• Report: #153914

Complaint Review: Astar Travel, All Seasons Travel & Resort

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  • Submitted: Tue, August 16, 2005
  • Updated: Thu, October 23, 2008

  • Reported By:Wellington Other
Astar Travel, All Seasons Travel & Resort
1155 Hammond Drive Suite C13, Atlanta,, Georgia U.S.A.

Astar Travel RIP OFF IN NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA Atlanta, Georgia

*Consumer Comment: If this is such an honest company...

*Consumer Comment: I WENT ON THE HOLIDAY!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Ex-Employee Rebuts Another...Nicole is either a plant from ASTAR Cuatomer Service, or A Complete Idiot

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: EX! Employee

*Consumer Comment: Brian is clearly an employee of this rude and unhelpful company!

*Consumer Comment: Brian you need to be better informed

*Consumer Comment: Brian you need to be better informed

*Consumer Comment: Brian you need to be better informed

*Consumer Comment: Brian you need to be better informed

*UPDATE Employee: It is called telemarketing retards

*Author of original report: She denied that the company had previously been called All Seasons Travel

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Hi

This morning whilst at work I received a phone call from a company called Astar Travel in the USA advising me that I was a lucky winner in a competition that I entered in.

The trip was for 4 people and including:-

7 days, 6 nights in Orlando at the Hilton or Raddam Hotel
2 days cruise in the Bahamas with all entertainment and meals covered but there would be taxes of US$249 pp. On the cruise we could do watersports, deep sea fishing amongst other activities and they would be free.

Then off to Sheraton or Hilton in Ft Lauderdale.

They also offered me the option of 7 days car rental or a 2 day pass to Universal Studios or City Walk.

And the list of goodies went on.

This all sounded too good to be true so I asked them whether they were joking or a radio station playing a crank call. She said that she was indeed calling from America and obviously the call was costing them money.

She said that any meals at restaurants and hotel taxes were my cost, but that they had recently assisted a lady in Australia to use this special and that I was the first person in New Zealand.

I would have 18 mths to travel and could extend it to a total of 2.5 years if necessary.

She asked me whether I was interested and when I said yes she said transferred my call to Delores Brown in the booking department.

They said to lock in this deal I would have to pay by credit card using Visa or Mastercard and the charge would be US$998. I wasn't too keen on this idea so said i would have to talk to my husband first.

She said that she could call my husband for me and placed me on hold to try and connect us on a three way call. Luckily for me my husband was in a meeting and wasn't available for an hour.

She gave me the company's website and told me to have a look at their deals.

Due to the time difference she said that they would be finishing up in 50 mins and would call me back to see if I had managed to contact my husband.

If we went ahead she said that they would send us a Fedex pack with all the information and vouchers filled out in our name. If we decided we didn't want to take the trip she said that we could sell the vouchers to someone else.

About 30 minutes later my work phone went again and another lady was on the phone asking me whether I had contacted my husband and wanted to go ahead with this special offer.

I told her that I wasn't keen on giving out my credit card details to a total stranger over the phone and that I had also done a search on the internet and couldn't find them registered as a travel agency.

She advised me that they were a travel resort company.

I then told her that after doing a search on google I had found several rip off reports about their company. She immediately transferred me to her manager who tried to explain the situation that obviously some customers changed their minds and demanded refunds. If they were refused they reported them on this website that I had found.

I then mentioned that I had found out that they were also 3 pages of websites of complaints about them when they were All Seasons Travel and Resort. Upon saying that he immediately hung up.

I have called the police and spoken to Interpol who have advised me that it is indeed a SCAM. They told me to report it to the Consumers Affairs and also to contact Trade Me.

I have sent two email to the lady who has the vouchers on Trade Me telling her my story and to go to this website.

Tracy
Wellington
New Zealand

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/16/2005 06:46 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Astar-Travel-All-Seasons-Travel-Resort/Atlanta-Georgia-30328/Astar-Travel-RIP-OFF-IN-NEW-ZEALAND-AUSTRALIA-Atlanta-Georgia-153914. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

If this is such an honest company...

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (U.S.A.)

Why are they calling people and telling them that they "won" something and that they only have to pay taxes on the prize (common scam tactic). The ex-employees posting here have made it pretty clear that this is just a telemarketing sales outfit. Why does the pitch start off with a lie? Why does the supposed $249 charge for "taxes" suddenly escalate to $998? Does any of this sound honest or reputable?
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#2 Consumer Comment

I WENT ON THE HOLIDAY!

