Beware Of Holiday Accommodation Scams

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Beware Of Holiday Accommodation Scams
PhuketHotelAt Lifehacker, we’re big fans of hunting down discount holidays, but it always pays to exercise a little caution. The festive season is also fertile ground for scammers to prey on your desire for a bargain, the ACCC warns.

Picture by johnas

The regulator yesterday issued a press release warning that telemarketing scams selling “discounted” holiday vouchers are rife at this time of year. As deputy commissioner Peter Kell pointed out:

This time each year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission receives complaints from holiday makers who find that the cheap accommodation vouchers they have paid for either don’t arrive, are fakes, or simply can’t be used as promised. Often the vouchers have been bought by credit card during an enticing but unsolicited call from a telemarketer or after receiving a fax offering accommodation at heavily discounted prices. These can include holidays at Phuket, Koh Samui or Bali or Australian locations. If the vouchers do arrive, consumers find that when they go to book their holidays, additional charges need to be paid in order to secure accommodation or the accommodation provider has no knowledge of the voucher or deal.

As ever, doing some online checking of prospective deals — and keeping a close eye on credit card statements — remain the best defence.

Suffered a holiday scam? Tell us how you coped in the comments.

[ACCC]

Comments

  • Just had a long, enticing phone call with someone selling vouchers for use at a large number of hotels Australia wide – 7 nights for only $109. They insisted on needing my credit card number upfront, complaining how I couldn’t trust them, etc. when I didn’t want to give it to them over the phone. At last the manager got on and gave the same hard sell, then gave me the name of the company – Bargain Breaks – and led me to a website so that I could order it online. But when I tried to order the vouchers, Paypal was blocked as a pop-up. I have never had trouble accessing paypal before, so the alarm bells were ringing. These people are really insistent, making you doubt your trust in your fellow human being, etc, etc. Won’t fall for this one. Luckily, I didn’t give him any credit card details.!

    • Got the same call from Bargain Breaks. Made the mistake of telling them my credit card details, but I also insisted they call me on Tuesday to give them permission to charge my card.
      Then i found your comments. So i’ve just cancelled my card. Can’t wait for his call on Tuesday. Also been told by credit card company that payment may still go through. Basically the contract with credit cards means that once you give them your number, they can charge your card.

      • I was worried reading this after already paying for my holiday with BB but our holiday in Cairns went as planned. I called their helpline to discuss my concerns after reading this blog but they reassured me all would be OK as they make thousands of bookings and there are always going to be a few complaints. They also have a blog on their site that answered most of my worries. Hope this helps someone.

    • Thank god for the internet and people like you writing watch out for scams!! Travelbug holidays just rang. Tried to sell the $199 offer. Very convincing til I read your comments!!
      Thank you all! Hung up and he didn’t ring back however I will be contacting the no call register NOW! Have a great day!

      • I would like to Reply too belinda bowen stating that if really travelbug holidays wants your money .. we would have called you up again to speak to you the moment you hung up the call…the reason we never called you back is because we are not bothered about customer who don’t wish to keep in contact with us.. we are doing this travel business for 11 years.. and we have 30000 members who are enjoying our offer..basically im suprised to know that in 30000 customers only there are 6 complaints which does not bother our business…this is for all the viewers viewing this website…

      • Just received call from Travel Bug Holidays, yep the 12 nights $199 offer, she gave me their address Level 7, 71 Walker Street, North Sydney. I told her to ring me back, meanwhile did some checking up myself. Interesting the only travel bug telstra could find was Travel Bug Luggage, 65 Walker St, North Sydney. So I rang them, they said they only sell luggage, knows nothing about the holiday thing!!!!!! Work it out for yourself.

      • Hi Belinda

        Thank you for bringing this matter about travelbug holidays here. They are a real scam, I know it cause I have been ripped off badly Travelbug holidays as mentioned by many others in here and in other websites. My mistake, I gave off my credit card number too easily. And they charged $199 instantly to it. Later, when I received the package, only then I came to know that they have many hidden things attached to its so called “promotional” accommodation offer. We had to buy two meals at the same hotel, buy one night get one free and bla blah.. and guess what each meal costs more than the hotel price itself. And I am not amazed that later I found out they have only shitty hotels in their list. They will show you some great 4-5 star hotels, but you won’t believe them giving you room in those hotels !!

        I called them back again, and the same guy changed their statements drastically. Now they are explaining about those clauses which they never mentioned once while talking earlier.

        They are a complete scam. So People DO NOT GET FOOLED BY THEM. IF YOU GET A CALL FROM TRAVELBUG HOLIDAYS JUST TELL THEM TO GET LOST.

        And a little bit of advice to this guy called Chales d’costa, apparently from travelbug holidays. Charles, I will not say you much but Please look back into what you do everyday before you go to bed. You might be earning some money cheating others but at the end of the day, do you feel good? Can you tell you kids what you do? There are millions of other ways to make good, honest money. Why cheat people ?? If you still want to argue that it is not a scam, just put your hand on your chest and say that you guys do not fool customers !!

        You can’t tell much to the cheaters, they are born that way !!

        Be careful fellow travelers. Sadly there are people around the world whom you cannot just trust.

        • Wow i am so glad i came on here and checked this TravelBug thing out, i have been on the phone for 45mins with Sharon who has given me hotel addresses etc as to where we can stay, i was also given the free holdiay option to Bali and was told that with this $199 deal i only have to buy 2 meals for 2 people per day in the hotel..she said the meals were minimul price and the hotel i want to stay in is 4 star..since reading stuff on here tho i presume i will not be able to get into said hotel 🙂 I am very glad to have read all these postings as she is ringing back in an hour for my credit card details..it looks such a good deal tho as for me to stay in said hotel it will cost me and family $1099 whereas Sharon from Travelbug said we can all stay in said hotel for just $199..i take it this is not true then aye?? 🙁

          • Thanks for your valuable comments , they have been calling me non stop since morning which made me think it might be a scam , now thought of doing some research and found out all these..
            its a company located in India and they dont know nothin about Sydney , I asked how far is ur office from north sydney , which directions do u go to , and that guy started making answers…
            i am also from indian origin , i feel bad about all these scams 🙁
            next time this guy calls up , i am gonna tell them on the face that try to behave like real people..

          • Can relate to wot u feel danijela as this happend to me, i purchased vouchers from ‘ bargain brakes ‘ and they have played games with me for a year now , when i wanted to book over easter they did not ring me b ack to confirm the booking and i cant get hold of them. I spend 200 dollars on the phone by credit card. I wish i had done seomthing earlier and im dissapointed that fair trade has let you down so badly. Australila erally needst to tiden the scam business and go on top of it we dont get much help there at all. I get at least 5 callers a day to sell me something, i registered wtih ; Do not call ‘ still i get the odd phonecalls now and then . Best wishes

          • i agree completly, I purchesed the $199 package from travel bug after asking them several times that there will be no other charge attached to trhe voucheres. I was assured that $199 was all inclusive. When i received the voucheres I was shocked to see there were booking fees, compulsary meal purcheses or buy one night get one free. I was really upset as I was assured this would not happen. I called Travel bug and the girl said they would listen to the recording and call me back. 5 weeks later I rang again and they said because the cooling off period has ending they could not refund my money. I called Dep of Fair Trading to complain but after a short investigation on their part they were told recording is no longer available and my only option was to take them to court. I am a mother of 3 small children with a part time job and just had no no time or energy to go through it but now i wish I did

          • I replied to someone else thinking that I was replying to you! If you move fast, you might still be in your 6 month cooling off period, which is explained below. Further, if they failed to respect your rights when you tried to assert them within six months of purchase, then they still have to give you a refund because you contacted them within 6 months of purchase. You should contact NSW Fair Trading asap and you should be able to get your money back –

            I am currently involved in a similar dispute. I contacted NSW Fair Trading. In passing, I mentioned that they had taken money from my credit card before they had sent the paperwork to me (letter was dated AFTER the money was debited). NSW Fair Trading’s ears pricked up and told me that I had a six month cooling off period because of this.
            Apparently, the Gillard Labor Government brought in new national consumer laws that started on 1 January 2011. This is the new Australian Consumer Law and is contained in Schedule 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. I checked it out myself.

            Basically, you have a six month cooling off period on an unsolicited consumer agreement negotiated by phone (i.e. a cold call sell) if any one or more of the following apply: (a) they took money from you less than 10 business days after you received the letter (i.e. one or two days after the date of their letter);
            (b) the letter does not include prominent and unambiguous details of your cooling off rights on the first page;
            (c) the letter does not include a street address;
            (d) the letter does not provide a termination form;
            (e) the company requires cooling off to be notified in writing and won’t accept a termination by phone.

            These rules are found in sections 76. 79, 82 and 86 of Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2010 – which has fulfilled a Labor promise to replace all the confusing separate state and territory rules.
            The links are here:http://www.consumerlaw.gov.au/content/Content.aspx?doc=the_acl.htm
            http://www.consumerlaw.gov.au/content/Content.aspx?doc=the_acl/legislation.htm
            http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2011C00003/Html/Volume_3#param136 – scroll down from here to see the relevant sections.

        • I wouldn’t say they are a real scam but i must agree that they aren’t exactly a great deal.If your looking at a cheap deal don’t buy, we just got back from 2 nights at the Batman’s Hill on Collins 2 nights free but paid $350 for the meals. Accommodation was lovely, food was sensational, chef is very talented, food was presented nicely and menu was great,we complained about noisy room and were transfered to new room without any problems at all. Overall we got our moneys worth very happy customer Thanks Travel Bug Holidays.

          • Hi there. I am currently involved in a similar dispute. I contacted NSW Fair Trading. In passing, I mentioned that they had taken money from my credit card before they had sent the paperwork to me (letter was dated AFTER the money was debited). NSW Fair Trading’s ears pricked up and told me that I had a six month cooling off period because of this.
            Apparently, the Gillard Labor Government brought in new national consumer laws that started on 1 January 2011. This is the new Australian Consumer Law and is contained in Schedule 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. I checked it out myself.
            Basically, you have a six month cooling off period on an unsolicited consumer agreement negotiated by phone (i.e. a cold call sell) if any one or more of the following apply (a) they took money from you less than 10 business days after you received the letter (i.e. one or two days after the date of their letter); (b) the letter does not include prominent and unambiguous details of your cooling off rights on the first page (c) the letter does not include a street address (d) the letter does not provide a termination form (e) the company requires cooling off to be notified in writing and won’t accept a termination by phone.
            These rules are found in sections 76. 79, 82 and 86 of Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2010 – which has fulfilled a Labor promise to replace all the confusing separate state and territory rules.
            The links are here:http://www.consumerlaw.gov.au/content/Content.aspx?doc=the_acl.htm
            http://www.consumerlaw.gov.au/content/Content.aspx?doc=the_acl/legislation.htm
            http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2011C00003/Html/Volume_3#param136 – scroll down from here to see the relevant sections.

        • TravelBug holidays seems a real scam. This Rep, Mark, was on phone with me for 30 mins explaining the $199 offer and trying to convince me that it is a once in a life time oppotunity. He asked me to check travelbug website and then ABR website for ABN confirmation to show that offer is genuine. He even told me that offer expired 3 days ago and out of favour he is still offering it to me.
          there is no paypal or Bpay payment and i have to pay by debit or credit card.

          thank god, i read all the comments on lifehacker.com.au and made up my mind that something is not right about it.

          Thanks people for sharing your experience. I have not got involved in this mess.

      • I always get suspicious when the offers are too good to be true.. I told them to call me back later. In the mean time I googled this up and when they called, I was ready.. The same thing seems to be going on gumtree and has caught up on carsales, when the seller doesnt give out their contact number…BEWARE Aussies…

        • i got contacted by a scammer after offering my car for sale on gumtree. after some EASY negotiations car is ready for selling.even got notification email from paypal saying the money for my car has been transferred to my account. but that i have to pay some $900+ for some courier guy(as the car was supposed to be shipped to nz) and then paypal would release the money. The email was fake with actually looking like paypal. contacted paypal they said they never hold money back. the amount in email was even covering for this courier cost….BUT FAKE!! put the car for sale again. got about 7 sms asking me to contact them by email as did the first one.

    • I too just received a long and lengthy phonecall from a company called Travelbug, offering 12 nights in a 4 star hotel anywhere in Australia or NZ for $199. The guy had a very thick Indian accent, i thought it strange that a travel company should chase custom. I thought it was a scam and i told him so. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. he was very insistent, and when i told him it was a scam he became even more insistent saying that if i take the deal they would offer me 7 free nights in Bali or Thailand which was so laughable i just put the phone down on him.

      • hi rabin m glad to read ur comment.. let me tell u something very practicle.. five fingers are always not the same.. you know wat i work according my concience ..i dont have to tell a lie to sell the pkg..people who really that are not able to use the deals find it difficult using the offer.. people so dumb and just greedy to buy the pkg the moment u say 199$ or 159.95.. but they don’t give an oppurtunity to explain the total deal… any ways ur comment hurts does’nt hurt bcoz we know wat we are doing..how many of you from the time ur born till now have told a single lie or never cheated any one … if your so perfect you must be god.. m sure you understand wat i mean

    • kathy…seriously? are you capable of thinking? it was blocked as a pop-up since you are accessing it from a diff. website thats how the pop-up blocker works…it automatically blocks whatever link you are trying to access through another website…

    • I’ve just found this scam site, so it is true about travelbug holidays, it is a scam, its so nice to know i’ve thrown $199 down the toilet. I spent this money on beleiving I could go to any hotel/motel in australia and get the second person for free. I was really wrong, the hotels on offer i would’nt dream of staying there $300 per night 1 person(more like a price for a family)They asked me to send back the booklets as soon as i get them, I did, and within 14 days the money will be returned by cheque.silly me, I’m still waiting for my money back since Jan. 5th.2010.No cheque, no credit in bank statement. pack of scabs aren’t they.

      • Hi Sharon

        Seriously? they didn’t refund you back $199? Shit I think I am going to lose mine too. I sent back their package straight away after finding it out that it is a dodgy deal. I also called them and yes they told all the crap “will investigate and take serious action..bla blah..” That Indian telemarketer even had balls to call me back saying they actually told me about the catches. Damn him !!.. Never trust Indians !!

        • The guy on the phone from Travelbug said their ABN number is 40069206793. if they are not returning your money atleast you know whom to chase.
          Good luck.

