In Your Corner: Vacation not what it seems

OKLAHOMA CITY – A young Oklahoma family says they’re out a bunch of cash and their dream vacation.

The Perryman family attended the Discover the Dinosaurs exhibit at the Cox Convention Center last November.  

It was a big hit with the kids, plus it gave the family a chance to sign up for a free vacation, or so they thought.

“They had on there you could win a trip to Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale, Coco Beach, cruises,” Jeremiah Perryman said.

Days later they received a phone call from the company behind the giveaway.

They didn’t win the trip, but were told they qualified for a discounted rate travel package from a South Florida time share company, Magical Dream Escapes.

The Perrymans were so excited about taking their kids to Disney World, they purchased the travel deal without ever reading the fine print.

The package Jeremiah signed up for isn’t even valid for Oklahomans.

There are other restrictions, like age, income and marital-status requirements.

Jeremiah broke the news to his kids.

“It’s miserable,” he said. “It’s hard going from seeing them so excited and us being excited for them, to disappointment. The 5 year-old has a hard time understanding anything.”

We tracked down the Minneapolis based promoter that put on the dinosaur exhibit in our city.

A spokesman for Blue Star Productions tells us they weren’t initially aware of the time share company’s numerous online complaints and F rating with the better business bureau, because the lease was with the marketing group that represents Magical Dream Escapes.

Blue Star has since done away with travel giveaways at all of its shows nationwide.

So far our numerous voicemails to Magical Dream Escapes have not been returned.

Jeremiah did have one thing in his favor. He paid with plastic, so he was able to dispute the charge and get a full refund.

Here’s in the in your corner bottom line.

  • Free doesn’t always mean free.
  • Take your time.
  • Read before you sign.
  • Verify all travel arrangements first.

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