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EX-RESORT MEMBER NOT A HAPPY CAMPER

Q I'M HOPING YOU can help to get my money back from Rainbow Lake Resort in East Otto. On April 27, 1988, I went to the resort in response to their offer of free gifts and a promotional tour of their facilities.

During the tour, I made it clear that I did not have any plan to purchase a recreational vehicle or camper. My main interest was in their rental units. I was quoted a price of $1 per foot for the vehicles, or $24 a night for their 24-foot unit and $26 for their 26-foot model. This price was also shown to me in one of their brochures. In looking at one of their display units, I asked if they were air-conditioned. I was shown the air conditioning and was told that all the units had one.

. . . To Francie Chemaly of Snyder from USA Buyer's Network in Roanoke, Va.: "A refund check in the amount of $18.42 is being issued for the non-receipt of her merchandise. She may expect to receive it within the next two to three weeks." . . .

Based on what they told me, I paid a deposit of $295 to join their resort. I then had second thoughts and called them back on May 2 to cancel my membership. After much talk and a promise that they would waive a $100-a-year maintenance fee, I decided not to cancel. I made two monthly payments of $60.74 each before going to the resort over the June 18 weekend.

When I arrived, I was told that the 24-foot unit I wanted was $30 a night instead of $24 and the 26-foot unit was $38. I paid for the two nights, since I was there, and went to the unit. I found it did not have any air conditioning unit. I asked about that and was told none of them had air conditioning.

I asked about the display unit and was told that some did have air conditioning but they weren't hooked up. I was told that I had been given incorrect information when I joined and there was nothing they could do about it. I asked to have my membership canceled and my money returned, and they flatly refused. I had my lawyer contact them and he was refused. I've given them $416.48 based on information that has proven to be false.

--R.B., Perry
A YOU HAVE TO bear part of the blame for this problem for not getting all of the particulars -- including your price and the promise of air conditioning -- in writing before you paid for your membership. "Second thoughts" are a common consumer affliction, especially when signing a contract without first taking a few days to think it over.

In any event, we contacted Lynn Reynolds Jr., vice president of operations for Rainbow Lake Resort, and he tells us "Our RV rental unit prices for members in 1988 were $30 per night for a 24- to 26-foot unit which sleeps four or six, and $38 per night for a 35-foot unit which sleeps eight.

"At some of our affiliated Coast to Coast resorts, the rates are listed at $1 per foot, while others my be slightly higher, as we are. He may be confusing their rates with our resort's rates.

"We do not use air conditioning in any of the units located at our resort and there is not and was no such air conditioning unit in our display model.

"His contract was canceled in December 1988, and we paid off the balance of his loan due to the bank. If he wishes to reinstate his contract we will be happy to do so; however we do not feel that these complaints are valid and justify any further refund. We have previously discussed these matters with his attorney and would be happy to discuss them further if he so desires."

Consumer grams
. . .To Mrs. Kenneth Garland of West Seneca from Terri Knudsvig of the Carlson Promotion Group in Maple Plain, Minn.: "I'm sorry to hear that she has not received her order. We have long since run out of inventory, so we are unable to send her a bear. I will be sending her a check for 75 cents, and she should receive that within two or three weeks. We're sorry for the inconvenience this has caused her.". . .

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