          • Indians ?
            That’s very racist. Then you should not trust your surgeon, banker or engineers for that matter
            Btw fir your knowledge 46 % of NASA is Indians

          • Vikram sorry about people typecasting Indians so negatively. Please try to understand that many non Indians have frequent contact with telemarketers from India and little or no other exposure to Indian people. Unfortunately it is hard to overcome racist perceptions with that kind of scenario. I just got off the phone from a guy named Chris Noble in India. He said he was from Bargain Breaks and he just about cried when I told him there was no way I would do any transaction over the phone! He was pleading saying he only gets an $8 commission. I have been to India 3 times and I know how hard it is for people to earn a living there. The Bargain Breaks web site was enough to scare me off. There is a blog section with comments from “satisfied” customers. A cheesy PR man put it together for sure!

          • i just received call from “bargain break” and as i have read so many fraud holiday package companies of “india” such as country vacation , Club Mahindra ( pl go www. mouthshut.com to read people grievances)i didnot trusted this one as well . and now when i am reading you people comment i am thanking my stars again.Frinds i want to say only one thing.. there is nothing call free and second if you give your credit card detail to anyone you loose your control of your own money .

            any why anyone with sane mind would like to loose his control of his own money.

            donot trust any call like this even if that is from prime minster.

          • ahh… i feel bad now, i just firmly told off the guy for trying to force my mum (who has a mental disorder that makes her susceptible to these kinds of scams) into giving out her credit card details. i didn’t yell or address him rudely, but i did feel good after HE was the one to hang up after his third call trying to convince me. now i feel guilty for feeling good… i wish there was a way to help these people, other than scamming others…

          • You sound like one of those (very few) hard racists I have ever met in Australia!!

            I was also cheated by TravelBug holidays. I was contacted by a Vietnamese lady and when I was found so suspicious about their credibility, her manager spoke to me – she was an Australian!

            Is that enough a reason to call all of these nationals cheaters and non-trustworthy? Moreover, many Indians, the Vietnamese lady who called me and her Aussie boss (who finally sold the package to me) are all working as call centre employees for (potentially) cheap hourly rates and not the business owner or the brains behind the scam!

          • I returned a package to a holiday company called affordable holidays near Brisbane. I was promised great value accommodation etc but found I could buy the accommodation cheaper from the motel on the net. I have rang, promised a call from the manager. No call. I returned the vouchers etc and still no contact at all. The old saying is If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true . More fool me for getting sucked in.

      • Hi Sharon

        I know the travelbug holidays is a scam. I narrowly escaped from their trap. I am sorry that you got fooled by them. If you already returned their package and they said they will return it, they are legal liable to return it. So you have a point to file a case against them. A easier way would be to call your Credit Card Company or the bank that issued your credit card and explain about the scam and that you have returned their package and they agreed to return the money. The bank can file case against them to get your money back.

        We should all give them hard time too. Cannot let them just cheat people. They should not escape with the cheating.

        They have to rot in hell.

        Nil

    • Hi Kathy, thank you so much for telling everyone about this scam. I am a single mother of two, so when this lady rang I was very excited to have something so cheap.Bargain Breaks 7nights for $109. So while she was talking I googled the ABN 63964521297 and yes you saved me losing money that I could not afford to loss.

    • Oh why didnt I look here first?? Got stung like some others after asking the is there anything else to spend questions. Rang the number, o sir we will investigate this and take serious action… yeah right! Hoping for a refund. Like the very transparent supportive posts by the marketers.

    • Thanks for that!!! I have been pestered by 3 phone calls from these clowns. He he, it all sounds very good and I came very close this afternoon….up to the point of giving my cc number…she had my name down and asked for the number and I said – hang on I just want to do a search on this ABN number of yours…..and your site was the first one that popped up!! She was screaming at me “no! no! listen to me!!” – and I was yelling – you listen to me for a second…and I read out the blurb on your page….and she kept trying to assure me she was kosher and I said look, pet, darling… I have just done a google search on your ABN number and the very first thing that pops up is that it is a SCAM!! Sorry…you failed. Goodbye!! Farewell….and hung up!!

    • i just got called from “BARGAIN BREAKS” and always wary bout telesales i googled it while i was speaking to him, he also gave abn,website,a 1300 number his name brad joseph not bad for an indian, the address of business in southport, and everything,and wen i said i dont pay for anythin with credit card he suggested otherways of paying, after 45 minutes of being a pushy salesman, i had said no repeatedly he threw in 10 free nights as a xmas bonus and was polite all the way thru, as soon as i said can i come to place of business and pay and collect my vouchers he said “your stupid but yes” and hung up on me.so posted on my facebook to be careful of them esp at this time of year sum families coudl be devastated by a scam like this..

    • Bargain Breaks Scam
      I was contacted by an Indian telemarketing company today regarding vouchers for holidays. I asked for the contact details of one of the hotels they have a relationship with so I could check if it was legitimate. After being instructed to ring a 1800 number, and speak to someone at an Australian based company, they refused to give any contact details for any of their hotels. Said I need to pay to be a member to have access to any hotels….. The Indian guy rang me back and I explained the situation. He tried offering me a cheaper deal as a way of building my “trust”
      THe phone call finished. Make sure you ask for contact details for any of the hotels they claim to have a relationship with. If they are legit, they’ll hand it over straight away.

    • I just then got a 30 min call from ‘Daniel’ VERY Indian sounding voice- so much so I couldn;t understand a lot of what he was saying. Same deal here- $159 -10 days to be used ANYTIME over 24 months. I balked at giving C.C. details & he was VERY insistant on calling me back within 30 mins-after I GET my C.C. details for him?!?!?!?!?!? After reading on here. I think I’ll leave it. I’m sure BARGAIN BREAKS ARE a decent Co. BUT- is this guy really working for them?? Sure he gave the ABN, his ID No. Name, Street address – everything, but …..????? $159 for 10 days- condition is I must buy 2 meals in the hotel I stay at. I can see the possibilities & how they’re trying to build up a Co. BUT I can’t afford to lose a cent. So I think I might pass this one, unless he CAN wait for 48 hrs or so. His Insistance on getting MY C.C. details SO quickly rang MY alarm bells.
      What do you guys reckon. BTW- it IS good to see a few ‘real’ people’s GOOD experiences with BARGAIN BREAKS. Not so, to see ALL the possible ‘scam’ ones. & +1 TG for the net & it’s quick info
      Rod

    • guys there are two sides of a coin ..and there are ups and downs in every business…so don’t think dumb…cause if one dog barks the other dogs join them …so its the same ..think both sides…why would star hotels give discounts much….yes they do have these discounts cause the hidden reason behind this is ..not every hotel have 100% occupancy every day…..but still they have to carry on routine cleaning ,maintenance and up keep the room standards….and the costs for manpower, electricity, air conditioning, and other charges are incurred on each room…so in order to maintain good occupancy many hotels were introducing these great offers for normal customers who cannot afford star hotels ..where as normal customer if you want to stay in a star hotel you have spend more than $100 to $200 dollars only on single accommodation…so why not go on these amazing holidays and enjoy and explore …instead of assuming things. and every where there is good and bad, and comparators for every market segment. who want to get down any one who grows…as we are in civilized and globalized society and 21st century as we so called with latest technology every where …no matter who we are and what we are we all are human beings with same color of blood …no racism …and every one is surviving for their bread and butter…and families its not a confession box where you confess but just a telemarketing call

    • I just got a call back from these bunch of low lives. I NEVER give me credit card details out unless I am the person who is ringing and I am sure of the people who are on the other line. Also I dont trust people that have a accent as Iam believe in Australia for Australians!!! If these deals are are legit then I will know lucky I checked the net even tho I was never going to take the deal!!! I recommend people to be rude to these people they normally crack when the pressure is on ask about if its a scam you soon will know and while your on the phone google the company and see if its a scam. I am guess you are all hard working folks of Australia and as I know you work your guts out to get somewhere and $200 is a lot of money when you cant afford it!!

    • I just had a conversation from a very hard sell lady from ‘Bargain Breaks’ when I looked them up on google and saw this site I very politely read the feedback they were getting and she insisted it was the UK site. I corrected her and she quickly said “oh ok goodbye”. so thanks. 🙂

    • You guys are scam, your sales people are giving wrong information, and you website is full of shit.. and the prices are fucking expensive than any other 4 star hotels,
      I am going to report as a scam to Australian government as you guys are ripping Australians.
      You fuckers, you have to work hard to make money.. not this is the way to rip people who are innocent..
      Better you guys close your business as soon as… I will report to everybank, paypal.. to stop the payment for fucking bargain breaks..as it full scam.
      hi guys please never every answer fucking tele marketing calls from india,dont give your cc number to that bastards…tell them shut the fuck up…it my suggestion to all australians.. i am going to put this in every news paper, google, and all the possible websites

    • As a receptionist at one of the hotels formerly on offer through BargainBreaks/LifeStyle Dynamics/TravelBug (all run by Sales Momentum) as well as others such as Australian Discount Holidays or FlexiBreaks I can assure you that these vouchers do have legitimate offers **BUT** 99% of the time the purchasers have been COMPLETELY MISINFORMED BY THE TELEMARKETERS as to how the program works.

      I have fielded a number of telephone calls in the past from people ranging in mood from annoyed to completely enraged to absolutely desperate as they do not have the resources to lose this kind of money and have been given the impression that these vouchers offer a pay-no-more night of free accommodation which is simply not the case. In most cases the vouchers are “Buy-One-Get-One-Free” when you pay the premium rate for the first night you get the second night free; sometimes (but not often) the hotel offers an “Eat-And-Stay-Free” package where each person buys two meals a day from the hotel and the room is free of charge. Depending on the dates you require you may be spending more on the premium first night that it would cost you to book two nights direct with the hotel or online via wotif.com or QuickBeds.

      I tell eveyone I speak to that you are always best off dealing directly with the hotel you wish to stay with (and here’s a hint: check wotif.com before you call the hotel and when speaking to the reservations department ask for $10 off the wotif rate – the hotels pay 10% commission for each room they sell online through sites like wotif.com and Quickbeds so they won’t be getting the whole rate in the end anyway, and you could even save on the $5 online booking fees they charge as well).

      Good luck to all who have fallen victim to these people.

  • Also got strung along with Bargain Breaks & stupidly have paid for a holiday which as turns out is no bargain at all. Wish I had checked this out properly 1st. They were SOOOO good at the spiel!
    What can consumers do to report these scxams & have them investigated?

  • I just had a call from a company called travelbug selling accommodation vouchers for $199 for 12 nights anywhere in Australia. Wondering if it’s the same thing. Seems to good to be true, which is why I’m trying to find some info. Think I’ll leave it for now. They really have the script down pat though.

    • Hi I purchased Travelbug vouchers. These vouchers that were offered to me over the phone for $199. I was told that there was nothing else to pay. Much to my discus the vouchers didn’t offer any real saving at all. The prices are either the same or higher than wotif.com. I’ve asked for a refund but all I’ve got is the run around. So I’ve lost my money now. How can we stop these scams?

      • Hi there, unfortunately I have gotten stung by these people. I received a call from TravelBug Holidays and paid for the vouchers for $199. The Indian fellow on the phone had given me first up the address and licence number of the business. I also looked up their website. Since I had had these type of phone calls before I pointedly asked him if there was any other money to pay after paying for vouchers. I also asked him if the vouchers were only valid if we paid for meals at the holiday destination. He lied and said no. When receiving the vouchers, it was clear that this was untrue. There was definitely more money to pay. It was also clearly unsuitable for a family, even though I had asked about that too. When I rang the number I was given, a girl answered the phone and she did not announce as is customary with any business as to where she was answering the phone from. I had to ask whether they were TravelBug Holidays. This made me suspicious. I have sent the vouchers back within the 14 days that they say they will give you a refund, but with your statement, I am not holding my breath for a refund. I will report these people to the ACCC. Who knows whether it will help but they gave me a lot of information and I wrote it all down. So hopefully the ACCC can do something. I will be keeping a sharp eye on my credit card charges from now on to make sure that they don’t make any more withdrawals. If they do, I will ensure the transaction is refused by my bank.

      • Hi,
        My husband just got scammed by Travelbug for the $159.95. Thought he would take them up on their incredible offer – something he has never done before!! As everyone knows it’s a dud. Do you know if anyone’s gotten a refund out of these people, particularly JJ who sent the vouchers back?

        • In case anyone is wondering, ex banky. if u want to dispute a transaction u just need to call ur bank. You can cancel any transaction for up to 3 months, if it is a scam they wont challenge it as visa / mastecard just simply dont pay or in case of serious fraud they “investigate” whatever that means. And to take on the might of them is a challenge in itself. But disputing payments in this new are of banking and global finance and ‘fraud’ means it is as simple as making a phone call to your banks friendly customer service line and lodging your ‘disputed transaction’. And to avoid any further complications, do it within 10 days cooling off period just in case they want to challenge it too, if ur credit provider allows this, often they cant do it for a few days after the transaction until it is listed on your account, but still pays to ring them and check and make that dispute, If they are even remotely dodgy they will not even try to challenge the financial institution. And remember in Australia our banks are very big and powerful on the world stage. they gunna need sum big balls to take them on.

  • I had one of these calls today but thanks to this site and all of the above comments, we had suspicions, a little research and a couple of phone calls, Including The Australian Competition and Consumers Comission, we I think wisely declined their offer. They were persistant and offered me a starter package less money and days when I declined their first offer. One good thing though we kept them tied up on the phone for ages while we did the reasearch. So annoying less people. LOL

    • Hi,

      This i s some thing completely bad because even i got a cal on bargainbreaks i took the package of 14 nights of 209$ 6 months back even i just had my holiday in goldcoast every thing is fine.
      Dont give wrong thing on this because these people really want to save our money and want to advertise their company help them to increase their business.

    • I got the same call from Travelbug and luckily told them i do not have a credit card and also asked for their details so i could research this first. A week before i had a call from bargain breaks and told them i do not have a credit card and they said they would call back later with details of how else i could pay. I never got the call back so figure this is the best way to get rid of them. Now i know it is a scam i will just say that from now on. No call register does not stop these people from calling.

  • Got a call from Bob at Bargain Breaks in Southport. He provided the phone number 1300 811 744 which matches the website. The caller ID said overseas and Bob (with an indian accent) did say his call was routed thru a satellite. I hung up immediately.

    Very suss.

  • i just recieved the call also and was on the phone for about half an hour and couldnt get a word in edgeways. sounded quite convincing but told her i couldnt pay today, the floor manager then offered me 34 nights for only $309 if i gave her my credit card details today. i smelled a rat, and told her to call me tomorrow. thanx to this website im looking forward to her call so i can tell her to take a hike!

  • Normally I don’t even entertain calls like these but like you all said, the Indian lady from Bargain Breaks was verrrry persuasive and clearly working from a detailed script. Also refused to pay over phone though until I’d checked it out – 14 nights for $209 sounds too good to be true- which it seems it is. Since found out 4 people were jailed in England for running a scam under ‘Bargain breaks’ – you’d think if it was the same company they would at least change their name? Dept Fair trading here only have 2 complaints against them – you would think there would be more though if they were as bad?

