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Distinct Advantage (Florida) / Cancel or will be ruined!

1 United States Review updated:

I was offered a free trial from a women named Patty #136 who stated she got my info including my bank info from vertec she offered me three free trials, 1 Distinct advantage, 2 Teliflex and 3 Freedom Gold after several times telling her I cant afford it she assured me that there was no obligation and I could cancel after the free trial and keep the free gifts, which by the way are of no use to me since I don't have a car and cant afford to fly anywhere! so figuring the quickest way to get off the phone with out being rude was to accept and then just cancel. So the day I got the membership packet in the mail I called the numbers in the packet and canceled. So I thought !! on July 12, 2006 a company called freedom gold withdrew $149.00 from my checking account oh did I forget to mention there's was a 7 day trial which was supposed to start after i received there package witch i still have not yet received but they managed to remember to take my money! when I called them on it they offered to give me $200. in gas vouchers for which I don't have a car to use them in. or I could write their refund department and request my money back witch will take up to 3 weekes.so that's what I have to do, but it gets better I called distinct advantage and Teliflex only to find out that the cancellation calls I made on the day i received my info did not exist they never canceled my trial. so to any one out there if you've Ben sucked in by them make sure you call and speak to human and get a cancellation # or you will end up financally ruined

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Comments

  • Ma
      6th of Sep, 2006
    0 Votes

    I was just contacted by Phillip Torres from Distinct Advantage, operator # 119, 1-866-545-5486. I was given a spill and reluctantly gave my account information. I was told I would not be charged for anything until I agreed to become a member. When I was in the process of being transferred to the recorded line, I was then disconnected. I am fearful they will deduct money out of my account. How can I stop this? Nothing has been deducted from my account as of yet. I just got off the phone with them today 03-16-06 @10:30am. I want to stop this before I end up like others that have complained on them and have had funds deducted from their accounts.

  • Mi
      6th of Sep, 2006
    0 Votes

    Telemarketers call and ask you to look at their product for free for two weeks and then call them and order or cancel, what ever your preference. I was billed the same day the package was sent for $59.99 i have called several times and told them that i was not interested in their product and wanted a refund. Each time after some argument they agree to refund my money and then they don't. Does any one out their know who to call to complain about them. The att general of florida maybe?

  • Ci
      6th of Sep, 2006
    0 Votes

    I have also been ripped off by this company and others with the same line,( Try this and see real savings). I didn't want this service and told them so. I did give my account info. for another site and believe they have shared it with other ripoffs such as this. BEWARE OF WHO YOU GIVE YOUR INFO TO. Just because they say it is a secure site doesn't mean your info isn't shared down the line. I have been taken for hundreds of dollors because I was a fool. Yes, I said it. I was a really big FOOL. I have a withdrawl on my account and do not have a # in which I can call and cancel Distinct Advantage, the only # that I have is a fax.

    BEWARE OF THESE RIPOFFS.....

  • Rk
      6th of Sep, 2006
    0 Votes

    Distinct advantage called me for a trial membership. I received the information the day the trial membership expired. I immediately called the company to cancel and did so on the automated phone system by pushing "1". Two weeks later my checking account has been debited $60.00 without my approval. They will not answer their phones. I only get the automated voice when I call. When I called again today I cancelled the membership by pushing "1". What can be done about this? Can someone help me find a live person so I can get my money back? This is a definite scam!

  • Lo
      14th of Sep, 2006
    0 Votes

    Isn’t the internet a great thing when used properly!? These guys (Suntasia Marketing) have been running this scam since the late 90’s when they started out in Treasure Island then in St. Petersburg and now in Largo, Florida.

    If you want to know who runs this company, just click below and you’ll see the pics of the corporate suits.

    http://suntasia.com/officers.htm

    Suntasia Marketing is located on 8751 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL 33771. Telephone: (727) 471-0276

    Companies like Travel Agents Go Direct, Floridaway, Prism Communications, Distinct Advantage, Freedom Gold as well as other prior travel names are ALL or were promoted by SUNTASIA MARKETING in Largo.

