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or "If it sounds too good to be true it probably is!"
Diamond Holidays
NDI Network Direct
Security Travel
Special T Travel
ASTAR All Seasons Travel And Resorts
Other companies with similar tactics

Miscellaneous about an absolutely depressing topic     ):((

A lot of people who were trapped by these companies will somehow blame their bad experience on the Bahamas. After all, one of the most tempting element of most of these travel scams is a cruise with the Discovery cruise ferry from Florida to Grand Bahama followed by a stay at a (budget) hotel in Freeport. A bad feeling about the Bahamas will stay in those people's minds even if the companies and the people who misleaded them are in Florida or somewhere else in the U.S. and not in the Bahamas.

1. You didn't win anything. Everybody get's the same offer.
2. The "free trip" is far from being "free".
3. You didn't win a free trip but a "huge discount"? Beware, the trip will still cost you a lot of money.
They are usually very reluctant to tell you how much the trip will cost you in the end. If you don't ask, they won't tell you. And some will downright lie to you.
If you go: Be realistic. Don't expect a luxury holiday  for a budget price.
For Diamond and similar offers: Read Cal's and Ryan's travel reports here

If you have already given them your credit card number.....

... and they have already charged it with a few 100$, you will usually have three options:

give up, write off the money already paid (charged to your credit card) - make sure that they cannot charge your credit card for other payments

2  fight for "money back" - try to cancel credit card payment (charge back - might not possible anymore, but check your options with credit card company). Put pressure on the company: let them know that you are prepared to file a complaint, start with filing a complaint with the Consumer Affairs department.

3 go for it, double check everything, make the best out of it 

and there are good reasons for each one of them depending on your language skills and your "grimness" or aggressiveness/ability to enforce oneself

FTC, Consumer Services and BBB
Travel scams - a summary by the [US] FTC Federal Trade Commission
About "Operation Travel Unravel" by FTC in August 2000
Operation Trip Trap in 1999

Florida Division of Consumer Services
Florida Division of Consumer Services - Complaint Form (but  can a foreigner living abroad use this form?)

BBB OnLine Complaint System


lots of threads about the subject ... Sports board

lots of threads here too, search for "free" or "won" bahamas-mon Freeport board

some helpful consumer websites or online articles can be found with google, search for ["free trips" scams"  ]

!! Scambusters about "travel scams"

Know that you can only dispute credit card charges within 60 days of acquiring them. So while it's a good idea to pay with your credit card (so that you can dispute the charge if it turns out you've been scammed), be wary of travel deals in which the 'availability' is more than 60 days away.
If you think you are interested in the offer, always ask what's NOT included: 'service charges,' 'processing fees,' and taxes [high season upgrade, port and immigration taxes etc.] are typically added on after the fact -- and you'll be expected to pay for them.
Ask for specific details, too. Many travel scams are based on really vague information -- for example, they'll use phrases like 'major airline' without naming it.
More tips on this website


The Discovery - a cruise ferry - most/all so called "free" cruises to the Bahamas will be made on the Discovery

The Discovery is a cruise ferry (a small cruise ship or a large ferry...). A lot of people use it like a ferry between Florida and the Bahamas: Americans for a week-end trip to the Bahamas if they don't want to fly or use the CloudX or the CAT (which are other ferries) and Bahamians if they go to Florida for shopping or relatives coming over. A lot of people are quite happy with the ship's comfort others will say that it is not what they expected, not what they were promised (too small, a bit shabby, not a "real" cruise liner etc.). - more info & comments here


Some of the hotels...  (in Freeport and Florida)
"Some are all simple but clean motel type properties" (see Cal's comment)
"Most hotels they put you in are remote, and you will spend plenty on cabfare" (Scubagirls remark)
. . . other hotels are just dumps...