    • Hi Every one i bought a pack from bargainbreaks and i am still usin it i have 2more vouchers and have planed my next holiday in the comin months i am very un happy 2 see people just givin faulse info about a growing business .. hope the helps 11-06-10.

  • Just had one of the calls from Bargain Breaks. I told them that they had been reported to ACCC as per one of the messages above, but that didn’t stop the hard sell. Maybe I should have said ASIC.

    They did say that if I wanted particular nights that I should book 24 weeks in advance. So they must have made a recent change to their spiel to cover themselves should (as expected) accommodation isn’t available for the nights you want.

    • I just paid $109 to Bargain Breaks, reading all the comments after the deal is done. I paid by Credit Card. The lady name is daisy as she sounded so Indian.

      They promised we will not be charged extra for our accomodation, once we pay over the phone. I hope we get our vouchers and they keep their promise of no extra costs. I am really annoyed with the change of names and having an Indian accent!!!! Perhaps we need to report this to ASIC.

  • Thanks everyone for posting the comments, I did some quick research while on the phone and then hung up on the indian guy, he called back 4 times and I didn’t answer.
    Cheers

    • Hi Guys,
      Thanks so much for these information. Just now I got a call from Bargain Breaks and this guy introduced me with their ABN number 63964521297 and asked me to check thiis number at http://www.abr.business.gov.au and I found the number is valid. Again he asked me to check their website and I checked and found the offer. I asked him, can I buy this package through their website and he told me, he was speaking to me for more than 20 minutes and if I buy through their website, he will not eligible for the points for telemarketing. Also he provided me their bank account details. I was about to give my creditcard details and a bell ring on my head and googled bargain breaks and i saw these postings by you guys. I asked him to hang up the line and he wanted me to speak to his supervisor and i told him I dont want to speak with him. I asked hiis number and he denied to give his number.

  • Thank God for this site. These guys just caught me as I sat down on the PC. I looked them up as he was talking. He started the call by naming my address! WTH?! Dodgy from the first sentence! I wouldn’t mind a bargain break from telemarketers once in a while. ugh…

  • Received a call a few hours ago from ‘Catherine’ who works for Bargain Breaks in Southport QLD. She had a great offer (14 days vouchers for $149) and spent 10-15 minutes giving me all the information. Sound good but I wasn’t gonna give my credit card details. So she wanted to put her supervisor on to answer further questions. I had to get back to work and told her to get her supervisor to ring back after work. I thought I’ll do some research before they ring back and I found all the above comments. Glad people are posting their comments to help others out. Warning – DO NOT give out credit card details to ANYONE over the phone!!!! Well, I’m still waiting for them to call so I can tell them where to go!!

  • I got a phone call from Bargain Breaks on 04/05/10 offering 14 nights for $209 and if i joined now i would get an extra 7 nights. I smelt a rat as it was to good to be true. They gave me and address being: Sunrise Business Centre U3/5 Windmill Street, Southport QLD 4215. They also gave me a reg no of 63964521297. I have researched ASIC and although this is a registered Business Name, the reg no is different. This is a SCAM, Beware

  • a call from TRAVEL HOLIDAY BUG telemarketer offering a 12 nite Accomodation for only A$159 in voucher form…insisting to have my credit card details but careful she NEVER MENTIONED ITS FREE OR DISCOUNTED accomodation. So I asked her if its free or discounted she said 12nites Accomodation …..so careful of what they are saying too…I ask her to call back ..

  • So glad I saw this site, was talking to some Indian dude named Sam from travelbugholidays in Sydney hes calling me today I will tell him to F#@$ off politely (not) bastard almost got scamed.

  • I just received a call with withheld number (which i see 5 missed calls in the last week) from Travelbug Holidays – first spoke with one indian girl who has all my name, address, phone numbers. She then transfered me to her supervisor (name Kevin Johnson) who sounds also Indian. He offered 12 nights accommodation @ 199 and asked me to go to the company website, then ask me to check the ABN number from the ABN.gov.au website. Lucky i searched and found this website, thanks all for sharing so we dont fall to this scam.

  • I bought Travel Bug vouchers, and so far they have worked exactly as described on their website, no complaints – it’s just the horrible, incessant, phone calls that really ‘bug’ me. The amount of time they are prepared to waste is incredible. Whoever ‘trains’ their telemarketers must be a total idiot – and think we are all idiots too!
    But thanks to your site for pointing out wotif.com making me a better informed traveller.

  • i just saw these all messages when iam booking for my hotel room.i just dont agree with all they r helping us to save us ou money by booking it they r not forcing r they r not taking more than single dollar from our accounts so how come all thes comments on this compnay let them grow and do their business if it is possible help to increase the business.

    • Kiran, please, if you expect us to believe your posts are from genuine bargain break clients, at least make an effort to use correct grammar! We aussie’s are’nt as stupid as you seem to think!

        • Hi Sanjay,

          That is so true. My girlfriend is a European. She was so excited about the offer and just wanted to pay and get the $220 package from Bargain Breaks. But being an Indian I smelt something wrong while talking to the Indian guy over the phone.I googled the website name & came across this page. For a second I couldn’t say a word to reply my girlfriend out of shame.
          Just because of these few assholes the entire country is disreputed.

    • Hi,
      Just received a call from bargin breaks. Thought I would look into it further and found this website…I think it’s good to have people comment due to the fact that they have been ripped off! Thanks! as now I won’t be fooled…but as to the positive comments… did anyone else notice that the feedback was hard to understand (not proper english) like someone from their company was writing the comment?

    • I was lucky enough to not go ahead with the so called “bargin package deal” barginbreaks were offering me. They are soo cunning!! Ihad ah Indian woman on the ph with me by the name of Chris Brown- now tell me does that sound Indian to you? Same with all the weirdly english names these Indians are using seemed a lil odd to me. I know deep down that this is a scam and this website here says it all. As for you Kiran Reedy, although you might have been 1 out of gazillion customers that were lucky to get the offer and not get your money stolen etc..i thought a comment from you would sympathise on these people on this website who have been ripped off out of there hard earned money..unfortunately you either dont have a heart-or YOU work for them too!!!

  • I just have a call from Bargain Breaks, so thought i would google the name after he went to all the trouble of giving his employee no: business no: without any prompting on my behalf. It made me very suspicious. When i seen all the hits for scam on google i told them i wasn’t interested and hung up. He immediately called back so i told him I am not falling for this scam, and hung up again.

  • I have had calls from Bargin Breaks in the past but did not take up the offer because I do not have a credit card and also I thought it was a scam and so avoided dealing with them.
    However just on 25/5/10 I received another call from Bargain Breaks they sounded genuine with an offer explaining that we must eat two meals a day at the place of accommodation, this made it sound fair enough on part of hotel or motel and so I have just accepted the offer of 14 days plus 6 extra nights.
    This time Bargain breaks agreed to take a cheque for $209.00 which I posted to POB 957 South Port Business Centre Qld 4215. The cheque was cleared on 27/5 10.
    Now I am wondering what to expect
    Can they be traced via their bank account?
    i mean direct debits can be traced???
    My cheque can be traced to an account.
    Surely if this is a scam they must be stopped even by the banks because they are criminal and illegal activity.
    How can i get my money back if this is a scam?
    Can anyone advise me.?
    Lyn

    • Lyn,..if you already pay through checks,i think it would takes time for them to see if it is already accepted through bank..yes,actually you can trace the payment that you made if you got their ACN #..JUST INQUIRE that to NAB.and which Bank you did your transaction you have to ask for the receipt #..and then call the Customer service of that company and give your receipt #and they will check that in your records and if happens your not their well that would be the time to say they scam you…god bless

  • I notice that Jason who made comment about Bargin Breaks on 11/5/10 and also Karin Reddy 26/5/10 praise Bargain Breaks and think you should get off their backs and give them a go and are interested in the Bargin Breaks business growing?
    Could they be connected to Bargin Breaks or are they Genuine people?
    I suspect they are connected with Bargain Breaks because their written English is poor?
    What do you think?
    Lyn

  • Lyn Lewis unfortunatly iv been scamed aswell by the same sales pitch i will be trying everything i can to get my money back and will let you know how i go on these forums.If you have any luck please let me know.

  • hello Matt b

    Matt I have just received my 20 Bargain Breaks Holiday vouchers ( much to my surprise)

    Now what I have discovered is that the hard sell talk is missleading to say the least.
    But after receiving the vouchers I phoned Bargain Breaks to make a booking in Canberra NSW.
    The Lass who answered the call was an Aussie Gal Melissa.
    She explained the real deal.
    It appears that there are any one of 4 deals offered. these deal are on back of their letter.

    Now these offer ONLY applies if there is a Hotel or Motel doing that particular offer in the area.
    as in purchase meals and stay free.or pay one get one free ect.
    I bought our $209.00 offer thinking that anywhere I went was a free night and pay for meals deal.
    However I now find that is not correct , its the sellers who do the too Good to be true offer.

    May I say that the vouchers appear to be a Genuine discount offer and DO have Hotel and motel offers available in the areas quoted.

    But the real deal is Not quite what the hard sellers say.

    I asked about Canberra NSW and got the names of three Hotels One a 5 star The Diamant, breakfast included $220.00 per night was Bargain breaks price and I must book direct through Bargain breaks 1300 811 744

    So i phoned the Diamant Hotel on 61752222 and asked about their price .
    The normal price was $310-$330 per night and breakfast extra $15 each plus parking $20.00 per night.
    So bargain Breaks Do offer a good discount of about $125.00 per night. Now this is good and Genuine for anyone who has money and has the intention of travelling or holidaying.
    But for anyone who thinks they are getting the really great deal the hard sell phone people say
    may be disapointed.
    I think that bargain breaks should change their hard sell agents and if explained clearly many people would benfit from the discounts offered.

    i am going to book canberra and will let you know the Go.
    Lyn

  • Unfortunately, I bought the 20 vouchers Bargain Breaks deal after a very convincing and persistent Indian fella from Brisbane called. Let me tell you after having doubts about the money i forked out, I went on line to check the hotel reservation rates directing with the hotel I was interested in staying. I found I could have received the room at a cheaper rate than Bargain Breaks! I then phone Bargain breaks with this information and after some checking up she came back to me and offered the same price. However after buying your 20 voucher equivalent to $10 each you are expected to believe you are getting a bargain because you will get $10 off at payment!
    I also email the hotel and they said they never heard of Bargain Breaks! I felt sick in the stomach to think I had been had. However on more checking they book under Hotels2go and there is a booking fee. so how is bargain Breaks making it work? Nice website and convincing but NO Bargain here. Beware you will be paying out more unless you do some checking out.

    • I just received a very persuave and aggressively marketed called from Bargain Breaks. The consultant claimed that I could holiday at almost any hotel in Australia, with a friend, for a total of $109. The only catch was that I had to purchase 2 meals per day at the hotel. I immediately sensed a scam. I asked to think about and to have her number so I could call her back. She gave an excuse not to give out her number. I said I’d call the number given on Bargain Breaks website. She said that number was only for booking holidays. I knew by this stage that she was lying. Not sure if the Bargain Breaks company is a scam, but this heavily accented voice wasn’t from Bargain Breaks, I don’t think.

  • Just had a call from Travel Bug so they are still operating the deal sounded too good to be true – 12 nights for $199.95 and the factor that the operator kept repeating the ‘speil’ made me suspicious so I played along for a bit and the Indian sounding lady was so excited to think she had a sale that I could almost hear the $ signs ringing…hehehe so I said forget it this is ‘too good to be true’ you know the old saying if it’s too good to be true then it probably is, I think of this whenever I have a call these days. Thought I would google ‘travelbug’ just to see and my gut feeling was right on. Thanks!

  • I just had the call from bargainbreaks.com.au It just doesn’t seem right that they can offer me 20 nights accommodation for $209, less than 2 nights of what wotif.com, quickbeds and lastminute can secure.
    The lady couldn’t answer my questions so put the supervisor on. He was desperate for my credit card details and physical address.
    The ABN is a genuine one but registered as Other Unincorporated Entity which is normally for sporting clubs, RSL and unions. Does not make sense that a business securing deals with tops hotels is not a Pty Ltd. Genuine companies doing this would be and be allocated an ACN by ASIC. They are trying to avoid the ACCC radar

  • After more investigating, the Bargain Breaks office address is 3 – 5 Windmill Street, Southport, 4215, QLD, Australia.

    Why would they need a building taking up that much space? so I investigated further. There are many businesses registered at that address for mailing but are not at that physical location. Sunrise Business Centre which is at that address offers virtual offices.

    Hotels2go as mentioned by someone else earlier is registered under the same address so most probably the same operators. The same address also has businesses registered that wouldn’t need a virtual office; mechanics, finance companies, business institutes, study centres, graphic designers, aluminium manufacturers, website designers and an airconditioning company. Something is dodgy

    Bargain Breaks and Hotels2Go, hotelstarcard, are all on the same server and have the same virtual office and PO BOX address also.

    Freedom Escapes Pty Ltd, another holiday scam, has a NSW address but they registered Hotels2Go under the name of Lance Martin. Lance Martin is also the registration name for bargainbreaks.com.au but under a different company name of SALES PARADIGM PTY LTD also NSW address.

    Also found this on Whois re:bargainbreaks.com.au
    There are 4 domains hosted on this IP address.
    Here are a few of them:

    1.Banjazmusic.com
    2.Bargainbreaks.com.au
    3.Clubplatinum.com.au
    4.1 more…

    Sales Paradigm also own sensationalstays.com.au. Whois had this:
    There are 2,502 domains hosted on this IP address.
    Here are a few of them:

    1.04141982.com
    2.07191975.com
    3.1-4-u.info
    4.2499 more…

    http://www.sunrisebusinesscentre.com.au/location.html

    Hope all this helps 🙂

    • Sunrise Business Centre is a genuine business offering a virtual office service for small business that do not have the need for full time office staff. Bargain Breaks is not associated with or part of Sunrise Business Centre in any way. They occupy separate office space within the same building that is also part of 130 Scarborough St. All tenants have individual entrances and exits to their premesis and are in no way affiliated with each other.

  • I got a call from a robert gonzales from a company called travel bug. they might as well called it trouble bug because that robert is a scammer…rot in hell!!!

  • Well,I was stupidly conned by a very persistant Indian lass as well from Bargain Breaks. Sounded too good to be true. I asked questions, LOTS of questions and was ASSURED that I was buying 20 nights accommodation and I would not have to pay another cent for it as long as I bought a meal at the Hotel. And if I wanted to eat somewhere else, then I could decide to pay for 1 night and get the next free. That was it, no more catches apparently.

