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Astar Travel / Holiday scam - No refunds

1 FL, United States Review updated:

This is a further complaint about ASTAR travel - timeshare holidays. On the 29th Nov 2008 my wife accepted a "free" holiday offer from ASTAR travel reps not realising it was for a timeshare holiday. The holiday was offered at a discount price of £536 for two weeks in Florida. Debit card details were given over the phone. The following day my wife wrote a cancellation notice and sent emails saying that she had changed her mind. These were ignored and the transaction progressed. They have promised a refund within 14 - 21 days but this has now passed and it looks like we have lost our money.

I have asked the local police in Tampa to look into the matter but not sure if they can do anything.

This company should be banned from trading.

If anyone gets a call or email from ASTAR - BEWARE this is a SCAM

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  • Al
      13th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    Ive just ahad a call from Astar .its fri 13th of feb 2009 today.Im based in Ireland.Last week i got a pop-up winning advert on a free movie watching website.-it read something along the lines of 'you have won a cruise holiday worth 3000 dollars!' .now i am aware of scams, yet the ad was on a good website so i called the number in Dublin just to hear what they had to say. I got a man called Fabien on the end (carribean/african sounding voice) ;he immediately launched ito the spiel about hotels, disneyland, nascar and more. I knew it was coming- the "can i have your card details please?" he told me the phone call was free;my mobile phone credit finished before he could say anymore.I was not going to give him any card details anyway as i have online internet companies that i must protect. I think the website he was showing me was called Florida cruises or something.I immediately googled the name he gave me +scams and yes as i thought it came up with a huge thread from people all over the world saying they had the same advert and were all asked for credit card details.Now THIS is also intersting;- i have just had another call form a woman with a strong American accent saying i have won a holiday with A star bla bla bla. She also immediately launched ino the speech about cruises, i knew it was coming so i immediately told her i will not give card details over the phone as i must protect my online marketing business.She immediately got angry and said "well how would u like me to give your free holiday to someone else ?!" then she hung up on me. MY MESSAGE TO EVERYONE IS THESE THIEVES ARE OPERATING UNDER DIFFERENT PRETEND WEBSITES (LANDING PAGES) -THEY ARE ALSO SWITCHING THEIR PHONE OPERATIVES FROM AMERICAN TO AFRICAN/CARRIBEAN PERSONS TO TRY AND FOOL YOU AND THEY ARE ALSO OPERATING UNDER MORE THAN ONE NAME (OF COMPANY). THE FIRST THING TO DO IS GO TO THE SCAM FORUMS TO SEEK ADVICE FROM OTHERS-you will generally be able to find out that theyre a scam immediately.I do hope this helps anyone from becoming a victim of naivety.Thanks for reading-Alex

  • Bo
      23rd of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    Hi - I have just finished reading Alex´s informative account of his dealings with Astar. My girlfriend also "won" a "free holiday" as a result of responding to an online pop up advertisement yesterday.
    They rang persistently during the course of the day today but as she was working they were unable to speak to her until she returned from work approximately 45 minutes ago. The holiday was then outlined in detail by an american lady who was remarkably more excited about my girlfriend´s good fortune than my girlfriend was herself.
    The holiday was to consist of 7 days and 6 nights in Orlando in 5 star accommodation courtesy of the Raddisson Hotel group. This was to be followed by 3 nights in Fort Lauderdale and the option of either a 3 night roundtrip cruise of the Bahamas inclusive of all meals and on board entertainment or 7 day free car rental.
    It was all sounding good so far and when she was informed that up to 4 people could avail of this once in a lifetime prize it sounded even better. Throughout the course of the conversation she was encouraged to assure the caller of how excited she was to be presented with such an opportunity. However being of a healthily cautious nature my girlfriend enquired as to what the catch was. She was told that there was no catch and that everything outlined was free.
    Upon more persistent enquiry it soon transpired that she would however be required to attend a" two hour guided tour of resort properties" and that the "free" Caribbean cruise would actually require a booking fee of E290. Whether this booking fee was to be a single payment or per person was not outlined. "Hotel taxes", the nature of which were not specified would not be included within the parameters of the "free holiday" either.
    My girlfriend was then transferred to John, an American gentleman who was to be her "travel co-ordinator today". After again determining that she was indeed very excited to be presented such an opportunity he cut to the chase. The "free holiday" absolutely had to be booked immediately and this would only require the payment of E175 per person or E700 for 4 persons. For this to happen he would only require her credit card details - "and by the way was that mastercard or visa?" When my girlfriend told him that she didn't have the card or the details to hand he very considerately offered to hold on the line while she searched, he even went so far as to suggest that she looked for a billing statement that would have these details. After being informed that this would not be possible he had an even better idea "maybe she could contact her bank while he waited on the line". It was pointed out to him that it was well outside banking hours in the country he was calling at which point he questioned her level of interest in his generous offer and made it clear that if not booked immediately the holiday opportunity would have to go elsewhere. When he eventually realised that he wasn´t going to get the much desired credit card information he revised his earlier insistent demand that the holiday had to be booked immediately or the opportunity would be lost and kindly offered to call again to allow more time in order for the credit card details to be recovered. At this point my girlfriend made her excuses and left. No doubt we haven´t heard the last from our persistent benefactor.
    By the way, during the course of the conversation the accommodation was inexplicably downgraded from the initially stated 5 star to a less salubrious 3 star hotel.
    I think this is definitely a case of - if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. Do not give this company any personal or credit card information. 23/2/09