Ramada (Ft Lauderdale/Orlando?)
helpful resources: - badbusinessbureau
Ramada Inn / Ramada Plaza (Ft Lauderdale / Orlando?) which one is it?? - tripadvisor reviews or Ramada Inn Sea Club - tripadvisor reviews  or  Ramada Plaza Orlando/Ft Lauderdale  - review Orlando - review Ft Lauderdale

see also here for Diamond Holidays hotel lists

for other hotels and for more general links about Grand Bahama / Freeport see here

Diamond Holidays

website of Diamond Holidays
Their hotel lists - Orlando, Ft Lauderdale, Bahamas

Bahamas-mon - lots of comments & tips about free trips (about Diamond and others)
e.g. Ryan's trip report 27.5.04 and 13.08.04
lots of threads about the subject ... Sports board
lots of threads here too, search for "free" or "won" bahamas-mon Freeport board

.. if you are THIS kind of a traveller, you might be happy with what you get

I won a trip from Diamond Holidays and so far I must say my experience has been great. Yes, I admit, after paying the taxes, fees and charges, its no longer free; but how many times have I been saying that I need a vacation and never ever get around to actually booking one? I'm glad they called me and held my hand through my vacation purchase because if they hadn't, tomorrow I'd be sitting here at my desk infront of this computer instead of getting on the ship - which is exactly what I'll be doing. Matter of fact, at this time tomorrow, I should be nice and drunk off of rum punch. Thank you Diamond Holidays! source Bahamas-mon Sports etc board


... Maybe not illegal, but a con none the less.!"
says Scubagirl, a very competent forum regular, about Diamond Holidays: "

 The fact remains, people aren't get anything for free.. or even discounted and they certainly didn't WIN anything. They are paying $77.00 each to PROCESS (which is bogus), and $100 port fees, which are non-existent. The hotels offered are usually pretty ragged, and with all these associated fees, they could book a real vacation without having to listen to a time share presentation. Just those facts make this a con. Maybe not illegal, but a con none the less." source: Bahamas-mon board


Cal: How to make the best of your "free" trip
(Cal's trip might have been comparable with "Diamond Holidays' free trip", see also below, but not with Special T and similar)

QA-Source: > thread not available anymore > see Cal's of 03.08.04 comment on Geographia/GBI board
Q From: jessikelin on Mon - Nov 3, 2003 
I just won a trip to Freeport. My vouchers are for a hotel downtown. Is it worth the trip if you don't stay closer to the beach?

A From Cal: on Tue - Nov 4,2003 
Most of these "free" trips are associated with a timeshare presentation, usually in Florida. My wife and I took 2 of these free trips to the Bahamas and enjoyed both of them. However, that was 15 years ago and with another company. At that time, the cost was less. The discovery cruise ship is nothing like a normal cruise ship. It is basically a large water taxi which does day ferry service to Freeport Bahamas. They have meals and entertainment, but it is not comparable to a real cruise. If you live close to Ft. Lauderdale, the trip will cost less, but if you live a distance away, it is very expensive for what you get. If you do this in conjunction wit a vacation to Florida, it would be OK, but if you go just for this trip, it would be very expensive for what you get. You will need to pay airfare or car expenses and hotel plus parking your car at the port. Understand that unless hotel before and after are included, your free trip can cost you $400-$500 before you are finished.

This is the routine
1. You pay an administrative fee to process your "free trip. 
2. The boat leaves Ft. Lauderdale at 7:00 AM. Unless you live close or the free trip provides it, you will need a hotel the night before. 
3. The boat arrives in Freeport about 1:30 PM. 
4. You take a taxi to your hotel (about $20-$25). 
5. You will pay a $15/person/night room tax in the Bahamas. 
6. You check out of your hotel on the last day and have to be at the port about 2:00 PM for a 4:00 PM sailing. (another $20-$25 cab fee) 
7. The boat arrives in Ft. Lauderdale about midnight, so unless you are close or the trip provides it., another hotel room. 