    Nothing surprises me any more about this company. They are certainly getting lots of attention from people around the country, state attorney generals offices and the media. Click below to see the first news story that was done by KOMO Channel 4 in Seattle exposing these crooks. Same routine, free gas and airline vouchers.

    http://www.komotv.com/buyerbeware/story.asp?ID=44298

    Distinct Advantage was also exposed on August 23, 2006 by KETV Channel 7 I-Team in Omaha Nebraska. Click on the link below to see the news investigation done by reporter Carol Kloss basically saying that Distinct Advantage (which is under the Suntasia umbrella) is a scam.

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

    The agents prey on gaining your trust and making you think their “free” vacation or gas vouchers is a once in a lifetime deal. Forget it! In times of high gas prices and over worked families it is easy to fall for their “pitch”. Their main goal is to obtain your checking account. Once you give that up, chances are you will be charged before you even get the package.

    When I first started working there I remember managers bragging and joking about how dumb people were that they didn’t check their bank accounts for months sometimes even years not aware that the $19.95 was being taken out of their checking account. This is why they tell their unsuspecting customer over the phone that they have over 30,000 active clients. The truth is the word should be 30,000 “unaware” clients.

    Funny thing is they also tell the customer they’ve been in business for 10, 20 or even 35 years (pick a number) which should be a big red flag when you consider they only have 30,000 “clients”.

    As long as you don’t tell them anything, for example: what is the name of your bank and where did you open it at, then you’re safe. If you did, call your bank and inform them to close your account then open up a new one. This way they can’t take anything out. Banks are becoming increasingly aware of these crooks. Suntasia Marketing which promotes Distinct and other programs is part of FTN Promotions (Florida Travel Network) which is currently being investigated by the Florida State Attorney Generals office for illegally debiting of checking accounts.

    If you visit other sites (click below) and type in the search box “Suntasia Marketing” or "Distinct Advantage" you will see there are many, many people out there ticked off with this product.

    /link removed/ (Type Suntasia or Distinct Advantage in the search box)

    http://www.stopjunkcalls.com/ (Click on "message boards")

    http://asdfhj.com/scam-alert-727-471-1418/35

    http://www.google.com/ (Type Suntasia or Distinct Advantage in the search box)

    If you’ve been ripped off by this company, I suggest you contact your State Attorney Generals Office.

    IN FLORIDA THE ATTORNEY GENERAL NEW FRAUD HOTLINE is 1-866-9-NOSCAM (1-866-966-7226).

    They have been caught by the government before with deception. Here is the link.

    http://myfloridalegal.com (type in Search box: Florida Travel Companies Offer Refunds To Settle Allegations)
    If you log onto the Better Business Bureau website you’ll see Distinct Advantage has 153 complaints against them in the last 36 months alone. Scroll down a bit on the site and you will also see a familiar number (727) 471-1416. That’s right it’s Suntasia Marketing ALL over again.

    Here is the link to the BBB site displaying Distinct Advantage’s info.

    http://www.bbbwestflorida.org/commonreport.html?bid=90012544

    Be careful and DO NOT give any information to these crooks.

  • Va
      14th of Sep, 2006
    0 Votes

    Joe, thank you very much for the provided information.

  • Lo
      18th of Sep, 2006
    0 Votes

    NEWS ALERT: CREDIT UNION WARNS CUSTOMERS ABOUT SUNTASIA MARKETING

    Florida Telco Credit Union has posted the following consumer alert on their website:

    "It seems that every day someone thinks of a new way to steal your identity, or your money. The Credit Union works diligently to protect you by training our employees to recognize possible scams, and by keeping you, our member, informed with ways to avoid them.

    Below are scams we are currently aware of, please read them carefully. If you believe you have been a victim, please contact our fraud department at 904.723.6300".

