to broadcasting, Warren enjoys contributing to society as a mentor and volunteer. He is president of the Arizona Association of Black Journalists and a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Warren has also volunteered by serving on the board of directors for Image and Attitude, a New Jersey-based nonprofit specializing in self-sufficiency for women and has also served on the board for The VIP Project, which supports autism awareness.

Warren says it is an honor to serve on the NATAS Board of Governors to work with a diverse group of professionals dedicated to honoring and assisting current and future journalists.

And one little-known fact about Warren is that he taught himself how to juggle as a hobby.

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