If the trip is a 3 day 2 night trip, you will have about 2 full days in the Bahamas. Add up all the costs, and the total can be about $400-$500. Often, you have a choice of 2-3 hotels, (Island Palm, Royal Palm, Victoria Inn, or Redwood Inn). They are all simple but clean motel type properties. Island Palm and Royal palm are downtown and about 5 miles from the ocean. Victoria Inn is on Midshipman road and about ¾ mile from the ocean. Redwood is right at Port Lucaya, so you will not waste any time commuting.  If you stay downtown, you will have to taxi or bus to get around. 
The busses are safe and affordable ($1), but they stop running at 7:00 PM. 
After that, it is taxis and they can be expensive. (about $15 from Port Lucaya to island Palm or Royal Palm)

In the Bahamas, you will be approached by people who want you to visit a time share or get hair braids. They are not overly pushy. Just say no politely and they will not hassle you. At Port Lucaya, there are 100 shops and restaurants, and it is right across from the beach. There is live music on Count Basie square at Port Lucaya every night. There are several affordable restaurants at Port Lucaya. Our favorites are 1. Giovanis - an Italian/American/Bahamian restaurant with good food and reasonable prices. The serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 2. Zorba the Greek - Greek/American restaurant. There is also a Domino Pizza, a Dunkin donuts, and many other restaurants. This is definitely a shorts and jeans trip. We visit there six weeks each year and about everything is casual. You can use visa most places, and travelers checks are used everywhere. As for transportation, you can take the public bus to the Royal Oasis casino for $1. You can easily spend the two days walking the beach and enjoying. There is scooter rental right beside your hotel. Be warned, they drive on the opposite side of the road, so you must be careful. The trip to the caves is nice. this is Lucayan National Park. Gold Rock Beach across the road is absolutely gorgeous. You would need a scooter or car to get there. Snorkel trips are nice. Let me know if you have other questions. Grand Bahama is a wonderful place to visit. My wife and I have been visiting for 16 years. We bought a timeshare at Taino Beach in 1990 and a studio condo at Harbour House Towers in 1997. We plan to Retire there. My cost estimates may not be exact, so check them out closely. 

Some “free trip” packages provide hotel before and after the trip, some do not.

Estimated Costs Base on 2 people: 
Hotel before trip $70 
Package Purchase $80 
Port Tax $200 ($100 per person)  This really a fee charged by the tour company and disguised as a port tax. 
Taxi to Hotel $25 
Hotel Tax $90 ( $15 per night per person) 
Taxi to Port $25 
Hotel after trip $70 
Total Cost $560 (approximate) 

This does not include travel expenses before/after the trip such as airfare, food or activities. And, this is for 4 days / 3 nights. For a comparison of a alternative package, Check out for comparable deals. 

A From: Jerry on Tue - Nov 4, 2003 I have seen many posts starting. "I just won a trip......" As Cal points out, you haven't "won" anything. Check out these sites for some good information about so-called free trips. Keep you credit card in your wallet until you research the whole package and know exactly what you are getting into. / ...

Q From: Jennifer Date March 06, 2004 NDI trip to Freeport, need input QA-Source:
I won a trip to Freeport through Network Direct, Inc. I have a 3 day/2 night stay for two at the Island Seas Resort. It says I pay $44.50 per person port fee, $75 per person reservation fee, $15 per person per night hotel tax and $5.00 per person fuel surcharge for the Discovery cruise. This adds up to $309 total. I am aware that I will probably have to get a hotel in Ft. Lauderdale before and after the trip. Has anyone else taken this trip? If so, I would like some input about your experience. 
A From: Bobbi March 09 We ALL "won" that same thing!!!! We upgraded to the Island Seas (which by the way was REALLY nice!) however, others that went, stayed at a hotel in town and said that was fine. We ended up spending $600 on our "free" trip. The Discovery Ship is alot of fun! Go to the shows, hang out by the pool and EAT! Drinks are not free. We were put up at the Ramada Inn in Ft Lauderdale that is about 5 miles from the port. The hotel was not the best but all we did was sleep there, so we can't really complain. They have a free shuttle that runs you to and from the port. While in Freeport, use the hotel's free shuttle or do the public transportation. The taxis aren't really expensive but it adds up. They are cheaper if you can share. We went on the Robinson Caruso snorkle/beach party cruise and had a blast!! Oh, there is also a fee you have to pay when you leave the island to come back to the states!
A From Cal March 09 If you are staying at Island Seas, that is good. It is a nice resort on the beach. Be sure that you are not staying at Island Palm. It is a sister resort, and is located downtown and about five miles from the beach