    I asked if there was any exclusions periods to this deal and was told no, just make sure I booked plenty of time ahead, no problem.
    So ofcourse I hit the roof when I got my vouchers and realised exactly what the “deal” was. To say their method of selling is deceptive and misleading is putting it lightly. I rang, voiced my complaint and was told it would be investigated in the form of the Manager listening to the transcript of our conversation to see if I was indeed mislead. 2 days later, they rang me and informed me that after listening to the call, they deemed it was explained clearly and I understood what the terms and conditions were and that I was not eligible for a refund. HA!
    To cut a long story short, I told them to keep that recorded conversation as the Department of Fair Trading would be needing to hear it as well after I ring up and report them. I asked to speak directly to the Manager before I hung up but she had conveniently “just stepped out for a minute” and would call me back. 6 hours later I rang Bargain Breaks back and finally got to speak to the Manager and wouldn’t you just know, suddenly they were able to refund me my money. 2 weeks later I got it back and all I can say is NEVER AGAIN!!!

    Do not be conned, you can get the same if not better deals just by looking around yourself, without paying for the stupid vouchers!

    • Hi Shell and everyone else…
      Well I never get conned by telesales!!!! but recently after a few glasses of wine I had a call from Bargain Breaks – I asked millions of questions, made sure I had all my information at hand and bought 10 vouchers for $120 believing I could use these in Melbourne when we go in January. HA Ha Ha!!!! Logged on today – there are no hotels under $950 available in the centre of Melbourne…(which I was told there were heaps)so I ran Bargain Breaks and complained. They also told me they had to listen to the recording to make sure I was not told the correct information – I bet they don’t even listen to the recording- so I going to take your advice, and let them know that they will be reported to the Dept. of Fair Trading…I am so cross with myself…Never again!!!!

  • I just recieved a call from Travel Bug Holiday, and wrote all the information down as she was talking. When she came to the end of the speil, and asked for my credit card details, I told her that my husband and I never make any purchases with our credit card online or over the phone without consulting eachother. She then said to do it anyway, and suprise him with holiday vouchers! HA! This was the first thing to ring a warning bell! What civilized person would suggest to go agianst someones partner like that??
    It goes without saying I told her NOT INTERESTED!

  • I’ve just returned from an overseas holiday & got a call from David at Bargain Breaks, who told me my details had been provided by the Australian Government’s Tourism Department, who want to encourage people to holiday in Australia.Very, very insistent & unwilling to answer questions that deviated from his script; however, insisted on providing the company’s ABN 63964521297, their Westpac account number & BSB. I was checking on line while he was talking & found this website, so challenged him about this being a scam – hotly denied, of course. Scam or not, I wasn’t about to give my credit card details to someone who calls unsolicited & told him so; he was still doing the hard sell as I put the phone down.

  • I recieved a call from James (Travel Bug Holiday) ,– 12 nights for $199 , i was happy and i received the pack by last wk, and i booked 4 nights – Qld Goldcoast, even i got the booking conformation number from travelbug,i am very happy because normally i ll spend $120 per night, but now just $199 12 night. its a very good saving for me,
    thanks for travel bug holidays, they are doing a very great job… But i dont know why people are giving wrong comments about a good company…

    • Wow Charles arent u lucky. How about trying to put yourself in the shoes of everyone else on this website who have been ripped a couple of hundred dollars?? Perhaps they a soft spot for you. Maybe everyone should just go through u then?
      Some people just dont get it!! If i got the package myself and everything was fine I would still sympathise for those who got conned-not make a comment about why we complaining abot there good business!

    • Charles, according to your earlier posts you work for Travel Bug so your comments appear to reflect self interest and therefore hold very little weight…..like Travel Bug Holidays evidently. We too were conned by Bargain Breaks and I have noticed that all of the positive feedback about this company seemed to come from people who have English as their Second Language ….hmmmmm, perhaps they also have a vested interest in Bargain Breaks

  • I just got back from an awesome time in NZ. i got these vouchers from travelbug holidays. It was as good as they said if you actually took time to understand how it works. everything they said absolutely true and I would mind going on another trip courtesy of them. 12 nights for 199 aint bad, considering that i usually pay somewhere around 140 a night in NZ. by the way, if anyone of get a call from them listen to how it works cuz thats where some people get burned. it will work if you take time to understand. im going to the Gold coast a few weeks from now and I just called my travelbug booking agent, now all i got to do is sit back and wait for my booking to push through. thank you travelbug!

    • hi i bought bargain breaks and travelbug vouchers, i used both of them was quite disappointed with bargain break vouchers. i called, mailed, emailed, faxed, cartwheeled, jumped jacks and walked on water to get my booking from bargain breaks to go but no matter what i do i still cant go. i paid a good 109 for those vouchers and i cant even figure out heads or tails what’s going on. my travelbug vouchers on the other hand worked like a charm, sent my vouchers to the booking office i got a call after a day to tell me that my bookings pushed through all of the 3 choices of hotel i gave them, they were just asking which one i wanted to go to because all of them were ready. never again will i be burned by bargain breaks because im already a travelbug VIP.

  • Thanks everyone! I did some quick Googling whilst I was on the phone with a guy with a thick Indian accent named Daniel on Travelbug. I too was offered the holiday vouchers for $199. I questioned their deal to buy some time whilst I read. Daniel gave me the ACN for the company which didn’t work in a Google search (it could’ve been any bogus number – for the record it was 069206793), then Daniel handed me over to his supervisor when I said I couldn’t find it. The 2nd guy directed me to their official site and used it to help him sell the package by pointing out all the properties on offer, etc… I politely decined and hung up on him. I’d learned my lesson from being burnt by a company called Florida Direct over 10 years ago to the tune of $2000 for a holiday to the US I never took so I think for $200 you got off lightly!

  • Just received a call from Bargin Breaks, 7th july 2010. Wow thanks for your site!!! They were offering 10nights for $150 in a 4 1/2 star hotels my children could stay for free.
    It sounded really good – until it got shakey when the manager come on phone and started telling me names of hotels like witsunday island and palm cove and he asked me write down his name and address, abn and business name, so i asked for return phone number since i had everything else, he than told me he couln’t do that and would offer the same deal for $99 instead of $150. I let him babble on about how nice the hotels were and goggled bargin breaks and found your site. I told him i goggled you, don’t ever call me again and hung up, he has since called again and again.
    Here i was thinking i could be sunning myself on some beach somwhere. DURRRRRR!

  • I was contacted by an indian man called John last night whom got my number through a friend.He asked for my credit card details when he realised i didnt have a credit card he wanted a direct debit card number when I told I didnt have that either he wanted to know if i had a cheque book & if so to give him the details.
    He also asked for names & details of friends & relatives.
    He had rung my friend many times previously & told them that they had won a free holiday from filling in a form at a shopping centre. but my friend said they hadnt so they contacted them again yesterday with a $109 deal & believed him but since they werent interested,they passed on my information, knowing that I was thinking of going 4 a holiday but couldnt afford it.
    But something told me to check online & Ifound this site thank gooness.
    He will get a shock when he calls me back today so please take care not to divulge any info to anyone for your own sake & dont give out anyone elses names nor numbers etc.

  • I just got a call from Travel Bug Holidays, offering 12 nights for $199.

    They even said I could pay by direct debit/money transfer from my account to theirs, when I told them I don’t have a credit card.

    Thank goodness for the internet, I googled when I thought it was too good to be true, and found this page. Thanks all who shared their experiences and warned others.

  • I bought Travel Bug vouchers, and so far they have worked exactly as described on their website, no complaints – it’s just the horrible, incessant, phone calls that really ‘bug’ me. The amount of time they are prepared to waste is incredible. Whoever ‘trains’ their telemarketers must be a total idiot – and think we are all idiots too!
    But thanks to your site for pointing out wotif.com making me a better informed traveller.

  • Just got a phone call from them today. The Indian sounding ladies said that they were from Travelbug.

    Thank goodness for websites like this!

    I got suspicious when the caller called me by my maiden name (which I haven’t used for a couple of years) and then didn’t allow me to even voice whether I was interested or not interested in the deal. She kept ending each statement with “okay?”. She then passed me onto her manager, Sharon.

    Alarm bells went off when she said that she would need my credit card details. Another alarm bell went off when I said I would call her back tomorrow after talking to my husband, and she insisted that she call back even though she had just given me their phone number (Which was the Travelbug number- easily retrieved from their website).

    What did not match was the address they gave me. They gave me an actual address in Sydney, but the official website was a P.O. box number.

    It was the $199 for 12 nights anywhere deal that they tried to sell me.

    Sounds like this one truely was too good to be true!

  • The Travelbug Australia accommodation offer spruiked by phone solicitation is an outright scam. Avoid at all costs. The offers made over the phone simply do not exist. Instead you will be sent six worthless vouchers promising 2 for 1 accom. But when you try to book with these vouchers you quickly find that the first night cost is more than double, up to quadruple, the standard hotel rate available to anyone booking that hotel. There is no saving to be had. It is that simple. Complaints should be made to: http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

  • A couple of weeks ago I received a phone call from a gentleman with a heavy Indian accent, informing me that we had been selected for a free 2 week holiday anywhere in Australia.

    I couldn’t get a word in edgewise as I wanted to know how he’d got our name and number but he kept rambling on.

    He asked me some “qualifying” questions … I was very vague with my answers because I felt there was something wrong with the call from the start.

    Then he continues to ask how much we earn … EXCUSE ME?!? Why on earth would he need to know that if we have supposedly “won” a free holiday?!? I told him I didn’t work and that I’m not sure exactly how much my husband earns.

    He then asked if we make more than a thousand dollars a week. I said no and then he proceeded to tell me, “sorry, unfortunately you do not qualify for the package” but he’ll put my name in for the next draw for five free nights.

    Talk about suspicious!!!!

    Today (10 Aug 2010) I get a call from an Indian guy called Michael from Bargain Breaks. I swear it’s the same guy! He starts by telling me that we’ve won travel vouchers, not letting me get a word in. I tell him “no thanks, we’re not interested” but he keeps pushing telling me that it’s not a time share. I tell him for a second time, “no thank you, we are not interested” and the guy just wont take no for an answer. Eventually I practically shout at him, “NO THANK YOU, WE ARE NOT INTERESTED, GOODBYE!” and hung up.

    I have registered all our numbers on donotcall.gov.au, something I’ve been meaning to do for a while.

    I’m going to buy a whistle and the next time I get a call from these guys and they talk over me and won’t take no for an answer I’m going to blow into it as hard as I can and see if that gets through to them!

    I don’t see how this business can be legitimate, especially considering we have received 2 letters in the mail from different “legal” firms in Madrid telling us how someone with the same last name as us has died, leaving behind unclaimed millions and, as there’s no next of kin they’d like us to help them out. To quote these “barristers” directly “All the legal documentations to back up your claim as my client’s Next of Kin I shall provided them”.

    We’ll let the fraud squad have fun with those.

    If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

  • hey all, i just had an extremely conincing call from a lovey Michelle Wilson with Indian accent calling from SUNSET TRAVEL she almost had me but i had no money in the card & she insisted on having the details of the card but not running it through till tomorrow told her to call me back tomorrow, so cant wait for that…THEN…within 2 minutes the phone rang again with Sheila Fanandes from BARGAIN BREAKS, with another good deal, i also smelt the rat & was suss from the start as they almost sounded like the same person, then she put the floor manager on….she’s calling me back in 2 hours hahaha cant wait for that, dissapointed in myself for wasting so long on the phone to them..also beware there isn’t any delay before they answer you so they must be calling from Oz somewhere…Thank you all for your feedback….Happy Holidays

  • Hey thanks for all your comments regarding Travelbug Holidays
    I got the call form the lady – very thick accent
    Found it really hard to understand her
    I got on the net and looked them up whilst she was on the phone saw the blog and I said I wasn’t interested and hung up
    She had my mobile number as well as my home number – neither of which is listed – then stated my address!!
    After hanging up I have recieved approx 20 calls one after the other on both the home and the mobile
    My husband ended up telling her to not ring again with a few colourful eupherisms
    It isa shame that one has to resort to speaking to another human being like that just to get them to leave you alone

    I object to these people having access to my personal details such as my phone numbers – they are unlisted for a reason!!
    The number she was ringing me on was alternating with a private number and a 0011342101 if this rings don’t answer
    BEWARE

  • Bargain Breaks give misleading information. The Indian sales person ‘Kevin’ does not tell you that you have to stay more than 1 night to get the second free. He puts pressure on you pay by credit card (luckly I did not). He kept ringing me every day. You cannot get access to information on their site unless you buy the vouchers. When you phone the company they tell you that they cannot connect you with the sales team. Sounds too good to be true – it is. I will be very careful in future. Annette Kerridge

  • just got call from bargain breaks offering 14 vouchers 259 dollars told her didnt have any money on credit card she said give us the number and we will just keep it till you put money on it . she said her name was jessica johnson i see thers another person with the same surname . they also gave me there address abn number i told them call me back to morrow . she said if i do it today she will drop the price i became vary and checked out this site thank you . cant wait for them to all tomorrow …. REMEMBER NOTHING IN LIFE IS EVER FOR FREE………………………..

  • BARGAIN BREAKS is a scam. Indian telemarketer is very convincing, I experienced similar to Jacob (May 1) in an earlier posting. Offer was 25 nights for $320, with 2 years to use vouchers. He quoted ABN, & took me to website as well as providing their Westpac a/c no & showing me that their business is registered. Very easy to be fooled. Given my objections, I was offered a further 10 nights (10 vouchers), later offered a cooling off period (don’t know why I wasn’t offered this earlier). Pressure to buy on the spot & provide details & informing that the offer will end today! With haste telemarketer agreed to call me back following night. He couldn’t wait till the agreed time, I received over 20 missed calls. I didn’t need to read these testimonies to realise this was all a farce. Simple rule, offers that appear too good are a trap. Never pay money until you know exactly what you’re getting, & if in any doubt no harm calling the police. Be vigilant to protect your security & raise awareness to authorities to help eliminate organisations like this from existing.

  • My husband just ordered that 20 coupon deal from BargainBreaks.com, the same company in Australia that a few people above appear to have dealt with. Actually, the salesman was pretty clear that the coupons were limited to certain hotels, rather than any hotel. Each coupon is also tied to either eating food at the hotel or getting 1 night accommodation free, as long as we booked two nights. So, it’s clear from the outset that nothing is free.

    They do seem to be above board. That said, I’m not expecting miracles. I’ve had great results from wotif.com, and I know that hotels occasionally give great prices, from the correct distributor.