    Updated 8/8/06

    Telephone Scam
    Target Company: Financial Institutions including Florida Telco


    "If you receive a call from a marketing company called "Suntasia" who is involved with Travel Agents Direct, please be careful. They may offer you a free vacation. The person calling will tell you they know your account number with Florida Telco CU (or other financial institution). However, the number they quote is a routing number, not the actual account number. That's where the scam belongs -- they ask you to complete the rest of the account number for verification. Once you provide the last digits they then have your actual account number. If you have given your account number to a telemarketer who has called you, please contact a Member Service Representative immediately".

    Here is the link to their website:

    http://www.floridatelco.org/186.html

    I think the above statement says it all.

  • Ab
      19th of Sep, 2006
    0 Votes

    I just registered with them yesterday. My roommate was on the internet, so I couldn't look them up. Gas here isn't cheap, so that got me.
    I've emailed by bank asking them how to block companies from making transactions. They have yet to email me. I'm considering getting a new account at my bank.
    Any tips would be appreciated.

    I know, I know, I should know better than to give out my check number. I was tired, and I have ADD.

    Yaaay ADD... son of a ....

  • Lo
      18th of Nov, 2006
    0 Votes

    ANOTHER ALERT ON SUNTASIA MARKETING!

    Yes folks you read it right AGAIN! This is becoming a frightening pattern with this company. The following alert comes from the Better Business Bureau website at:

    http://www.thelocalbbb.com/

    This is the latest press release on Suntasia that came out a few days ago. You can read it below.

    CURRENT ALERT:

    Suntasia Marketing Targeting Area with Deceptive Calls
    Date: November 13, 2006

    Suntasia Marketing Targeting Area with Deceptive Calls
    Company Saying “You’ve Won a Vacation,” Quoting Personal Info

    Spokane, WA. – November 13, 2006 – An elderly woman from Spokane received a call a couple nights ago from Travel Agents Direct. The person calling was named Arthur Holden, and the number displayed on her Caller ID was 877-777-2709, and yet the number the telemarketer left for her to call was 727-683-1112.

    When she tried a call to the 877# number, a voice recording stated that “this is a call to which long distance charges apply, please dial “1? first.

    The telemarketer was offering 2 nights anywhere in the US, and airfare up to $500 on American Airlines for a shipping and handling fee of $1.95.

    The elderly woman said, “NO, I do not give you permission to take money out of my account,” to which the telemarketer said they already HAD her account number. They proceeded to read her CORRECT banking info off, both her routing and account number.

    The elderly woman, with her adult child, went to the bank immediately to report this activity, and the bank is watching her account for any unauthorized activity.

    Scary, or what? And who, exactly is this company, anyway?

    BBB investigations came to find that the long distance number given for this company is directly linked to Suntasia, a marketing group for vacation packages/promotions and long distance service located at 8751 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL, 33771-3832, Web site: http://www.suntasia.com

    This company has amassed 160 complaints as of the release of this alert, and based on BBB West Florida files, this company has an unsatisfactory record with the Bureau due to failure to respond to one or more complaints and two or more unresolved complaints. However the business has resolved most complaints presented to the Bureau.

    This company also has an unsatisfactory record due to a pattern of complaints concerning misrepresentation and sales practices, unauthorized billing and credit issues, refund disputes and delivery issues.

    This company has responded to some complaints regarding such companies as, but not limited to, FreeStuffForYou, Imperial Majesty, Paradise Vacations, Membership Services, Capital Travel, Capital Vacations, Two Talk Communications, and Travel Agent Network (TAN).

    End of Alert.

  • Ro
      24th of Nov, 2006
    0 Votes

    I had gotten a call last night about 930 10 pm eastern time same thing I won a gas card for $100 and $400 in flying. I asked how they said it was when I used my checking card and they tracked the bar code from it and knew all my banking info and numbers I knew right away they where a rip off and a scam.

    I told them so that I wasn't dum and they was stealing people identitys or money the lady pushed on that they where legal and gave me there name and number Distinct Advantage 1-877-777-2709 and that I could call the better business bureal ..

