Henry Baumgaertel won a free cruise. At least that what the letter he received a few weeks ago claimed.
All he had to do was attend a presentation. No strings attached.
“Usually we toss those in the waste basket,” he told me.
But not this one. It had the Carnival logo on it, which made him think it was legit.
We were told yes we had won, but we had to go listen to a presentation. It was only 45 minutes, there was no obligation to buy, and it wasn’t a time share.
The Baumgaertels attended the seminar, which was for a travel club. After it ended, they said they weren’t interested in a membership — they just wanted their free cruise.
After a blitz of offers and questions they took ‘no’ for our answer and gave us our award sheet. We filled it out and mailed it.
They sent it to PO Box in Orange City, Fla., which is only a few miles from where I live, by way of full disclosure. A quick online search takes me to this page.
A few weeks later, they received vouchers for a cruise. They needed to be filled out and sent to yet another address. This led them to a company called Eagles Choice, which is based in Woodbridge, Va.
The terms on the “free” offer are troubling to Baumgaertel. There are fees and surcharges and two-for-one offers that he can’t quite decipher. He hasn’t taken the bait — yet.
“My question is: Is this too good to be true?”
Not a scam
This offer may indeed be legit and legal, but it almost certainly will not be free for Baumgaertel and his wife. I think everything hinges on how you define “free.” From what I can see, these companies are asking him to pay something to get his “free” trip. That kind of pricing is not consistent with the actions of a reputable company.
The case for a scam
You mean, apart from the copious fine print, the runaround that this couple has been given, and questionable-looking websites? Uh, just that the online reviews of Eagles Choice are less than flattering.
Let’s help settle this for Baumgaertel. What say you?