• Report: #227454

Complaint Review: Freedom Gold/ Suntasia Marketing (also Affiliated With TeliFlex, Distinct Advantage)

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  • Submitted: Wed, December 27, 2006
  • Updated: Fri, December 29, 2006

  • Reported By:stone mountain Georgia
Freedom Gold/ Suntasia Marketing (also Affiliated With TeliFlex, Distinct Advantage)
10500 Ulmerton Road Ste. 726-302 Largo, Florida U.S.A.

Freedom Gold (Suntasia Marketing , Travel Agents Go Direct, Distinct Advantage, Floridaway,) Telemarketing scam that lied and charged my checking account with out my authorization Largo Florida

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Typical Suntasia Response!

*Author of original report: Suntasia Marketing - Freedom Gold - TeliFlex - Distinct Advantage straight up lied to me, stole from me, and signed me up with additional scams

*Consumer Comment: Aside from your other babble

*UPDATE Employee: false report filed

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on 12/22/06 a check went through my checking account that charged me $149.00 from freedom gold. i had never heard of this company or agreed to any fees from this company. i researched them and found MANY reports of scam and fraud about this company.

Apparently they are well known for doing this and many other people got the $149.00 charge for absolutely nothing in return and no agreement to any fees. i had recieved a call a month ago about a FREE gas certificate and agreed to that but i questioned the caller many times making sure there were no charges or fees to be expected and the caller assured me many times that i would not be charged or agree to any kind of membership.

according to ripoffreport.com, all the calls for freedom gold and many other companies (Travel Agents Go Direct, Distinct Advantage, Freedom gold, Floridaway, Prism Communications, Agents Travel Network, Capitol Vacations, Travel Agency Network, Teliflex Communications, and Versa Talk) originate from Suntasia Marketing 8751 Ulmerton Road Largo, FL 33771 phone # 727-471-0276.

According to the many complaints of fraud i have read, once you agree to the "reward" from one of these companies without agreeing to any fee or membership, then you are automatically signed up with memberships to the other companies and promotions which contain charges and fees.

I currently have only been charged from Freedom Gold (without ever using them and being told there was no charge and never receiving anything from them) for $149.00 but i recieved in the mail a letter and a card from TeliFlex (which is in conjunction with Suntasia Marketing) that said i would be charged $49.95 starting 1/04/07 because my 21 day free trial would be up.

i have called and emailed both freedom gold and teliflex to cancel. The operators said my plans have been cancelled, but i wouldnt be surprized if they were lying about that too. I also called Distinct Advantage (who i never recieved a phone call from or recieved anything in the mail about) after reading the other promotions attached with Suntasia and they said i had a membership also (i havent recieved anything from this company!) and cancelled that too.

I wouldnt be surprised if i have membership and future charges with all the companies and promotions associated with Suntasia Marketing. The only thing i have ever agreed to was the FREE gas certificate from Freedom Gold and the only contact i have had was that original phone call about the gas certificate (which i never received either) and the package from TeliFlex.

Ripoffreport.com told me i should get in contact with your office about this obvious scam. What should i do about this? This has to be illegal and these criminals need to be stopped and refund the unauthorized charges.

Michael
stone mountain, Georgia
U.S.A.

According to the majority of victims interviewed by Rip-off Report, those who immediately called their banks to dispute the charges did not get very far. Many victims got the following responses from their banks: we could not do anything for you or you waited too long; it hasbeenmore than 60 days.

If the bank is says that you have waited too long, explain to them how you called their 800 number as soon as the charges were found, and were told by the bank that nothing could be done. Remind the bank that they failed to assist youproperly at the 800 #, and instead, provided you with an inadequate explanation of your right to dispute. Tell the bank that it's their fault time has expired, and since they gave you the wrong info to begin with, they will just have to dealwith it,take the loss and reverse the charges.

Tell them the truth; this was unauthorized and your account was NOT to be charged! Keep emphasizing how you never authorized anything! Direct them to the hundreds of victims reports that were filed on Rip-off Report.com. And if you're at the bank, walk them over to their computer and make them go to this site! If you are on the phone with them, tell them you will wait while they access this site! Either way, be persistent!

DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!

