Astar 12421 N Florida Avenue, Ste C220,
Astar ASTAR Ripoff - WE GOT REFUNDED Tampa Florida
My parents live in New Zealand and their story is pretty much the same as everyone else's on this site. Got a call that they had qualified for a number of different travel vouchers/trips etc. Needed to pay $998. Transfered through to 2 individuals to confirm processing of transaction.
Parents called back that afternoon to cancel and were told the documents had been processed and they would need to return them with a request to cancel. The documents were not postmarked for another 2 weeks following this call and it took another 10 days for them to arrive in New Zealand. Documents were sent back with letter as requested. A few weeks later documents were returned with no letter explaining why. Upon calling company parents were told the documents had arrived outside of the 30 day cancellation period and that there was nothing the company could do - then they recommended trying to sell the items on eBay.
At this time my parents contacted me (because I am now living in the US - which was probably a huge advantage as I was able to utilize the appropriate departments here to get action and pressure put on Astar.
First - I continually called Astar - yes like everyone else I got the run around, and all the excuses they could give me. People were telling me they had this role and that role and the next time I spoke to them I was told something different by the same person. BUT I continued to call them - as much time as they were on the phone with me was less time they were on the phone scamming someone else.
I was told repeatedly that they would speak with the owner and get back to me - this never happened and when I called back was told the owner had denied the claim.
SECOND AND VERY IMPORTANT!! File a claim with the BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU or BBB in Florida and also file one with the District Attorney's Office in Florida (they may refer you to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Complaints. But be sure to file claims with these departments. It can take a little time but if you want your money back this is what I did.
Following the claims being filed (and I received responses from the office of the District Attorney, Dept for Ag and Consumer, and the BBB) follow up with Astar letting them know that action is being taken against them and it would save them both time and money if they just processed the refund.
FINALLY they agreed to pay the full refund because of the individual and legal pressure that I was going to apply to them (I was not going to let them get away with ripping my parents off). Still the refund did not come through for over 10 days as they said they had to be processed in the order they were submitted BUT last week it was processed.
The process took over 6 weeks once I got involved and to cap everything off the Better Business Bureau contacted me today with Astar's response saying the refund had been made - however you still get the opportunity to leave a report with them at the end in which I explained what had happened through the entire process and asked the BBB take a closer look at their business and practices.
My advice to anyone caught up in this scam is DO NOT GIVE UP. Call them as much as you can (they obviously target International because they think they will not get calls etc as they did from me because I'm at least in the US and was able to repeatedly call - they knew my voice and name by the time I was done with them!). File complaints with the BBB, District Attorney, and Consumer Complaints Dept in Florida.
St Louis, Missouri
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