  • Ma
      4th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Hi, My name is Maggie, they actually just called today to inform me that I won. Actually few months ago I've already been cheated once from Sort of African fake check makers, fortunately I didn't use them, just asked the bank, even though the bank contacted the police and I was sent to the police station for investigation about more than 2 hours... So today my first reaction was " I don't believe it's real" but they behaved like really a big true story, and the guy even said " Oh my God, come on, you are not dreaming, of course it's real, I promise you" Wow..I never knew that someone could use this "promise" word like so real. He asked me about the credit card status, I immediately felt that it's not correct. 1. My Mom used to say "never believe any free pancakes drop on your head" 2. Why he needs to ask I pay immediately instead of pay when I arrive? 3. When I told him that I wasn't that sure, he started to become very aggressive... I hang off the phone and called my good friend from Italy, he told me immediately search on google if I can find any issue about this company or not. Im so glad that I found this webpage that people stood out to tell the true story!! I'm so happy that I wasn't cheated! Oh, God! They are really unbelievable! React like totally real!! BIG LIAR!! PEOPLE SHOULD BE AWARE!!! ANYONE SHOULD BE AWARE!

  • Mb
      22nd of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Hi, As mentioned by all, I was offered the same - but I was dumb enough to give them my credit card details. Luckily, I am so in debt that they could not even get the "25%" he said was all that was needed. Does any one know how I can stop these payments from happening should they keep trying to put it through?

  • Ji
      28th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    I live in Melbourne, Australia. On the 20th February 2009 I had the same phone call stating that I had won a holiday to Florida at a cost of US$998
    Like the thousands of others out there, I had the pressure put on me and was sucked into the ‘cancel within 30 days for a full refund policy’
    Once I had transferred the credit card details, I was then informed of new conditions such as ‘your cruise is an extra US$300 and you must attend time share seminars whilst in the state of Florida” and so on.
    I rang them two weeks later to cancel the holiday and I was then informed that I was unable to because they had already sent the package to me.
    I insisted to them that I had changed my mind but they didn't want to know about it. They went ahead and played back to me a recording of my conversation with a ‘Mr. Fernandez’ that was recorded at the time when my credit card details were given out.
    The recording had been edited.
    Eg. At the time I questioned ‘Mr Fernandez’ on the 30 days refund policy and mentioned that 30 days wouldn’t leave much time to return the package if I decided to cancel. His response was that “I had 50 days from when I received the package”
    However, when the recording was played back to me on the phone the 50 days had been edited and it was now saying 30 days.
    When I mentioned to them that the recording had been edited they became very defensive!! After insisting that I knew they changed the playback recording they then replied ‘Alright if your not interested send the package back and you will get a refund’
    I sent the package back two days after I received it on the 17th of March. After emailing them countless times to find out when my refund was coming, my emails were never returned.
    I persisted for the next 2 and a half months, ringing the company at least twice per week. There was constant trouble getting through to the right person at customer service. Excuses such as ‘the person your after is away today but they will call you back’ which obviously never happened.
    Finally I managed to speak to someone and was told the refund will take at least 30 working days.
    I was then informed with an excuse that they ‘tried to put a refund back into my account and it wasn’t going through’
    It was only when I contacted City Bank Credit to check why the transfer wasn't going through that they finally gave up!!
    On the 24th of June 2009, the full refund was put back into my account.
    My advice to people in the same situation is to keep on persisting. Call them, try speaking to the same person every time!! Even though they will try and avoid you like the plague. DON’T GIVE UP!!
    GOOD LUCK!!!