Let them know nicely, that you were advised to Report them (the Bank) and this situation to the Banking Commission in your state. Since each state has a different name for the agency/controller over banks, find that name before you call or get to the bank so you can throw it in their face. The more knowledgeable you appear to be, the further you will get.

And just continue to demand the Federal Regulation E form! The bank CAN, MUST and WILL reverse the charge! But, you must be persistent; ask to speak to the supervisor or the area manager for all the branches in the state.

Let the bank personnel know you are meeting with the media later in the day, that you would much rather they do the right thing (as most other banks have) by looking at the complaints and immediately reversing the chargetruth.

If you have to, be loud (but nice) in front of other customers. If you are just calling by phone, the above tactics s) to your account; no matter how long ago it was.Be sure to call the Media if necessary so you are telling the EDitor's Suggestions on how to get your money back!

HERE IS WHAT RIP-OFF REPORT SUGGESTS YOU DO:

demand tion E.
Go to your bank within 60 days of the charge, or as soon as you know about the charge, don't delay, and tell them that there has been fraudulent activity within your account. Explain that you wish to file a dispute, and orm.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/27/2006 08:08 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Freedom-Gold-Suntasia-Marketing-also-Affiliated-With-TeliFlex-Distinct-Advantage/Largo-Florida-33771/Freedom-Gold-Suntasia-Marketing-Travel-Agents-Go-Direct-Distinct-Advantage-Floridaway-227454. 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.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Typical Suntasia Response!

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

My, my, my. It never ceases to amaze me how some people stay blinded to the facts especially as an employee.

Well Cristina I am about to educate you with facts on your precious Suntasia which everyone knows is a COMPLETE scam. The only reason they stay one step of the law is through the slick wording in the script which Suntasia's crooked lawyers created. How do I know this? Because I use to be a manager there and my experience (about a year) at Suntasia was an eye opener. Fasten your seat belt woman because it's going to be a bumpy ride of reality.

To all who read this, I am going to tell you what Cristina doesn't mention in her defense of this shameful company. Also keep in mind every Suntasia employee has used the same defense. "We are honest and the customer is to blame".

Bullcrap!

The programs and the companies they currently promote are:

Travel Agents Go Direct
Distinct Advantage
Freedom Gold
FloridaWay
Prism Communications

Here is a list of programs they use to promote:

Agents Travel Network
Capitol Vacations
Travel Agency Network
Florida Passport
Teliflex Communications
VersaTalk

ALL the companies listed above have an ?unsatisfactory? rating with the Better Business Bureau including Suntasia Marketing itself which has over 160 complaints in the last 36 months alone. It was just recently updated. Go to the BBB site and type in the names so you can see the reports yourself.

Or how about Cristina the six, count them SIX bank alerts specifically mentioning Suntasia and Distinct Advantage in the last 6 months alone. They are as follows:

Florida Telco Credit Union
Teachers Federal Credit Union
Members 1st Federal Credit Union
UVA Community Credit Union
GESA Credit Union
Bridgeview Bank

Maybe you forgot the 3 tv news stations that have exposed your company as a scam. Oh wait I think you missed that to. Here let me help you AGAIN!

CBS Channel 2 in Pittsburgh

http://kdka.com/consumer/local_story_265165935.html

ABC Channel 7 in Omaha

http://www.ketv.com/iteam/9727067/detail.html

ABC Channel 4 in Seattle

http://www.kendallwatch.us/community/telemarketers-using-costco-s-name-to-entice-you-to-buy

You're under investigation for the second time in 6 years for "unfair and deceptive business practices" not to mention "illegal debiting of checking accounts". Your company has even hired an outside law firm to handle their mess. That in itself is a major statement. The first time you guys got caught was back in 2000, your company had to give back refunds in 16 states. Did you miss that to lady? Here is the link, myfloridalegal.com. Just type the letters FTN in the search box. Raed 'em and weep lady. Facts are facts!

The names, addresses and phone numbers are obtained through a third party company that Suntasia purchases it from. The agent usually says over the phone that you made a purchase through one of their 400, 1000, 1700 affiliates (pick a number yourself) and that is how your name was entered into their system for this special promotion. ALL A BIG FAT LIE! Like I said before, they bought the names and numbers from another company for anywhere from .20 cents to up to .60 cents per name. Oh and by the way this same information that can be sold to another company by the people who bought them in the first place.