    I’m also not surprised if a Hotel staff member is unaware of the various vendors and distributors they may engage.

    I’m hoping for good results.

  • Hi there,

    I just got a call from bargain breaks (Chris – floor manager) exactly with the same offers as mentioned above, I told them i don’t want to give my credit card detais, she then gave the account details for the amount to be deposited. The offer is really too good to be true.
    Just want to know if anyone else has tried this offer recently and is it worth?

    Your respinse is much appreciated

    Anthony

  • Man wat a sly bunch of salespersons… “Kevin Stone” how many indain/srilankan sounding men go by that bloody name??? This was just my first concern. Then i couldn’t get a word in anywhere, he spoke over the top all the time repeating this awesome yet to good to be true sounding deal, so as most have done. Google it….. and what i find is scam scam scam. nothing right about these punks at all. 14 nights anywhere in Aus/NZ for just $249 twin share kids under 14 complimentary and all you have to do is by 2 meals at the hotel.
    He nearly had me but you know the story, “Oh sorry mate but the misses is out with the girlfriends shopping and you know girls and credit cards? They just love them”
    This company is definately scamish and really annoying and i would rather search for and pay more for a holiday knowing that i will get what i pay for. WATCH OUT!

  • My wife was called today aswell, by a very pushy, rude, and insistent salesperson from TravelBug. She smelt a rat, so wisely did a Google search for TravelBug, saw this post and immediately terminated the call.

    Now that I’m home, I’ve looked through this blog, and one thing sticks out like a sore thumb, are the comments made by;

    Kiran Reddy on May 26, 2010 at 7:24 PM
    charles d,costa on June 23, 2010 at 7:52 PM
    and
    jason on May 11, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Clearly employees of the company, Charles I suggest is someone higher up, may even have a financial interest in TravelBug.

    What Kiran and jason have written is possibly very misleading (pretending they are customers) and unethical, what charles has put into words is just down right rude! Why would you want to buy anything off someone who displays this sort of attitude. And…… this type of arrogance and rudeness is something readily accepted abroad in countries such as India.

    BEWARE, BEWARE, BEWARE!!!

    • I agree with you entirely. I thought the same when I read those 3 comments. ‘Their English wasnt to clear either????? That got me wondering about scam comments to mislead.

  • I am curious to know if anybody has actually taken the holidays offered by Travelbug and what the outcome was. Please list the things that were promised and did not eventuate and that you were not happy with.
    Finally if these companies have been reported to the authorities then why are they still in business? I have purcahsed one of these packages and on quering the price of the meals was offered a 50% discount.Is it worth it? I don’t know yet.

  • Am getting endless overseas calls from Travel Bug despite telling them over and over again to stop calling me. I will have to go on the Do Not Call register as they have been phoning me for several weeks now, night and day. I shouted at the guy on the phone today to stop calling me and he shouted his offer back over the top of me. They just do not give up… sigh….

  • Thanks for this great site! I just got the $199/six nights call from TravelBug and, living in a tourist town, I knew those figures couldn’t be right: they must be getting money out of you some other way. I recently had my credit card scammed by Tarcom Ecommerce too (from a pop-up: I’ve never used the company) — look out for them — and had to cancel it. So glad I was suspicious enough to follow the Snopes principle: I googled “TravelBug Rip-off” and here you are.

    • Thank you all for sharing your experience. Like few of you, i also got convinced with the promotion and paid $199 to Travel Bug instantly over the phone – something i dont normally do but dont know in what mind i gave them my credit card details.

      Anyways so far so good. I rang them just now to refund. And they agreed. Because, the meal offer or pay for 1 night out of 2 did not seem legitimate. The meal price is minimum of $80 per day and the per night accomodation is above the average of $200 per night.

      I will stop my credit card sooner to be safe.

      I am not calling them fraud but promotion is a complete bluff but nothing else. Its like doubling the price for a shirt before giving 50% off the price.

  • If you think something is suspicious, the answer is simple BE FIRM, SAY NO AND HANG UP.
    Instead of buying something and regretting it and not getting a refund for it!
    You can also choose to register yourself through ACMA under the DO NOT CALL list. Problem solved!!!

  • just to let you know the scam is still on, and there are still suckers (like me) falling for it- if only I hadn’t accepted the google prediction of bargain breaks .co.au from the list, and got to this site while I was on the phone to the scammer! I would be $109 less poor. It will be interesting to see what happens when I try to make my booking ….

  • thnx you guys for this rippin great warning we jus got a call from john from sydney with all the right credentials abn,po box, office in north sydney etc etc but with a thick indian accent, sounded too good to be true so i checked them out and found you guys, luckily i didn’t give any bank details but i wonder how decent companies like “accor advantage plus” who gave my wife a great membership deal last year can allow this stuff to go on and i’m not in the habit of dropping names unless i get a real deal,this guy wanted all my relatives and friends ph numbers as referrals. geez i’m glad i said no. thanks again for the warning should be more of it

  • I got a phone call from “David” at Bargain Breaks today 22.09.10 offering 7 nights for $120. I smelt a rat as it was to good to be true. They gave me an address being: Sunrise Business Centre U3/5 Windmill Street, Southport QLD 4215. They also gave me a reg no of 63964521297. I have researched ASIC and although this is a registered Business Name, the reg no is different. This is a SCAM, Beware also very rude, agitated and pushy when I refused to give my credit card. Are also calling me back tomorrow. Can’t wait.

  • Got a phonecall today from a lady with a indian accent from the company “Travel Bug – North Sydney” offering 12 nights accommodation for $159 to be used at any 3.5-5star hotels of my choice anywhere in New Zealand or Australia..when I questioned her that it didnt sound right that any hotel I wanted would participate in such an offer, she became agitated and seemed to go back round in circles repeating her spiel..then telling me that if the hotel didnt participate that travel bug would make it work by giving vouchers that I could use there..when that also didnt appeal to me ahe began to say it was a one time offer today and that it normally would be offered at a cost over $300..(yeah right, 12nights accomodation would be far more than that!!)..she then began to talk about a holiday in at Bali, Thailand…I googled and found this site as she was still on the phone and told her NO THANKS! She said she would ring again…luckily she didnt. If it sounds too good to be true – IT IS!! What gets me is how did she have my phone number and name when she phoned in the first place?? Im unlisted!!!

  • Bargain Breaks are a scam. Their Indian telemarketers are told to get a credit card, any credit card, even someone else’s credit card. I have no idea why the regulatory authorities allow a company, legitimate or not, to encourage their agents to get the mug punters to commit fraud. Surely this is a criminal act in itself?

  • I had this Indian chap regale me for 40 minutes and then he handed me over to his supervisor Jack Nelson:when Jack Nelson asked me for my credit card details over the phone I told him to stick it up his fundamental orifice pronto as I never give banking or credit card details over the phone

    • Hi Jonathan,

      you are so lucky, I just brought 20 voucher for $120- from Jack Nelson yesterday, because at the very beginning he sell $220- for 30 voucher + 7 days hotel in Thailand, I told him I am not interested, and then he cut down the price to $120- for 20 vouchers, end up I brought it and gave him my credit card details on the phone, I didn’t know that it was a scam until I search Bargin Break’s comment on internet, I am so stupid. I try to stop the payment and cancelled the credit card today but was found that the transetion already done .
      stupid me !!!

  • hi guys. Thanks for all your posts. I was on a call with travel bug holidays for 27 mins. They offered 59.95 for 12 nights free accommodation. They used the whole spiel about bar website n really pushed for buy now and return within 14 days if not satisfied. When I said thanks for the imfo but not interested. He said I was the first one to say no and tried to make me feel bad. I said not interested and she hung up on me mid sentence! Be aware guys.

  • what i find wierd about these people is, they start by giving you your full name and address to you, howd they know that? ok msybe yellow pages…. then when i hang up he rings me on my unlisted mobile. hmmmm now im a bit sceptical. took the bargain though….. hopefully works out! let ya know if it doesnt!

  • Lorraine
    13th October, 2010
    I too thought the vouchers were too good to be true and was transferred to a supervisor who put over the hard sell. Today I tried to use the vouchers and found that what I was told I had purchased was nothing like the deal explained to me not once but a couple of times . I questioned the “Too good to be true deal” and still I fell for it $350 for 35 free nights accommodation anywhere in Australia or New Zealand. “Bargin Breaks” need to be stopped of misinforming people of their deals and tell the truth. I only have hear say proof and no written evidence of what was said. Truly I feel like a fool for falling into this trap. Please BEWARE of the SCAM.
    Lorrine

  • I’ve just given my credit card to Bargain Breaks. I find it hard to believe that i checked thru google and only after a long time I could find this website. I initially thought it was a scam but I heard on the radio today about how so many families are going abroad for holidays instead of Australia and then thought well if they are promoting Australia thru this that’s a good thing. Also the fact that the customer service at hotels in Perth and south usually are awful I’d like to think that thru such a company they’d be better. The goverment has a 7 million dollar booster for holidays in Australia but I dont know the full story about this but hope this bargain breaks will workout and I’ll get some discounts at least and be able to enjoy Australia over other countries. will let u know…

  • Last night I also received a phone call from TravelBug They asked me to lookup their website . THANK GOD I SAW THIS WEBSITE !! .Featured on their website is the Quality Inn Echuca , I rang them and the lovely woman on reception said . “We do not have any contract with Travel Bug , we do no honour their vouchers , and I am extremely upset that we are featured on their website .” I also rang another hotel (Mermaid Waters )featured as an example similiar story they have nothing to do with this company , if you want a specail call the hotel directly . If you have the vouchers fo a meal deal you have to spend $190 minimum on food at the hotel . Ths is what I was told when I rang the Hotel . They are also very upset and angry that they are featured on the Travel Bug website .Neither Hotel wants to be associated with such a disreputable company . They do not accept vouchers from them and both Hotels gave me a very clear warning not to purchase the vouchers as they do not honour them .
    I did have a laugh as I was on the phone to the “travel Bug Consultant “. i just started to read back all the posts on this website . I kept going and reading them for at least 15 minutes the consultant then said .”Don’t believe rubbish that is posted on the internet ” I said well I will make my own enquiries .
    It is abundantly clear that this is a SCAM , DO NOT PURCHASE THESE VOUCHERS !
    If they call me back I actually will enjoy telling them the result of my enquires and how the featured Hotels have spoken to me personally and advised me that they DO NOT HONOUR TRAVEL BUG VOUCHERS .
    It is actually quite outrageous that this company is offering “specials ” that the Hotels themselves do not know about .Itis also disgusting and appalling that they are not telling people the truth , I hope that the ACCC bans them . I will personally be making a complaint to them .
    My advice , read out the comments from this website .They actually hang up on you !

  • I wish I had seen this site b4 I was sucked into the scam! I feel like such an idiot! I bought $159 worth of vouchers & didn’t see your posts until the transaction went through. Luckily it was before I bought the overseas vouchers. I asked for my money back but she said it was too late & hung up on me. I then called my bank & cancelled my credit card. They said once I receive my statement I can fill out a form to dispute the transaction. I feel like such an idiot but thanks to your posts I didn’t buy anymore vouchers. I saw on their site that if u have to buy meals there it costs about $25 breakfast & $60 dinner each. Would want to be an incredible meal to pay that much every day!
    They also went under the name “life style dynamics” & gave the same address of 71 Walker St Sydney.
    I am yet to receive the vouchers.
    God, I feel so gullible, stupid & used! Oh well, at least I know for next time.
    Clare

  • How interesting. I am recently getting constant calls from this mob – I thought they were saying Bargain BRAKES! They are incredibly persistent, 5 a few days ago when I was at home during business hours, and a lot more over the last month or more – and whenever I’ve hung up on them I get a lot of calls where no-one speaks – like 3 so far today. I’m not inclined to do business over the phone with someone who I can barely understand. I’ve thought of saying I don’t have a credit card – has anyone said they also don’t have a cheque account? I must say, it doesn’t surprise me it’s in Qld – they’re still known for rip-offs in business.

  • Well I too have been harassed by a bloke at Bargain Breaks, and although I have asked him not to call me, continued to do so! Anyway, last conversation he questioned me as to why I couldn’t AFFORD to spend the $199 or whatever it was which was totally inappropriate! Before I hung up on him I said “please nver call me again – I am very disgusted at what you have just said questionning my finances”. So guess what happened – a GIRL rang me tonight about the same thing! PLus originally they told me I had to buy only one meal for two per stay, now suddenly it changed to buy two meals for two. So perhaps not such a good deal anyway??? Buyer, beware!!!

  • If you need a holiday, instigate it yourself. Remember the saying..”if it’s too good to be true then it probably is(too good to be true). This dodgy mob have been trying to scam me and I keep telling them to ring back because I am…bathing kids, cooking dinner, washing the car, sick etc. They keep ringing back and thanks to this site my suspicious thoughts have been confirmed. I love how they use the site themselves to make out it’s all legitimate. The grammar and speling errors are such a give away. Get onto the telecommunications ombudsman and/or Department of Fair Trading everyone and report these fraudsters.

  • Just got off the phone from Bargain Breaks didn’t buy anything because it all sounded too cheap.I immediately looked up the name and found this site,thanks for that.They are ringing me back tomorrow ,won’t I have a thing or two to say.They are offering 14 nights for $220 and quoted the ABN number etc.BEWARE

  • My boyfriend purchased travelbug vouchers through their telemarket call, he didn’t let me know until he receives the vouchers and found it’s not described as he was told.he then called Sydney number, and was told to return vouchers within 14 days with fully refund. However he felt something wrong and told me about that, and I suggested him to lodge dispute with the bank which the credit card has been charged. The bank require proof of return vouchers, but he already returned as normal post. If he let me know earlier, I will ask him to return as register post even we are going to pay few dollars more,but we can have the proof. Hope the bank can help now, and in the meantime I will lodge this thing with ASIC. We’ve returned vouchers and why we should still pay for nothing we can utilities?such scam companies is using people’s ignorance to make their money. I will never pass over this issue until we get our refund.

  • Hi everyone, got call from travellbugholiday ten minutes ago trying to sell the same hotel voucher for $199. watch out for news trick of directing you to government business registration website to convince you that they are legit with abn number.

    • i asked them how legit they were because as my partner blurted out the numbers i had just logged on to this site and was so cut that he has already given them the numbers…the girl argued they were legit as they had an abn number and i simply answered her ANYONE can get an abn….so cut that people can be so low and SCAM others

  • Re Travelbug holidays. Thankfully we read the comments on this site. Had call from Eric Johnson (Indian sounding accent) offering $199 deal. Usual sounding promotion – hard sell. refused offer. Also directed us to the abn.business. site.