  • En
      15th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    I recieved a call from a Robert Thrasher from 6:45am this morning I might add, saying I was the 1 millionth person to visit some website. I don't recall putting my details down to win such a trip, so started asking questions. I was immediately steamrolled with "the trip of a lifetime" pitch. As a sales person myself, I recognise a pitch when I hear one. I listened though, not knowing who this company was. They even got my fiance on the phone and tried to convince him. We were both wary when we were told $1400NZD had to be paid, as well as $299USD per person for 'port taxes' for the cruise. So much for my free holiday I thought. Now, though I did give them my credit card details, there is no way they can charge me as I have a prepaid Visa, and there's nothing on there, and there will never be that much in that account. I only have one adage that sums up this scam nicely...Beware of Greeks baring gifts.

  • Ex
      19th of Feb, 2011
    0 Votes

    As a former employee I can tell you that, in my opinion, this is a complete ripoff. If you have been scammed by these people, CALL THE BANK THAT ISSUED YOUR CREDIT CARD IMEADIATELY! Tell them that you have been scammed by this company, and you will get a refund through your bank! Don't waste your time with ASTAR, they will only give you excuses, hoping you will eventually give up. This company has changed its name several times to make it harder for people to use an Internet Search Engine and find out they are a FRAUD.

    These are all the same company...

    All Seasons Holidays
    All Seasons Travel

    Owner: Larry Flynn
    Evening shift Manager is his brother Curtis Flynn, who just finished a 10 year sentence in
    Prison for a Narcotics Charge.

    Here is the exact script that is supposed to be read by the "openers", the people that call you and try to get you crazy with excitement before the "travel-coordinators", (or "closers") try to get your credit card details. Keep in mind that this part is not recorded, so most employess will exagerate, missrepresent, and leave out details, and outright lie because they want you so excited you give the "closer" your credit card details before you realize that you have WON NOTHING, and this package is not a very good deal, especially since AIRFARE IS NOT INCLUDED, The Cruise FEES ARE NOT INCLUDED, and THE HOTEL TAXES ARE NOT INCLUDED!

    INTERNATIONAL SCRIPT Effective Date 11-8-10

    Hello, is ____ there, this is (employeee name) calling long distance from ALL SEASONS HOLIDAYS in the United States. Can you hear me okay? GREAT! Recently you filled out a request for a Florida / Bahamas Holiday on the Internet. Do you remember doing that?
    (pause) I have some great news for you! You have been qualified to take the trip designed for travel agents. Isn't that GREAT!!!

    This is a holiday package desihned for up to 4 people, are you married or single?
    You would not have any problem bringing a friend or relative along
    with you, right?
    What is your (husband/wife's) name? Have (NAME) get on the other line,
    grab a pen, and a paper so I can give you both all the details.

    SPOUSE UNAVAILABLE: I am sure you can except the holiday for both of you today, right?

    First I Need To Verify A Few Things On Your Survey.
    1) You are at least 21 years of age.
    2) You are familiar with the quality and reputation of the Radisson and Hilton Hotels, Right?
    3) You are a major CREDIT CARD holder with VISA or MASTERCARD, right?
    4) You will be responsible for your flight to all destinations.

    Now I am going to explain your vacation in full detail, if you have any questions, ONCE I AM
    FINISHED, please ask, Okay?

    This is a special holiday offer and if left unclaimed, you risk losing the opportunity to travel with us, at this price. THEREFORE, after I give you the complete information concerning
    your holiday, you just need to let me know if you would like to accept the offer. FAIR ENOUGH?

    (Name) ALL SEASONS HOLIDAY will begin your dream holiday in Magical Orlando, Florida, home of Walt Disney World, MGM, and Universal Studios... You will need to purchase your own flights
    to Florida, Okay? (GET A YES) GREAT!

