Monday, March 23, 2009
Affordable Holidays Scam?
I must be a target for unsolicited telemarketers. On my residential phone, I received a phone call from a representative of Affordable Holidays (www.affordableholidays.com.au).
This company claims to be based in Maroochydore Queensland Australia.
The offer is to purchase accommodation vouchers that can give the recipient 20 discounted nights of accommodation for up to 6 people in 3 - 5 star motels and hotels in Australia and New Zealand. The vouchers have no expiry date. All this for a one off price of $269.00.
What is a discounted night? Well that was very difficult to ascertain, however depending on the property and time of year this "could be" between 50 - 75%.
Haven't we heard this MO before??
Well yes! This appears to follow a well worn path of dodgy Ozzie scam artists that also sell accommodation vouchers. These would appear to have a dubious worth and be very difficult to redeem. This is covered in our previous posts HERE and HERE.
The highlight of the frenetic, high sales pitch was when the telemarketer directed me to their website www.affordableholidays.com.au to demonstrate the fantastic properties available to me. I requested a motel in my region and you would never guess what motel magically appeared in front of me - my own! I can assure you that my motel does not accept these vouchers...
It would appear that Affordable Holidays are using the same technique as www.holidayfever.com.au and have embedded a search engine of an unsuspecting 3rd party accommodation reseller on their website. This gives the impression that they have more properties in their "voucher scheme" than they really have.
If an accommodation operator comes across a potential guest with these vouchers, then they need to become part of the solution and assist in shutting these shonky Ozzie operators down. We suggest getting as much information from the guest as possible in order to make a written complaint to the Commerce Commission. We suggest that the guest is advised to do the the same.
If enough complaints are received, the Commerce Commission will issue further warnings to the New Zealand public and pass information over to their counterpart in Australia that will be able to take action.
The Commerce Commission can be contacted by:
PO Box 2351
Phone 0800 943 600