The script in itself is suspect because it never tells you on the recording when your so called "free" trial begins or ends thus Suntasia has often charged people's bank accounts before they even got the package. The $100 in gas and $400 in travel vouchers your company offers as "free" gifts mean very little b/c you have to be a member of the program in order to use them. Even if you are, the vouchers can't be used all at the same time. $10 increments for the gas and $100 increments for the travel vouchers. You have to get a very high priced ticket to get the first $100 off. Not worth it.

Agents often misrepresent themselves before the recording starts b/c they know what the customer is going to ask. Like for example telling the customer that they have their account information on hand when they only have their name, address and phone number on their screen. That's misleading lady. Don't tell me the agents pretend to be honest especially if they manage to get the routing number so they could fool the customer into thinking ALL their account information has to be verified by them.

Your agents also NEVER tell the customer that they have to call 3 different numbers to cancel plus they must write a letter to the company requesting a refund and in there lies the problem. No where before, during or after the recording does the agent tell the customer that they have to call 3 different numbers or send a letter if they want to cancel and get their money back.

Agents are trained NOT to give out the customer service number b/c they know the customer will then call to cancel immediately. If for some reason they should ask for the CS number, the agent simply tells them "Oh it will be on the package when it arrives". Another words "acknowledge and ignore". It is a VERY well known training tool at Suntasia.

Agents also don't tell them that if they do cancel there is a $29 processing fee which they pay. It's in the fine print Cristina. Didn't think I knew that did you? The customer is led to believe if they call customer service everything will be taken care of. It's just a matter of the "slick" wording in the script on your lawyers part which he created.

People often have a hard time cancelling b/c they get the run around. The first thing you guys do is offer $200 in gas vouchers which are basically worthless instead of giving the refund. It isn't until the customer takes a stand and starts complaining that the money is returned.

So you see Cristina it's what you don't tell the folks on this site that bothers me the most and the funny thing is that if I wasn't a former employee I would of believed part of your useless "scripted" defense you posted.

As long as you guys continue to deny the facts people are going to go after you but then again you do teach your agents to "acknowledge and ignore", so I guess you practice what you preach after all. lol
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#2 Author of original report

Suntasia Marketing - Freedom Gold - TeliFlex - Distinct Advantage straight up lied to me, stole from me, and signed me up with additional scams

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

i cant believe what i just read in Christina's rebuttal, who claims has worked for Suntasia Marketing off and on over the last 10 years. This was an interesting and uniquely original outlook and opinion on Suntasia Marketing, also comming from an employee(we'll just say thats true) of this popularly honest company was a refreashing view.

From what i understood from Christina's reply, Suntasia apparently does make sure their telemarketers, whom have the honor of representing this fair and proud company, are monitored closely so they dont mislead the victim on the phone into thinking the call and recording is absolute free with no surprize checking charges of $149 and along with additional unauthorized memberships to Suntasia's other promotional scams.

I mean, just look at the facts about the MANY happy and well treated individuals whom do business with this company online with no complaints of fraud or scam. Nothing but honest working employees at Suntasia. Even the fact that the company has over 500 filed complaints through the Better Business Bureau, or that they are being investigated for unfair business proctices and misleading sales and fraud checking account activity by the Florida Attorney General (just like they were in 2000, and lost) or the fact that they had to hire an outside law firm to deal with the increasing investigations and scam complaints doesnt mean they aren't a fair company. honestly, your reply was the first and only opinion i have read out of so so many complaints and opinions about this company and its related scam promotions. Ive even read many reports of Suntasia employees admitting to mistreating and straight up lying to persons contacted for unauthorized memberships and charges.

You say the consumer is just dumb and dont listen to the caller, but you appently didnt read what i wrote about my conversation with the telemarketer. She told me(it might of been you) many times that there was no charge or membership, only the free gas card that i still have never received. honestly i dont see how you wrote your reply. maybe you are the only honest person that works there, but from what i experience and what everyone else is experiencing with this scam, were were lied to about any charges or memberships, even after i asked. tell me Christina, what exactly is the $149 check for? i havent received anything from these promotions or agreed to or was informed about a charge, and its kinda wierd how everyone is being charges the same amount of $149 even thouth its through different promotions and offers?
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#3 Consumer Comment

Aside from your other babble

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

This is the only truthful line in the rebuttal:

"...(Im sure u wouldnt by a car without test driving it..)"

