So about that “Complimentary Trip” (Part II)

Click through for Part I of this travel scam.

So after sending in my certificate to IIG Promotions, including a SASE, we received this from Travel Select Rewards:

“Dear [Recipient]:

Thank you for choosing the Travel Select Rewards 7G.

Enclosed is the Certificate you selected. Please read all the terms and conditions before sending in the Registration Form included in your Certificate. We will not be able to take any calls prior to registering your selected certificate(s). [In other words, we’re not going to help you with this process. If you make the tiniest mistake, you’re screwed.]

IMPORTANT: Depending on the reward you have selected, your Registration Form must be received within 21 days or 30 days from the issue date of your Reward Certificate, or your Reward Certificate is void. Please reference the certificate(s) for clarification of all the terms & conditions and time requirements. Voided certificates will not be acknowledged or returned.


Here, in full, are the terms & conditions referred to everywhere. My comments are in [brackets and in blue.]


You have received an exciting airfare promotional offer. [Note: Unlike the original postcard, this is not a “complimentary vacation.”] Below you will find the terms and conditions regarding this promotional offer. These terms are important to the processing of your reservation. Please carefully read them in their entirety.

[How many people will actually take the time to do this? “I have read and accept the End User License Agreement” is one of the most-frequently told lies on the internet today.]

Description of the Program:

This offer includes round-trip coach airfare departing to and from a major US internaational airport within the continental U.S., Puerto Vallarta or Cancun, Mexico and three days and two nights of standard hotel accommodations for two adults (double occupancy required). Recipient and guest must be 21 years of age or older, be a U.S. citizen and possess a valid driver’s license and a major credit card. A purchase of two additional nights of accommodations at an IIG Promotions approved hotel property will be required if the recipient selects a Mexico destination. [Note: at no time does the “offer” say anywhere that you have won a “free trip.” If you got this certificate as the result of sitting through a high-pressure vacation club presentation, be assured that it is worth precisely $0, and will end up costing you a lot of money.]

Registration Form Requirements:

Log on to to build your IIG Promotions online profile within 30 days of the issue date of offer. Once your offer is registered, you will be provided a link to your Travel Request Form (TRF) to begin the booking process.

If you do not have internet access, you may complete the attached Registration Form and return the original (NO COPIES) to IIG Promotions. Registration Form must be received within 30 days of the issue date of offer. Once your registration is accepted, a TRF will be emailed to you within 14 business days to begin the booking process. If an email is not provided, a TRF will be mailed to you. [Notice all the time-sensitive dates in this offer. Any delay whatsoever, whether your fault or not, will void the offer.]

A $100 refundable deposit in U.S. Dollars, in the form of a money order or cashier’s check will be required at the time of mailing your TRF. Failure to follow all registration requirements, terms of offer, and deposit not being received in the time frame specified renders offer & certificate void without exception. Mail all correspondence to IIG Promotions, P.O. Box 3479, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86405 [Based on the myriad complaints out there about this outfit, getting any money back from them is either impossible or a nightmare. The fact that they only accept payment in money orders or cashier’s checks is a huge red flag.]

General TRF and Offer Requirements:

  • Three different preferred dates of departure and destinations are required. [They’ll validate the cheapest one for you.]
  • A 60 day minimum advance notice for preferred travel dates is required. [So they can find the cheapest fare.]
  • Preferred travel dates must be in chronological order and be at least 30 days apart.
  • Offer is for double occupancy and both travelers must travel on the same itinerary.
  • Monday or Tuesday departures only [This limits your options significantly. If you didn’t take the time to read these terms and conditions carefully and propose travel dates outside these two days, your entire offer will be voided and the cost will be sky-high.]
  • Refundable deposit will be applied to outstanding travel fees and taxes due at time of booking.
  • Recipient is required to pay all government taxes, carrier/supplier imposed fees, ticketing/servicing fees (approximately $119 to $219 per person) and any upgrades selected at the time of booking. These fees will vary based on the destination and dates selected.
  • Recipient and guest’s base coach airfare (excludes government taxes and carrier-imposed fees) is not to exceed $200 per person. [Note: your base fare can’t be more than $200.00, but taxes and fees will most likely be at least $219 per person. This is hardly what classifies as a “deal” in anyone’s book. In the end, you will end up paying almost as much or more for a trip than if you had booked it yourself online using a travel aggregator and looking for your own deals.]
  • Payment must be made using a major credit card; payment cannot be refunded after travel is confirmed. [This makes it impossible for you to get your funds back if anything goes sideways.]
  • Departure and arrival destinations are restricted to IIG approved international airports. [But they don’t tell you which ones those are before you send in your $100 deposit.]
  • Hotel accomodations are at one of hundreds of nationally known hotels in our system such as Intercontinental, Choice, Wyndham, and other hotel affiliates.
  • Only one offer per household will be issued during the promotional offer time period and all travel must be completed within 12 months from your issue date.


