After feeling pressured into buying a travel package she didn't really want, Whangarei's Veronica Vroegop decided she would apply a bit of pressure herself.

The 68-year-old has been refunded $1264 she forked out after a fast-talking American woman did the hard-sell on a holiday package over the phone.

Ms Vroegop raised her concerns about the company earlier this month after she clicked on an internet "pop-up" ad saying she had won US$3000 ($4100) worth of travel.

She phoned a number and after a 90-minute conversation she handed over her credit card details and paid $1264 for holiday "extras".


Investigations by the Northern Advocate revealed the company, Exploria Vacations, which was selling the deals to Summer Bay Orlando resort, was legitimate.

Resort billing manager Gene Persson said the offer was a summer promotion and people from around the world took advantage of the packages and there was only a limited number available.

Ms Vroegop, after being reassured the company was legitimate, this week contacted Mr Persson and expressed her concern over how she felt forced into buying the holiday package.

"There's no way I could take up the offer with all the other associated costs like airfares, and I wanted my money back," she said.

"I just repeated my assertion that I wanted my money back. I stressed again and again that I was under duress and under pressure when I agreed to the package."

Mr Persson made a verbal agreement to refund the money and in an email, dated July 12, Esmilsy Diaz of Exploria Resorts confirmed "a refund has been issued".

The money would be processed and should show in Ms Vroegop's account in seven days.

"I'm so relieved," Ms Vroegop said. She thanked the Northern Advocate for their help and Age Concern for their support.

Whangarei's Age Concern president Beryl Wilkinson said people had to be alert to hard-sell callers and nip them in the bud before they felt pressured.

"Just end it quickly and politely, be strong and put the phone down," she urged.

The package provided by Exploria Vacations included seven days and six nights at Summer Bay Resort in Orlando, three days and two nights on a cruise in the Bahamas, four days and three nights in Daytona Central Florida Beach, one-week car hire and a bonus of five days and four nights in Costa Rica.