    Once in Orlando, you will enjoy 7 days and 6 nights in the Radisson or comparable hotel,
    conveniently located near Orlando's wonderful attractions, including UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, SEA
    WORLD, EPCOT CENTER, and of course everybody's favorite WALT DISNEY WORLD!...
    While in Orlando you may pick up a 7 day consecutive rental car or for your entertainment
    we will include 2 adult two-day passes to Universal Studios Florida's premier theme park.
    Also included with the passes are two tickets to Orlando's hottest night spot, Universal City Walk, where you can enjoy Margatitaville, Hard Rock Cafe`, NASCAR Cafe`, and NBA City; and
    once again it is your choice of which you receive either the car or the tickets...Okay...
    Have you been to FLORIDA before? YOU'RE GOING TO LOVE IT!

    After your 7 days and 6 nights in Orlando, you will be on your way to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida,
    to embark on your 4 day / 3 night cruise to beautiful NASSAU in the BAHAMAS aboard Carnival
    Cruise Lines. Will this be your first time aboard a cruise ship? (Name) You are going
    to love the FUNSHIPS OF CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES. The ship is an 8 level ocean liner
    featuring the TWO lEVEL MONTE CARLO CASINO! You can enjoy sunbathing on the bridge deck,
    or relax in the spa and take a dip in the heated pool, In the evening enjoy the shows and go
    dancing 'till dawn in the nightclubs. Be sure to bring your appetite along, because ALL THE

    Once you arrive in the BAHAMAS, you'll have an unforgettable day, watersports, golf, tennis,
    deep sea fishing, glass bottom boat rides. You can relax on some of the world's most
    famous beaches or shop at the international shopping bazaar where everything you purchase is
    tax and duty free! Late in the afternoon, you will re-board the Carnival Cruise Ship to
    commence the second leg of your cruise back to Florida, which of couse, can be a WONDERFULLY
    ROMANTIC MOONLIT EXPERIENCE, or a Fun-Filled night of LAS VEGAS syle entertainment, or
    maybe even a little of both.

    AS A SPECIAL REMINDER, if you chose to take the Cruise portion you will be responsible for
    the Bahamas option fee and that's just $299 (US) per person, and that is not paid until
    you make your final reservations for you actual cruise dates...

    After 4 fun-filled days of cruising, your holiday will take you to sunny Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where you will spend 2 nights at the Hilton or Comparable hotel. While in
    Ft. Lauderdale, you will enjoy miles of white sandy beaches, world famous boardwalks, and fabulous restaurants, or just relax poolside.

    Your holiday travel package will be emailed to you within the next 3 business days, and it
    contains everything you need to start your hiliday: full color brochers, and of course your
    holiday documents. Keep in mind we will reserver your desired Florida travel dates today,
    but if you want to change them later, you may reschedule you reservations once without charge
    as long as your request is made at least 45 days prior to the date of arrival, and as long
    as you travel within the next 18 months. You have a full 18 months to use your package and
    your package is 100% fully transferable, which means that you can give or sell the holiday
    to a friend or family member as long as they are at least 21, however, I'm pretty sure
    you would not want to do that! Your only other expenses while on holiday will be for your meals on land and any incidentals such as room service, if you use it, hotel tax of approximately 10-20 dollars per day and of course any long distance calls you make.

    The only reason we can offer you this holiday for the small promotional fee is while
    you're in Orlando we ask for 90 minutes of you time to view one of our timeshare resorts,
    it's fun and informative.

    Please Hold While I Transfer You to a Travel Coordinator!


    ***(Poster's Commentary, This is the script, but different closers all have their own methods of getting your credit card. One of the biggest things they leave out is that your Credit Card is being charged TODAY. The other big missrepresentation is they tell people that the 998 US Dollars is only the taxes for the package, and that the $299 US per person for the Cruise is for the taxes on the Cruise ship, when it is not, you are actually paying for the entire Cruise.)***

    (Name) for accepting our invitation today, you and your guest will enjoy your 7 days and 6
    nights in Orlando... Your 4-day/3-night cruise to the Bahamas aboard the Carnival Cruise Lines, with all of your meals and entertainment included aboard the ship. Your fun-filled
    day in the Bahamas, and 2 nights in Ft. Lauderdale All for only 998 US Dollars approx ____,
    which will cover up to 4 adults. Now that is being charge today and will appear on your
    next billing statement as ALL Seasons Holiday.