    I was still on alert and she asked if this was my address and phone number then read off my banking number I was stunned and then said how did you get my banking info..

    Then another lady came on and said she was listening in and asurred me everything was fine they was not scamming me or ripping me off I asked her the same questions and she said we are not asking for your social secruity number so we are on the up and up.

    Then she proceeded to talk real fast on what I won and 3 other things to sign up for I kept saying i do not want none of it but they still pushed the issue.

    Since today was thanksgiving I could not call my bank but I just called my 1800 for my bank to see my account balance and last night they took out 15.98 that fast..

    so at 9am I sure will call my bank and cancel my checking account and get a new one let them know about this company and tell them do not let anyone access my account and only to accept my hand written checks I send in for my bills ..

    What a shame this country has come to not only are we having to watch for terrorist from other countrys but the for the usa own to terrorize there own for shame GOD shall deal with them when they met their maker.

    I also just tried to sign up on another page for the attorney they have there but it is no longer pulling up I get an error ..

  • Lo
      26th of Nov, 2006
    0 Votes

    To Everyone:

    The following information is on Suntasia marketing and its promotions.

    The address where ALL the calls originate from is:

    Suntasia Marketing
    8751 Ulmerton Road
    Largo, FL 33771
    Tel#: 727-471-0276 or 1-800-NEW-TEAM

    Website: http://suntasia.com/

    Live calls to your house start with the numbers 727-471-#### or 727-683-####. There are 8 rooms which hold 24 agents in each plus a customer service area. You can actually see what Suntasia looks like on the inside by copying and pasting their website address above to your address bar.

    The programs and the companies they currently promote are:

    Travel Agents Go Direct (may have changed names again)
    Distinct Advantage
    Freedom Gold
    FloridaWay
    Prism Communications

    Here is a list of programs they use to promote:

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

    ALL the companies listed above have an “unsatisfactory” rating with the Better Business Bureau.

    Suntasia Marketing's own Better business report has also FINALLY come out and of course it is no surprise they have an "unsatisfactory" rating.

    The Florida Attorney General is currently investigating them for unfair and deceptive business practices along with illegal debiting of checking accounts for the second time in 6 years. All you have to do is go to myfloridalegal.com and type in the letters “FTN” in the search box to see the report. They have even hired an outside law firm to help them with this mess. That in itself is saying something.

    You can also go to google.com and type “Suntasia Marketing” in the search box to see ALL the sites out there that expose these crooks.

    There are steps you can take to get your money back but it’s up to you to do it and always be persistent.

    The first step you need to take is immediately talk to your bank b/c by law you have sixty days to dispute a charge. Banks are very well aware of these scam artists and can help or work with you to recover the money but you can’t stay sitting at home waiting. The more time that passes the less rights you have to recover any money owed.

    TELL THEM IMMEDIATELY BEFORE ANYMORE CHARGES ARE DEBITED. YOUR BANK WILL CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT AND OPEN UP A NEW ONE.

    Many people were charge for months and the bank was able to refund the last few charges that were made by “SCAM-TASIA”. Don’t go by what the recording said b/c there is no SPECIFIC date when your so called “free” trial starts or ends. Let your bank know this or give them a link to this site so they can see for themselves.

    Next, write Suntasia a “certified” CEASE and DESIST letter to their lawyer Donald Booth if you don’t care to receive any more solicitations from them. Their corporate address is:

    Suntasia Marketing
    8751 Ulmerton Road,
    Largo, FL 33771

    Telephone: (727) 471-0276

    Let him know that you either didn’t get the package or it arrived late and you want a FULL refund b/c you never had a chance for the “free” trial. Also that you are NOT interested in anything else they have to offer other than a refund b/c of the fact that the agents mis-represented themselves totally.