more about NDI see here


Great Report! Ryan:  My "Free Trip" to The Bahamas...and tips I learned

QA-source: Bahmas-online board May 2004
I realize that this is lengthy so I tried to organize it the best I could. If  you have any other questions please feel free to email me at  RllngRckBrw33 at or IM me (JunScooby). IM is faster and easier because it may be a day or 2 for me to respond to your email. I am by no means an expert, but I did see much of the island and many of the hotels, and can try to answer as many questions as I can about my experiences. I had a ton of questions before I went and this message board helped me greatly. I just want to try and help others that have the same questions that I did.
First, realize that this is not free. What you are given is a cruise from Ft. Lauderdale and a avg. hotel on the island. You are still required to pay port taxes, hotel taxes, flights, hotels in Ft. Lauderdale, food, entertainment, etc. It is however a cheaper way to go to the island than if you are to do it on your own.
Cruise: This is by no means a Carnival cruise liner. it is a decent way to spend the 6 hour cruise though. There is plenty of entertainment and food on the ship along with the duty free booze and casinos, one you hit international waters. Realize that this is not a top of the line cruise but still fun none the less. Food is free unless you want to upgrade your meal, but the buffet is adequate. The only things you must pay for on the ship is a cabin, if you want one (but for a 6 hr trip I am not sure why you want one) and they run $50 and up, any gambling expenses, and booze.
Hotels: We stayed at the Island Palm in Freeport. This was our free option (the hotel tax was $15 a night per person though) It was your avg. hotel. The one issue we did have though was that there is next to nothing within walking distance of the hotel. Shuttles do run to the beach every hour and a half or so. There is a schedule you get when you check in. The shuttle takes you to the Island Seas resort on the beach, where you are free to use all of their facilities, pool, etc. plus beach access. The one big advantage to this hotel that I found was that they have a woman that sets up activities and answers questions for the guests. Take advantage of this. Of course she is going to try to get you to pay for some activities, and some are really cool, but use her for anything you may need, activities, bookings, questions about the island etc. If you need to cancel or change the times of something, let her do it for you, the other staff seem more receptive to her than if you call yourself. If you want to upgrade your hotel, you usually get a cheaper price than if you were to book it yourself, but you may only save $15 or $20 a night. But from what I saw of the upgrade hotels available to us, they were worth the price, if that is what you are interested in, its all a matter of what kind of budget you want to stay on for your vacation.
Travel: If you are not near very much on the island there are many ways to get around the island. Car rentals are available (I have no ideas about prices though). You can rent scooters for about $40 a day. There is taxi service that runs everywhere all day, but it is quite pricey. Expect to pay at least $20 a trip. I strongly suggest learning and using the bus service. Basically it is a glorified taxi service. There is no set schedule, but the pass the bus stops about every 5 min. or so. Be sure to tell the driver where you are going, and most of the time they will drop you off right in front of your destination or will at the very least the closest bus stop and tell you how to get where you are going. The cost for this is $1 for any distance, and it runs most of the day. Entertainment: From what I saw there is something for everyone to do, you can load your vacation up with many activities as possible or spend the time at the pool and beach, it is up to you. There is plenty to do for all tastes, but I will let you know some of the stuff we did. Island Tour: The first morning there we did a tour of the island. I think it cost us 30 a person, and lasted about 4 hours. It took us all across the island and informed us of the history of the island, points of interest etc. The places we stopped were The Garden of the Groves, a botanical garden. this place was gorgeous, but small. It did contain a few animals, alligators, parrots, which you can feed, (that was kinda cool) turtles, etc. Next we went to a restaurant for lunch I cant remember the name any more, but it was on the beach and had excellent Bahamian food. I definitely recommend anything Conch especially fritters (I'll get to that later). This restaurant was cool because it was secluded and if I had not done the tour I would have never found it on my own. From there we went to a local market, the duty free liquor store, for a free taste test of local flavored rum, and ended up at the International Bazaar where you can find allot of cheap jewelry, other duty free items, and local merchants. I feel that this and Port Lucya are the two best places to shop.We were then dropped off at our hotel. This experience was neat, but it would be the only thing on the trip that I could have done without.
