Watch Out For Hidden Fees In Free Vacation Offers - WSPA.com

Watch Out For Hidden Fees In Free Vacation Offers

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A free vacation sounds pretty good about now, but a warning, you could be hit with fees that really add up. A free vacation sounds pretty good about now, but a warning, you could be hit with fees that really add up.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -

A free vacation sounds pretty good about now, but a warning, you could be hit with fees that really add up.

It happened to one upstate woman who wants to make sure you don't get taken for a ride.

Latrice Thompson says she remembers the call as clear as day.

"They called and said, hey you've won a cruise and free hotel stay to the Bahamas," Thompson explains.  "And I'm like, what!!!"

5th Avenue Vacations told us the free portion only pertains to a 2 night hotel stay which the company says is made clear in a phone recording.

But we admit, we were confused when we heard this:

"Your vacation for two has been complimentarily upgraded to an all inclusive 7 day 6 night vacation which includes overnight cruise to the Bahamas."

Stay on the line for more than 10 minutes and you'll get the whole picture, if you have a calculator. 

$69 dollars here, $29 there, $119 in port fees, and much more in daily resort fees all times 2 for the double occupancy requirement.  It turns out the cruise and hotel upgrade total just shy of $1500.

Thompson insists, "I asked any and every question. I said I understand you're saying it's a free cruise, but what is it that I'm going to have to pay."

Thompson says she felt mislead by the answers.  So we called the company and spoke with Manager Scott Fredlund.

Here's how the conversation went:

(Reporter)"I listened to the recording that explained the fees and I noticed that it wasn't until about 15 minutes into the recording that you actually mention the bulk of the fees.  Do you feel like that's misleading?

(Scott)"Not at all."

(Reporter)"Why not."

(Scott)"What's misleading about it."

(Reporter)"It's just a long time for someone to wait to hear the actual facts."

We went on to ask Fredlund why there was nothing in writing on the website about the fees. 

"I'm not saying that I wouldn't possibly consider it, it's actually possibly a good idea," he says.

He agreed to return Thompson's non-refundable $200 booking and administration fees. 

But she says she has learned her lesson. 

"I will forever remember, everything that is free is not free."

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