  • I would like to know how telly marketers see you coming over a phone. Somehow they scamed $278 dollars out of me. I asked lots of questions to make sure that I as a single Mum who had been saving on a pension for a holiday to Bali once in a life time holiday would not get ripped off. I just didn’t ask if are you ripping me off can I come and rip your balls off. Maybe if I had they would have just hung up and save me the trouble of feeling like a tool. Thanks for this site as is nice to know I’m not the only tool in the tool box. They are not telling the truth as I asked questions which the have answer falsely what a total croc. Oh can the Manager please not use text script when using a forum like this to argue his case as it makes him look a bigger tool than all of us. Maybe he is too busy ripping us all off to write a whole word correctly.

  • Just got off the phone with “Steve”. I love accents. He did not seem to like it when I started reading back to him some of the terms and conditions on the Travelbug website such as “We…cannot guarantee that any particular request for an Affiliated Resort, area, travel date, type or size of Holiday Accommodation, travel supplier or otherwise relating to your booking will be met.” What the? I particularly like the final sentence of the terms and conditions I was reading while Steve was selling me 12 nights accomodation for $109, namely “You agree that the English courts shall have jurisdiction to resolve and determine any disputes that arise in connection with these Terms and Conditions…”. Luckily it seems you can use your travel vouchers in the UK! He lost further interest when I explained that I was a lawyer…the line went dead!???

  • I’m a travel agent at Flight Centre and just had a client ring up asking about travel bug holidays as they had given her a call. basically she had been offered the $199 deal for 12 nights what not, but also mentioned Flight Centre and that they were a preferred wholesaler with us. We have never heard of travel bug holidays, the only travel bug that we associate with is the travel bug doctor, which you go to to get vaccinations for when you go overseas. This is a scam, wholesalers don’t just call customers up to get them to book with them, they would prefer to deal with agents rather than with customers directly.

  • had a called yesterday from a lady named Rachelle from bargin breaks told me if i payed $220 i could have 14 days free accommodation in hundreds of different hotlels around Australia
    i asked if i wanted to go on a weeks holiday do i just give them the 7 vouchers and i would stay the whole week FREE she said YES it would be absolutely FREE not a single cent for accommodation but i may need to purchase some meals from the hotel
    just rang one of the hotels listed in the bargin breaks samples hotels on their website they explained that this is not true at all you pay for 2 nights and stay the 3rd free
    and you may be required to purchase dinner on the free night
    i have stupidly paid my money and this is NOT what i paid for
    my advise DON”T even bother with them they are very pushy and do not explain the product they are selling correctly

  • I too was sucked into the very smooth sales pitch by the Indian from Travel Bug.
    Luckily I was near the computer and did the search before agreeing to do anythig. Thanks for this post – it saved me.
    Told him I needed to speak to my husband. He pressed for an answer as it was a ‘limited’ offer.
    He called back and I strung him out a bit further. Told him I didn’t trust him one little bit, even after his speel about his ABN being legit which I did check with abr.gov.au It is listed as active. I will investigate further to see why these mongrels are allowed to do ‘business’ if you can call it that?
    Because I haven’t told him to climb back up the tree he fell out of, – YET, he has called back, and his manager too, every night for 3 days.
    I am going to do my best to stop them from getting others to part with their hard earned cash. BEWARE!!

  • Too true, I just signed up for brgain breaks… It was an indian girl saying he rnames Susan…

    I gave em all the details and credit card number before checking thi ssite out… Im glad I did give thi sa check out… I rang back and cancelled… The woman that helped me then was an aussie girl so it was pretty easy…. I’d rather just spend the 700 bucks on accomadation… At least its all safe… Lol, and its probably good i have a prepaid credit card that didnt have any money in it… So even if they did take anything theyd get 0 dollars.

  • I 2 believed i was purchasing accommidation + the vouchers as a bonus. Yes i must stop wishing on stars and looking for gold at the end of rainbows. I gave Jeni (the lovely sales woman, slight accent) a frank description of my life. A desperately poor sole parent and student.
    Please dont rip me off, I almost pleaded to the lovely woman from Bargain breaks.
    I was first approached mid 2010. No money but needing a break I asked Jeni to call me back in Dec. She did and sold me a package for the bargain price of $99 for 20 vouchers to use in Australia and New Zealand. I felt like I had been scammed the deal was not what I imagined.
    Jeni called again today with another great deal too good to be true. 7 night accommidation Thialand, Indonesia and Fiji $120. What was I thinking? Again I gave my details. Thanks to this web sight I have cancelled my credit card and will register on the Do Not Call.

  • Thank you Genuine for that interesting information, even not for profit organisations like sporting clubs must be incorporated these days. Why is a busness trading as an unincorporated entity. What is that animal. Thank you too bernie the lawyer, of course we should read contracts, good on you for reminding me. And Christos’s comment enlightened me to the dip stick I have been.
    So I will save my money till I finish the course when a ten dollar voucher might or might not come in handy.
    It certainly a lesson in business transactions over the phone.

  • I had a man who was very complimentary try to sell me the deal for $199, but would not provide me with a number to call them back if i decided to go ahead with deal. While i was on phone with them, i was researching them on the internet and found this website. Very interesting, also very interesting the deal is the same for everybody. Im sad that these guys tried to fool me with go to this website http://www.abr.business.gov.au to find them as a registered company in australia, but i said to the man, whether you are a registered business or not the problem, whether you have a good reputation to provide the services you have advertised is another. The man said to me, i am sorry but i have no answer to your questions. And we closed the call from there. All very polite, as was i. But I didn’t even tell them where i lived, as they tried to confirm the address they had as the one they had? Thankfully the internet is a free space, and we all must use our smarts and info at hand to make a logical decision. I wish the deal was true, but even i couldn’t see how it could be. And they couldn’t advise me that it was, they just tried to prove the were a company. This doens’t prove anything, many dodgy companies exist in australia. 🙂 Good luck, great idea the voucher option, but we want it to be LEGIT.

  • To Lynnelle and others from Australia. Report your bargain-breaks and other scammers on http://www.scamwatch.gov.au Ppl who r actually duped should really do it n also others as it might make the authorities to take notice and crack on them!!! Also plz do not generalise it to all indians, though i agree the accent of telemarketeers is indian. there r many indians who r sincere. Also Desoza, we dont understand what U mean. We do not cheat n never deliberatly lie like u do day in n day out(hiding facts is a form of cheating). U r bringing shame to ur tribe too,, justice will catch up with you very shortly

  • Thank god there is a web site letting me know this is a scam I’m a mum with six children the woman on the phone although hard to understand was getting me excited thinking I could take all the kids on a cheap holiday , happy to give me her name Sam very Australian not if I hadn’t of asked for the web site and this pop up I would have been out of pocket 220 dollars that’s there new speil at the moment 20 vouchers and 100 dollars off flights can’t believe I was nearly sucked in thank you for posting comments so people like me can’t loose there hard earned money and give it to these scanners……

  • It’s a SCAM no question. I spoke with an Indian lady trying to sound Australian. I had their website up when I spoke with her. I had her in knots with my questions. She finally admitted she was calling from India in a call centre and tried the “I will speak with my manager” to most questions. I was offered 10 night for $109.00 I said I know one of the hotels pictured in the website and that they know nothing of bargin breaks. She said it was upper hotel management that knows these deals. I siad I know the Director of the hotel. Silence lots of umm arrr. She then said she was new there, using the normal brush offs. She then said she had to go and to call the 1300 number. I said the one on the website. She said yes, so i asked her to confirm the number with me and she could not. The call ended. I have also since found this company is also connected to “Hotels to go” All I can say is have some fun with them, twist them up and enjoy the rest of your day knowing you have out smarted the scam

  • Bargin Breaks we purchased last year they gave me time to check the web page then I ph one of the Hotels and it is all great. we have used some of the vouchers no problems hard to get deals xmas new year I ph hotel and appartments we have stayed at direct and they have not been able to mach the deal from Bargin breaks some poeple expect to much you usualy get what you pay for they will also give you a extra $10 off the deal if you find better

  • Like so many others, I received a phone call from Bargain Breaks. I was very sceptical at first, so I tried checking them out on the Internet, but I couldn’t find any warnings about them (I missed Lifehacker somehow). When I checked their website, it seemed very professional. They quote an ABN number (probably fake, I suppose) and had very detailed and correct information about thousands of hotels and motels.

    I then ordered the useless vouchers, booked two motels through BB and paid deposits. It was only when I turned up at the first motel that I discovered that the manager had never heard of Bargain Breaks.

    It seems amazing to me that a scam company can operate so openly and on such a large scale without anything being done about them. Google brings up hundreds if not thousands of references to BB, the great majority positive. I know I should have been more careful, but I also think there should be somewhere very accessible for people to find out about scams before it is too late.

  • An absolute scam!! Thank God for this site. I NEVER listen to these phone calls selling things and usually hang up on them straight away but for some silly reason i kept listening to this call. Silly me not being turned off by the offer which was too good to be true and the thick Indian accent. Anyway our credit card has been cancelled so the payment for 20 nights accommodation at $109 will NOT be going through. HA HA Bargain breaks we had the final laugh.

  • I too was scammed by Bargain Breaks! Back in Dec10 I received a call from a bloke called Brad Joseph from Bargain Breaks. Although I am pretty hard on cold-callers, these suckers were soo persistant in giving me their ABN, website etc that I ended up buying $220 worth of (21)vouchers. I was told that I could stay at over 800 properties, all I had to do was purchase two meals per day. Off course upon receiving the vouchers and logging in into their website it was very evident that this would not be the case. In fact there was only 1 property offering such a deal!! At all others I had to pay more from my pocket. Needless to say, like most others, I felt sick. But than I decided that I was not going to lose my money….I called Bargain Breaks the next day only to be rudely told that I would not get any refund! I than decided to dispute the charge with my bank. There are several steps to follow in the dispute process but after 2 months I got my full refund.

    Remember that even though you give your credit card no yourself, you are only authorising them to charge for what they have sold to you over the phone. If the product you receive from them does not match what you were told you have the right to dispute the charge. Hope this helps those who are out of pocket no thanks to these scammers!!

  • I just got a lovely call from a heavily accented man of the name Mark Green (or Creen??) form Bargain Breaks also offering an enticing package of vouchers. I followed along until he started going through the prices of the vouchers when I realised he wasn’t offering to send out vouchers for discounted hotel and meal offers, but wanted money to receive the vouchers. At this I said thanks, but goodbye.
    He even gave me an address and ABN but I’m not paying for sus stuff like this over the phone!

    OOOOH and while writing this comment, I just got another phone call from a female at their call centre. Talk about pushy!!!!
    Bargain Breaks
    Unit 3-5 Windorment St (??)
    SouthPort Qld 4215 (?? couldn’t hear him properly)
    ABN 63964521297

  • just got a call from Bargainbreaks. 14 nights for $250 in Aus, Nz, Sth Pacific. Very insistent. Asked them to call back in 2 days so I could discuss financial outlay with my partner who was not currently home(its a good delaying tactic if you ever need to use it), which they were very reluctant to do. Straight off phone and onto net. Glad I found this site. They do not seem to be a reputable company judging by previous comments. Thanks for the warning!

    • Bargainbreaks called me tonight. I said the same thing “I need to consult my partner”, then went off and googled this and their site, check their website under terms and conditions:Bargain Breaks takes no responsibility for accuracy of prices as information is provided directly by the hotels. So don’t take anyone for their word,$109 for 7 nights. Read the fine print, they can say whatever they want just to sell you their discount vouchers that are not really THAT good.

  • Read the comments with interest –
    I had a call yesterday from BargainBreaks –
    I also used ‘my partner is not home’ delay to check it out.

    First thing that red flagged was they had my name and address and yet wanted me to confirm it.

    Second: ‘Kevin’ insisted on giving me his name, company address, ABN etc and said he was ringing from Queensland.

    Third: repeated deal twice – and he was over the top with it – “definately no more to pay or hidden costs or extras. No seminars. Choice of 2500 hotels.
    Only $209 for 14 nights can stay any combination of nights or people eg 14 rooms at one place for a function for one night or just me 3 nights QLD, 4 VICTORIA etc til vouchers used.”

    Fourth: I asked for terms & conditions, testimonials and hotel information and was immediately put onto his supervisor who repeated spiel – her name ‘Jenny’ spelt ‘Jene’
    It was the first of April and they hadn’t changed the spiel from March 24 months validity until half way through.
    Fifth: without giving the info I requested she preesured me for my credit card, saying it is so cheap because it is cheaper than advertising and my word of mouth recommendation is worth the hotel giving discounts. When I delayed, she said offer valid today only and would give me an extra 6 nights free and actually said “you can have 21 nights stay for $10 a night, no catches!”
    When I said I have to talk to partner she offered 35 nights for $305.
    I said to call back – I’m glad I found this site as it was so tempting even though it felt so wrong.
    Sadly if they’d said I could stay in very expensive hotels for the price of some lovely gourmet chef meals- I might have accepted anyway – now they have lied I am not going to. Plus in NSW it is still daylight savings and they had the time wrong – so they definately were not just in Queensland!

    Thanks eveyone and I wish all the people with vouchers, or refunds pending, the best outcome possible.

  • Further to above – sorry about typing errors I forgot to check it.
    They also said vouchers were fully transferable and could be used by anyone at all

  • Looks like these scammers are still at it!

    Just been getting harassed but these spammers as relatives have given our number to them. I knew it sounded too good to be true!

  • BEWARE , SOME GUYS WHO ARE COMMENTING HERE WORK FOR TRAVEL BUG !
    BEWARE !! I DONT WANT TO TAKE NAMES BUT JUST USE SOME COMMON SENSE AND DONG FALL FOR THESE SCAMS…
    HOW CAN SOME ONE GIVE 7 NIGHTS IN 5 STAR HOTEL FOR 159 $ ??

    ADVISE : IF YOU GET A CALL LIKE THAT , ASK WHERE EXACTLY IN NORTH SYDNEY ? WHAT ARE THE DIRECTIONS ? HOW FAR IS IT FROM THE STATION ? THEY WONT KNOW NOTHING ABOUT IT

  • HI Guy and D costa thing,

    I have reported the ABN and ARN to department of fair tRading NSW with print outs of these blogs. I have recived calls from Travel bug and i have made recording for the same as well.

    I have submiteed that CD to Fair trading as well.

    Well Shit costa,you will die soon because of heart attack. dont know just feel like saying it.

  • Received some Bargain Break vouchers as a prize so looks like the club who bought them have been scammed. Sure Bargain Breaks have and ABN number but that means nothing, any individual can get an ABN number. The important number is an ACN or Australian Company Number which they don’t have. On the Australian Business Register (www.abr.gov.au) they are listed as an “Other Unincorporated Entity” which can be any group of people and not necessarily even Australian – they are not a company, so it will be very difficult to find out who they are and get your money back.