AUTHOR: Karinadivina - (Australia)

I am someone from Australia who actually went on the holiday. I also read the Ripoff Reports before we went and freaked out that we had done the wrong thing. It was all ok. PLease read MY report (Report: #354519) at http://www.ripoffreport.com/re... Cheers!
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Ex-Employee Rebuts Another...Nicole is either a plant from ASTAR Cuatomer Service, or A Complete Idiot

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

Yes, companies like ASTAR are a total RIPOFF. They play on peoples emotions, and with calls to Europe, they use the language barrier to their advantage. This trip is no bargain at all. Your accommodations are only for 2 people! Sure, you can take 4 people, but you will need to try to squeeze them all into only one room! Most people decline the cruise option; after all, paying the departure fees and port taxes IS paying for the entire cruise, which, by the way, is for ONLY TWO PEOPLE! Hey but just for you, they will add an extra 3 days and 2 nights in Las Vegas! You just need to spend another boat-load of money to get yourself there. Are you getting the idea yet? Your "small promotional fee" is going to turn into thousands of dollars for plane tickets, room taxes, port fees, and on and on. Most people never use these trips. It winds up being 100% pure profit for companies like ASTAR Travel.

If you have been robbed by companies like ASTAR you need to investigate and find out what your rights are. Realize ONE MAIN THING here. Companies like ASTAR are breaking the laws of the USA, and the State of Florida! They do not want you making alot of noise and drawing a bunch of attention to them. So, remember one thing here; "The squeaky wheel gets the grease!" So make some noise. Email ASTAR and let them know that you are not going away until you get your money back. Send correspondence to officials in the State of Florida, and Government officials of The City of Tampa, Florida.

According to the laws in Florida governing sellers of travel, you are supposed to be sent a WRITTEN COPY OF THE RECORDING AUTHORIZING THE CHARGE TO YOUR CREDIT CARD. Did any of you get this? Of course not! Why? Because ASTAR is breaking the law and they don't want you knowing your rights. YOU ALSO HAVE A RIGHT TO A FULL REFUND WITHIN 30 DAYS! YES, 30 days, but ASTAR will lie and tell you it is only 10 days.

VERY, VERY, IMPORTANT, READ THIS...

As soon as you realize you have been ripped off, CALL YOUR BANK!!! Did you get that last part? I said, CALL YOUR BANK! Yes, call your bank and DISPUTE THE CHARGE on your Visa or MasterCard. Tell the bank you were scammed. Tell them you did not receive a WRITTEN COPY OF THE RECORDING AUTHORIZING THE CHARGE TO YOUR CREDIT CARD. Any reputable Bank will have the authority to reverse the charge to your credit card, sometimes even several months after the charge.(This is known as a CHARGEBACK) I WILL SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST!!! Thieves like ASTAR TRAVEL can not stay in business without a Merchant Account. What is that you ask? A merchant account is what allows them to charge services to your credit card. Without a merchant account, ASTAR Travel is out of business. Every time a Bank reverses a charge to a credit card, IT COSTS ASTAR A FEE, and it issues a strike against their merchant account! Too many strikes, they lose their merchant account, and they are no longer authorized to take payments by Visa or MasterCard! Then they would be out of business.

How do I know these things? I WORKED AT ASTAR! I didn't know it was a scam when I started working for them, but I am not stupid. Last but not least, I would like to sincerely apologize for anyone out there that I may have hurt when I worked for ASTAR. I hope something I have said here might help some of you to get your money back. Remember, don't give up. You can get your money back, sometimes even several months later. Good luck!

Anonymous, Tampa, Florida
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

EX! Employee

AUTHOR: Nicole - (U.S.A.)

With that said... being no longer employed there I have every opportunity to dis this company if that was what they deserved. However, Astar and I parted on good terms and they are indeed A VERY REPUTABLE COMPANY.

IF... you get the right phone call.

Alot of people in telemarketing bottom line want to make the sale. And not because they get very much IF ANY compensation for it at all but simply because its doing their job. If you work in an office you wouldn't go into work every day and play on the computer or you'd lose your job. No you go in and do what you're supposed to do. The purpose of a sales or promotion job at a travel agency or anywhere is to obviously... sell!

Therefore... a lot employees (although forbid by management to do so) make it seem like this is a free vacation. It is not. And those employees that do are repeatedly FIRED from Astar.

THIS IS NOT FREE. HOWEVER... IT IS AN EXXXXXTRRRRRREMMMMMLY GREAT OFFER!!!! If you talk to a good employee they will never tell you that this is free. You buy your own airfare, pay your port taxes of $249 or $199 for the cruise and your own incidentals at the hotel & taxes and you get your 2 week vacation for the $799 or $999 (canda/international). It's unbeatable. They're beautiful hotels and you will have an amazing time!

-The package is extendable.
-Its for 4 ppl. (More if children are young or infants)
-You get a rental car OR passes to universal studios.
-NO you can not go on a shopping spree in the bahamas thats paid for (dumbass, i shouldn't even have to say that) You can however relax on the beautiful beaches for free. Or pay to go diving or on a boatride yourself.
-ALL your meals and entertainment on the ship IS free and included.
-Your alcohol is not.

And if you're that damn broke that you can't afford this amazing vacation (minus your airfare) for less than $1,500 for all 4 ppl after EVERYTHING is said and done. Which is less than $375 per person.... THEN GO TO HELL AND STOP FILLING OUT FREAKING FORMS ON THE INTERNET ASKING... I REPEAT ASKING ...TO BE CONTACTED!!!!