To keep offer from becoming invalid, all correspondence is time sensitive and needs to be returned by mail in the designated time frames. [If you don’t, the whole ball of wax is void.] You will receive a written confirmation with directions and check-in times (if applicable) by mail or email about two weeks prior to your departure date and only after your vacation has been paid in full for any outstanding governmental taxes, service fees and or additional travel services if ordered through IIG Promotions. It is important that you do not leave for your getaway vacation until you have received written confirmation. IIG will not be responsible for travel arrangements made prior to the confirmation of your trip.


Request for travel dates, cities, ports of departure, travel itineraries and airport offerings outside what is allowed in this promotional offer will result in your travel becoming a discounted trip. [The price of that discounted trip will be astronomical. Have a look at some of the complaints.] Once reservation is booked, failure to show for hotel reservations will result in recipient being charged the full retail value of offer [guaranteed to be some astronomical random number.] Some destinations may be considered high demand year round. This offer is valid for weekday travel during low season with year round usage when available for a surcharge [guaranteed to be astronomical.] During high season, special events, weekends, conventions, holiday and peak travel periods a surcharge [guaranteed to be astronomical] will apply, when available. Holidays and Peak Travel Periods are defined as one full week before, during or after any major government holiday or during the months of March, June, July and August. Non-stop flights, class of service of accommodations, length of getaway not covered in offer are available upon request and require an upgrade fee [guaranteed to be astronomical.] Primary certificate holder must make deposit payment. [If someone else pays the deposit, the offer is void, and good luck getting that money back.] All travel components are restricted to Published and Tariff fares. All travel components are subject to IIG’s promotional availability and booked at IIG’s sole discretion. IIG reserves the right to substitute offer components without notice. This offer does not include the cost for additional guests, extra nights and upgrades or any type of incidental expenses such as but not limited to food, beverages, hotel amenity/resort fees, government taxes, gratuities, travel insurance, and service charges, Sorry, no pets. IIG is not responsible for travel suppliers schedule changes. IIG will make every effort to accommodate your preferred travel date(s) but has the right to add, delete or substitute travel dates, resort, hotel and or destinations. IIG has the option to substitute another promotional travel offer of equal or greater value if this offer becomes unavailable.

Refund/Cancellation Policy:

If a need arises to change travel or services booked, all reservations are final and non-refundable. [Sorry, you’re screwed again.] Cancellation Policy – Cancellation penalties apply and certificate will be ineligible for future use. [Good luck getting any of your money back, sucker.] Confirmed reservations may be changed based on travel supplier policy and at IIG Promotions sole discretion, a minimum fee of $25 applies [but you can be sure it will be a lot more] and is the sole responsibility of the recipient. Should you need to cancel your reservations, prior to being booked, IIG Promotions must receive written notice 30 days prior to the expiration of your travel offer. Cancellation must be sent U.S. Certified mail to: IIG Promotions, P.O. Box 3479, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86405

Limit on Redemptions:

Failure to adhere to the terms and conditions outlined in this offer or appear on a confirmed reservation, late correspondence, submission of an incomplete Registration and or Travel Request Form, will result in forfeiture of offer and wil not be acknowledged or returned. Reissue Policy – IIG Promotions does not assume any liability or responsibility for lost or stolen certificates. [This clause is the biggest loophole of all. If you make a single mistake anywhere along the byzantine booking/redemption process, your offer goes up in smoke, and they don’t even have to tell you about it. Your deposit, were you foolish enough to send one in, vanishes like the dew under a desert sun.]

Non-transferable: No Cash Value:

[Brother, they got that one right.] This offer is non-transferable and cannot be sold or redeemed for cash, nor shall any rebates, refunds or credits be issued for any unused time, day (s) or space. This offer is not valid in conjunction with any other discount or promotional offer, nor is it valid for use with group travel. A group is considered two (2) or more families traveling together or meeting at the same destination with the same arrival date.

