Like everyone else who has had dealings with ASTAR, I received a phone call advising me that I had won a holiday in Florida. My prize was 15 days accommodation for up to four people, and included a cruise to the Bahamas, rental car hire, tickets to attractions (Disneyworld, etc.) and a couple of days in Las Vegas on the way home.
I asked what was the catch, was it a time share thing or what ? The lady said we could attend a time share presentation if we wanted, but this was not compulsary.The main reason for the prize was to promote their partner properties so that I would tell people how good they were and this would help their business.
She then advised that there was a "small" administration charge of USD998. In a millisecond I converted this to AUD1300 and it didn't seem all that small for what was a free holiday prize. But I reasoned if $1300 + airfares was all it was going to cost, it would still be a very cheap holiday.
The lady then suggested that to accept the prize I had to "register", which involved giving her my credit card number. I tried to explain that it was imprudent to decide in a split second, without reference to anyone else, to holiday on the other side of the planet and then give credit card information over the phone.
For what must have been half an hour the lady nagged me for my card number. I have never dealt with a travel agency where the main emphasis was getting a credit card number. Getting a word into the conversation was very difficult.
I advised her that I was going to speak with my wife and do some internet research on thir company and she could phone back later, but in the meantime would not be giving my credit card details.
I searched ASTAR Travel and got to read dozens of Rip-off Reports about ASTAR's activities. I am so greatful to Rip-off Report for alerting me to these fraudsters and saving me a lot of money.
ASTAR phoned me back and when I advised her that after read some Rip-off Reports I was no longer interested, she denied any knowledge of the Rip-off Report. She then put me on to her noisy and aggressive manager whotold me that the Rip-off Report were the real rip-off merchants who spread lies and were trying to extort money from legitimate, honest businesses in return for taking them off the Rip-off report website.
What a shabby deal ASTAR must be. The quicker they are closed down the better