Bay City, Michigan is the center of controversy over the marketing tactics of Outdoor Adventures, a well-known Bay City hotel chain that is accused of high-pressure sales tactics, misleading advertising, and lies. According to consumer complaints, Outdoor Adventures sell customers on a dream vacation package that comes with all the luxuries of home, including high-class meals at their restaurants, expensive rooms, and transportation to their hotels. Some complain that these are features most people cannot afford, and many of the perks are not necessary for a quality trip. Some have even said that they did not even get to choose where they would stay on the vacation. Outdoor Finders
In response to the customer complaints, Outdoor Adventures claim that they “deliver great customer service and an excellent vacation experience” and that their goal is to deliver a vacation that fits your needs. However, in several consumer lawsuits, plaintiffs have accused the company of lying to customers about the true costs of their vacation, misleading customers about what to expect on vacation, and failing to deliver on promised amenities. https://www.wikihow.com/Find-Direction-Without-a-Compass
The biggest complaint of all, according to the lawsuits filed by former customers of Outdoor Adventures, is that the vacation package does not provide them with any real reason to go on vacation in the first place. The company boasts that it can help a customer to enjoy a luxurious vacation without worrying about money, or even the hassle of paying for it. For example, in one advertisement, Outdoor Adventures claims, “No credit check is required”, while offering to finance all but the most basic of vacation expenses. Other ads promise “no travel insurance required”, despite the fact that a travel insurance policy is required for travelers who will be spending time on their vacation, either by traveling to or within the country. Customers are also not told anything about being able to return to the same location if their vacation is canceled at any time before their trip is over.
Consumers who have used Outdoor Adventures packages say that the promises in their advertisements and brochures are no more than blatant lies. They say that the staff at the company is friendly and professional, and that they offer top-notch service. Even when asked to give testimonials, some people were unable to do so. And claimed to be in a hurry to get out of the office.
In response to the growing consumer dissatisfaction, the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau sent letters to representatives from Outdoor Adventures urging them to change their practices. In some cases, the company was ordered to cease marketing in local markets, stop using language that is deceptive, and to immediately return promotional materials to customers that are defective. Additionally, in a suit filed against Outdoor Adventures, the Federal Trade Commission accused the company of misleading consumers about the terms of the vacation package and demanded refunds and other damages. A complaint against the company also alleged that in late 2020 the company had started calling customers to “pressure” them into buying more packages, including their preferred destination hotels. Both complaints resulted in a settlement agreement.
Although many people are unhappy with the way Outdoor Adventures treated its customers, the resort chain says that it has received several favorable reviews from consumers and that it is working hard to correct problems raised in the complaint investigations. The company maintains that they did nothing wrong, and point out that the complaints come from a group of disgruntled former customers looking to make a quick buck.
“We have received no complaints from anyone who went on our vacation and felt that our company did anything wrong,” says Jim Rolfe, Vice President of Public Relations for Outdoor Adventures. “As a matter of fact, our customer reviews tell a story about how happy our customers are with our service. And since we won’t charge customers who cancel or move away from their reservation until the problem has been resolved, we know our reservations will not be canceled.”
Outdoor Adventures also stresses that there are no safety concerns for those who are vacationing with them. The company, which caters to a wide range of people from golfers to hikers, offers packages that will cater to any level of outdoor experience.