    • HEY SUE. PITY I DIDN’T CHECK THIS SITE FIRST. I BOUGHT VOUCHERS AND WHEN I TRIED USING THEM, FOUND I NEEDED TO PURCHASE EXTRA ACCOMMODATION. WHEN I CONTACTED BARGAIN BREAKS I WAS INFORMED THERE WOULD BE NO REFUND BECAUSE I HAD WAITED TOO LONG. IT WAS SIX MONTHS BEFORE I WAS READY TO USE THESE VOUCHERS. I’M PISSED.. I’M PHONING CONSUMER AFFAIRS. MAY NOT GET ANYWHERE, BUT WILL HAVE THE SATISFACTION OF TRYING TO KICK THEIR BUTT.

  • I just got off the phone with travelbug holidays and I was sketchy about them too.
    There were a few things that was sending alarm bells ringing but i still thought i’d give them the benefit of the doubt.
    I actually came across this site while i was supposed to be looking up their homepage and Im so glad that I did, thanks for your comments, I will not be risking $159.95 of my family’s money for fraud! This post has saved me alot of stress, time and money…..Thank you guys!!!!

  • Yes, we got scammed by Bargain Breaks for $120 over the phone and after googling to find out it was a scam, immediately put a permanent stop on the credit card. The indian sales lady, called Rachel, was a professional and not too pushy salesperson. The website was also pretty good, although I was suspicious when I could not complete the purchase online. The deal was cheap, but not unbelievable, and the sales person talked about several places of accommodation in my desired location. Under no circumstances should anyone buy a holiday from bargain breaks /bargain stays. I’ll stick to booking directly with accommodation places or using quickbeds.com.au.

  • Just had a phone call from travelbug saying the same thing. That there will be no extra charges, Told him to call back tomorrow I know what i’ll be telling him. It’s really sad that you can’t trust anyone anymore.

  • Travel Bug Holidays is a SCAM. Their offers are more expensive than when you book individually from sites like wotif.com.
    + Travel Bug holidays literally steals 200 bucks off you for their “money-saving-deal” when providing no deal at all. For example, on their site they have a deal 2-for-1, where you pay for 1 night in a hotel and stay for 2. But the price for the first night is the double of what you’d pay on wotif.com (= there’s no free night.) They also have a deal “Pay for food, stay for free” but they don’t tell you that you have to pay a certain amount (usually over 100 AUD) for your meal at all them hotels. All this means that: 1) you don’t save a cent when staying in the hotels on their list
    2) you pay Travel bug holidays 200 dollars for calling you

  • Just had a cold call from a company that sounds remarkably similar to those mentioned above. They called themselves ‘Bargain Stays’ and offered the same type of deal $120 for 7 days with the now familiar ‘have to eat meals’ business as an added extra. I demanded they send me info and conditions before I handed over my credit card and they refused. So that was the end of it. They were pretty convincing though….

  • Well come in sucker by the looks of it!!
    I just received my vouchers yesterday and you know one would think I would of done a little research….
    I smelt something wasn’t right but thought with the whole QLD advertising…and trying to get tourist up north it may be a similar camaign??
    I haven’t tried to use them yet but just looking at accomodation etc….
    Stay tuned and I shall let you all know my experience…..
    Advise welcomed…

  • Pool Ware Guys,,,,

    I just made my first bookings through bargain breaks and was pleased with the deal.I would like to thank the staff for the deal and making my dream come true as at times when we go for holidays we find it hard to stay a night or 2 but now bargain breaks made it come true so I am really pleased. Once again thank you all

  • We stayed at T’s Tennis Resort at Port Macquarie. Because I hadn’t been on holiday before, the very helpful Bargain Breaks staff assisted me in making the booking. As there were 5 of us we stayed in the largest cabin, we did find that the tiny pots and pans for cooking weren’t sufficient – however, there was a large 4-burner barbecue on the large verandah which we made use of. The rooms were clean and the beds were comfortable. It was reasonably priced and it included free use of the many tennis courts and they had a very large pool, which was clean and really refreshing. The people there were also very friendly. The kids and I thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. Thanks Bargain Breaks,

  • I had calls from Bargain breaks. I asked for the name of a place that I could use the vouchers at, I then phoned that place and they had never heard of bargain breaks. so I had a look at the website and phoned a few of the places on the website. none of them had ever heard of bargain breaks. Also, why would a legitamate company screen thier phone calls. that doesn’t make sense. The bottom line is don’t give out bank or creditcard details to someone that cold calls you.

  • I also fell for ‘Bargain Breaks’ and purchased – but when I found this site, I instantly canceled my visa card. I do feel so silly to be sucked in by them – I hope they get caught and penalized – It is a horrible feeling to get conned like this.

  • I recieved today a call from this bargain break the indian lady was talking very bad accent about this 7 night 5 star hotel accommodation all over in Australia and New Zealand and insisting to have your 2 times meal at the hotel while you buy this package, and plus its valid for 2 years time, and asked me to get a pen and paper and write down the detalis about this deal, ,and i asked her I wanna go to new zealand to the north island she offered me the dustin 5 star hotel for there and at first I was attracted by the offer and then she saw i am interested she transfered me to another indian guy who was ready to charge the credit card staright away, he was explaining the same shit, and than I asked for a number to contact them he just gave this no, 1300 811 744 and and insisting and pushing to give him my credit card no, than I excused to consult with my friends and I give them a call in that no he said no thats only the booking no and I asked him about their no the was already pissed off and hanged the phone, I knew it and i was playing with them, such a mother fuckersssss.

  • We received a call from “Christine” at Travelbug who was as sweet as pie as she was explaning all the details of their travel voucher system. I asked lots of questions about the scheme including if there were any restrictions on booking at certain times and certain places etc. Christine made out that the vouchers had no restrictions. Unfortunately we were sucked in by the deal and paid $199 for 12 nights worth of vouchers. When the pack arrived, we realised there were several conditions including a 2 week notice period for bookings, several fees and charges and strict limitations during school holiday periods. Many of the places were 2 nights for the price of one rather than the accommodation cost being covered by the vouchers. Also where you had to purchase 2 meals at the hotel as part of the deal, the food costs mostly were more than the cost of the accommodation and certainly more than we would normally spend. When we called back and asked for a refund, “Christine” suddenly turned! She was rude and sarcastic as she was explaining that we had to send the vouchers back to get a refund minus $9 for postage and handling. I tried to argue that since the purchase was made over the phone, the refund should be too but she kept referring to the terms and conditions which said the vouchers had to be returned first and within the cooling off period. Funny how you don’t get the terms and conditions until you have already signed up and paid! Anyway, we are going to send the vouchers back by registered post to ensure they get back to them. I just don’t trust these monkeys. For all I know I could send the pack back and they could deny ever receiving it or that it got back after the cooling off period. Anyway, be careful when these guys ring you up. Make sure you do your research. If only I had googled “Travelbug” while I was on the phone to her, I would never have joined up. They now have my name, address and credit card details.

  • i received call from Bargain breaks today and as i have read so many fraud cases of this type holiday package ( pl go through http://www.mouthshut.com and search country vacation , club mahindra holdiay resort) i didnot trusted the lady since start. friends please note nothing is free now in business world and once you give your cc details to anyone you are loosing control of your own money . and why a person with sane mind want to loose control of his own money.

    donot trust any deal which sounds too good to be true. this tele sale people can sale you stars and moon but will never tell u that u have to arrange your own resources to get it.

  • Hi guys,
    Just got off the phone with a “Marshall Cruz” from travel bug holidays. Initial spiel sounded great but what set me off was the fact that once again, calls are coming from India and they are pretending to be someone else. While I “pretended” to search for their website on my iPhone, I came across this website and I am very grateful that I did.
    “Marshall” asked what his own company
    website looked like, and I lied and told him
    My computer died. Expecting him to call back but I’ll be ready! Thanks for sharing your stories and anecdotes. I’m sorry some of you proceeded with the deal, but we would not have had the knowledge to be able to avoid the same mistake without you.
    It’s sad that it has come to this, but the tactics used my Indian call centers onto Aussies makes me immediately suspicious about their Motives.

  • Hmm strange thing today I was doing my uni revision until a man called Sam rang up to me stating that he is a representative of TravelBug. He was willing to offer me a deal of $199 for twelve (yes 12!) night free accommodation…too good to be true ey? Having a small legal background study at uni, I asked for the terms and conditions. He later told me 3 conditions.
    1. I will pay for my food and travel expense (air ticket I presume)
    2. Offer expires in 1 day
    3. Need to ring up 14 days for booking prior to travelling…

    He also provided me the Licence no. 40069206793 – in which looks very similar to the ASB no. of its website. Also the address provided was
    Lvl 7 71 Walker Street North Sydney 2060.

    Hmm….the line dropped and he called me back. Well I commented how I am unable to make a decision now, and was interested* so I had to ask my mum. He asked my age, I said 20. I told him look, “I am a uni student, I have no job and I have no right to decide to fork out $199”. So apparently he will ring me back at 7 pm or so.

    So checking this website — I will have a lot to say to Sam *grin*.

  • I have just gotten off the phone with travel bug for the 5th time this month. This time I lost it and ended up in a yelling match with the guy on the phone. They seem to just care about people beleving that they are a real company, honestly what difference does it make? When your ripping people off or only giving them 1/2 the information. So glad I found this site!! Not that I would have given them my information over the phone!

  • people who all complained in this forum,
    these people never signed up with travel bug holidays, so without receiving anything from
    the particular concern its very harsh to launch a complaint against the concern—

    do research about this company –
    many people had benefited using travel bug vouchers..
    its realy harsh to launch a complaint without using the company vouchers…

  • thankyou for all the information you guys have given me. I have just received a phone call from a sydney number from a chap with a strong indian acent from travelbug offering $199. 12day holiday deal. After about 20 minutes of hard sell I told him I don’t have a credit card and he told me to use my husbands credit card. I told him I would check travelbug web and he kindly gave to me and would ring back when my husband got home from work, I have caller ID and said I would ring him back, anyway he is ringing back tomorrow. Don’t they know of this site. funny that I’m now reday for him

  • I too got caught up in their enticing selling methods. I purchased a package from them, but when it took so long for them to send it to me, I rang to enquire about it, as I wanted to use one of the vouchers. They were very unhelpful and not willing to help me make a booking and certainly went back on a lot of the promises they had made. I told them to cancel the package and return my money to my bank account, as I had paid it as a direct deposit due to not having a credit card. It took them 3 weeks to do this, but fortunately I did get my money back, after speaking to a very unfriendly lady on the phone. Amazing how friendly and helpful they are when selling…but boy can then turn ugly!!! Watch out….they offer false promises and will tell you anything to get the sale.

  • Picked TravelBug for a scam when they suggested that there was some Government Tourist Dept endorsement, yet there is no reference to that on their website.

    Thanks to this website to assistance in confirming my suspicion.

    I am starting to hang up on callers who are not competent speakers of Australian English. I had troubles understanding the version of English being used by this company representative. As I am not negotiating on a back street in Calcutta, I would not normally make the effort, yet I was interested in the claims of Government endorsement..

    Am I being racist while being harangued at 7.25 pm in insisting that a competent speaker be used? Get real if you want to sell.

    Re the Indian culture, sometimes hard to tell if there are racist or cast attitudes involved. In any case, tends to make one less tolerant.

  • I received a similar ‘Bargain Break’ call today. Although they were telling their names Kevin and Alex (manager), they sounded so Indian!!!!
    Being Indian myself, it was very easy for me to recognise the Indian accent and smell something wrong with their details.
    Although I did not give them my CC details, after reading all these comments, I thank myself. They are going to call me next Saturday to finalise the deal and I know what to reply………………. If they are really fraud, it is a shame and they are destroying the image of their country and people!!!!!!!!!!

  • stupid stupid me for purchasing a package from bargain breaks! 40 nights for $218. Purchased the package in april and still havent received our vouchers, called them today only to be told very rudely that we cannot have our money refunded? any one else out there know any suggestions on how to get our money back?

  • I was contacted by travel bug holidays today and the deal certainly sounded too good to be true so I did some checking. Their salesman, Mark told me that I didn’t have to give them the 3 digit number from the back of my card and that mede it impossible for them to take more than the amount I agreed to ($199.00) I asked him to ring me back in half an hour and checked with card services and they said that that is simply not true. So I rang the hotel in Perth that I was interested to stay at and they said that it was not all above board and that I would certainly have to pay for the accommodation. Mark rang back and said that the receptionist at the hotel wouldn’t know about their direct deals with the hotel management but that is how the managers fill their vacant rooms!
    So I excued myself again and rang the Metro Hotel again and explained that to the receptionist, but her very clear answer was. “My information is from my management. The vouchers don’t even earn you a discount on the accommodation, let alone free accommodation!”
    Final contact was with a woman who Mark put me on to when I asked for the direct number to the Hotel manager in Perth. She added to the offer by saying she’d throw in 7 nights for my granddaughter to go on her honeymoon to Bali, Kenya or somewhere else overseas. Preposterous!
    My credit card stays safely in my wallet.
    Sounds too good to be true because it is too good to be true. Judgement day is coming folks. Repentance sounds like a good move to me! Sure beats the promised alternative!

  • Had several calls from Bargain Stays / Bargain Breaks, 14 nights for $150 sounded great. Lady calling asked for my credit card over the phone. I asked if I could phone the head office with my card details, she then offered “you can do internet banking now” I insisted I would rather pay by calling head office but I would ensure she got the commission for the sale. She agreed. Before I rang the head office I checked on this site and searched the ABN on the ASIC website (Australian Government site) – it said that the ABN did not belong to a company. While the lady I spoke to may well be doing an honest job her employer does not appear to be a legitimate business.
    Won’t be giving them my credit card.
    If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
    Thanks to everyone for your comments.

  • I received a call from ‘Bargain Breaks’ by this lady claiming she was from Queensland. She also told me that she was an international student from India working part-time in Southport.

    Turns out, I’m Indian, I live on the Gold Coast and I speak Tamil. The call gets transferred to a supervisor who upon further questioning accidentally slips that they are actually in Chennai, India.

    The product sounded pretty good so I was still willing to give them a chance…until I came across this website. Thank God…could have been an expensive mistake.

    Bunch of liars.

