Discrimination | Travel

BigGayDeal.com

Company Offers Vegas Vacation To Couple, Rescinds It Because They Are Gay

Dan and Tim

A few nights ago, Tim Seelig of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus received a phone call from a company called Best Vacations Ever offering a time share trip to Las Vegas, Orlando, and New Orleans. After consulting with his partner Dan England and deciding on a travel date, they bought the vacation package. All went well until Dan called the company yesterday to book reservations and the representative noticed that both names were male. From Tim's Facebook wall:

They were most helpful until [Dan] said the 2nd person was named Tim. They asked if that was a male? Seriously? She said, "Please hold a moment." After 5 minutes or so, she came back on line and said, "I'm so sorry, we don't allow same sex couples to use the Vegas vacation offer." We have spent the entire day in shock. Dan talked to 3 people at the company. I talked to another 3 people there. There is nothing to be done. They do not consider "co-habitating couples" to be within their demographic for potential time share sales, so we are not allowed.

Interestingly, "homophobic discrimination" is not listed on the website's "What You Can Expect" page. Feel free to let them know of this oversight through the use of their Contact page.

AN UPDATE from Tim Seelig:

Update on Vacation saga. In spite of 6 different people emphatically stating that they would not book a reservation for us in Las Vegas. I received this e-mail moments ago. By the way, many of you have posted on the company's web site! Thank you. It at least got their attention and that is the point of this entire mess. Who knows, maybe we'll even get them to zoom into this century and use the term sexual orientation instead of preference. 

Tim,
First and foremost I would like to express my most sincere apologies on behalf of the company for the way in which this matter was handled. Allow me to clear the air for you at this time.

In addressing Dan's request for reservations to our Las Vegas destination our customer care agent made a mistake, and informed Dan that he was unable to travel to Las Vegas due to his sexual preference. That information was entirely inaccurate. We accept all couples regardless of their sexual preference. We do not at this point, nor have we ever prevented a guest/couple from traveling to one of our properties due to their sexual preference. That is not our policy.

If you and Dan can find it in your hearts to forgive us for this huge error, and ultimately to give us another chance, we can assure you that we will do everything in our power to bring you back to the point in which you were at when you initially agreed to this purchase, as we are able to fulfill your package exactly as we initially promised intended to do.

Please advise;

Kenneth Branch
Preferred Guest Resorts
Quality Assurance Manager
407-215-2099 (Extension 22335)

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Comments

  1. Dear Mssrs. Seelig and England,

    You lost nothing by being turned down by Best Vacations Ever. I highly recommend going here and reading what this company is all about and their history of customer complaints:

    http://www.bbb.org/central-florida/business-reviews/travel-clubs/preferred-guest-resorts-in-winter-park-fl-18000577/complaints#breakdown

    You should feel blessed that you were turned down by Best Vacations Ever. Read about the number of apparently "business image straight couples" that they have sold their vacations to, who are very obviously unhappy - enough to write about it online.

    My husband and I have been together 30 years and we married when the law changed in California. What we have learned over the years is that before we do business with any company for any reason, we vet them. Best Vacations Ever isn't worthy of your business. And apparently, they aren't worthy of some other people as well.

    There are many travel related companies that welcome our support and the list of them grows with each passing day. I urge you to spend your money with those that WANT your business and more than likely you will experience a better memory later on.

    We send our best wishes, our love and our support to you and your partner, always.

    Mark Nelson

    Posted by: Mark | Nov 1, 2013 9:05:07 AM


  2. According to their Facebook page, they claim this didn't happen, or if it did, that it was not in accordance to their policies and that they have attempted to reach the couple to right this wrong. Check out their page. They claim they do not have discriminatory practices regarding sexual orientation, just that certain resorts have requirements regarding couples or singles, but that it isn't based on sexual orientation.

    Posted by: Jared Hayes | Nov 1, 2013 9:07:31 AM


  3. I clicked the link above and told them what I thought about their policy and I noticed a line that suddenly took on a new meaning:

    "Yes, I would like to receive EXCLUSIVE vacation deals!"

    I guess we can't say we weren't warned.

    Posted by: crbmex | Nov 1, 2013 9:14:46 AM


  4. Jared, I tend to agree that sometimes "it isn't what it seems," but we can't know whether the content on the company's facebook page is damage control or their actual policy. Also, many companies in all sorts of industries, not just hotels and resorts, discriminate against non-married individuals as a convenient guise for discriminating against gays. Those strategies are becoming out dates as gay people can increasingly marry.