    Also notify him that if he doesn’t comply with your request for the FULL refund you will seek legal action against his company as well as contacting your local media. Trust me they’ve been exposed alot lately on tv and this is the last thing he needs to hear. If you also contact the Better Business Bureau and file a complaint with them it at least assures you that Suntasia will have to respond. This is another thing they don’t like to do. It forces them to give a response to the BBB and thus give back the money owed.

    Third, whether you do or don’t get a response contact your local tv news station anyway. Most news channels in your area have a consumer complaint tip hotline. Go on the net and log on to their site. I know this would be a “juicy” story for them especially during the months of November, February and May b/c of the ratings period. They need uniques stories to get their audiences attention.

    Finally, I suggest you file a complaint with your state attorney generals office and in Florida as well letting them know the situation. The more people get involved the better off we will ALL be.

    I hope this information helps you.

  • Lo
      29th of Nov, 2006
    0 Votes

    UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA WARNS IT’S STUDENTS ABOUT DISTINCT ADVANTAGE AND OTHER PROGRAMS THAT ARE PROMOTED BY SUNTASIA MARKETING!

    The following alert is from the University of Virginia website.

    Scams from new sources:

    11/15/06 - Be aware of a phone scam. The caller is claiming that the person has won a gift from their financial institution for being a member or customer in good standing.

    We know of these calls being placed from the “727? area code. In the past, this group has used the business names of Distinct Advantage, Freedom Gold, and Capital Vacations. Do NOT give your account number, social security number, bank name or any other personal or financial information in response to any unsolicited phone call.

    End of Alert.

    This is now the 8th alert sent out on this company by different sources in the last few months. Six alerts came from banking institutions while the other two came from the BBB and UVA.

    If you want to read the UVA warning yourself, click below.

    http://www.wise.virginia.edu/oit/security/scams.html

  • Mi
      30th of Nov, 2006
    0 Votes

    I got a call from Distinct Advantage this morning; I was confused because I assumed my bank routing number was private, so when they said they had the number I thought I must've left that info. with a bussiness I trusted. While I was on the phone I noticed the operator was very unprofessional and I heard babies in the back-ground. I decided to end the transaction then and there, but was transfered from supervisor to main manager; all were trying to convince me to accept the mail offers. I assertively declined and hung up. I researched the company on the internet and saw the complaints against Distinct Advantage. I called my bank, they froze my checking account and I had to go down there and open a new account because with the info. I gave them, Distinct Advantage still had access to my money. ###-holes.

  • Ke
      8th of Dec, 2006
    0 Votes

    I also got ripped off by the same people. They called me and told me that since i have such great credit that i was eligible to recieve a free gift $100 gas voucher and $400 in ariline vouchers. They said they were calling from my bank so i said ok. They knew everything about me. They knew my banks address, my address, name, and social security number. I tried to use my debit card and it said i was withdrawn $12 and that i had a $35 cover charge for a bounced check. I knew that i never go over so i called the bank and told them and they refunded me the money. I was lucky because i did not have enough money in my account for them to take out. They got away with nothing from me; however, they have my social. I called the FBI and they said that they are aware of this company and they put a frued alert out on my social. These people need to be stopped!!!
    Kelly NJ

  • Pa
      15th of Dec, 2006
    0 Votes

    I got a call from Keon McCullough with Distinct Advantages telling me that they got my information from department store that i had written a check to and in order to verify that i was really me he needed me to read off the numbers on the bottom of my check book. right away i knew he was lying because i don't write checks. i use debit card for everything, i have no checks. he then asked what bank i had my account with i told him wells fargo, he had my address and phone number. after i told him the bank number he then read of the routing numbers to me and asked me if that was right, little did he know that i work at a bank and i know that it is not hard to get a routing number. he then wanted me to read the rest of the numbers pretending that he had my info and just wanted to verify. i told him that if he did not have my info then he was not getting it from me. he then got agitated and told me that they were sending me a $100 gas voucher and $400 airline voucher i told him that i was still not going to give him my acount number because there had to be another way to verify who i was. he then told me that there was not and hung up. i hope that my story helps.