  • i just recieved a call from bargainstays.com.au, i got the same pitch as everyone that has written before but with 14 days accomodation with meals for 2 people at any min 3 star hotel in Australia for $209,, while i was talking to him i checked the site as well as checked here after a search,, the site packages were the same as barginstayz.com.au when i clicked as instructed the packages, but if i clicked any other package on the screen it said no url found…beware of these people who have simular names as other sites ,, the indian guy i talked to got very upset whn i asked him a few questions about the deals and the conditions (there are always conditions),, when i quderied the site and how the urls went know where .. he propmptly hung up…

  • The comments here are kinda funny. i don’t understand why do you need to make some stories just ruin a company. Hello, travelbug holidays is just doing there jobs. They help people to get some vacation. if you want to get REAL information with this company you can ask for their acn and abn so that you would know that they are legit company and they are also registered with ASIC. another funny thing here is that most of the negative feedback came from just one address (Technical address, okay!) so if you know what i mean you’ll understand. the company started since 1999 i guess so what are you talking about that this is just a scam. We should be scared of whoever made this thread and who’s giving out wrong information and negative feedback. Most probably who made this came from a company like travelbug holidays and probably they dont have customers that’s why youre giving out negative comments to have members. God knows that Travelbug is an honest company.

    • The idea that the mere fact of a company having an ABN (a requirement for ANYONE running a business in Australia) making it automatically “legitimate” is laughable. The fact it’s constantly suggested makes the operation look more suspicious, frankly.

    • And the appropriate way to deal with negative feedback is to respond to the criticisms and offer customer service, not say “we have an ABN so your criticisms are invalid”. There’s not been much evidence of that in the comments from customers we’ve seen so far.

  • I had a call from travel bug holidays today, the telemarketer jumped straight in, even when I told him my dad wasnt home and I was just housesitting he kept going with his speel, i listened and answered every question he asked me, I politely declined his offer by saying no thank you. And he hung up on me.. Like I was wasting his time!!
    Its companies like this that give telemarketers a bad name.

  • I too received a call from Travelbug, and unfortunately we made a payment of $199.The sales representative Joshua did not disclose about the meals, which was like spending much more per day of what you spend for a whole month.There has to be certain obligations put on such phone calls and fooling people.I am not sure whether i will receive my amount back, but a good lesson …’trust no strangers’. one day will be there when all these fooling people will be fooled by life and but sure will suffer a lot, then they will remember of what they did??????/

  • for people who think it is Indians doing this to rip people off..they dont. they are simply doing the job. The people who give them work are doing so only to save their backs and be out of reach for local police even if it is uk, us or aus. most callers dont even know if they are working for a scam company, they are given targets and they work towards it. they are made to beleive in their products and will swear by it. they dont know of any scams going on abroad like in news, papers to know that what they are doing is scam.

    I got a call from hotel bargains with website looking exactly like bargain break. the girl who called me gave abn of bb and threfore i am here. all info that she gave me is not her making but what was passed to her thru the client. The client is the person who sets up the scam viz in aus for aus, uk for uk. and then passes it off to call centres abroad primarily with the objective to be faraway from the law. so the people ripping australians may be infact an australian, brithshers may be british, but only using indian callcentres as also it is cheap labourwise. Such clients are treated with great respect as CLIENTS but even the boss would not know they are fake.

    I know a company that offered vouchers for cash back for contract phones in UK and then after a year around the time to honour most cashbacks they close, but trade again as different name offering vouchers again. and this guy was british selling phones in uk thru CCs in India.

    BTW look up http://www.hotelbargains.com.au VS http://www.bargainbreaks.com.au they both are the same except for one has ABN and email, diff address and phone number. One thing that combines them is, this caller said calling from HotelBargains and then gives me ABN of BargainBreaks

    • Hey guys! I am with the indians! As with any business, employees are given a job to do, they are not told all the facts either! I am aussie and work in retail. We have sales sometimes and I replace tags with new sale prices that are only a few dollars off the normal retail price but because the tag says save hundreds, the consumer thinks they are saving! We all have to eat and work to do so, whether your Aussie, Indian or African, we have to do what our bosses require or we can’t afford a holiday! Stop being racist! I have recently bought tickets from hotel bargains and it is up to me to use them all. I scammed myself thinking I can get a weekend off to use even one of these vouchers! Stupid me!

  • hi guys very good day,you people must understand one thing, Google is a free world any one can type any comments on any company…..and i am sure that 90% of the comments are not true…..you people could thing that i am one of the member of the company,but the truth is, even i am one of the customer of this holiday company..for an example, go to Google scam and type coles super market scam. you can find thousand of scam. just tell me now if the super market is scam will you stop purchasing things from one of the biggest super market in Australia….???come on guys very day is not Sunday…please stop commenting bad things about the company’s … if your not happy just forget it….

  • Thank you Kartom for your information about the websites for BargainBreaks (www.bargainbreaks.com.au) and HotelBargains (www.hotelbargains.com.au). The websites are actually 100% IDENTICAL in appearance and function, except for the different 1300 numbers and the different business numbers given in small print at the bottom of the page. This gives a strong impression that one and the same entity is operating both sites.

    I just got a call from Hotel Bargains offering me vouchers for a $120 seven night package anywhere in Australia. The only condition the telemarketer mentioned was that I would have to buy 2 meals per day at the hotel I choose to stay in; and she reassured me that the meals were “normal” meals and not exorbitantly priced (not true, read below). She wanted CC payment upfront before she sent me any information. I declined and told her to call me back mid next week after I had a chance to check out their business credentials.

    I just had a browse through the two identical websites for BargainBreaks and HotelBargains. Funnily enough, only pictures of hotel buildings are given with no hotel names or contact numbers given anywhere, so it’s impossible to call up the hotel and check. However, I copied-and-pasted the picture of the hotel in Melbourne into Word and magnified it until it was large enough to see that it is the Batman’s Hill on Collins. I then called the hotel to see if they knew anything about this group. They informed me that they do know about the vouchers; the conditions are that you buy a breakfast and dinner at one of the restaurants at the hotel and stay the night for free, WITH A MINIMUM FEE FOR THE MEALS OF ABOUT $230.

    It looks like my telemarketer either didn’t know how much the “normal” meals at supported hotels actually cost, or she was trying to scam me. Either way, I’ll certainly be telling her “thank-you-but-no-thank-you” when she calls back.

    Thank you for the website.

  • 🙁 say NO & do NOT hold the phone a moment loneger! thankful at least for the ex banky’s advice on disputing payments .. these guys will hit your account at lightning speed.. by the time this had happened.. i had only just realised that the accomodation.. that was being sold to me usable australia & wordwide.. even including my own state, victoria is only valid in THAILAND, BALI & AFRICA !
    travel bug holidays you SUCK!

  • I wish I could see this discussion one year ago…

    Similarly, I purchased a voucher package from Travelbugs Holidays on 28/09/2010 through a telemarketer. The vouchers are valid for 1 year and the guy told me if the voucher is not used, with the promotion I can extend it every year for free. Today I called them to extend the voucher and a lady named Christina (highest manager, claimed by herself) ask me to pay $15 per voucher to have the extension, which would be totally more than the original price I paid (for family reasons, I have not used any of the vouchers).

    I have made an official report on scamwatch.gov.au even though I suppose they can hardly help me practically. However I need to write my story down so there will be less victims in the future.

  • BEWARE OF BARGAIN BREAKS!!!! I PAID OVER $300 AND FEEL LIKE A FOOL!. AFTER A HARD SELL WE THOUGHT IT SOUNDED GREAT. EACH TIME TRIED TO BOOK ACCOMADATION LOW AND BEHOLD THEY WERE BOOKED OUT. ( WHEN WE RANG HOTELS DIRECTLY THEY WERENT) HOWEVER A HOTEL CAN CHANGE ITS MIND ON BEING INVOLVED WITH THE COMPANY AT ANY TIME. ALSO IF YOU GET ACCOMADATION YOU PAY FOR THE MEAL DEAL. THE MEALS ARE SO EXPENSIVE YOU MAY AS WELL HAVE PAID FOR THE ACCOMADATION. I JUST RANG BARGIN BREAKS AND THEY WERE EXTREAMLY RUDE TO ME AND MY HUSBAND, IN THEIR OWN WORDS THEY SAID TOO BAD FOR YOU IF THE HOTELS DOESNT WANT TO PARTICIPATE AND THAT YOU DONT HAVE A LEG TO STAND ON WHEN WE SAID WE WERE GOING TO GO TO DEPT OF FAIR TRADING.aGAIN IN THEIR OWN WORDS. NOT OUR PROBLEM.!!! PEOPLE STAY AWAY FROM THESE CON ARTISTS, I DONT KNOW HOW THEY SLEEP AT NIGHT

  • Well, I wish I had read this sooner. We were given a TravelBug voucher for christmas last year, and just used it this weekend, as we didn’t want it to expire…well, we were charged $440 for 2 nights at Shoal bay Resort as part of the pay for 1 night, get one free deal. We thought that for $440 per night we would be staying in a pretty nice place…but were downgraded on arrival from a waterview to no-view room – and still charged the same price. Our room was big, but had almost no furniture, no balcony, no view – not much better than a $50/night road side motel. Asked the hotel what the room rate was and were told it was $245 including breakfast (which wasn’t included in our so called deal). Couldn’t contact TravelBug because they are only open 9-5 monday to friday, and we checked in at 7pm friday nite. We ended up having an ok weekend, but it was pricey, and we wouldn’t have even gone if it wasn’t for this voucher.
    Contacted TravelBug on our return, they said we were charged by the hotel, the hotel blamed the whole thing on Travel Bug, I think they are in cahoots on the scam. I guess we have no leg to stand on in the complaints department, because we stayed at the (so called) resort, but were left feeling cheated.

  • 01. Hotel Bargains or Hotel Bargains Pty Ltd is not listed in ABN or ACN Search
    02. BN22096735 or 22096735 is not a valid ABN ACN or any other business or registered institutional number in Australia
    03. Anyone can have a 07 (QLD) number. Just buy a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) number from any VOIP provider take it to any part of the world or use a VOIP software on your PC / MAC or even on your Smart Phone and call from that 07 number you bought.
    04. Their website ( http://www.hotelbargains.com.au/ ) transactions are not legit. Doesn’t use a https:// ( s ) protocol. As soon as you enter the details and press “Process” , you will see a “Processing” display. But it’s fake. The website simply collects your details and port to their database and someone will call within the next hour saying ” We have a special offer for you madam”

    My question is, if they are genuine and offering real offers why the above 04 points make them look like not legit?

  • Shit well, they are all the same company! Lance Martin owns them all! Bargain breaks hotels2 go and hotel bargains, I have been scammed! Why doesn’t the government intervien? They must be getting nice taxes off his scams! Well it’s not like real families have time to even use a hotel anyway!

  • Paid $209 for 20 vouchers. . I used my member name/user name and password online but didn’t get through. It is useless using the vouchers because it is still expensive, no bargains. I don’t believe in them. It is a scam. Beware.

  • Very dissapointing the way Hotel Bargains Queensland marketing team misleading the consumers. I have purchased this deal – Pay for your breakfast and dinner for two people and then get the room for free for that night. Guess how much for breakfast in a 3 star hotel in country Queensland??? $75.00 And the dinner is $75.00 as well. Without mentioning this deal I rang the motel and checked the price for one night and its $110. So paying two people two meals ($300) is really a Hotel Bargain???? Called the Hotel bargain team and the lady called Kath said they don’t refund the money after 2weeks time. I’m pretty sure Australian law has changed recently and the over the phone deals you will get 6 months. Guys please don’t go and sign up with this company! You can get better deals by either calling to the hotels/Motels directly or search online. This is a real scam!!!

  • Hotel Bargains Queensland marketing team misleading the consumers.
    I received my membership info 10 days after purchase. So, I didn’t have any chance to check their deals. When I checked Hotelbargain deals, I really surprised as their deals are all more expensive than any other deals. So, I was really confused why I need Hotelbargain vouchers. It would be much cheaper if I purchased it from other booking websites (hotel.com, booking.com) or even from the hotel itself!!! I was still within my 10 business day cooling off period. I called them and asked for cancellation. But the customer service was really rude and never try to resolve my problem and told me NOT 10 business days and my claim is not correct (No help at all!!!) . I am going to call Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) on 1300 302 502 and Customer affair Queensland to open this case for further investigation. Please do so if you are in same situation

    • Jafarzadeh …. I had the same problem to a tee… Only difference was that i have emails from Cathlene (Customer Service Manager) who tells me that she is the highest authority in the organisation and will not issue a refund. They have the worst customer service record i have ever come across. I also pointed out to Cathlene that i could book one of the hotels they had identified directly for around the same price. I pasted the booking request off the hotel website as proof and asked her to explain how there is value of me spending hundreds of dollars for next to no saving in comparison. I also asked her to explain their strategy of not allowing ppl to see their hotels specials until you are a paid member. Her response:

      “Our “strategy” as you have called it isn’t to stop customers from seeing our specials it is to protect our customers and suppliers. If we have everyone access to the deal prior to purchasing what is to stop someone form going to the hotel and claiming they have our vouchers and getting the deal without being a member? The sample list we have on the home page is for properties that have approved their details being provided prior to purchase.”

      Part of their sales spiel is to book through them anyway. I doubt their vouchers mean nothing to the hotels directly. Besides, its not like their vouchers are the most sought after discount for accommodation at the moment!!!

      Please let me know if you got anywhere with the ACCC or Consumer Affairs QLD.

  • DON’T buy from these scum!

    Rule of thumb: if it sounds too good – it is. We have a softie here in our family and we have been ripped off 3 times by these filth. Lifestyle Dynamics International, Elite Getaways, Budget Breaks, Ultimate Freestays, all emerge and die and re-emerge with new branding.

    Look for the lowlife that goes by the name of Haris Milicevic. He is currently employed (or so he says) by Prime Telecom in Bosnia (LinkedIn). http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2168999

    Why the Federal Government allow this thief to actually register a business in Australia is beyond me. He has been registered and de-registered on ABN.gov.au, investigated and castigated by ACMA for telemarketing infringements, his various companies are a messy trail through the ASIC website. His reprimand by ACMA was for contacting potential customers who were on a no- call register.

    Here’s a clue: ask for a physical address. If it comes back as either an office or PO Box in North Sydney, it is more than likely him. Get a phone number: I doubt the staff who answer will know anything about the package for a blissful holiday you have just paid for.

  • I would like everyone to be aware of Ezbreaks as well they use the same tactics I was a victim lucky I didn’t go for the price they are persuading me to buy. I bought the cheapest voucher and told them I would like to try first as they are very convincing. I asked for ABN number and it’s correct but didn’t realise it is true blue scammers. I register all our CP and landline number in https://www.donotcall.gov.au straight away. It was my fault I’m so into holidays but hoping for cheaper price. I’d stick with scoopon lol.

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