Dolphin Close Encounter: We did this the second day. We did the cheapest of the options, and while it was very cool, don’t get your expectations to high. For $60 you get basically a personal dolphin show, much like you would see at Sea World, but without the crowd. Also, you get to get in the water and pet the dolphins and get a kiss from them (which they try to sell you a picture of later). If you do this I recommend a waterproof camera because even just sitting on the side you will get soaked. I did manage to sneak a peak at the group swimming with the dolphins; I think this was around $160 a person. (Expensive, I know.) but they were able to get in and actually swim with the dolphins. They were also taught hand signals and instructed the dolphins. From the people I talked to about it they said it was well worth the money, but if you are on a budget and want to interact with the dolphins the close encounter will suffice. The entire thing took us about 2 and a half hours.
Bonfire: This was the last activity that we did and I highly suggest this. It is an all you can eat all you can drink evening. The menu was rice, corn on the cob, chicken, and ribs. The food was pretty god but nothing to brag about. The only free drinks are Bahama Mamas, and Kamikazes. For those who don’t want any booze your only option is fruit punch. The bar is open for any other drinks but again you must pay. After everyone has eaten the entertainment starts and there is a fire dancer, limbo contest, local dance lesson, and dance contest. It sounds really cheesy, but is actually allot of fun, especially after a few drinks. The cost for this is $50 per person and it lasts about 3 and a half hours. By no means am I advocating these activities, and I am aware that there are
many others on the island to do, but I am just informing you about the things I did while I was there.
Nightlife: I did not go out to any clubs while I was there, but the only information I gained was that this is not the party island that Nassau is. There are nightclubs on the island and the casinos are open 24 hours a day but it is by no means the craziest party scene out there. From what I was told the parties really start in the clubs after midnight. Most Bahamians go out around midnight and stay out till the sun comes up. Again, if you are looking for advice on nightlife, I may not be the best person to ask.
Food: The one thing that surprised me was that there are not tons of American seafood places on the island; don’t expect to see a seafood buffet on every corner like you may see on many of the East coast beaches. Their most popular seafood is conch, and definitely try this if you have never had it before. It is of the clam/muscle family. It is not quite as chewy or fishy as a clam, but tastes similar. They use the conch meat in everything, from chowders to fritters. I highly recommend trying the fritters. Also if you like beer, try Kalik it is brewed in the Bahamas and is pretty good, but it is also one of the cheapest beers on the island. If ordering mixed drinks, many places make them quite strong, so be prepared for this, there is no doubt that the Bahamians can drink and I have found that most tourists cant always keep up. I cant say that there is one particular restaurant that is a must try, but just ask the locals what they recommend for your tastes, they are usually right. Also, be sure to check your bill because most of the places already include a gratuity, so 9 times out of 10 you don’t need to leave a tip.
Shopping: As I mentioned before the 2 places to go are the International Bazaar and Port Lucya. Here you can find much of what the island has to offer as well as local shops. When talking to local merchants, don’t be afraid to barter. Most of the time you will get a discount with minimal negotiation.
Overall, the trip was great. The one thing that I do suggest is that if you  don’t know something, ask. The locals are extremely friendly and quite informative.
As I said I a not an expert on the island, but I am interested in being a help to anyone that may have any questions. Everything I say is strictly based on my experiences, so don’t take everything I say totally to heart as preferences vary from person to person.