    Now we are emailing your package to (read email adress).. is that correct?...Great!!!..Now
    we are registering your which Credit Card will you be using Visa or Mastercard?!! (fall silent)...The experation date?...The account number... And the name
    as it appears on the card?...Is there a middle initial?...One last thing, your CVV code
    on the back of the Card. (3-4 digit#).

    (after card is taken)
    Now, (name), on behalf of All Seasons and the participating hotels, I'd like to be the first
    to say WELCOME ABOARD!!! Do you still have your pen handy? OK, what you need to do is write
    down our company information...

    We are: All Seasons Holiday
    and our coporate address is 4104 W Linebaugh Avenue, Tampa, Fl. 33624
    Our customer service number is 1-813-915-4050
    Should you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our
    representatives are available Monday though Friday from 10am to 6pm EST.

    (Get Travel Date)
    (Name) So do you have a specific travel date in mind? (if yes write down date)
    (if no, use the following to narrow the date down):
    Mr./Ms. _____ So we can better manage our inventory with the participating hotels, we need to
    set a travel date tonight. If you need to change it later we will work with you any way we can. Just give us a 45 days notice. OKAY? What time of the year do you normally vacation?

    Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall

    Do you normally vacation in the beginning or end of the month? What day of the week do
    you typically like to start your vacation. Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat?

    We have scheduled your travel date as ___/___/___. Remember, if you want to change your
    arrival dates, you can just note the changes on your confirmation form you'll be receiving in the mail. Keep in mind you can change your dates one time free of charge, anytime in the next 18 months as long as we get a 45 day advance notice. Okay!!


    Now, again, your package will be emailed to you within the next 3 business days and
    it contains everything; your travel related information, full colored brochures and holiday documents.

    Remember, you are receiving our special holiday offer which is your 13 night Florida/Bahamas
    holiday which includes your 3 night cruise to the Bahamas with all of your meals and
    entertainment included aboard the ship and your bonus holidays.
    Again, the only charge applied today is 998 US Dollars, approx, ______.

    Your only other expenses while on holiday will be for your meals on land, your transportation-and we assist you in finding the lowest possible airfare at the time of ticketing, any incidentals such as room service if you use it, hotel tax of approximately 10-20 dollars per night and of course any long-distance calls you might make and the $299 cruise fee if you choose to take the cruise..AND THAT'S IT!!!

    The All Seasons Holiday V.I.P. Customer Service phone numbers is 1-813-915-4050. Office
    hours are Monday through Friday 10am to 6pm Est. If you have any questions at any time,
    please do not hesitate to call that number. Our coporate address is 4104 West Linebaugh
    Ave, Tampa, Fl 33624 and our website address is

    Also, I'm sure that you are aware that whenever you leave the country you do need to show proof of citizenship. You will need a passport to get into the states and the Bahamas and also for bonus holidays.

    (Customer name), now, I am going to transfer you to our shipping and verification department where they will verify your holiday details and postal address for quality assurance purposes. Please keep your Credit Card information handy, as they will need to reconfirm
    that information to make sure it is correct. I do want to say that it's been a pleasure talking with you, and welcome aboard! You're going to have a great time! Please hold on while I transfer you to verification.
    PLEASE HOLD (Customer Name)!

  • Ma
      12th of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    Thank you very much to all the people who have taken the time to report their experiences here, particularly to the ex- employee who has had the courage of disclosing the internal strategy of this company. This has helped me keep my money in my bank.

    My daughter received a call from one of the representatives yesterday and commented on how kind and friendly that man was. She was convinced that the offer of a free holiday in Florida was for real and that I just have to sign us up. She made sure I would not miss the call this morning to take advantage of this great offer.

    They indeed went through the exact script as described above and it all sounded too good. Because I had been bitten before by telephone marketing I was persistant enough to negotiate a two hour "thinking" period, which is nearly over. I have been using my time wisely and reading everything I could find about this company. I am now waiting for the call so that I can tell them where to go.

    The lesson is, if unsure negotiate a thinking period. Persist - as scam companies don't want to do it. But that gives you time to do your research.

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