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Astar Travel / No refunds - Scam Artists

1 12421 N. Florida Ave, Suite C-220Tampa, FL, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 1-800-231-3760

Was contacted by telephone with the false illusion that I had won some holiday. Later found out that no I had not won anything but had a chance of a lifetime opportunity to purchase a travel package for $998. The customer service was great and helpful. Later I decided I did not want the package and asked for the money I had paid. This is when the tones changed from sarcasm, patronising and yelling. You cannot make a complaint when you telephone because they wont transfer you anywhere. You do not get refunds even though it is not in the terms and conditions or explained to you over the phone that you can only get a refund within a set timeframe of purchasing the product (Florida laws).

I am still trying to get my money back from these scam artists. Once they have your payment you will be ignored, yelled out and given every excuse for not refunding money owed. They are scam artists selling travel that is well below budget standards.

Take my advice. No buy into this package or you too will regret it - have tried emailing and telephoning. Now they just ignore my emails. Will continue filing my complaints and making sure that unsuspecting buyers dont fall into the same trap that I did.

Good Luck.

Wellington
New Zealand

Ru
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Comments

  • An
      31st of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    Call your bank, it's not too late!

    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

  • Ru
      2nd of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    Totally agree.

    BE WEARY OF "ALL SEASON TRAVEL"...SEEMS TO BE THE NEW FOR ASTAR TRAVEL!

    Undoubtedly one in the same - rip off company!

  • Ar
      23rd of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I also received a call from the con-artists, Astar. I kept Joshua and Terry busy on the line while my husband, which is an IT Manager, traced the information as a "scam". We traced the IP address right down to the street address, and the applicable people were notified. Astar seems to be a low class knock-off company that steals from people, and get aggressive when you do not respond as they wish you to.

    Please people, nowhere in the world can five people go on two weeks holiday, all included according to these scamming idiots, for 998 US Dollars, not even in South Africa. Our bank was notified of this scam, even though my husband gave them a completely wrong credit card number. SA Banks are now well aware of this low-class scam, as I have notified every main Bank in our country.

    Please note "Joshua" and "Terry", the majority of South Africans might seem "slow", according to you, but it is one of these underestimated fools who will eventually land your cheating behind bars where you belong.

  • Ol
      11th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    Sadly, it took my mother a week to realise that she'd been scammed. We were phoned and told that we'd won a trip to Florida and the Bahamas for only £441 - as long as we paid for flights. My mum was ecstatic: she'd always dreamed of going to America, and being able to take her children on the holiday of a lifetime. We were told the tickets would arrive in the post.

    They never came.

    We typed "A Star Travel" into Google, and were horrified at all the blogs and articles that came up calling them scammers. My mother phoned her bank to try to stop the money from being taken out, but because she'd already given A Star her credit card number, there was nothing she could do. They took the entire £441 out of her account, despite promising her that they'd only take £200 (she's informed them that as she's a single mother and Christmas is coming up, she couldn't give them the entire sum. They said they'd take half now and half later). All my mother could then do was phone her bank up and tell them that they MUST NOT allow this company to take any more of her money.

    THIS IS A LESSON. Never, and I mean NEVER, put your phone number onto the internet. If, for some reason, you have to, make sure that it says somewhere that they'll not be storing your number into their memory banks. Also - whenever a salesperson phones you, IMMEDIATELY put then phone down. Pay no attention to whatever they say, as it is more than likely a scam.

    I, a fourteen year old girl, had to explain to my mother, a thirty-five year old woman, exactly what had happened concerning her loss of money, what she needed to do to stop them from taking any more and what she needed to do to get it back. My poor mum cried her heart out, because not only were we now going to have a terrible Christmas, but we weren't even getting a fantastic holiday out of it.

    So now I'm doing all I can to help other people realise that A Star are con-artists. Phone all the local banks, all the main banks, whatever - tell everyone that A Star are scammers. You may have lost your money, but you can stop other people from losing theirs.

  • Ji
      28th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    SUCCESS STORY!!!
    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!!!

  • Be
      29th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    The people behind ASTAR are very smooth operators who have an answer for everything.

    I was contacted today, when I asked why I had to register immediately (with my credit card I might add) they started putting on the pressure. This rang alarm bells.
    I was orgingally talking to one person who obviously was not getting the correct information from me so then her ?boss came on. Again I informed them that the money that was going to put on a credit card was a lot and I would have to think about it. Explained that a travel company offering a reduced package as a promotional tool would want to work with their potential cliental and not pressure them into anything. This did not go down well.

    The whole experience has left a bad taste in my mouth but at least I didnt give them any of my credit details.
    To all those out there who may get a phone call from the previous blogs they are con artists!! If they can not send you information electronically for you to double check ie hotel info etc and are trying to pressure you it is definitly a scam.

  • Te
      23rd of May, 2010
    0 Votes

    Hi,

    I am from Perth Western Australia. I received a call yesterday on 22/5/2010 pertaining the same information that I had won a holiday to Orlando Florida, Las Vegas and the Bahamas. I told them I did not recall entering any such competition. They had all my personal information and kept asking about my credit card details. When I told them, I don't see what this information has to do with anything', and refused to give them my credit card details, they hung up. After the phone call I looked up the details online to find out it was a scam.

    I have now filed a complaint with scamwatch.gov.au and am trying to spread the word. While this scam now appears to be several years old now judging by complaints of A-Star and All Seasons Travel & Resorts online, THE SCAM STILL SEEMS TO BE CONTINUING and people are still falling victim to scams such as this.

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