READ and PRINT what you are filling out.

LISTEN to what you are being told.

ASK questions and everything will be okay!

Bottom line. Its a great deal. If you plan on going on vacation. Have a little money to spend doing so. Then take it. You are in great hands and will have a great time!
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#5 Consumer Comment

Brian is clearly an employee of this rude and unhelpful company!

AUTHOR: Cate - (Australia)

The true colors of All Seasons Travel and Resorts have shone through, with this spiteful unhelpful response from Brian. This person shows all the charming personality traits that seems typical of the staff in Customer Service. I have been hung up on (numerous times) spoken to rudely and are yet to get confirmation of the so called holiday that I purchased!

I've got one thing to say to you Brian..."Its a Scam...your whole life!"
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#6 Consumer Comment

Brian you need to be better informed

AUTHOR: Frank - (Canada)

Hello Brian, perhaps your "telemarketing" definition includes lies, inuendoes, false advertising and pure confusion but most people's don't. I do not think that legitimate telemarketers are into what this company does. I can speak from experience as I was one who actually took the trip. Lo and behold it was nothing like that first promised/offered. Either stop defending the underhanded methods of obtaining credit card authorization or find a more legitimate job!
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#7 Consumer Comment

Brian you need to be better informed

AUTHOR: Frank - (Canada)

Hello Brian, perhaps your "telemarketing" definition includes lies, inuendoes, false advertising and pure confusion but most people's don't. I do not think that legitimate telemarketers are into what this company does. I can speak from experience as I was one who actually took the trip. Lo and behold it was nothing like that first promised/offered. Either stop defending the underhanded methods of obtaining credit card authorization or find a more legitimate job!
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#8 Consumer Comment

Brian you need to be better informed

AUTHOR: Frank - (Canada)

Hello Brian, perhaps your "telemarketing" definition includes lies, inuendoes, false advertising and pure confusion but most people's don't. I do not think that legitimate telemarketers are into what this company does. I can speak from experience as I was one who actually took the trip. Lo and behold it was nothing like that first promised/offered. Either stop defending the underhanded methods of obtaining credit card authorization or find a more legitimate job!
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#9 Consumer Comment

Brian you need to be better informed

AUTHOR: Frank - (Canada)

Hello Brian, perhaps your "telemarketing" definition includes lies, inuendoes, false advertising and pure confusion but most people's don't. I do not think that legitimate telemarketers are into what this company does. I can speak from experience as I was one who actually took the trip. Lo and behold it was nothing like that first promised/offered. Either stop defending the underhanded methods of obtaining credit card authorization or find a more legitimate job!
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#10 UPDATE Employee

It is called telemarketing retards

AUTHOR: Brian - (U.S.A.)

I work for astar travel in the telemarketing department and it is very hard to comprehend that you think this is a scam r u retarded u have our corporate address, our website, our customer service number. My name is Brian harris
i live in tampa florida my personal cell number is 813 846 5002 i am very happy at my job and for u to tell me my livelihood is a scam is rather rude, uninformed and unintelligent. In fact i live with dolores brown, she is my manager as well. How can i work for a fake company that pays me benefits and 401k. Do even have that in New Zealand. Probally not. Anyway sorry u r such a suspicious person, maybe a little bit too paranoid, u probally would have enjoyed our discounted holiday to florida and the bahamas. call us back @ our customer service # on our website and we will sell it to you with no discount if u can afford it. Another thing try contacting visa or mastercards coorporate office to see if we r licensed with them and you will see we have a merchant account with both companys. It takes brains retard, think before you slander someone on false information yoiu know nothing about, and please keep calling the police on us so when so we can have a laugh on U. And another thing, this website was created by ed madgisuck to extort money from legitimate companies. Call me tracy and maybe we can go out.
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#11 Author of original report

She denied that the company had previously been called All Seasons Travel

AUTHOR: Tracy - (New Zealand)

18/8/05 @ 0912hrs

Received another call from a staff member called Angela asking me if I wanted to go thru with their offer.

I advised her that I had already spoken to their manager yesterday before he hung up on me. She reckoned that they got disconnected and tried to ring me back but my phone didn't call and I have an answering machine and I had no missed calls on my caller id.

I explained to her about all the rip off reports and my conversation with Interpol in Wellington. She asked me who Interpol were and I said the International Police.

She put me on hold and after 2 minutes came back on the line and asked me who I was. When I told her my name she was back into her speech saying that of course they are going to have customers complaining but I said I found over 60 on one website alone called Ripoff Reports.

She denied that the company had previously been called All Seasons Travel as well even though they have the same address and phone number. How odd!!

Asked her not to contact me again and to take my name off any database that I am on.

She tried to explain to me that all the conversation are tape recorded once you go thru to their verification of giving out your credit card details. If this is so how come people that have complained against them, asked for refunds haven't had any responses to their email and phone calls. Some of the credit card companies have even refunded unhappy customers with the funds debited from their credit cards by these companies!!!
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