Security Travel

Security Travel website

long comment by "former employee"

It's not scam, but they tell so many lies that they should be shut down. 

atevo - very long thread about Security Travel (slooow),3769,-bd=10-ix=45-in=15-so=2-mg=5505013,00.html
Jorgen about someone who actually made the trip (but without the Bahamas part): by Anne 14.04.04
How to get a refund 22.09.04 by Gerald Richards  - successfully by Clinton 10.05.04

Security Travel's connection to "David's Bridal"

We won this trip by registering at David's Bridal Shop in Orlando, Florida. I called David's Bridal Shop's corporate HQ to inquire about Security Travel USA, Inc. They inform me they are a real travel agency, they pay for the name lists that David's Bridal Shop provides them. I asked what was in it for Security Travel USA, Inc., and I was told that there are charges, the port tax, $39.99 "application" fee, etc., but they mainly hope you will either upgrade or decide to book additional vacations with them again in the future. source: bahamas-mon forum


Special T Travel STT / Travel Shopping Spree


Congratulations!" the window screamed. "You are the 50,000,000th visitor to this website. Click here to close this window and contact our prize department immediately." [...]  as it was 3am, and I was a little curious, I followed the instructions and clicked "here". Another pop-up window appeared. "You're Today's Winner!" flashed the banner at the top of the window. "You have won an $1600 Travel Shopping Spree. Your confirmation number is xxxxx. Call within 3 minutes and receive a Holiday Bonus! Operators standing by - Call Now!" In the same window, a clock is slowly ticking down the seconds I have remaining to call the number listed. So I got sucked in ... I rang the number. [] source: random/Gee

Their website
they say they are a division of a UK company but nobody seems to be able to locate it...

!! Orlando BBB (Better Business Bureau) Reliability Report

This company has an unsatisfactory customer experience history with the Better Business Bureau. 


Complaints etc.
search with google for more ["special T" cruise bahamas]

Consumersaffairs website about Special T and dont miss the "response" - one of the victims writes: "I have got back from VISA half of what I paid to Special-T-Travel, since they don't have my signature." (via google)  about Special T Travel starting 01.04.2002 - have a look at comment by "travel agent" Nov 14th 2003: the mentioned message boards are definitely bogus-boards i.e. "produced" by Special T Travel - baltimorehotels - lasvegashotels - leadcart (via google)  about - Special T Travel starting 15.06.04

S Lloyds' description - in the end, she got her money back  / she mentions a class action suite "Inhance v. Special T Travel Services" (unsollicited faxes, in 2001/2002)

Ripp-off website
atevo - vey long thread about Special T (sloooow),3769,-bd=10-ix=45-in=15-so=2-mg=5505430,00.html
solvalou - another nice description of the "procedure"
random/Gee - and another description - search it for "Special T Travel" and "bahamas free"

some recent discussions
Geographia/GBI - BVG Freeport board - frommers (scroll to the bottom of the thread) -

Deutsche Forengruppe - Kreuzfahrt-Forum (in German)
Der 1. Diskussionsfaden (Mitte Nov 04) wurde vom Forumadministrator gelöscht:.

27.11.2004 Wer anonym Firmen namentlich benennt und verunglimpft (berechtigt oder unberechtigt ist egal) setzt dieses Forum und den Betreiber juristischen Angriffen aus. Das ist Missbrauch dieses Forums und das können wir nicht dulden. Haben Sie mehr Mut und stellen Sie in Ihrem eigenen Namen Strafanzeige!MfG
Dr. A. Jäckel Quelle: Deutsche Forengruppe

2. Versuch, unvorsichtige und unsensibilisierte (deutschsprachige) Zeitgenossen zur Vorsicht aufzurufen und allenfalls Tipps an/für Betroffene zu geben/sammeln (siehe auch hier, falls der Faden wieder gelöscht werden sollte).