Limitation of Liability:

This offer us void where prohibited by law. IIG Promotions reserves the right to substitute the components of the offered vacation and varied itinerary with equal or greater value without verbal or written notification should circumstances so require. [Don’t ask, we won’t tell.] IIG Promotions does not assume any liability for damage, expense, or inconvenience, nor for any loss, injury or death or damge to any person or property at any hotel or on any aircraft/ship, or in transit to or from said hotel/aircraft/ship or for any cause whatsoever due to delays, cancellation due to nature, mechanical breakdown, strikes, or acts of God. All federal, state and local laws apply. IIG Promotions assumes no responsibility for any promises or claims, written or verbal made by anyone, other than those made in the terms and conditions provided herein. [In other words, if the pitchman you talked to promised you anything at all, if it’s not in this contract, you’re out of luck.] This is a promotional offer [note: not a “prize” or a “free vacation”] and is not to be sold to the end user without prior written consent from IIG Promotions. This offer is not to be used as an employee incentive, by any affiliate of IIG Promotions or the sponsor’s affiliate. The offer is null and void if it is used incorrectly [that’s a huge loophole]. In the event of any mediation, arbitration or litigation relating to this Agreement, the parties (1) agree to the exclusive personal jurisdiction of the state courts located in Mohave County, Arizona and the federal courts located in Phoenix, Arizona, and (2) waive any claim of inconvenient forum. [If you don’t like using our bought-and-paid-for justice system, tough luck.]

You may cancel this contract without penalty or obligation within 30 days from the date of purchase or receipt of the vacation offer/certificate, whichever occurs later. You may also cancel this contract if accomodations or facilities are not available purusant to a request for use as provided in the contract. If you decide to cancel, you must notify the seller in writing of your intent to cancel by returning the certificate and sending notice to IIG Promotions, P.O. Box 3479, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86405. IIG Promotions is registered with the State of Florida as a Seller of Travel. Registration No. 37367. [Note: this whole scheme is a devious way of selling you an overpriced trip unter the thinly-veiled guise of an “exciting offer.” Remember: you get what you pay for, and TANSTAAFL.]¹ No person should rely upon reprentations other than thoe included in these terms & conditions. [Read: We know that our salesmen out there are going to lie through their teeth to you, and we take no responsibility for anything they say.] This contract is for the purchase [Note: “purchase,” not “reward.”] of a vacation certificate and puts all assignees on notice of the consumer’s right to cancel under section 559.933, Florida Statutes. California Seller of Travel Registration No. 2093731-50.

To streamline the process, we will not be able to handle any phone calls prior to receiving your registration form. [This is repeated multiple times. They don’t want to talk to you or explain anything. If you make a mistake, it voids your certificate and “offer.”

TL;DR – This is not an award or a complimentary trip. It’s an offer to sell you travel, and a very deviously-designed one at that. You think you’re getting a deal, but in the end it’s almost a guarantee that it will cost you more than if you had booked the travel yourself (assuming you did good research.) The people who operate this company and their attorneys must have been pimps and pedophiles in a previous life.

At any rate, I went to the website² and registered as requested. I was promised an email with further details in return. Stand by for Part III.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

¹There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

² Just for yucks and giggles, the additional Terms and Conditions on the Website (which didn’t display properly, by the way – I had to “view source” on that page to see them) are below:

Acceptance of Terms of Use. This Web site and the services offered on it (the “Service”) are owned and operated by Infinity Travel. The Service is provided to you pursuant to the terms and conditions of this Terms of Use and any operating rules or policies that may be published by Infinity Travel (including the Privacy Policy), as may be amended from time to time (collectively, the “Agreements”). You shall mean you, any invitee of yours, and anyone who may receive a gift or credit from you which is redeemable by using the Service. BY USING THE SERVICE, YOU ARE INDICATING YOUR AGREEMENT TO BE BOUND BY ALL OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CONTAINED IN THE AGREEMENTS. User Responsibilities. By consenting to the Agreements, you agree: To represent only yourself on the Service, and no other persons, living, dead, or imagined; the Service may only be used by natural persons (i.e., individuals) on their own behalf and not by or on behalf of any commercial entity unless explicitly permitted by Infinity Travel; To provide accurate information to Infinity Travel, including, but not limited to information required to register with the Service; To not use the Service to: Reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell, distribute, publish or exploit for any commercial purpose the software, products, or services provided by Infinity Travel or obtained through the Service without obtaining the express, prior written consent of Infinity Travel. This restriction includes any attempt to incorporate any information from the provide for your own access to the Service, including but not limited to obtaining and maintaining all telephone, computer hardware and software, and other equipment and paying all related charges. Privacy. As part of the Service registration process, you will provide certain personal information to Infinity Travel. Your personal information will only be used in accordance with Infinity Travel’s Privacy Policy. Infinity Travel reserves the right to, but is not obligated to, inform you by email of changes or additions to the Service or of any Infinity Travel related products and services. Vendors and Goods and Services Infinity Travel and your organization will not be liable for any loss or damage incurred as a result of any interaction between you and a vendor accessible through the Service. All matters, including but not limited to delivery of goods and services, returns, and warranties are solely and strictly between you and the vendor. You acknowledge that Infinity Travel and your organization do not endorse or warrant the vendors that are accessible through the Service nor the goods and services that they provide. In the event of any mediation, arbitration or litigation relating to this Agreement, the parties (1) agree to the exclusive personal jurisdiction of the state courts located in Mohave County, Arizona and the federal courts located in Phoenix, Arizona, and (2) waive any claim of inconvenient forum.

“We have been selected” (A come-on from Save On Resorts)

Last week we got a postcard in the mail (I should have thought to scan it, but didn’t realize I’d be writing about it until after the fact.) It had a big picture on the front of a Southwest Airlines jet, and the name “Southwest Airlines” emblazoned across it.


The back indicated that we had “been selected” to receive two round-trip airfare tickets to anywhere in the continental USA and two nights’ accomodation at the selected destination. A number to call was provided. In tiny print on the back was the disclaimer that all promotions were offered and redeemed by a third-party and were not endorsed by Southwest.

I’ve done this before, so we said “what the heck.” I called the number, and was a few qualifying questions:

  • Was I married?
  • Was I between the ages of 28 and 72?
  • Was our combined annual income over $60,000 per year?

Obviously, they’re pitching to stable, wealthy individuals. The last one of these I got I told them that my income was not quite high enough, just to see what happened, and they told me that they were so sorry, I didn’t qualify for this promotion, but sent me off on a wild goose chase to claim another booby prize which – in the end – was worth precisely squat.

So we set up an appointment, and yesterday my wife and I spent three hours listening to the pitch. We had both experienced timeshare presentations before (the telephone receptionist swore up and down that “this is in no way a timeshare presentation”) and were used to high-pressure tactics, so we thought it might be entertaining. We had lunch at a great Thai restaurant before going down, so the day would not be a total loss whatever the outcome.

The room was set up for four couples. Everyone was friendly and courteous. The slideshow lasted about an hour. The essence of the pitch was as follows:

  • Platinum Unlimited Membership
    • Resorts, houses, Condo’s (sic)
    • Hotels, B&B’s
    • All-inclusive (whatever that means)
    • Packages/Cruises
    • All Inclusive’ (sic)
    • Tours/Excursions, Tickets
    • Reward credits (Something about bonuses being refunded to us)
    • Restaurant Discounts
    • Airfare/Car Rental
    • Family Plan (other family members can use our plan, like at Costco)
    • Guest policy
  • 20 year product $2,999
  • Lifetime product $4,999
  • $149.00 “processing fee”
  • $199.00/year annual dues (payable only during years one uses the product)
  • Special bonus for “retired people”: $1,999 for the 20 year Platinum plan, but valid only now, Now, NOW! If you want to think about it, the price will be $4,999.00.
  • “You’re going to be traveling “anyway,” so you might as well be saving money with this plan.”  The concept of “anyway money” is a big part of timeshare pitches, based on the ones I’ve attended. The trouble is, the numbers never add up. What they’re selling you a timeshare for will usually be significantly more than the average family will spend over twenty years  “anyway.”

So, assuming you’re not retired and spring for the 20 year plan, which comes close to $7,000 including the annual dues, and assuming Save On Resorts doesn’t fold during that time (they proudly trumpet an A+ rating with the BBB), what do you get for your seven grand?

Basically the services of a wholesale travel aggregator. During the pitch they dragged out four or five hypothetical destinations and showed the difference between a single scenario of pricing and their own website’s results. Usually the pitched savings were at about the 50% level. Nothing was ever said about ancillary fees or taxes or all the myriad costs that crop up during the average pleasure trip.