In which, you are absolutely correct. And that is then the time one would offer to purchase. There was no need for any type of financial info needed to test drive a car as it is not a scam. There isn't even any financial info needed until there is indeed an agreement to purchase.

Your continued service excuse is garbage. You are hoping to catch people off guard and trusting only to rail them at every opportunity.
If the products you hawk are legit, they can stand on their own merit and people will continue service on their own. But, your stuf is crap and you are a scam.
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#4 UPDATE Employee

false report filed

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

First of all I'd like to say that this web site is great...any type of job that I have considered I use this site to get insight negative or positive about a company. I have worked for Suntasia on and off for quite a few years. The company has been in business for ten years now. The comments posted about this company are negative and false.

Each call center in every room is monitored by managers, asst managers, and a third party compliance to make sure that a representative is not misleading the person contacted.

Unfortunately because of identity theft and people being charged fraudulently in thier own eyes this company gets a bad reputation. Every program that is offered is under no obligation to be purchased or continued with. The gifts are legitimate and free regardless of the decision made by the consumer.

The company uses direct mailing as their form of advertising. Everything is legitimate, when a rep calls the only information they have is that a product or service was purchased in the past with one of their affiliates using a checking account, in no way do people get ripped off by Suntasia. After speaking with someone on the phone and obtaining their banking information it is to make sure if they want to continue with any program that is offered that we would have a way to bill them for it if they want to continue after the free trial...(Im sure u wouldnt by a car without test driving it..)

All the programs affiliated with my company if one chooses to continue after the free trial period are paid for by doing a bank draft directly from your checking account. When a rep calls all they know is that you purchased a product or service using your checking account with one of their marketing partners. No specific information is given....all the company does is verify that an account is open in case you want to continue with a program that they have to offer....Again they use a bank draft as a form of payment.

I'm an honest representative... I don't lie, cheat, or have any benefit from misleading the other person on the line. Everything is recorded meaning the terms and conditions of the pricing of the programs if one continues after the free trial and so forth... Yes it is a verbal contract on that recorded line, if you do not call to cancel you will be billed because the company will assume you like whatever program they are offering,

When on the recorded line depending on what program you initially pitch most likely there will be 2 more programs to look over. I think this is where people get misled and angry!
Each program has a different trial period. At the end of the call u may have agreed to three trial periods, if at any time on the recorded line if you ask a question and a rep answers something incorrectly or compliance which listens to the recording feels the consumer doesnt understand whats going on "when in doubt kick it out" that is the whole point of a recorded line.

I read messages here that said people didnt recieve the package until the day the trial ended. I find that hard to beleive; the packages are post dated sent first class mail and put all that aside, the reps are not allowed to give the cust serv number or number to cancel without the other party asking for it.

As skeptical as I can personally be I would certainly enquire a million questions/concerns/contact info etc. about what is being offered. Suntasia employees are never taught to mislead, lie, or deceive anyone. All they ask is that one reviews the information decide for themselves if a program can benefit one by saving some money.

As far as these rip off reports Ive been misled and informed by this website. Suntasia and all the programs affiliated are legitimate, Terms and Conditions are clearly stated and as an educated consumer its so funny--what would stop u from asking for the number to cancel before u agree to recieve something??? Occasionally people do ask for the number in case they never get it in the mail...I hope u would too ...( Suntasia aside )any company that one deals with-
Be a smart consumer, know your rights and take advantage of the benefits and many promotions companies have to offer.

Also remember banks are here to protect us from any unauthorized charges. This company should not get a bad rep because people didnt listen to what was said. Adding to that I just remembered that we issue you a password that you and your bank can have access to the recorded line which clearly states ure not buying or billed anything today(you'll never be billed if u don't want to coninue with the program as long as one cancels within the review period.)

Suntasia is a legitimate company that offers many discount savings programs that can benefit certain people. Consumers are not misled and it is discouraging to hear these bad comments about a legitimate company.
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