24.11.04 Rückfrage bei Kreditkartenorganisation hat klar ergeben, dass Rückbuchungen in solchen Fälle (CC-No. über Intenet oder Telefon gegeben) das ganze Risiko beim Kunden liegt. Der Kunde habe mit der Angabe der CC-No. die Vertragsbestimmungen des Verkäufers akzeptiert. Wenn der Kunde die CC-No. angibt, ohne die Vertragsbestimmungen gesehen oder gelesen zu haben, geht er ein Risiko ein, dass er selbst zu tragen habe. (Folgendes nur für die Schweiz gefragt:) Grundsätzlich kann man immer innert 30 Tagen nach Erhalt der CC-abrechnung eine Beanstandung mittels Formular einreichen. Dies geht an die juristische Abteilung zur Bearbeitung. Wenn die CC-No. über Internet oder per Telefon angegeben wurde, werde eine Beanstandung wahrscheinlich von der juristischen Abteilung der CC-Organisation üblicherweise gar nicht mehr angenommen, weil sich der Kunde fahrlässig verhalten habe. 

So schreibt z.B. die UBS in ihren CC-Vertragsbestimmungen: Einkäufe mit Kreditkarten im Internet.• Prüfen Sie bei Einkäufen immer die Geschäftsbedingungen des Vertragspartners, bevor Sie Ihre Kreditkarten-nummer nennen oder einen Vertrag unterschreiben. • Geben Sie Ihre Kartennummer nie nur zu Informationszwecken bekannt.• Drucken Sie bei einem Vertragsabschluss die Homepagedes Anbieters aus oder merken Sie sich die URL. Dies kann für spätere Korrespondenz oder Kündigung des Abonnements sehr nützlich sein.• Sollte eine Kartenbelastung ohne Lieferung erfolgen, teilen Sie uns dies bitte innert 30 Tagen schriftlich mit.[]


Other companies with similar tactics

whoever is behind THIS link - same procedure - have a look at the arguments under FAQ e.g. "how can you give away a cruise?
Feb 2006 - same type of scams but newer forum threads (Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland) 


ASTAR All Seasons Travel And Resorts

their website (NOT the same as e.g.

Ripp-off  report  19.10.2004 - more reports - read also warning about BBB reports
Atlanta BBB report (via google)  about All Seasons Travel starting 12.02.2003

some recent discussions
Tripadvisor Freeport board msg1 and msg2

NDI - Network Direct Inc
(thimeshare presentation with free "gifts", one of them a cruise to the Bahamas)
website of Network Direct Inc
a 1997 article about NDI
a long discussion thread about NDI (going on since 2002)
and an even longer one here (mainly about Global Advantage / Global Discovery)
see also ndi-comment here

Textsave siehe auch hier

Danke für die Antwort. Dass das der Grund für das Löschen des Fadens war - darauf wäre ich jetzt wirklich nicht gekommen... Geschockt

.... wie soll man unvorsichtige, unsensibilisierte Zeitgenossen vor einem Lockvogelangebot warnen, wenn man den Namen nicht nennen darf ... Geschockt

Dann werde ich mich mal besser vorsichtig ausdrücken, wenn ich hier die IMHO wichtigen Punkte aus dem gelöschten Faden wieder aufgreife:

In *Florida* ansässige, hier nicht namentlich benannte, Firmen, erscheinen u.a. auf dem PC-Bildschirm mittels Pop-up-Fenster, die den Gewinn eines "Free trip" oder einer "wahnsinning günstigen Reise" ankündigen. Zur Reise gehört meist ein Hotelaufenthalt in Florida und eine Kurz-Kreuzfahrt auf die Bahamas.

Unvorsichtige, unsensibilisierte Zeitgenossen klicken auf das Pop-up-Fenster, rufen dann die angegebene Telefonnummer an und geben im kommenden, raffiniert geführten Verkaufsgespräch schliesslich ihre Kreditkartennummer an.