The pitchmen stressed the fact that when you visit multiple sites to compare airline fares, your IP address is being tracked and fares tend to jump up the more often you visit a website. This is true, but there are ways to avoid this particular scummy trick used by places like Priceline, Orbitz, Travelocity, and the airlines themselves.

They admitted that they could not save any real money on airfares, other than to “guarantee” you the lowest possible available fare “without the hassle” by using their private website. Most of the savings would come through buying their aggregated wholesale property packages. But as everyone knows, they are not the only game in town.

After the pitch, I came home and did a little research. Click through for a blog post from a reporter who attended a similar pitch from a company called “Endless Access,” also a front for Save On Resorts. It doesn’t sound too savory. What’s more, if you have to make a decision on the spot to get the best price, there’s no way to go out there and find the myriad complaints about these firms on places like Ripoff Report or And there are many.

I’m curious to see what my “reward” for attending the presentation amounts to. I have a certificate to fill out and send in within 30 days (or the offer is void,) purportedly fulfilled by Travel Select Rewards and/or IIG Promotions (looking for complaints about this company is a horror show.) One consumer posted this after a similar experience with Save On:

You get a card in the mail that looks like it is from Southwest Airlines offering free flights. You find out it’s really not. but an offer of free airline tickets + hotel if you listen to a 90 minute presentation from SAVEON RESORTS. They aren’t too hard sell. You go home, submit paperwork for your freebie… a month later get the info on the freebie. Turns out you have to depart only Monday or Tuesday. Your “free” coach fare cannot exceed $200 and taxes and fees you have to pay are about $120 – $220.

The full Terms and Conditions on my redemption offer can be found below in a footnote.[1]

Others have reported that you have to pay all taxes and fees before you even find out what your travel choices are; so I will duly submit my information and return and report. It is interesting to note that IIG requires you to send them a SASE in order to get your certificate (this translates as cheap bastard company.)

The bottom line is that presentations like this are almost always a bad deal for the consumer and a good deal for the company running the pitch. The presentation by Save On was not overly high-pressure, but they employed a good number of sales tactics including cherry-picking data, scarcity (offer valid only today), reciprocity (we’re offering you this great vacation, so you should sign up for our program), and others.

No one needs to pay retail prices if they are willing to do a bit of footwork. When traveling, aggregators can save you money; but there are many available on the web, and you don’t have to pay between $2K and $5K plus a recurring annual fee to use their services.

Continued in Part II.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


Your Travel Select Rewards© (TSR) is redeemable for (1) reward certificate (Offer) outlined herein. Pictures of products on site and certificates are for illustrative purposes only and may be subject to change. Offers are booked/fulfilled in accordance with the terms and conditions of actual certificate selected. Offers are subject to providing alternate travel dates, a valid governmental 10, credit card, advance notice, double occupancy, expiration dates, no group travel, one per household per year, changes without notice, shipping and handling, deposits, governmental taxes and fees, if applicable. Requests for changes to the original travel Offer will result in Offer becoming a discounted trip. See actual certificate selected for complete details. Offer is non transferable and has no cash value. Failure to follow certificate’s terms and conditions, provide payment, deposits, make selection from list and/or correspondence not returned in the designated time frames renders offer void. A voided certificate/offer will not be acknowledged or returned. Fulfilling Agency is not responsible for mail or certificates that are lost, mutilated, or delayed or failure to book offer online. If product or offer becomes unavailable to Fulfilling Agency they have the option to substitute another product or promotional travel offer of equal or greater value.
The information on the TSR Brochure is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any of the products or certificates mentioned. Fulfilling Agency agents, assignees, and or delegates act independently of the sponsoring company who issued you the TSR as a thank you. The General Information Provisions and Terms and Conditions of Offer received cannot be changed or amended by any person or company without the written consent of an authorized officer of Fulfilling Agency. No recipient should rely upon representations other than those included in the actual terms and conditions of the certificate selected.
This offer is void where prohibited by law and if not paid for by the primary issuing merchant or distributor who purchased from TSR and issued to recipient. By participating in this trayel reward offer the signatory agrees that TSR will not be held liable for any actual or potential losses, including without limitation, compensation or consequential damages, either in contract or in tort, by either persons or property, arising out of this offer or in connection therewith.

In other words, make a single mistake and you’re screwed. And we don’t care.