    Posted by: Kevin | Nov 1, 2013 9:26:00 AM


  5. I just sent a nice little email. I hope they are based in a state with anti-discrimination laws.

    But the best of it is.. I just got a huge huge settlement and plan on going on quite a few trips. I made sure they knew this, and that I would never, ever, ever refer, recommend or use their services. What is it they say about first impresions? Oh yeah, thats right.

    Posted by: JoeyD | Nov 1, 2013 9:27:09 AM


  6. My partner and I once listened to a sales pitch for a very expensive vacuum cleaner (over $1,200--and this was 20 years ago). Part of the deal was that, just by listening to the pitch, we would qualify for a weekend getaway to a time share in Florida. After listening to a two-hour pitch, we were given the "gift certificate" for the weekend getaway. That's when we saw that the offer was limited to one man and one woman who were legally married to each other. Needless to say, we did not buy the expensive vacuum cleaner.

    Posted by: Clayton | Nov 1, 2013 9:34:47 AM


  7. It still amazes me that glbt people actually GO to Las Vegas. Once the plane lands in Nevada, our legal marriages are no longer recognized. Let the State Legislature know that glbt will no longer spend our millions in their most popular city until there is marriage equality!

    Posted by: Joseph Krasinski | Nov 1, 2013 9:41:18 AM


  8. Since the company is soliciting in California, it's subject to the state's Unruh Act that prohibits businesses from, among other things, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

    Posted by: BobC | Nov 1, 2013 9:41:27 AM


  9. Although the actions of the company's agents ought to be met with anger and disgust, the couple isn't really losing out on anything. Timeshares are the biggest scam still allowed by law... they're essentially flimsy financing mechanisms for developers to build gaudy "Vacation Clubs" on the backs of hard-working people. I encourage anyone who's been wondering about the timeshare industry to check out the "Queen of Versailles"

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2125666/

    Posted by: John M | Nov 1, 2013 9:53:38 AM


  10. Time share is an ugly racket anyway, and this one appears to be run by hopelessly stupid people: "Never stand in the way of someone trying to give you money" (Stanley Marcus). Eff 'em all.

    Posted by: Onnyjay | Nov 1, 2013 10:08:24 AM


  11. These guys should be celebrating. A time share "sales pitch" vacation is no fun for any couple, gay or straight. And "Best Vacations Ever" is clearly a misnomer.

    Posted by: Joe in Ct | Nov 1, 2013 10:10:37 AM


  12. Time shares are awful, you can't get out of them and they are virtually unsellable, you cant even donate them. They also pass down to your heirs who may have an equally difficult time disposing of them. Consider your discrimnation fortunate in this case.

    Posted by: TerryBel | Nov 1, 2013 10:21:16 AM


  13. Hmmm... they seem a bit scuzzy to begin with:

    http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/directory/preferred-guest-resorts

    Posted by: Fin | Nov 1, 2013 10:21:57 AM


  14. This all begs the question "Why would anyone want to go to a tacky gaudy desert filled with wasteful incongruous water features and no end of white trash?" I worked there once for about four months. Could hardly take it that long.

    Posted by: Sean | Nov 1, 2013 10:43:28 AM


  15. It is NOT a "sexual preference", it is our "sexual orientation". I find the note Tim received almost as insulting as the original phone discussions. Until this company understands this they should definitely tell them to piss off.

    Posted by: Jim Elliott | Nov 1, 2013 10:44:06 AM


  16. You guys are surprised by what a time share promotion company does? Seriously, did Dad forget to tell you that if you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas? These companies are the definition of sleaze. Surely Grampa told you "Nothing is free." and Mom told you "If it looks too good to be true ... it probably is."

    Posted by: Endora | Nov 1, 2013 10:46:52 AM


  17. Damn shame that so many people can't keep their mind's eye out of other people's bedrooms

    Posted by: Calgary Custom Homes | Nov 1, 2013 10:53:30 AM


  18. I just received this email from the company...note the use of "orientation"...

    It is not our policy to prevent couples from traveling to any of our properties due to their sexual orientation.

    What occurred was truly unfortunate, and we are in the process of addressing the matter both internally and externally.
    We have since reached out to the affected couple, and extended our most sincere apologies for their obvious inconvenience.
    We have also educated our entire staff, as our agents were clearly at fault in rejecting this gentleman's reservation request
    based on the couples same sex status. Same sex couples are welcome at all of our properties, and always have been.

    We hope this correspondence has been helpful in clarifying the matter at hand, and we sincerely apologize for any confusion generated by it.


    Thank you,

    Preferred Guest Resorts
    Quality Assurance Department
    (888) 261-8543 (Toll Free USA/Canada)

    Posted by: crbmex | Nov 1, 2013 11:07:37 AM


  19. I just received this email from the company...note the use of "orientation"...

    It is not our policy to prevent couples from traveling to any of our properties due to their sexual orientation.