  • Ol
      15th of Dec, 2006
    0 Votes

    I was contacted by someone associated with AOL. Same story, except I said NO period. I get this packet in the mail anyway. Called immediately. Oh, we'll cancel it right now. The membership was free for 3 months. I never gave my Debit Card to any of these people. 3 months later, they debit my card. I am unemployed at the time and know how much I have. Well, since I had a little in savings, the bank tapped that before I had anything bounce, then I started getting notices of course. I went to the bank, we traced it and found what happened. Since AOL had the right to charge my debit card for my monthly service-they just consider that their legal authority to charge my card for other things too. (This is what my bank said) So I wasn't able to press charges or file a legal complaint. They then had the nerve to deduct a percentage fee for the refund to the bank. The ball was in my court to file an appeal requesting a refund of the fee (about 2%). My bank told me that this is how AOL gets away with making unauthorized withdrawals from your account. The banks have been unable to do anything about it. My Bank's Branch alone said this is such a big problem, that they have enough of these to deal with that they had to hire a person just to handle them all. Naturally, I tried to stop my AOL service. That was 4 years ago. They won't accept that I cancelled them. They still have an account and even have sent me due bills! When I have spoken to them, they just say, oh, we'll give you 3 months free. I am terrified to check my credit to see if they have hit me there. My bank told me to use them as a reference about this since I filed a lengthly report with them-that it would have a bearing on any future issues with AOL.

    FYI-Forewarned is Forearmed!

  • Ka
      16th of Dec, 2006
    0 Votes

    I was contacted on December 16th, 2006 by a caller named Paul Jaber #187 from DISTINCT ADVANTAGE He was very professional in the beginning telling me about how my bank was providing me with $100 free gas card for my continued business. They were also providing me with a trial offer to DISTINCT ADVANTAGE to check out their online services. I felt it was too good to be true and said to send me information in the mail. The representative then asked to confirm my name and middle initial. (I felt this was a little bizarre). He then read me my routing number and asked me to verify my account number to complete to call and to receive my packet in the mail. When I told him "absolutely not!" he then assured me my bank had provided him with my secure and confidential information and that nothing would be debited from my account. I refused to provide the data. During this conversation their was loud talking in the background and also what sounded like children playing/ yelling. It became very unprofessional. I refused the service and hung up. I then contacted the 800 # and soke with a gentleman who was rude and would not offer me any information. He also assured me that asking to confirm bank account numbers is a safe practice within their company. He apologized for my discomfort with the line of questioning and told me to check them out on the Better Business Bureau. I did and they are not even registered. They have over 200 reported complaints!!!!!! I then called the number back to get an address so that I could file my own complaint. I was treated very unprofessionally by 2 managers-- one named CHARLES FIELDS. He refused to give me any information without first getting my information. THIS COMPANY is a SCAM.

  • Lo
      10th of Feb, 2007
    0 Votes

    I received a call on 2-9-07. the person said that they were offering me a free gas voucher and a 400.00 flight coupon. they said they were from distinct advantage. the woman talked very fast and had all of my personal info. my gut instinct told me something was wrong but i listened to her anyway. what an idiot! but come Monday morning i will be down at the bank trying to find out how to keep this from becoming a huge mess. this definitely has to be a scam. next time i will go with my gut instinct and hang up the phone!!!

  • Ch
      24th of Feb, 2007
    0 Votes

    I would just like to add, I have never ordered from them, every time i answer the call, i get a recording telling me to call a long distance number, I do not have long distance. It just took me 30 min to contact them, to have my name removed. The first two calls, I got put on hold, with no one answering, no music. I worked in a call center, and that was the rep answering,and placing the call on hold, and leaving me there. From what I can read, not only are they a rip off, but they are rude.

  • Pk
      26th of Feb, 2007
    0 Votes

    I was called on my work number and given the same "great deal". I refused to provide any banking information. The ONLY company that I have provided my work number to is 24 HOUR FITNESS. I'm thinking that they might be selling my phone number.

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