Der Haken bei der Sache ist,

- dass das Gespräch in Englisch stattfindet > Unsicherheit, man fragt nicht alles, was man sonst fragen würde

- dass man mit der Angabe der Kreditkartennummer die Vertragsbedingungen akzeptiert, sich aber über deren genauen Inhalt nicht genügend informiert hat - überwältigt von der Freude über den unerwarteten Gewinn und unter Zeitdruck (künstlich erzeugtem - bei einer Variante sieht man am Bildschirm sogar eine rückwärtslaufende Zeitanzeige; man muss zusagen, bevor die Uhr bei Null angelangt ist, sonst ist der "Gewinn" weg).

- dass die Firma nach dem ersten Gespräch nur noch schwierig erreichbar ist .

In den mir bekannten Fällen wurde während des ersten Gesprächs z. B. eine Zahlung von rund 700$ vereinbart ("die ganze Reise kostet nur 700$ statt mehr als 2000$!") und sofort der Kreditkarte belastet. Monate später, als man dann wie vereinbart das Reisedatum festlegen wollte, waren plötzlich "Port + Immigration Fees and Taxes" von rund 200$ fällig. So eine Gebühr war während des Gesprächs nicht erwähnt worden, ist aber z.B. auf der Webseite sehr wohl aufgeführt (das es für das betreffende Land offiziell weder Port- noch Immigration Fees gibt, ist ein anderer Schuh...). Hinzu können je nach Fall noch Hochsaisonzuschläge, Wechsel in ein besseres/besser gelegenes Hotel, Doppel-/Einzelzimmerzuschläge usw. usw. kommen.

Erst jetzt dämmert es einigen, dass sie da wohl raffiniert über den Tisch gezogen wurden. Für das, was man angeblich gewonnen hat, muss man einiges zahlen und weiss dann, endlich misstrauisch geworden, immer noch nicht, was einem während der Ferien überhaupt erwartet (ist das Hotel die letzte Absteige? Ist das Hotel zwar "einfach aber sauber" aber so weit von allem weg, dass man Taxi benutzen muss, um zum Strand zu gelangen, wird man zur Teilnahme an einer Timesharepräsentation genötigt usw. usw.).

Am liebsten möchte man alles rückgängig machen. Dazu ist es aber normalerweise zu spät.

- die Kreditkartenfirma wird einem (meist mit Recht) Unvorsichtigkeit vorwerfen und nichts unternehmen wollen
- Eine Strafanzeige gegen eine Firma in Florida ist für Otto Normalverbraucher wohl nicht gerade einfach.
- Einzig eine Klage bei dem für die betreffende Firma zuständige "Consumer Affairs Department" in Florida scheint gemäss Hinweisen in diversen Foren manchmal Wirkung zu zeigen.

Wenn man sich trotz allem auf die Reise einlassen will, sollte man jetzt alle Teile der Reise genaustens abklären, um zu retten, was noch zu retten ist und das beste daraus zu machen:

- auf dem Internet nach Informationen über die Firma suchen (in deutsch ist leider nur wenig zu finden)

- bei der Firma *hartnäckig* nachfragen, welche/s Hotel/s genau gebucht wurde/n. Reviews auf dem Internet lesen. Evtl. Hotel wechseln, ein anderes günstigeres Reisedatum wählen. Mit Hotel/s telefonieren und abklären, ob es eine passende Reservation gibt. Dasselbe machen mit Mini-Kreuzfahrt, Mietwagen usw.

- Mit Firma abklären, welche Gebühren noch kommen werden bzw. was muss man dann vor Ort noch selbst zahlen (z.B. Hoteltaxen). Vertragsbedingungen studieren, schritliche Bestätigungen verlangen usw.

Ich hoffe, dass diese Angaben dem einen oder anderen hilfreich sind.

Gruss Johanna


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