    What occurred was truly unfortunate, and we are in the process of addressing the matter both internally and externally.
    We have since reached out to the affected couple, and extended our most sincere apologies for their obvious inconvenience.
    We have also educated our entire staff, as our agents were clearly at fault in rejecting this gentleman's reservation request
    based on the couples same sex status. Same sex couples are welcome at all of our properties, and always have been.

    We hope this correspondence has been helpful in clarifying the matter at hand, and we sincerely apologize for any confusion generated by it.


    Thank you,

    Preferred Guest Resorts
    Quality Assurance Department
    (888) 261-8543 (Toll Free USA/Canada)

    Posted by: crbmex | Nov 1, 2013 11:07:37 AM


  20. Ladislao,

    It is not our policy to prevent couples from traveling to any of our properties due to their sexual orientation.

    What occurred was truly unfortunate, and we are in the process of addressing the matter both internally and externally.
    Our management has since reached out to the affected couple, and extended our most sincere apologies for their obvious inconvenience.
    We have also educated our entire staff, as our agents were clearly at fault in rejecting this gentleman's reservation request
    based on the couples same sex status. Same sex couples are welcome at all of our properties, and always have been.

    I wrote to the site and this is the response I received from them. It looks like they are genuinely trying to correct this error.

    We hope this correspondence has been helpful in clarifying the matter at hand, and we sincerely apologize for any confusion generated by it.


    Thank you,

    Preferred Guest Resorts
    Quality Assurance Department
    (888) 261-8543 (Toll Free USA/Canada)

    Posted by: ladi | Nov 1, 2013 11:08:23 AM


  21. "we can assure you that we will do everything in our power to bring you back to the point in which you were at when you initially agreed to this purchase, as we are able to fulfill your package exactly as we initially promised intended to do.'

    Oh, HELL no. "Back to the point where you were" is absolutely nowhere near enough. That's just "let's pretend this never happened."

    If they are not offering to comp the visit as a minimum, sue their asses.

    Can anyone IMAGINE them telling "Oh, we don't allow black people" and then trying to backtrack JUST to "where you were before we were horribly offensive and unforgivably bigoted to your face?"

    "That representative has been disciplined, the whole staff will be getting training on this issue, and we'd like your phone number so the Vice President of Oh God We Put Our Foot In It This Time can call you at your earliest convenience" is just the start of "everything in [their] power."

    Posted by: Lymis | Nov 1, 2013 11:25:20 AM


  22. This is what I wrote to them:

    Your choice of expression "sexual preference" is inaccurate, unless you believe that you CHOSE to be heterosexual, rather than say, homosexual. If you yourselves chose NOT to be gay, then perhaps the word "preference" might be correct. But I doubt sincerely that you, like everyone else, chose one or the other, simply because you know you are not gay or know you are not straight. No one has to be told to be one or the other... You just know.

    You would be more accurate to use the expression "sexual orientation."

    I commend you for your apology to the gay couple initially denied the Vegas trip but hope you will reissue your apology using words that clearly state the facts, not an opinion.

    It might seem a subtle difference to you, but understand clearly that the concept of choosing one's sexual orientation is used by homophobic people to justify their anti-gay stance, and to continue denying rights to people who had no choice whatsoever in who they are.

    Thank you for your reconsideration.

    Posted by: Jim Ross | Nov 1, 2013 11:27:59 AM


  23. It appears that empty, flowery "apologies" are standard operating procedure for this scam operation. If you look at the dozens of complaints on http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/directory/preferred-guest-resorts you'll see that in every case the company replies with some B.S. about how what happened (usually a poor old lady being robbed of her social security check) was a mistake or due to a rogue agent. Asking them to "reconsider" their use of the term "sexual preference" is like asking a mugger to call you "sir" instead of "b*tch" while he's taking your wallet.

    Posted by: DW | Nov 1, 2013 12:43:27 PM


  24. No suggestion on my part excusing their actions or words, but why not use this opportunity to teach rather than badger? Perhaps they don't really understand the difference i pointed out. And I HAVE been robbed... No use of "Sir" on my part and it was frightening, believe me. Really, no comparison. DW, take a deep breadth and chill.

    And yes I do hope this couple sues if all they get is this lame apology.

    Posted by: Jim Ross | Nov 1, 2013 1:15:20 PM


  25. It's so strange that apparently the New Orleans and Orlando timeshares were alright but VEGAS, heavens no!

    Posted by: Xanadu | Nov 1, 2013 1:26:37 PM


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