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..

      Thanks guys. So we decided to put a break on this bargain - not without costing them more than half an hour of non stop selling.

      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

        That's great Sam i agree with you....:)

      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. :)

      I got the similar call from travelbug holidays. I reported to 1300 795 995 obtained from https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/.

      I recommend everyone to do so.

      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.

    just got the phone call from bargin breaks. started thinking of our honey moon . what a bargin. BEWARE

    Got the call from them - BargainBreaks. It is really amazing: $209 for 49 nights as a VIP (Pocket?) chosen by them. Thanks to everyone here.

    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 managed to get a full refund for my travelbug vouchers with no dramas? Quick and easy back into the card that was debited.

    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.

      So how did you manage to get your refund? To what address did you return the package?

    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 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!

        Rofl!! I know right??? What a dick.

        Shame on my fellow countrymen...My country is lot better but we do have these shameful bas***ds also bringing a complete disrepute....

        Pls dont believe them.

          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.

      Please let us know how you went

    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.

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